What Tools do You Need for Carpentry?

by Steve Coffey  // in Carpentry, General Contractors


At Construction Fanatics, we are passionate about craftsmanship that stands head and shoulders above the rest. 

That’s why we continue to share insights into all things construction. For us, the glory of a finished project of the highest standard is what drives us each and every day.

Today, we take a look at the very tools that allow us to create unique and incredible woodwork projects. If you are looking to try your hand at carpentry, read on.

Tools every carpenter needs

There are a variety of tools that you’ll need if you are looking to work with wood to create wooden masterpieces. This could be a simple shelf, or a more complex wooden rocking horse. Whatever it is, you’ll need some or possibly all of these tools.

Hand tools

Let’s take a look at some of the hand tools that you should have in your toolset.

Claw Hammer

The claw hammer is one of the most basic, yet essential tools for carpentry. It is used for all sorts of jobs such as pounding nails into wood or prying nails out. You’ll also find that a claw hammer is useful for other things around the house such as hanging pictures.

You can also use a claw hammer to break old pieces of wood down if you are looking to reform an old wooden creation. Or, you can use them when you need a little more force and your hands aren’t quite the right tools for the job.

Look for a claw hammer with a steel handle as they are far stronger than those made of wood. As for the size, this really depends on what is needed for the carpentry project.

Sledge Hammer

A sledgehammer is a lot like a claw hammer but with a longer handle and a heavier head. This makes it perfect for breaking down larger pieces of wood or for pounding large nails into place.

As with the claw hammer, make sure to get a sledgehammer with a steel handle as they are less likely to break and will give you more leverage.

A Screwdriver Set

A screwdriver set is a collection of different sized and shaped screwdrivers that are used for driving screws into a variety of materials. Screwdriver sets typically come with both Phillips head and flathead screwdrivers.

When choosing a screwdriver set, it’s important to select one that is made from high-quality steel. You’ll also want to make sure that the set comes with a storage case to help keep the screwdrivers organized and protected when not in use.

Nails and Screws

Of course, you’ll need nails and screws to actually put your carpentry project together. The type of nails and screws you’ll need will depend on the project you are working on as well as the materials.


Pincers are a type of pliers that have two jaws that come to a point. They are used for gripping and pulling nails and other small objects.

You’ll find that pincers are especially useful when you need to remove old nails from wood. This is often necessary when reusing lumber for a new project.

Pinch Bar

A pinch bar is a long, thin bar of metal that is used to pry things open or to lever them up. Pinch bars are often used by carpenters to remove nails from wood or to help pry boards apart.

Pinch bars come in a variety of sizes, so it’s important to select one that is appropriate for the task at hand.

Utility Knife

A utility knife is a small, handheld tool that is used for cutting a variety of materials such as wood, plastic, and metal. It consists of a blade that is mounted in a handle and can be retracted into the handle when not in use. Utility knives are available in both fixed and folding blade designs.

When choosing a utility knife, it’s important to select one that is made from high-quality steel. You’ll also want to make sure that the utility knife has a comfortable grip and comes with a safety guard to help prevent accidents.


A mallet is a type of hammer that has a heavy head and a wooden or plastic handle. Mallets are used for striking chisels and other blunt tools. They are also often used by carpenters to assemble furniture.

Set of Chisels

A chisel is a tool that carpenters use to create or enlarge holes in wood, as well as to remove waste material when shaping wood. Chisels come in all shapes and sizes and the size you’ll need will depend on the project you’re working on.

Small chisels are better suited for more delicate work, while larger chisels can be used for rougher jobs. The type of chisel you’ll need will also depend on the job. For instance, a mortise chisel has a square blade that’s used for cutting mortises (slots) into wood so that joints can be fitted.

When choosing a chisel, it’s important to select one that has been properly heat-treated and constructed from high-quality steel. This will ensure that the chisel can withstand heavy use and will stay sharp for longer.

Hand Saw

A hand saw consists of a blade with teeth that is mounted in a handle. Hand saws are available in a variety of sizes and the size you’ll need will depend on the project you’re working on.

Marking & Measuring Tools

Let’s take a look at some of the marking and measuring tools that you’ll need.

Make sure you have the following:

  • Carpenter’s Pencil
  • Tape Measure
  • Retractable Tape Measure
  • String Line
  • Chalk line
  • Plumb-Bob
  • Wind-up Tape Measure
  • Combination Square
  • Framing Square
  • Speed Square
  • Steel Rule
  • Scale Rule
  • Folding Rule
  • Marking Gauge

The above marking & measuring tools will ensure that everything lines up as it should while you are putting your woodwork together. You may not need all of them to start, but we suggest you start to invest in each one whenever you can.

