In this article, we will help you discover the essential tools to get started in woodworking.
Since the emergence of the pandemic, many Irish residents have turned to woodworking as a hobby to help pass the time. Many of the hobbies that were first started during the lockdown have turned into genuine projects and in some cases, new careers. If you or someone you know is into woodworking, either as a hobby or profession, here are the 14 essential tools every carpenter needs:
1. Measuring Tapes & Rulers
There are many things you can eye up, but unfortunately, carpentry is not one of them. Woodworking requires extreme precision to make exact cuts to create something beautiful. Unfortunately, not all measuring tapes and rulers are the same. Woodworkers should invest in measuring tapes and rulers that offer measurements in both imperial and metric systems, depending on the type of project they’re working on.
If you’re a carpenter looking to install new cabinets for a client or make a new bookcase for your family home, having the right rulers and measuring tapes are not only a recommendation - they’re a necessity that belongs in every tool belt.
Like measuring tapes and rulers, hammers are another woodworking tool that’s necessary for beginner and seasoned carpenters alike. Hammers serve several purposes. First, they’re used to pound nails into drywall and other wooden surfaces, to help bring them together. And second, they’re used to lift nails from wood when necessary.
When it comes to buying a hammer, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Since carpenters tend to hold and use them for long periods, you should invest in ones that have a comfortable grip so the handle doesn’t accidentally fall from your grasp. You should also keep in mind that there are a variety of different hammers suited for different projects. Split head hammers, for example, have interchangeable heads that are perfect for metalwork and any other project that requires ultimate force but shouldn’t leave noticeable impressions on the surface.
3. Pencils & Marking Tools
Before you can cut your materials, you first need to mark where you’re going to be making your incisions. As such, having the proper pencils and marking tools for the job is vital. These pencils aren’t regular ones you can just pick them up in the arts and crafts section of your local store. No, carpenter pencils are specifically designed to work on a multitude of different surfaces including concrete, drywall, wood, and even stone. On top of this, these pencils leave noticeable, legible lines that allow carpenters to easily follow when using a saw. Like most woodworking tools, there are different pencils and marking tools to use for different projects. Whereas line pins are used for making markings on brick, chalk line reels are used to make a straight line overtop an uneven surface or long distance.
4. Tool Belt
If you bought any of the items listed above, you also need to invest in a tool belt to keep them safe and handy. While you could store them in a toolbox when you’re driving to your worksite or when they’re not in use, it’ll be aggravating and time consuming to constantly have to get up to grab the tools you need when you need them while working on a woodworking project. After all, you may have to rapidly interchange different tools throughout the process.
Tool belts come in all different sizes, so you can easily find one that can comfortably store all the best tools you need for the task at hand. Plus, they come in a variety of sizes. Maybe you find a traditional tool pouch to be too cumbersome. If so, you can opt for a slim, leather belt. Or, maybe you prefer something small and indiscrete to hold screws and nails. If so, a small, single-pocket nail pouch would serve you great! Whatever your style and whatever kind of storage you need, there are so many tool belts and pouches available that can fit your needs and budget.
An engineer’s square is an essential component of any woodworking project because they’re designed to verify square measurements on straight edges, as well as check and mark angles. Each engineer’s square is designed to perfectly form a 90-degree right angle.
These squares come in a variety of sizes, not limited to 50 mm, 75 mm, 100 mm, and 150 mm. So depending on the type of right angle you need for your carpentry project, you’ll have the right size available to you. Other squares, called mitre squares measure 45-degree angles and are commonly used in woodworking and other construction-related projects. If you need to calculate angles for new cabinets or other types of furniture projects, these squares make doing so a breeze.
Similarly to measuring tapes and rulers, it’s not always possible to get something level just by looking at it. Levels are a vital tool for every carpenter, as they are used to determine whether or not the surface of a material is on a horizontal or vertical plane. Woodworking projects need to be level, especially if they are going to hold or display something, such as cabinets, or a bookshelf. When you use a level, you’ll want to make sure that the bubble lines up in the middle to guarantee that it’s being built or hung up straight. Otherwise, it could cause things to fall and break or be slanted.
