Woodworking Hand Tools: The Beginner’s Guide


Woodworking is a popular and rewarding hobby, but it can be overwhelming for beginners. With so many different tools and techniques, it can be hard to know where to start. One essential aspect of woodworking is owning and knowing how to use woodworking hand tools.

Hand tools are an essential part of any woodworker’s toolkit. They are versatile and allow for more precise work than power tools. In this guide, we will go over the most common woodworking hand tools and how to use them.



Saws are one of the most important woodworking hand tools. There are several different types of saws, including:

  • Crosscut saws – used for cutting wood across the grain
  • Rip saws – used for cutting with the grain
  • Backsaws – used for precise cuts and joinery work
  • Coping saws – used for cutting curves and intricate designs

When selecting a saw, consider the type of cut you need to make, the thickness of the wood, and the type of wood. Each saw has a particular tooth count and shape that is best suited for specific tasks and types of wood.



Chisels are another essential woodworking hand tool. They are used for carving, shaping, and cutting wood. There are a few different types of chisels:

  • Bench chisels – used for general chiseling and carving
  • Mortise chisels – used for creating mortises and tenons
  • Paring chisels – used for precise and delicate work

Chisels come in different sizes, and the size you choose will depend on the task you need to perform. Sharpening your chisels regularly is essential to ensure they work correctly and to prolong their lifespan.

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Hand Planes


Hand planes are used to smooth and shape wood. They come in various sizes and shapes, and each one has a specific purpose. Some common hand planes include:

  • Jack plane – used for rough stock removal
  • Smoothing plane – used for smoothing and leveling surfaces
  • Block plane – used for chamfering and trimming

When using a hand plane, it’s essential to keep the blade sharp, and to keep the plane’s sole flat and smooth. You also need to pay attention to the grain direction, as working against the grain can cause tear-out.

Handheld Power Drills


Handheld power drills are versatile woodworking tools that can be used for many tasks, including drilling holes and driving screws. Some key features to look for in a power drill include its power source, power output, and chuck size.

When using a power drill, be sure to select the proper bit size for the job and to keep it firmly in place. Otherwise, it may slip or break, leading to damage or injury. Always wear personal protective equipment, such as safety glasses and ear protection, when operating a power drill.


Woodworking is a rewarding and satisfying hobby that can be a lot of fun. However, it requires a lot of practice, patience, and skill. Knowing how to use the essential woodworking hand tools is a crucial first step for beginners. By selecting the right saws, chisels, hand planes, and power drills, you’ll be well on your way to creating beautiful and functional pieces of furniture and artwork.

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