Carpentry 101: Tools that Shape the World of Woodwork

Drawn image of tools used in carpentry

Introduction: The Art of Carpentry

Carpentry, an age-old craft, has evolved over the centuries, adapting to the needs and demands of the time. However, at its core, it remains an art form, where skilled hands transform raw materials into functional and aesthetic masterpieces. Behind every deft carpenter is an arsenal of tools that aid in bringing their visions to life. This article delves deep into carpentry tools. Shedding light on the essentials that every carpenter, novice or seasoned, should have in their toolbox.

Basic Tools for Every Carpenter

Before diving into the more specialized tools, it’s essential to understand the basics. These are the tools that lay the foundation for any carpentry project, ensuring accuracy, precision, and efficiency. They can be found in every hardware store. Sometimes even your local supermarket. Find a good deal somewhere. And if you’re unable to, or live very remote. We found them for you. Of course, we had to make a basic selection. Since every project has its own needs. But we think we covered quite some good stuff! Pick from it what you need for your project. Or check one of our other blogs to see if we covered something similar

Measuring Tools

image of atape measure

Tape Measure: Perhaps the most iconic tool in a carpenter’s kit, the tape measure ensures that every cut, every nail, and every assembly is precise. Modern tape measures come with features like magnetic tips, auto-lock, and double-sided measurements, making them invaluable for a carpenter.

We found a nice, affordable one on AliExpress here. Although you can find decently priced ones in your local hardware store or supermarkets as well.

Carpenter’s Square: Crucial for ensuring right angles, a carpenter’s square is a simple yet versatile tool. It aids in layout work, verifying the squareness of joints, and ensuring straight cuts. You can also use it as a guide rail for your circular saw to ensure straight cuts. We found an extra useful one with an extendable foldable arm here on AliExpress. The regular ones are always too small but you don’t want to carry a massive triangle with you. So this is the perfect solution for the best of both worlds.

carpentry speedsquare
level tool

Level: Ensuring that your work is level is fundamental in carpentry. Be it a shelf, a table, or a doorframe, a carpenter’s level ensures that your creations are balanced and aligned. Today’s levels come with digital displays and laser guides, enhancing accuracy.

We found this level tool on AliExpress. It has a digital display so that you can read how many degrees you’re out of level. But it still has the air bulb for easy readings. The size of your level depends on what you want to make level. Bigger projects require bigger levelers. However, if you’re working with really big areas you might want to work with a laser instead to make things level.

Hand Tools: The Backbone of Carpentry

Beyond the basics, certain hand tools define the craft of carpentry. They might not be as flashy as power tools, but their importance is undeniable.

Hammers and Mallets

Claw Hammer: This dual-purpose tool is a carpenter’s best friend. While one end drives in nails, the claw end assists in removing them. Its ergonomic design minimizes wrist strain, making it a staple in every toolbox.

We think that everybody already has a hammer lying around somewhere. However, our Chinese friends from AliExpress reinvented this simple hammer and made it even better in ways we didn’t even think were possible. They made a double un-nail mechanism on the backside of the hammer. To un-nail all your nails. And an easy hole for nails in front of the hammer. That way you never have to slam your finger again when putting a nail in. Brilliant! Order yours here!

fancy chinese hammer
wooden mallet hammer

Wooden Mallet: Ideal for chisel work. A wooden mallet ensures that the chisel doesn’t sustain damage while delivering controlled blows. Its soft head ensures that wood surfaces remain unmarred. Very useful if you want to keep your chisel in good shape. Or when you encounter a lot of situations where you need to hit the wood hard, without damaging it. It is not necessary because you can also put a piece of leftover wood in between your object and the claw hammer you’re hitting with.

If you want one. We found one for you over here

Screwdrivers and Wrenches

Flathead and Phillips Screwdrivers: These are essential for driving in or removing screws. A good set of screwdrivers, with various sizes and lengths, can make a carpenter’s work significantly easier. The flatheads can also be used to pry things out.

This is a good basic set for a decent price. However, you could probably get a better deal in your local hardware store. Or an Aldi, Lidl, or Action when you have one around.

Adjustable Wrench: While not exclusively a carpentry tool, an adjustable wrench is invaluable for tasks like tightening bolts or nuts. Its adjustable jaw ensures versatility across projects. When renovating a house you might come across a few of those nasty bolts.
This adjustable wrench is a good start for your toolbox!

