These 7 essential woodworking tools for beginners will get you started in no time. You don’t need to invest in expensive tools to build amazing furniture! I show you the exact tools I used in the first few years of building furniture!

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collection of tools for beginner woodworking on workshop floor with text overlay

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One of the questions I get asked a lot is what are the tools you absolutely need to be able to start woodworking.

When you look at all the DIYers and woodworkers showing off their workshops, it can get really intimidating really fast.

Truth is, you don’t really need a lot of tools to get started. The above collection of tools are my most used and are the ONLY ones I had until about a year ago.

For a very long time, I had 3 basic power tools that helped me build pretty huge projects!

Over the years, I have slowly built up my collection. While some tools do add capabilities, most of it has been to increase efficiency.

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Woodworking tools for beginners

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Woodworking tools to get started

1. Cordless Drill

Two cordless drill on workshop floor

A cordless drill is by far the most used power tool – not just in woodworking but also for simple projects around the house. Every household should own a cordless drill!

I have 2 cordless drills –  Milwaukee Tools and Ryobi One+. We have owned the Milwaukee Tools drill for almost 10 years and it is going strong! The Ryobi One + drill has been in my arsenal for about a year. I like it a little bit better because it’s more lightweight. That said, I totally going to recommend having  2 drills handy. It has made my projects a lot faster! No more changing out bits between drilling and driving!

2. Compound Miter SawCompound miter saw on workshop floor

A lot of people consider a miter saw an intermediate to the advanced tool but the truth is I think it is the easiest saw to use. It was one of the first tools I added to my workshop.

It can make perfect cuts – straight, angled or beveled for any project. Of course, the maximum width of lumber it can cut is based on the size of the saw but if you have the budget, a sliding compound miter saw is pretty much all you need to make amazing cuts!

I have the

Ryobi 10″ compound miter saw
similar to this (mine isn’t sold anymore). It has lasted 8 years and only now I have started to debate about getting a new bigger sliding version. This is the one I am considering.

3. Kreg JigStep by step tutorial with video - how to use a Kreg jig

This! If you plan to build furniture, you NEED to have a Kreg Jig! The Kreg Jig K4 was the first thing I bought when I decided I wanted to build the kids a table. I didn’t even have a miter saw at the time! I had the hardware store cut up the lumber for me.

The Kreg Jig makes it super easy to create perfect and durable joints. I have a full tutorial explaining exactly how to use a Kreg Jig with video and lots of tips and tricks.

4. Random Orbital SanderBosch random orbital sander on workshop floor

The most important step to woodworking is preparing furniture for staining or painting. The prep work determines how great your finished project will look. Sanding the wood to create the perfectly smooth surface is critical. You most certainly need an electric random orbital sander.

Sure you could sand it by hand, but trust me, your arms will thank you for the electric sander. Plus, it is so much faster!

I have had this Bosch variable speed sander for about 5 years now and I absolutely love it. Prior to that, I had a much cheaper one which not only didn’t last long, the dust collection on it wasn’t great at all.

5. Circular Saw

Two circular saws on the workshop floor

A circular saw is great for cutting down larger boards.

I didn’t get one until about a year into building furniture. I used to simply get my boards cut down at the lumber store.

I now own two of them – the Skil Saw and the Ryobi One+. I like both of them for various purposes. The corded Skil saw is very powerful and I use it when I have to cut down huge sheets of plywood. The Ryobi One+ is cordless and lightweight and perfect for quick cuts.

Tip – I love using them with the Kreg rip cut for quick and perfect accurate cuts – especially when I need to make identical multiple cuts.

These two tools below are good to have as one increases your efficiency while the other increases your capabilities.

6. Jig SawJigsaw on workshop floor

The jigsaw is a simple saw that you can use to cut out curved lines. This opens up huge possibilities in the designs you can make  – from basic circles to complicated swirls.

I have the

Ryobi corded Jigsaw
which has worked perfectly for about 5 years.

7. Brad Nailerbrad nailer on workshop floor

This Ryobi One+ Brad Nailer is one of my favorite tools!

It is basically a power nailer. However, it is really not an essential tool. You can totally use a basic hammer and nails – which is what I did up until 18 months ago. But ever since I bought this, it has made all the projects so much easier AND faster!

That’s it! Those are all the tools you need to get started with woodworking!

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Summary list of woodworking tools for beginners

I have added links to buy them on Amazon or The Home Depot – so you can price shop and buy from where it is convenient for you.

  1. Cordless drill  – Buy on Amazon/ Home Depot
  2. Compound miter saw – Buy on Amazon/Home Depot
  3. Kreg Jig – Buy on Amazon/ Home Depot
  4. Random Orbital Sander – Buy on Amazon/ Home Depot
  5. Circular Saw – Buy on Amazon/ Home Depot
  6. Jigsaw – Buy on Amazon/ Home Depot
  7. Brad nailer – Buy on Amazon/ Home Depot

Collection of essential woodworking tools for beginners on workshop floor

With the above list of tools, you should be able to build almost anything!

In fact, these are the only power tools I had until a few months ago. I have built almost all my woodworking projects with these tools.

See a full list of

my favorite tools here

You will also love these beginner woodworking articles – 

  • Building with redwood – uses and advantages
  • 7 essential supplies for painting furniture