Leveling tools

There are a few of measuring tools that you’ll need while you are working on whatever carpentry project you are busy with. Let’s start with the spirit level.

Spirit level

A spirit level, also known as a bubble level, is a small tool that is used to check whether a surface is level. It consists of a clear tube that contains a spirit column and has two marked lines at either end. The spirit column is used to determine if the surface is level by checking whether the air bubbles are centered between the two lines.

Line level

Similar to the spirit level, a line level is used to check that the surface is level.

Water level

What’s great about a water level is that it can be used around corners, which sets it apart from a laser or standard level.

Optical level

This is a handy tool that verifies points in the same horizontal plane. It’s mostly used to check the height differences of buildings in surveying. It can also be used in carpentry though.

Laser level

A laser level is a tool that projects a laser beam onto a surface in order to create a level line. It consists of a housing that contains a laser diode and an optical lens. The laser diode emits a beam of light that is focused by the optical lens and projected onto the surface.

Power tools

Not much can separate a man and his power tools! Here is a list of the essentials that you’ll need in your carpentry collection.

Power Drill

This is usually the first saw that you’ll purchase. Versatile and handy at all times.

Nail Gun

A great addition to your arsenal, as it will speed up the process and make nailing a whole lot easier.

Impact Wrenches

These are perfect for when you need to remove or tighten bolts quickly.

Palm Sander and Orbital Sander

You’ll use these to create a smooth finish on your woodwork.

Sawdust Vacuum

This will come in handy for keeping your workspace clean.

Circular Saw

A powerful tool that can be used for a variety of tasks, such as cutting lumber and sheet goods.


This tool is perfect for making curved cuts.

Table Saw

This is a must-have for anyone serious about woodworking. It’s versatile and can be used for a variety of tasks, such as cutting lumber and sheet goods.

Compound Miter Saw

This tool is perfect for making precise cuts, such as crown molding and baseboards.

Sabre Saw

This tool is perfect for making rough cuts, such as cutting plywood.

Curve Cutting Saw

This tool is perfect for making curved cuts.


This is a versatile tool that can be used for a variety of tasks, such as cutting lumber and sheet goods.

Filing, Planing, and Sanding Supplies

When it comes to carpentry, the way in which the wood feels is an incredibly important component of the overall project. This is where filing, planing, and sanding comes in.

You’ll want to make sure you have the following in your toolset.

Flat pile

Round pile

Hand file

Bench Plane

Jack plane

Bullnose plane

Smoothing plane

Belt Sander

Random Orbit Sander

Palm Sander

Sharpening Stone

If you are starting on small projects, you won’t need all of the above. If you are looking at something a little bigger, perhaps something a bit more complex than putting a simple frame together, for example, you’ll want to add most of the above to your list. It’ll give you the finishings you’ll need for your project.

Carpenter Tools Storage and Organization

Now that you have all the tools you need for carpentry, it’s time to focus on storage and organization. This is important for two reasons: safety and efficiency.

What happens when you have a cluttered toolbox?

Here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t have a toolbox that is full of clutter.

  • Less productive
  • Owning redundant tools, makes you spend more
  • You seem to lose your tools all the time
  • Safety can also be compromised if your tools are all over the place

Tips for organizing your tools

Here are a few simple tips to help keep your tools organized.

Create a system for storing your tools.

This will help you know exactly where to find each tool when you need it.

Invest in high-quality storage containers.

This will help protect your tools from damage and keep them organized.

Label each storage container.

If you want to quickly identify the contents of each container, make sure they are labeled. What also helps is to use clear containers so you can see what is inside without having to scratch around.

Keep your work area clean and clutter-free.

This will help you stay organized and be more productive.

Group similar tool types together

For example, you can keep all your hand tools in one area and all your power tools in another.

Get rid of any tool that is no longer safe to use

If a tool is damaged or no longer safe to use, get rid of it. There is no point in keeping it around as it can only cause problems or be a safety risk.

Plan your storage according to the size, shape, and frequency of use

This will help you make the most efficient use of your storage space.

Taking the time to organize your tools will save you time and frustration in the long run. By following these simple tips, you can ensure that your tools are always easy to find and ready to use.


If you are looking for the best carpentry or construction advice, you’ve come to the right place. 

We use all of our extensive experience and passion to bring you the insights you need no matter what type of carpentry, electrical, HVAC, plumbing job and more that you are looking to do. It doesn’t matter whether it’s work in your home or in your business, we’ve got you covered.

Why not take a look at our insightful construction advice to find out more handy tips.

What carpentry tools do you have in your toolbox?

About the author Steve Coffey

I am passionate about the building materials industry helping companies all throughout the channel see success and exceed the expectations of their audiences

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