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Woodworking: Complete List of Hand Tools

Updated on October 23, 2017
Woodworking | Source

Some of us want to spend our vacation at home profitable especially during weekends. Some will go to watch shows, others will be attending workshops like dancing, ballet, acting, etc, some will be joining excursions and others will find summer job too in order to earn extra bucks. But don’t you know there are lots of things you can do at home, which are more practical and at the same time profitable. And we all know that we cannot do a job without any knowledge prior to the work to be done. One of the best ways to make your time profitable this summer is to have woodworking.

All of us may have already watched a carpenter working on our house and we were amazed by their skills doing crafts made of wood. Did you sometimes think and imagine you are skilled with that talent-- woodworking? As you can observe the tools that was used by the carpenters are mostly Handtools which you can buy at any hardware store. When you have already the tools you still need the skills on making crafts and things out of wood, so before you can successfully construct a woodcraft you need to know how to use, sharpen and take care of the tools. And always remember that the tools are used for which they are intended to.

Woodworking | Source

Hand tools : Layout and Measuring Tools

Before we start a project we must have a plan and a layout for it to be successful, at least we imagine what it will look after it is already finished. You must have the idea of its shape, width, height and thickness, you may also consider the purpose why will you make it, its significance, and how it works. In measuring you will need a foot-rule or a zigzag rule which is made either wood or steel depending on its availability. You will be using divider for accuracy in dividing small pieces of lumber/wood into equal sizes and spaces, and also use in inscribing circles and arcs.

When you will be cutting lumber in perfect symmetrical shapes like squares, you should use try square for small surfaces and use Steel Square for large surfaces.Make sure that measurements are accurate to have a great output. Below are some of the layout and measuring tools:

1.Marking Gauge

2.Try Square

3.Zigzag rule

4.Trammel Points


The layout and measuring tools are the first tools that are used before we start woodworks, so it is good to know and be familiarized of the following layout and measuring tools in order for the woodworks to be finished beautiful and accurate based on the plan.

Drilling Tools
Drilling Tools | Source

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Hand tools: Boring and Drilling Tools

They say that holes are drilled when drill bits are used and bored when augers are used to. There are two kinds of drilling tools the hand drill and the breast drill. A hand drill is intended in woodworking and machine shops for drilling small holes under the measurement of ¼ inch that uses drill bits. And a breast drill is likely the same to the hand drill, but it is bigger and the pressure can be applied by leaning against the breast drill.

Twist bit is done by actual drilling and there are two types of this:

  1. Carbon Steel Drill- used in low-speed drilling on account of danger of overheating and drawing the temperature.
  2. High-Speed Drill – it is a drilling tool that can withstand temperature and speed.

The tool that holds the auger bit is called brace. There are different kinds of braces, few of it is plain or common braces that are most common in schools and in some institutions. While the bradawl is the smallest of the boring tools, but its significance is no least with the boring tools. Costing is often in hardware stores, but it will be saving you a lot from getting in trouble when driving nails or pins through the wood. In some cases, nails might split lumber piece, but when you use bradawl first it may prevent.

Some Boring and Drilling tools

  1. Brace
  2. Hand drill
  3. Electric drill
  4. Countersink
  5. Drill bit
  6. Star drill

The small holes in stones, brick and concretes are drilled manually by hands using a star drill; it is a type of drilling tools with “x” sharp cutting point which is held against the object to be drilled.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
cutting toolsboring toolsDriving toolsHolding toolsSharpening tools
cutting tools
cutting tools | Source
boring tools
boring tools | Source
Driving tools
Driving tools | Source
Holding tools
Holding tools | Source
Sharpening tools
Sharpening tools | Source
Hand tools
Layout and Measuring Tools
The layout and measuring tools are the first tools that are used before we start woodworks
Marking Gauge, Try Square, Zigzag rule, Trammel Points, Level
Boring and Drilling Tools
Use to drill holes
Brace, Hand drill, Electric drill, Counter sink, Drill bit, Star drill
Driving Tools
Driving tools are made from hardened steel tools that help in accomplishing tasks.
Mallet, Claw Hammer
Holding Tools
A holding tool is a tool that firmly holds any material together.
machinist vise, pipe vise, quick-acting vise,
Cutting Tools
A cutting tool is a machine tool that removes material from woodwork to form and create shapes of wood
Saw, chisel, planes
Sharpening Tools
Sharpening tools are tools that sharpen dull Handtools especially cutting tools for it need to be sharp always.
Oilstone, slipstone
Screwdrivers | Source

Hand tools: Driving Tools

One of the most frequently used and an indispensable driving tool in our home is a hammer. Driving tools like punches and chisels are used in beating and bending metal, they are also used in driving nails, pins, screw and et cetera. A driving tool consists of a metal head fitted with wood handles, sometimes steel covered with a rubber. The face of a hammer is slightly rounded for the purpose of protecting the surface so that the surface of the wood will not mar.

A high quality hammer is composed of special steel to withstand rough and massive usage. Some hammers are made in various sizes and shapes named according to the type of work they are intended.

Some examples of driving tools are:

1. Mallet

2. Claw Hammer

Sometimes mallets are called hammers with heads of wood, fiber, rubber or any similar materials which it was made of. Wooden mallets are signed for driving wood chisels where steel hammers might destroy the tools. As you can observe driving tools are hand tools that is bumped or hit on the surface of the wood with force like the hammer. It is used in beating nails in order for the nails and pins to penetrate into the wood tightly.

