Woodworking Hand Tools List and Their Uses

There are a lot of projects like wood projects, metal projects, construction projects, etc. that we may need to run regularly. And each of these projects requires a set of tools containing some specific tools in the set. Woodworking projects also require some hand tools. If you want to perform any woodwork, then you must try to use the right tools, because using the right tool for the right project will allow you to draw a better finish. Also, provide you with high-quality products within the expected time. Many people think that woodworking is all about using large and expensive power tools. But they are wrong. It actually requires some simple and cheap tools for performing any woodwork. In this article, I’ll discuss some important woodworking hand tools that you must own.

Woodworking Hand Tools You Must Have

Hand tools refer to those tools that usually get power from our muscles. You may call them woodworking power tools, but they don’t require any electricity to get power. Let’s have a look at the list of 12 woodworking hand tools and their uses that are pretty comprehensive and almost every woodworker should think of owning those tools:

Claw Hammer

The very basic tool that is a must to use for woodworking is the claw hammer. Most probably claw hammer is one of the most basic and common tools that you will find in every household. I don’t think there is a single person who has never used a hammer for at least one time in his life. There are a variety of hammers available in the market. Every hammer is suitable for a specific project. For woodworking, claw hammer having a smooth and rounded head is the most suitable model of the hammer. This will help you to drive the nail inside the wood. Make sure to buy a lightweight hammer with a wooden handle. This will allow you to grip the hammer properly and hit the nails perfectly. Try to buy a claw hammer weighted to 16-20 ounce. A hammer within this weight range is heavy enough to drive the nails properly and also easy to balance.

Tape Measure

Measurement is something that is a must for any kind of project. Whether you are running a metal project or wood project or something else, you can’t avoid measuring the materials. You also need measurement in case of woodworking. To measure the wood, you need an accurate tape measure. 

Try buying a retractable tape measure. A standard retractable tape measure can help you to have the most accurate measurement. Buy a tape that is at least 25-30 feet long. If you buy any one longer than that, then you will face the problem to roll it back repeatedly after the measurement. You can select a tape measure having both the metric and standard markings. Make sure that a hook is firmly attached at the end of the tape. To get the accurate measurement, don’t let the tape loosen up while you measure.

Layout Square

A layout square is an essential tool for woodworking. You can’t avoid the use of this tool for better and convenient woodwork. When you work on the wood, you will be in need to draw some straight lines on the wood for cutting them in the future. You can draw those lines in the easiest and quickest way using a layout square. You may also need to mark the angles on the wood. This tool will also help you in this case. You can quickly mark any kind of angle up to 45 degrees using this tool. It is a handy tool and you can keep this tool in your back pocket. This tool is popularly known as rafter square or speed square. So, if you feel any complication buying this tool by the name of layout square, you can use those other names.

Hand Saw

here are a variety of saws available in the market. A hand saw is one of them which we usually use for woodworking. It is also called a panel saw. This saw is basically long in height and comes with a thin saw blade attached strongly with a comfortable wooden handle like Dremel wood carving tools. You can use this tool for a rough cutting as well as dimensioning of the lumber. The blade of a hand saw comes with two tooth configurations. One can cut along the grain just like a chisel and also another can cut across the grain like a knife. You will feel the essence of using a hand saw for having a deep cut of the woods. As we will have to rub the blade again and again on the wood, it will take some time to get the cut and also can generate some rubbish around the cutting place.

Utility Knife

A utility knife is another important tool to have for woodcutting. It can be definitely considered as an asset in terms of wood cutting works. Though there are different types of utility knives around us, you must try buying the one that uses a disposable blade. It is also the most common type mostly used by woodworkers. As it comes with a locking mechanism, you can easily lock the blade at a certain point. This will allow you to work properly without facing any complication of the rapid movement of the blade while working. It is a versatile cutting device which you can use to scribe any mark on a piece of stock. You can also clean out the mortise joint. It will also be useful in the case of 100 other uses. Remember one thing that you should find a heavy-duty utility knife that comes with a metal casing rather than finding a lightweight box cutter.


A set of high-quality chisels is very important to keep while woodworking. Though there are some different types of chisels with different sizes used by the professional woodworkers or craftsmen, you can start with some of the handiest chisels of 1 inch, 3/2 inch, ½ inch, and ¼ inch. You can use a sharpened chisel for cleaning out the waste from the joints. It will work perfectly there. Even using a chisel in a proper way and technique will allow you to have extremely clean and precise cuts and notches. No other woodworking tool can do this so perfectly. A high-quality chisel lasts for a long time. You can use it repeatedly for a long period of time. You should find out a set of chisels constructed with high-alloy carbon steel. Some chromium-vanadium alloyed steel chisels also last long. There are both plastic and hardwood grips available. For better performance and durability, go for the one with wood made a grip. Having metal caps on them will add advantage and when you will hammer on it, the end of the handle will nit damage and remain the same.

