Just starting out? Then let Ben Plewes and Andy King help you build a woodworking tool kit that'll suit your needs and your pocket.

With so many tools to choose from, getting started in woodwork can be confusing. There’s so much to take in – what should you spend your time learning first, what tools do you need and why? How much do you need to spend?

With the exception of the battery drill, the kit we’ve assembled here consists of hand tools. There’s nothing wrong with using power tools and machinery, but if you take the time to master your hand tools first you’ll be thankful you did. If you start with power tools the temptation is often to stick with them, as they don’t require the same learning curve as hand tools. However, in many cases hand tools allow you to do a better job, so it’s best to put the time in now and invest in your woodworking future. Practicing with hand tools is all about developing your hand-eye coordination. Cutting square with a saw or paring to a line with a chisel involve skills that are developed over time and through experience.

Remember, too, that this is a ‘starter’ kit. As your woodworking progresses, you’ll add more tools to suit your needs.

Step 1: Cutting Tools

TENON SAW. You’ll need a tenon saw for cutting tenons, bridles and other joints. Tenon saws are designed to cut with the grain, termed ‘ripping’, and are classed as back saws, meaning they have a solid metal strip, often brass, that runs along the top of the blade, keeping it rigid while you cut for more accurate results.

COPING SAW. A versatile tool that cuts curves and has a blade that can be rotated to accommodate all sorts of angled cuts. This makes it a vital tool for cutting out waste material when cutting dovetails. Have some spare blades at hand because you’ll probably go through a few when practicing!

CROSSCUT HAND SAW. Also known as a panel saw, this large 22 or 24in general purpose saw is useful for cutting timber and board material roughly to size. Good hard-point (hardened teeth, non re-sharpenable) saws, such as those available from Bahco, are relatively cheap and last well.
<p>Real cheap Japanese pull saws work pretty good but will need replacing eventually as they are 'hard tooth and can't be sharpened (AFAIK?).Cheap chisels can be made to work but there is a load of work needed so get at least 'middlin' quality ones (unless your buying cheap stuff to see if you even like woodworking?) Hand planes are pretty cheap second hand or even new from eBay, there is something very relaxing about making wood shavings, keep some spare/ scrap wood around to practice with</p>
<p>Most Japanese saws have &quot;impulse hardened&quot; teeth that can't be sharpened. Some are designed so the blade can be replaced. You can still sometimesfind sharpenable japanese saws around but they're pretty rare. Also the tooth geometry on Japanese saws is pretty complicated, so you'd need to track down special files and learn to use them. Western rip and crosscut saws are pretty straightforward to sharpen.</p>
<p>Scrapers are excellent for prepping the sanding stage of finishing. Inexpensive and effective.</p>
For hand saws I'm kind of partial to the Japanese style ones. They're relatively easy to get today for cheap, unlike decent western saws. Decent western saws are neither cheap, or common anymore.
This is really helpful, thank you!
Pleasure was mine!

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