7. Screwdriver Set
If you’re working with screws, you need a screwdriver set to secure them into place. There are a variety of different screwdrivers on the market, all of which serve different purposes. Flathead screwdrivers, for example (also known as slotted screwdrivers), allow the tip to fit perfectly inside the top of the screw, making it easier to fasten or loosen screws. Phillips head, on the other hand, is easily recognized by its “cross-like” symbol at the tip and is primarily used for smaller screws that a flat head screwdriver may or may not fit into.
Since screws come in all different sizes, you can’t just rely on one type of screwdriver for your carpentry project, so having a screwdriver set that features options is important.
8. Cordless Drill Kit
Whether you’re using a drill to put holes into wood or drywall or inserting screws into these areas, a cordless drill kit is an important tool for carpenters to keep in their tool kit. A cordless drill has a ton of advantages for carpenters. Since they don’t have to be plugged in, they give carpenters more opportunities to work on hard-to-reach areas. Plus, since they can be taken anywhere in the house, you can easily bring them with you to work on different woodworking projects upstairs, outside, or downstairs.
9. Hand Saw
Hand saws, also commonly known as panel saws, are used to mainly cut wood into different shapes and sizes needed for specific carpentry projects. Besides, wood, hand saws are also useful in cutting metal, drywall, and even plastic. Hand saws are incredibly useful in cutting through these tough materials easily and following along with your pre-made markings.
Carpenters should always exercise caution when using a hand saw as the risk of injury is high if the proper safety precautions aren’t taken. When using a hand saw, carpenters should always wear gloves that give them optimal grip on the handle, as well as safety goggles to avoid getting sawdust in their eyes.
10. Powered Saw
While a hand saw can be used to cut wood and other materials to length, powered saws are preferred when these objects are simply too large for a regular hand saw to cut through. Furthermore, powered saws can take cutting a step further and easily slice through harder textures such as bricks and tile flooring.
As a carpenter, you may need to own several different powered saws depending on the task you’re working on. This could include everything from circular saws, which are primarily used to cut lumber to plunge saws, which can be used at the point at which you wish to cut something, not necessarily at the front of the object.
Jigsaws are a kind of powered saw, but unlike other types of saws, these are designed to cut the wood into different curves and shapes. If you need to cut irregular patterns, there’s nothing better than a jigsaw to help you do so. Jigsaws famously help carpenters cut the wood into circles, as well as create other unique shapes for countless DIY projects such as plant stands, dining room tables, circular designs on doors, and even magazine racks.
No, these aren’t the things you’ll plug into your home to give you better internet access, but they are just equally important when you’re trying to accomplish something carpentry-wise. Routers have a flat base and a blade that rotates and extends outward past the base. They are an important woodworking tool because they not only can easily work on wood and plastic, but they’re essential for working on cabinets.
Routers are designed to hollow out a hard material. So, for cabinets, for example, a router will hollow out the centre of the woodblock so you can build shelves and store dishes inside of it.
13. Chop Saw
Carpenters who need to make straight, square cuts will have to use a chop saw. In some cases, chop saws will have features of a mitre saw that allow it to make angled cuts, which is why they’re sometimes confused for being the same thing. The biggest difference between them is that chop saws are better equipped to cut through hard materials such as aluminium, whereas a mitre saw is better suited for lumber.
14. Demolition Hammers
Also commonly referred to as stomping hammers, demolition hammers are used to knock down different materials such as wood and drywall. Hence, why they’re referred to as demolition hammers since they’re commonly used in the tearing down and deconstruction of interiors. These demolition hammers either come in medium or large sizes, so depending on the type of project at hand, you’ll always have the proper demolition hammer available for the job.
If you’re looking for the best woodworking tools in Ireland, you want to shop somewhere that is a one-stop shop. At Carey Tools, we offer free shipping on orders over 75 euro and offer a wide variety of carpentry tools that will satisfy every need.