The Level

You will definitely be in need of a couple of levels for your woodworks. Using a couple of levels will let you know whether a piece of stock is perfectly vertical or not. It will also ensure that the piece of stock is fully horizontal. For a variety of woodworking projects, it is better to have one long level and one torpedo level. You don’t need a level with a height of 6 feet. Rather you can have a level of 48 inches in length. The height of a torpedo level is usually 8 inches. You must check out both the plumb and the level of your construction. Plumb means vertical and level means horizontal. High-quality levels are mostly made of either metal or brass-edge wood. There are also laser levels and string levels, but they are not that much popular.


The screwdriver is one of the most common tools usually seen in every toolbox of a house. Whether you are an electrician or a carpenter or a mechanic, you will have to use screwdrivers. Even some people always keep a screwdriver in their pockets for any emergency work. For woodworking, you must have at least 2 or 3 types of screwdrivers with you. Though a power drill driver seems to be handy for driving screws, a manual screwdriver can complete the tasks with a fine-tuning feel. Try to have a number of screwdrivers in both Philips and flat-head. Having Torx drivers and Star drivers will add advantage. To work on the wood made cabinets, you will be in need of a screwdriver with a thin hank. This will help you to reach screws located inside the deep holes. You can also keep a log and heavy-duty screwdriver having a square blade. 

Set of Nails

Having a set of nails is mandatory for woodworking. You should have at least three different types of nails with different sizes. You will need to use nails for driving the nail heads inside the wood so that they remain very closely right below the surface. Driving nails inside the wood will help to fill up the holes and also make them prepared for painting or staining. This will also ensure a better finish. You can cover up almost all kinds of woodworking projects with the use of these three types of nails. It is better to store the nails inside a plastic box and beware to keep them away from the children. 

Sliding Bevel

The next hand tool that every woodworker should have is the sliding bevel. Sliding bevel is another common tool used in woodworking. It is similar to the layout square tool. But it has a unique feature that you can adjust it to any angle you want. Even you can lock it using a locking mechanism as it has a locking system also. But the layout square doesn’t have this feature. When you will measure a bunch of different types of angles, you will be in need of a sliding bevel. In fact, it can be a handy tool in that situation. As the tool is adjustable, you can mark multiple angles very easily using this tool by looking at the exact angle you want to work. It can be very effective in case of duplication of different angles. So, you must have a sliding bevel for a better woodworking experience.

Block Plane

Though the block plane is a lesser-known tool in the case of woodworking, it is becoming very much popular day by day. Even some expert woodworkers keep this tool in their aprons. You can use this traditional woodcraft tool for a variety of tasks like removing thin shavings of the woods, flatting a piece of wood, cleaning the edges during assemblies, add some curves to the wood, trim the joints, trimming and graining, etc. Once you find a dovetailed piece of wood, you can then smooth the joint very easily using the block plane. The most important thing about a block plane is to make sure that the blade used in a block plane is sharp enough to cut the wood perfectly. You can use a little bit of oil on the sharpening stone of the blade for better sharpness. Though you will find different types of block planes available around you, it is better to choose the one with a low angle. Having a low angle block plane will allow you to cut different grains very easily.

Woodworking Clamps

If you want to have a successful woodworking project, then you should have woodworking clamps. This is very much important as a tool that is good at holding freshly glued up joints. When you glue up the joints, they may become totally loosen. That time you can use woodworking clamps which will hold the joints tightly until the glue hardens. It is highly recommended to buy at least a high-quality hand screw clamp of around 10 to 12 inches along with few bar-type clamps. You can check out the number of clamps you need by putting the joints of your first project without using glue. This will help you to determine the number of clamps you need to put adequate pressure in the right spots.


These were the most common woodworking hand tools that you should have with you while running any kind of woodworking project. Each of the tools has unique features and all of them are very important. You can never avoid any of these woodworking hand tools in case of any woodwork. You will have a successful woodworking project only through the use of these tools properly. As almost all of the tools are cheap in price and easily accessible, I must recommend buying all the hand tools discussed above for a better experience and a better result as well. However, you should remember keeping the tools inside your tool drawer safely after buying each tool for the extended life of the tools.

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