Hand tools: Holding Tools

Holding tools are tools that hold the wood in woodworking. It used so that the wood will not move when it is cut, sharpen or even drilled. Holding tools are very essential in woodworking and of good example of this is vises, it has a wide variety of types and sizes and the most common in schools and even in your neighborhood are:

  • · machinist vise
  • · pipe vise
  • · quick-acting vise

All of them are types of vise, each vises have several uses and differences. A machinist’s vise has flat jaws and in some cases it has swivel bases, it is widely used in all automotive shops and machines. Pipe vise is indispensable equipment for pipe fitter and plumbers and it is intended to be used in holding pipes. And last but not the least the quick-acting vise which is equipped with adjustable handle steel or sometimes have hard wood handle.

Another holding tool is clamps which are made of different styles and ordinarily signed for holding work is light for a vise to hold. It is a practical and convenient type of vise, clamps have different forms like bar clamp, “C” clamp and hand screws.

Some examples of holding tools:

  • · machinist’s vise
  • · Wood vise
  • · “C” clamp

One of the types of clamps is bar clamp which is used for putting the sides of the boards together while the hand screws are used for clamping the boards together.

Cutting Tools
Cutting Tools | Source

. Hand tools: Cutting Tools

A cutting tool is a machine tool that removes material from woodwork to form and create shapes of wood. It is divided into two categories—one is for cutting soft materials and wood while the other one is for cutting hard objects like metals. Cutting tools are the tools that are more used in terms of shaping woods and metals. And as a good workman you must maintain the sharpness of your cutting tools, it must be free from rust with a perfect adjustment for it to cut objects smoothly.

Examples of cutting tools:


  • Hand Saw – A carpenter must know the uses of a specific saw and must be familiar with the several types of it. Rips saw is the most commonly used saw in cutting woods, it is used to cut with the grain while the crosscut saw is used to cut across the grain. And as far as the sizes of teeth and length of blades, ripsaw and crosscut saw differs from one another. A buck saw is shorter and has fine teeth with a reinforcing metal rib along the top of the blade to give support and firm. And lastly a coping saw is a type of saw that cut curves or irregular shapes.
  • Compass or Keyhole Saw – it is similar to a coping saw for it also cut irregular shapes of wood like circles. It has a number of blades with variety of sizes and cuts in a push direction.

2.Planes – it is a tool that is used after cutting the objects; it has many styles and sizes of planes like the:

  • ·Jack plane -14 long general purpose plane
  • ·Jointed plane – used for straightening edges of long pieces
  • ·Smoothing plane – is for smoothing boards
  • ·Block plane – used in cutting the grain of wood

3.Chisels – it is another cutting tool with different styles depending to the work to be done.

  • ·Cold chisels – for cutting metals like grooves, slots and keyways
  • ·Flat chisel – used to remove unwanted wood
  • ·Diamond-point chisel – used for making v-shaped grooves
  • ·Round-nose chisel·
  • Wood chisels – either socket for heavy works or tang as sharp points that are operated to the handle. There are also different types of wood chisel like pairing chisel, firmer chisel, butt chisel, mortise chisel and gouges.

Opera Maghiara Est, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Opera Maghiara Est, Cluj-Napoca, Romania | Source

Hand tools: Sharpening Tools

Sharpening tools are tools that sharpen dull Handtools especially cutting tools for it need to be sharp always. It is a tool that maintains metal equipment free from rust and a tool to keep metal hand toolsluster and pointed all the time.

As a good carpenter and mechanic you must know the significance of sharp tools for it makes work easier, faster without any interventions and procrastinating just because the cutting tools is dull. And as a result, you produce better workmanship, quick, easy and faster production and most of all less effort and fatigue.

  • Oil-stone is the most commonly used sharpening tools. Carpenters can also use soapstone and grinding stone as an alternative. Each sharpening tool has different sizes and shapes depending on the degree of thinness and roughness.
  • The oilstone is practically used to sharpen straight-edged cutting tools like saw, and chisels. Even in the kitchen oilstone is used to sharpen cutting tools like knife. On the other hand, slipstone is intended in sharpening curved cutting tools such as carving tools like gouges and chisels Oilstone

· Slip stone

In a general way, hand tools are classified according to their uses and characteristic. Hand tools are used in woodworking, crafting and etc.

Reference: Basic WoodWorking by Arsenio J. Galauran, Encarta


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    • profile image


      3 years ago

      I thought my Dad was the only cruel pesron that did this. He is obsessed with his chainsaw and cuts anything down he can find. Usually he cuts it up and then makes me carry the wood into the house. We have a lot of fires in the fireplace, but man do I hate carrying wood. Good move

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Thanks for teaching me about some of the woodworking tools. To be honest, I don't know the names of a lot of tools. If I ask to borrow one from someone, I have to ask for the thingamagig and then describe how and what it's used for. Now I may have a little better vocabulary. Great hub!

    • woodworker10 profile image

      Ron White 

      4 years ago from USA

      Woodworking is a great way to express creativity as well as making something that you can be proud to display. Some people think that they have to spend a lot of money on tools in order to start and this is not the case. You can build up your tool chest over time as the projects you decide to work on warrant. You supply good information on the different types of tools needed.


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