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Top 5 Hand Tools Every Woodworking Shop Should Have

A few weeks back we took a survey about the Top Seven Power Tools that Every Woodworking Shop Should Have.  Not only did we get a lot of feedback from that survey, but also a lot of good recommendations of hand tools that a lot of the woodworkers could not get by without.  These recommendations went above and beyond your standard hammer and screwdriver set that almost every household has.  These tools are basic but important.

1. Chisel – There are many types of chisels that have different uses. They can be used for carving out wood to make designs, dovetail joints, as well as tongue and groove joints.  Some common ways you may have seen them in action are for notching out the door hinges, squaring off circular saw cuts, and to finish off the cuts of a dovetail joint.

2. Vice Grips/Clamps – Vice grips and clamps are different tools but have the same overall purpose, they hold your material together and in place. In many of the more advanced woodworking projects, you will need to join two pieces of wood.  These tools help you hold the material in place while you screw them together and keep pressure on them while the glue dries.  The different types are a tabletop vice grips, C-clamps, Bar Clamps, and a Hand Screw Clamp to name a few.

3. Squares – With any woodworking project, having a straight edge and squared corners is important for the foundation of your project. It just so happens there is a tool out there to assist in making those important first steps in the assembly of the project.  The square comes in many forms with many uses.  Some of the basic types of squares are a Speed Square, T-Square, and a Combination Square.  These tools are fairly basic to use but have a very important role in saving you many headaches as you move further along in your project.

4. Hand Saws – There are only so many cuts that power saw can do, so having a few different types of hands saws on hand can get you out of a bind. Hand Saws can get you into tight areas and make precision cuts where a standard power saw cannot.  Some types of hand saws are a Hacksaw, Coping Saw, and a Keyhole Saw.  Some hand saws have small blades that can clean up and help square off your projects.

5. Hand Plane – A hand plane is a good tool to have easy access to.  It is a great tool to have to make a quick adjustment to the thickness of the wood.  If you are joining two pieces of wood or making cabinet doors, the hand plane can help adjust the boards so that they are not rubbing and fit nicely.  A hand plane can also be used to help shape wood and add a nice curvature to the finish.

You may find that your shop may have different needs, but these tools come highly recommended.  Always remember to take the necessary steps to learn each tool’s capabilities and follow all recommended safety procedures.  Now go make your American Dream your reality.