Cutting Tools

Hand Saw: A classic tool, the hand saw is essential for making quick and rough cuts. Also very convenient for when you have thick pieces of wood that are too big for your power tools. Different types of hand saws, such as rip saws, crosscut saws, and back saws, cater to different carpentry needs. Although having at least a regular one around is a good start. We found this deal on AliExpress. The bigger the better in our opinion!

hand saw

Chisels: Used for refining wooden joints or carving intricate designs, chisels are a testament to the finesse involved in carpentry. They come in various sizes, each tailored for specific tasks. You should have at least one in your toolbox. Not too big and not too small. However, having a smaller one or a bigger one might have some perks every now and then. We found some affordable chisels that will do the job here. However, you could find them cheaper at some supermarkets or dollar stores.

Utility Knife: A multipurpose tool, the utility knife is handy for marking cuts, trimming wood, or even opening packages. Its retractable and replaceable blade ensures safety and longevity. Whenever it’s not sharp anymore you just break the tip off and continue with a fresh sharp part. Again, dollar stores probably have them. Although we did find this really cool utility knife one with a built-in level and ruler for some quick references. And most importantly, for a decent price as well. We advise you to take a deal with the spare knives so you have sharp utility knives for the coming years!

utility knife

Power Tools: Revolutionizing Carpentry

The evolution of carpentry is closely tied to the introduction of power tools. These mechanized marvels have not only increased the efficiency of tasks but have also expanded the possibilities of what can be crafted. There are multiple brands to choose from. And it might depend on where one is living what is the good choice. Also, one’s budget might come into play. Personally, we are a big fan of Parkside because they have a good price for good products. They are found in the Lidl’s in Europe. And I did see some advertisements of parkside in America as well. So they might become even bigger. Of course, you have the more established brands like Makita, Milwaukee, or DeWalt. But they come with a bigger price as well.

It doesn’t really matter which brand you choose. Although it might be smart to think about it twice before you decide. Because the brand decides the batteries that you will be using for your cordless tools. And it is way more convenient to have one brand of batteries and chargers instead of multiple brands together. If you like to keep it budget for now. But consider going branded later the Chinese brand knock-offs might be a good starter. They are very affordable and do the job. And you can use the chargers and batteries later for your originally branded devices! But you can feel that they are cheaper and weaker than their originals. In our examples, we go with the Makita imitations.

Drills and Drivers

cordless drill makita  imitation

Cordless Drill: A versatile tool, the cordless drill not only drills holes but can also be used as a screwdriver. With adjustable speed and torque settings, it’s suitable for a wide range of tasks. The cordless feature ensures mobility without the hassle of wires. Choose the brushless option for more power and longer longevity! Position one is for more power, and slower rotation (for example screws). Position two is for faster rotation but less power (for example drilling). The hammer drill option is for when drilling in stone-like materials. Get yours here!

Impact Driver: Ideal for driving screws into tough materials. An impact driver offers more torque than a standard drill. Its rapid rotational tap ensures screws are driven in smoothly without causing strain on the wrists or other joints of your body. Very convenient for when you have lots of screws to (un)tighten! We found this nice Makita imitation here.

impact driver

Saws: Cutting with Precision

circular saw

Circular Saw: Perfect for making straight cuts in a variety of materials, a circular saw is a must-have for carpenters. With adjustable depth settings, it can handle tasks from shallow notches to deep cuts. Use a straight beam as a guideline for longer cuts. Or use this awesome carpenter’s square as a guide rail for smaller straight cuts. For example when chopping a beam.
We found the perfect affordable Makita clone here! However, when Makita has a good sale, you might find an original one for just a little bit more money.

Jigsaw: When intricate and curved cuts are required, the jigsaw is the tool for the job. Its thin, reciprocating blade allows for precision, making it ideal for detailed work.
We found this nice Makita imitation here. It is possible that you have to straighten the bed before use to ensure your cuts are straight.

oscilating saw

Oscillating saw: Having an oscillating saw, also known as a multi-tool, in your toolbox can greatly enhance your versatility and efficiency in various tasks. It can tackle a wide range of cutting tasks. Whether you’re working on wood, plastic, metal, drywall, or even removing grout, an oscillating saw can handle it all with ease. One of the key advantages of an oscillating saw is its ability to make precise cuts in tight spaces. With its compact design and a variety of interchangeable blades and accessories, you can easily navigate around corners, make intricate cuts, and trim in hard-to-reach areas where other tools simply can’t reach.

