Top 10 Tools on the Woodworker's Wish List

We compiled a list of our favorite basic woodworking tools and provided some links to find them... 'tis the season for woodworking!

  1. Low Angle Block Plane

    This versatile plane will be used dozens of times during any woodworking project. It’s perfect to chamfer or round over an edge, surface small blocks of wood, and make small adjustments to fit. We recommend the Stanley and Lie Nielsen brands. Model 60 1/2 has an adjustable throat for taking a really small trim.

  2. Pocket Reversible Screw Driver

    This little Lutz 2-in-1 screw driver is the perfect stocking stuffer. It has a Phillips head and a flathead, and the flathead side is hollow ground so it fits perfectly in the screw’s slot.

  3. Hobbyist’s Wood Assortment Boxes

    What good are woodworking tools without wood? We put together a few hobbyist assortments for the woodworker on your list this year.

    • Pen makers: 20 rare and exotic pen blanks. Every box has at least 12 different species and nearly all are rare and exotic.
    • Spindle turners: This is the perfect sampling of species for a beginning turner interested in imported woods - all the woods were chosen for their ease in turning.
    • Bowl blanks: The species included in this assortment of bowl turning blanks are African Padouk, Black Limba, Ribbon Striped Sapele, Black Walnut (usually with some figure), and Camphor Burl.
    • Woodworking hobbyist assortment: An assortment of woods with interesting grains, colors, and densities. Perfect for inlays, laminations, jewelry boxes, knife handles, etc.

  4. Starrett Square

    A combination square is perfect for the craftsman who values precision measurements. This square is one of the most important layout tools, and it’s worth it to spend the money to get a good one. Our preferred brand is Starrett.

  5. Nicholson Rasps #49 & #50

    These rasps are a must have for sculptural work on your woodworking projects. Nicholson’s #49 and #50 are the gold standard, with the #50 being a bit finer than the #49. Nicholson rasps are no longer made in the USA, so hold on to your American-made versions if you have them, or look for older versions on eBay. You can find the current versions on Amazon (#49, #50). Another good brand is Heller.

  6. Brad Point Drill Bits

    A brad point bit is used for making very accurate holes in wood. The brad point tip makes it easy to center your hole right where you want it as you start drilling, and the pointed tip configuration makes a clean and smooth hole opening.

  7. Cordless Drill and Driver

    Need we say more? Every woodworker needs at least one cordless drill. Makita is our fave, and we also like Bosch and Dewalt brands.

  8. Six or Twelve Inch Metal Rule

    There are a million different uses for a metal ruler in the woodworker’s shop. We like a six inch metal rule because it fits easily in a pocket, but a twelve inch ruler is very useful as well. General Tools, Starrett, and Brown and Sharpe brands are recommended.

  9. Japanese Saws

    These saws are extra thin and they cut on the pull stroke, which keeps the blade straight from the pulling force. They’re good for dovetailing and for extremely fine and precise cutting. Tashiro in Seattle is our preferred brand, but they appear to be currently unavailable. You can find some well-reviewed brands on Amazon or through other tool sellers.

  10. Blind Hole Spotters

    This tool is borrowed from the machinist’s must have list. Blind hole spotters are used to locate opposite hole centers when lining up parts that will be doweled together. We like Spellmaco brand. Blind hole spotters come in a variety of sizes.