What to Look for When Buying Common Woodworking Hand Tools

If you are a beginning woodworker or are returning to the hobby after years away from it, you may be looking for some tips for buying common woodworking hand tools. Here’s some advice from an established lumber yard in Franklin County, MA.

A workbench

Every woodworker needs a solid workbench in their workshop. A workbench does everything from holding tools and wood while you work to being the flat surface you need to make even cuts. You can purchase an already-made workbench or build one yourself, just as long as you are able to saw on it and able to use clamps to secure the piece you are working on. Choose a bench that’s the right size for your needs, but one that also leaves room in your work area for other woodworking necessities.


Saws are excellent types of tools to have in your woodworking kit. Handsaws, also called panel saws (though typically smaller and able to fit into a tool chest), are long and thin with easy-to-grip wooden handles. Rip saws and cross cut saws are two such handsaws or panel saws, which are used on lumber for creating rough dimensioning. The rip saw cuts along the grain of the wood, similar to a chisel; a cross cut saw cuts across the grains more like a knife.

A miter box and miter saw

To cut your wood as accurately as possible, you will need a good miter box and miter saw—the miter saw is a rather large backsaw, bigger than a handsaw. Both of these items are needed in order for you to cut lumber to accurate lengths and angles. They also save a great deal of time when you’re building boxes, because they square the board ends more easily. When it comes to sawing, since the miter saw is long, it can glide back and forth smoothly through a rigid saw frame. Additionally, you can change the frame’s angles to cut perfect miter joints and other joints—like joints for picture frames.

A block plane

If you are serious about woodworking, then you must invest in a good block plane. It is likely to be one of the most used tools in your workshop, to the extent that you might even carry it around in your apron the entire time you’re working. Block planes are small yet perfect for trimming joints, end grains and more. Or, you can get a low angle block plane that lets you trim right up against the area you need to work.

Bench chisel set

Chisels are probably one of the most used tools for many woodworking projects. It’s best to get a quality set that includes bevel edge bench chisels, ones that will last through may years of use. While some high quality plastic hand chisels are pretty decent, you might consider steel chisels with lightweight wooden handles.

At Forest Products Associates’ lumber yard in Franklin County, MA, we carry a wide selection of both domestic and exotic woods, and even offer reclaimed wood and specific wood varieties and cuts. Visit us today and see what we have in stock!