We found this Makita imitation oscillating saw on AliExpress that does a decent job.

Table Saw: A staple in any serious carpenter’s workshop, the table saw is used for making precise cuts in large pieces of wood. Its stationary nature ensures stability, while the adjustable blade offers versatility in depth and angle of cuts. They can be found in your local hardware supply store. Or order your table saw here!

table saw carpentry

Sanders: Achieving Smooth Finishes

orbital sander carpentry tools

Orbital Sander: For smooth finishes, an orbital sander is essential. Its rapid, circular motion ensures even sanding, removing imperfections, and preparing wood for painting or staining. The orbital movement makes it go way faster than a traditional sanding machine. We found this cordless Makita imitation for a good price. You can’t go wrong with a sanding machine!

Angle grinder: a versatile and indispensable tool for carpenters, offers boundless possibilities for both professional and DIY woodworking projects. With its powerful motor, ergonomic design, and a range of attachments, an angle grinder is a must-have investment for any woodworking enthusiast. Whether you are smoothing rough edges, shaping materials, or even cutting through tough metal, the angle grinder effortlessly completes tasks that other tools simply can’t handle. Its ability to grind, sand, polish, and cut makes it a true multi-purpose tool suitable for a wide array of applications. From trimming metal rods to shaping wooden panels, an angle grinder empowers carpenters with precision and efficiency. Additionally, its compact size and portability make it ideal for on-site work, allowing carpenters to seamlessly tackle projects anywhere they go. Elevate your craft and experience the unrivaled versatility of an angle grinder. Click here to find the perfect one for your woodworking needs. This one even has various rotating speeds. Beat that Makita!

angle grinder tool

Joinery Tools: Crafting Seamless Connections

Beyond cutting and sanding, carpentry involves connecting pieces of wood seamlessly. These tools ensure that joints are strong, durable, and aesthetically pleasing.

doweling jig carpentry tools

Doweling Jig: For creating traditional dowel joints, this tool is a carpenter’s ally. It ensures precise holes for dowels, leading to strong and aligned connections. You can get one here.

Pocket Hole Jig: One of the most transformative tools in modern carpentry is the pocket hole jig. This ingenious device simplifies the process of joining two pieces of wood at an angle, producing strong, seamless connections without visible screws or nails. The pocket hole technique offers both strength and speed, making it a favorite among woodworkers, from novices to experts. For those eager to elevate their woodworking game, we’ve found a top-notch pocket hole jig that’s both efficient and budget-friendly. Explore this pocket hole jig on AliExpress and discover the convenience and precision it can bring to your projects.

Carpentry tools pocket hole jig
carpentry tools wood router

Router: A multifunctional tool, the router is used for hollowing out areas of wood or creating intricate patterns and designs. With various bits available, it offers a range of possibilities for decorative and functional woodworking. Since we like our tools cordless as much as possible. We found this Makita imitation for you!

Safety and Storage: Protecting Craftsmen and Tools

In the world of carpentry, while tools play a pivotal role, ensuring the safety of the craftsman and the longevity of the tools is paramount. This section sheds light on the protective gear essential for carpenters and the storage solutions that safeguard their prized tools.

Safety Gear: Prioritizing Health and Well-being

Safety Glasses: Protecting the eyes from flying debris, sawdust, or any accidental splinters, safety glasses are a must-have for every carpenter. Modern designs offer anti-fog and scratch-resistant lenses, ensuring clarity and durability.
We personally use these safety glasses on a daily basis. It fully covers the eyes, but still has ventilation shafts against a fogged visor.

Safety glasses
ear protection

Ear Protection: Power tools can be loud. Earplugs or earmuffs shield the ears from potential hearing damage, especially during prolonged usage of noisy equipment. We advise you to invest in your hearing by buying these earmuffs. They will protect you from all those nasty noises

Dust Masks & Respirators: Woodwork often generates dust. A mask protects the carpenter from inhaling these particles, ensuring respiratory health, especially when working with treated wood or when sanding.
This dust mask will filter it all.

