Those who are just entering the woodworking or carpentry trade often have a difficult time balancing the needs of the job and their budget. Power tools can be expensive and many believe that they need an entire garage filled with them to get started, but this is not true. Below are the five woodworking tools that will allow you to tackle a variety of carpentry projects and build up your finances to invest in additional tools later on:


The Power Drill

Power drills come in one of two varieties:

  • Corded
  • Cordless

Both come with their own sets of pros and cons which each carpenter will have to weigh when making a decision. Cordless power drills are more convenient. They are portable and can easily be used for any project anywhere.

But carpenters should not dismiss the corded drill. While not as convenient, they are more versatile, powerful, and typically a bit less expensive. They also come with a variety of options, including different chuck sizes and keyed or keyless chucks.

The Circular Saw

This versatile tool is essential for almost any carpentry project, and it is also useful for fine woodworking. The circular saw can have a clamp-on straight edge, making it nearly as accurate as a table saw. Many carpenters find it just as good as a table saw when cutting materials such as medium-density fibreboard and plywood.

The Jigsaw

Every new carpenter will need to have a jigsaw. The jigsaw is able to cut curved or circular patterns into wood, much like a band saw. Band saws do come with the advantage that they can cut thicker pieces of wood and are usually more accurate, but for carpenters who are just starting out, a corded, orbital-action jigsaw is more versatile and is a better financial investment.

The Random Orbital Sander

Some may argue that using a palm sander or even plain sand paper is a more budget-friendly option than investing in a random orbital sander. But this tool will save you a lot of time and it does not sand in a pattern. The motion created by the tool reduces the chance of any sanding marks appearing on your stock, giving products a more professional finish. Carpenters have the option of choosing different sanding disks to suit the project they are working on.

The Table Saw

The above tools are the absolute most important for a carpenter, but once one has the financial means, it is time to invest in a table saw. Many describe the table saw as being the “heart” of every woodworking shop. It tends to be the centrepiece because of its diversity and versatility. Carpenters can choose tables based on a variety of factors. Some of the most important includes:

  • A powerful motor with the ability to make deep cuts
  • A blade guard
  • An accessible on/off switch
  • A rip fence that runs parallel to the saw blade
  • A mitre gauge (for making cross-cuts on an angle)