Maybe your latest woodworking project has got you thinking about starting a business. Becoming a carpenter is a rewarding and creative career. Remember there’s a slight difference between woodworking and carpentry. The first is considered more artistic. Think of designing a clock or table.
Carpentry is more functional like framing houses and building cabinets that are square. You’ll need math skills, physical strength, and dexterity. Those are just a few of the skills carpentry demands.
Plus you’ll need to read this blog and put together a pouch and van full of the following tools for carpenters.
The Art of Buying Essential Tools
A carpenter uses the same carpentry tools as someone who focuses on woodwork. Both need to make a set of decisions before they buy each tool. Remember there’s a difference between what they do.
Know What You Need
There are tons of carpenter tools on the market. But don’t waste your money on tools you only use once in a while. Remember the old adage quality over quantity. That means you should look for forged steel from head to toe when you’re buying a hammer.
Back Things Up
Carpenter needs to produce to make money. Any tool you buy should keep going so you’ll need to have a backup. Like long-lasting lithium batteries. You’ll need two.
Safety equipment isn’t an option or an extra. Hearing protectors and face shields are important. Tools like nail guns need to be respected. And even metal chisels have sharp edges or mushroomed heads. Here’s some advice on tool safety from the military.
You Don’t Need Everything At Once
Buy the tools as you need them. There are a few that are must-haves like circular saws. Check the tool list below for what you need to get started.
You Don’t Need To Spend a Bundle
An expensive tool costs more, but you might not need the very best hammer to drive nails at first. You need to keep it green though. That means researching any environmental impact of things like power tools.
68 Essential Carpentry Tools for Starting Out
You’ll have a lot to consider when you start a business as a carpenter. You’ll need to find your target market and get some financing. A business plan helps. And of course, you can use this complete list of essential carpentry tools to set things up.
Remember small details matter. Practice driving in nails with a square hit.
There are many power tools to choose from. Remember there’s a difference between woodworking tools and the ones for a carpenter. Here’s a list of power tools
1. Band saw
2. Thickness planer
3. Cordless power tool set
These make things easier in any woodworking shop. However, some tools can be corded for extra power. Like a table saw.
If you’re cutting wood pieces in straight lines you don’t need this tool. It’s a woodworking tool that can also be used by a carpenter to cut holes, threads, and other designs.
5. Radial arm saw
6. Circular saw with a circular saw blade
This is a must-have for professional projects. But it’s also a great handyman tool. This is the one you buy for any woodworking project where you need to make straight cuts. A real workhorse for a carpenter starting out. Here’s a list of the top ones that cut metal.
7. Universal machine
8. Table saw
9. Biscuit joiner
12. Circular saw
Cutting boards are easier when the blade is squared up. It should be perfectly perpendicular to the base. Toss bent ones that aren’t square.
14. Table saw
This is the right tool if you want to make straight cuts quickly. These are more precise than hand tools. They are great for repetitive work.
15. Power drill and drill bits
16. Nail gun
Safety is essential. Never point nail guns at people or animals. Other tips include disconnecting the tool from the power supply before clearing a jam.
17. Miter saw and Compound miter saw
18. Air compressor
20. Reciprocating Saw
21. Angle Grinder
Carpentry hand tools are also important. These are a necessary part of the job for a carpenter who is working with wood.
Here’s a list of some of these tools.
23. Claw hammer
This is a critical tool. The head of the hammer should always be parallel to the top of the nail when you’re driving one in. A metal head lasts. Stay safe by hitting everything square on.
24. Tape measure
25. Wood hand plane
27. Chisel set
28. Sharpening stone
29. Combination square
30. Layout square
31. Speed square
32. Double square
33. Framing square
34. Block plane
This is a good tool for trimming sharper edges on wood. They also work well when you are fine-tuning trim joints. Great for smoothing edges before you install door hinges.
35. Pry bar
36. Utility knife
37. Laser Measure
Carpenters need accessories to go with all of these woodworking tools suggestions. Even if you’re looking at DIY projects, make sure you get electrical cords in several sizes. And at least one square. Here are some more ideas.
41. Miter box
42. Carpenter’s pencil
43. Extension cords for corded tools
44. Extra batteries & charger for cordless tools
45. Nail set
46. Tool Belts
47. Tool Boxes
48. Blind Hole Drilling Bits.
For deep holes.
49. Positioning Squares
50. A Hole Punch Set
51. A Tool Crate
Carpenter Tools Storage & Organization
When you’re working on a site, you want to keep your materials and tools organized. The same goes for storing items in your shop.
53. Black Pegboard
54. Tote Bins
55. Welded Storage Cabinets
56. Shelf Bins
57. Storage Bags
Any carpenter needs to be safe. Select a rubberized grip for hammers and other woodworking tools. And consider items from the list below.
58. Safety gloves
59. Safety glasses
60. Reflective Safety Vest
61. Hearing Protection
62. A Plastic Face Shield
Nice to Have
More tools are great as you get bigger with your handyman business. Here are some cutting-edge specialty items and other things that are nice to have. But you won’t need them when buying nails and a square on that first visit to a hardware store.
63. Professional Wood Chisel Sets
64. Carpentry Software
Find one that can estimate job costs.
65. A Steel Handle Planer
66. A Stainless Steel Protractor
67. A Wood Plug Cutter Set
68. A Wood Router
Which Basic Tools are Used Most by Carpenters?
A carpenter has different tools at their disposal. Working with wood means several are more popular than others. Like a bench, bubble levels, and a chisel to make sure your work is professional and square.
Other must-haves for woodworking are a good utility knife, claw hammer, and tape measure.
What is a Carpenter’s Most Important Tool
There are essential for this craft. And then there’s the one carpenter tool most of these people put at the top of the list.
The hammer is number one. Metal handles are considered the best.
A good combination square is high on the list. Here’s a list of the best combination ones to choose from. This will even tell you what kind of square to choose.
About Safety Guidelines
Steve Ramsey’s “Woodworking for Mere Mortals“ is an excellent resource. There are tips on setting up a shop and basic tool safety. He has years of experience and knowledge working with wood. Sign up for a course on the right web page.
Here’s a list of other safety certifications for woodworking that will make it safer to work with items like chisels and a square.
Getting the job done right means having the proper tool and the knowledge on using them. This blog should give you a starter list for your carpenter’s business.
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