Dusk mask
Safety gloves anti cutting

Safety Gloves: Protecting hands from splinters, cuts, and abrasions, safety gloves are essential. They also offer a better grip on tools, enhancing precision and control. We personally like to work with our bare hands for precision work. But when we want to keep it safe we use these safety gloves from AliExpress. They are anti-cut and shock absorbent. Very convenient for working with machinery for a prolonged time

Storage Solutions: Organizing and Protecting Tools

Toolboxes & Chests: A portable solution, toolboxes and chests help organize tools, ensuring they’re always within reach. Modern designs come with multiple compartments, drawers, and even locking mechanisms for security. This bag is a good start to store all your basic equipment like pliers, hammers, chisels etcetera.

Image of a carpentry toolbox
image of a pegboard

Pegboards & Racks: Ideal for workshops, pegboards, and racks allow tools to be hung, ensuring easy visibility and access. They also keep the workspace tidy, promoting efficiency. You can combine multiple of these pegboards to create your desired size pegboard

Tool Belts: For carpenters on the go, tool belts are invaluable. They keep essential tools within arm’s reach, ensuring seamless workflow and increased efficiency. also very convenient when working on heights.
We found this tool belt as an example. But you might even find bigger ones in your local hardware store

Image of a toolbelt used in carpentry
Image of working trousers used in carpentry

Working Trousers: In the world of carpentry and construction, efficiency often lies in the details. One such detail is the attire you choose. Working trousers, specifically designed for craftsmen, have revolutionized on-site efficiency. With an abundance of pockets, they offer ample space for tools, screws, and essentials, ensuring everything you need is within arm’s reach. Moreover, many of these trousers come with options for knee pads, providing comfort during tasks that require kneeling. Additional features like hooks are perfect for hanging hammers and other frequently used tools. Looking to upgrade your work attire with these functional trousers? Check out these high-quality working trousers on AliExpress that blends comfort with convenience, making your workday smoother and more productive.

Tool Vest: Beyond the convenience of well-designed working trousers, the modern craftsman’s ensemble is incomplete without a top-tier tool vest. This particular tool vest from AliExpress stands out not only for its functionality but also for its sleek, professional design. Packed with pockets and compartments tailored for every tool and accessory, it ensures that everything you need is immediately accessible. Moreover, its design strikes the perfect balance between professional and geek-chic, making you look like the seasoned pro you are. It’s more than just a vest; it’s a statement of skill and style, showcasing your commitment to the craft. Upgrade your work attire and make a lasting impression with this indispensable tool vest.

Image of a tool vest used in carpentry
Safety shoes sneaker model

Safety Shoes: In the realm of craftsmanship, safety doesn’t mean compromising on style. One of the fundamental components of a craftsman’s safety gear is footwear, and we’ve stumbled upon a pair that perfectly marries function with fashion. These safety shoes from AliExpress are not only designed to protect your feet from potential hazards. But also boast a design reminiscent of trendy sneakers. No longer do you have to choose between looking good and ensuring safety. With their durable construction, protective toe caps, and slip-resistant soles, these shoes are perfect for the worksite. Plus, their sneaker-like appearance means you can transition seamlessly from the workshop to casual outings. Elevate your safety game without sacrificing style with these must-have safety sneakers.

The Inevitable Wear and Tear: Refreshing Your Toolkit

In the dynamic world of carpentry, while tools are built to last, certain components inevitably face wear and tear. These are the items that see the most action and, as a result, wear out more frequently. Saw blades become dull, drill bits lose their sharpness, sanding paper wears thin, and knives and chisels require periodic replacements. Ensuring that these components are at their optimal functionality is crucial for maintaining the quality of craftsmanship. Recognizing the importance of these replaceable items, we’ve curated a comprehensive guide to help you find the best deals on these essentials. Dive into our new article to discover top-quality replacements that won’t break the bank, ensuring your toolkit remains ever-ready and your craftsmanship remains impeccable.


Carpentry is a blend of art and science, passion and precision. The tools, from the most basic to the high-tech, play a crucial role in bringing a carpenter’s vision to life. As we’ve journeyed through the vast world of carpentry tools, it’s evident that while the tools evolve, the essence of carpentry remains unchanged – crafting with love, dedication, and skill.

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