Wondering what are some common carpentry tools and their uses? We’ll go through the top 13 tools every carpenter needs for their work, and the use of each tool. But first, let’s discuss exactly what a carpentry tool is in the first place.
Carpentry Tools and Their Uses – Introduction
There is a famous saying, “Perfect carpentry is like an illusion”.
So please allow us to turn your illusion into perfection by bringing to you the most required details you are looking for in the carpentry field.
If you are planning to start a new carpentry venture, we are here to guide you.
For any carpentry or a joinery venture, you are bound to require several types of tools for your workspace.
The type of tools required by you will certainly depend on what kind of projects you are planning to work on and the size of the area that you are expected to work upon.
Also if not professionally, many of us on lazy weekends choose to do something innovative at our own homes, one of them is woodworking in order to release the stress after a tiring week.
Not everyone likes to go outdoors for parties but some of us do not shy away to put on some old clothes, look for a nailer, grab some new materials recently bought at the tool store and then start to work on our new carpentry projects.
Many of us take pride and honour in being an amateur woodworker, being the person that builds the furniture and wooden utensils for homes.
If carpentry is on your mind or you are one of the future carpenters, you better start thinking about what kind of tools you are going to work with.
What are Carpentry tools?
Carpentry is a skillful profession. In this profession, Carpentry tools are required to cut, bring in shape or even install certain basic building materials.
This is used while constructing our homes, offices, school buildings, timber bridges or may be ships etc. For performing the aforesaid operations on building materials, certain types of tools are required known as Carpentry Tools.
Also Read: What is Millwork?
Basic Carpentry Hand Tools and Their Use
Here are some names of tools with image and their use in carpentry:
A Tool belt is a must for any professional as well as non professional seeking to perform carpentry operations.
A tool belt is a well arranged kit containing all your necessary tools, which allows you to work efficiently and makes it much easier for you to walk or climb ladders for your work more safely.
Depending upon your requirements and kind of job, you can choose from various kinds of tool belt which comes in various shapes and sizes for various body parts like waist, hip, pouch, apron etc.
You can also choose from varying materials like leather, canvas, cotton, nylon, polyester or fabric.
Hand drills are an important tool that you will require in your work space and are a must to make and boring holes in your woodcrafts.
In case of lack of power, hand drills are really useful especially for outdoor projects.
It is very handy to have a variety of drill bits on the stock.
Drills also come in varying shapes and types. It can be broadly divided into three types- Traditional drills, Impact driver, Hammer drills.
The measuring tape is one of the most useful tools in woodworking and is widely available in many commercial hardware facilities.
Normally a carpenter measures twice before cutting the wood. Every woodworker has a retractable lockable measuring tape in their arsenal of tools.
The idea is to get one that uses marking systems, standard and metrics.
A coated abrasive consisting sheets of abrasive cloth or abrasive paper is known as Sandpaper or Glasspaper.
These layers or sheets are glued together at one face.
Although, the name is deceptive in the sense neither it consists of glass nor sand but they are basically abrasive materials made of aluminium oxide or silicon carbide products.
Sandpaper is found in variety of grit sizes.
The main purpose of the Sandpaper is to remove excess material from the surface.
It is also used for smoothening of surfaces, especially used prior to painting or wood finishing. It is in fact also used to make the surface rough at times while preparing it for gluing purposes.
The grit size should be chosen in such a way, keeping in mind the particle size.
Usual case is that for better performance grit size is inversely proportional to the size of the particle.
A Carpenter’s major job is also to lay structures that are generally in shapes having accurate right angles.
It is not plausible for a carpenter to build a prototype every time he works with such shapes.
Hence Steel square or simply square makes life of a carpenter much easier.
Steel square generally refers to a specific long armed square that is used for measuring various kinds of angles apart from right angles using the rafter table printed on it.
It is also known as framing square or carpenter’s square.
It consists of two arms one of them is long and wider arm known as blade, the other one is a shorter and narrower arm known as tongue, which forms a right angles (90 degrees).
Apart from steel, Squares also come in Aluminium and Polymers variants. This is to prevent them from rusting and is also lighter than the steel.
There are four major kinds of square namely the framing square, the speed square, the try square and the combination square.
Many carpenters mostly use the speed square and the framing one.
How will you ever know whether a surface is horizontal (level) or vertical (plumb)?
Well many artisans including carpenters, bricklayers, surveyors, millwrights or other building trade workers require a specialised instrument called spirit Level or simply a Level to check the surface of building material they are working on.
Level forms another essential tool majorly for carpenters and allows them to get horizontally or vertically perfect cuts.
READ NEXT: Carpentry Apprenticeship
A specialized tool in the form of a handle (called helve) which is fixed with a head at the top is known as a Hammer.
It is generally used for a variety of operations like blowing an object in order to break it, driving a nail or a spike into another or to forge out the intended shape out of the building material.
Depending upon the utility Hammers come in varying shapes and sizes such as claw hammer, ball pain, cross and straight pein, cross pein pin hammer, club hammer, sledge hammer, joiner’s mallet, soft faced hammer, special hammers or even power hammers.
The Sliding Bevel
The performance of a carpenter is measured in terms of its precision. Setting angles precisely would have been a tough job without a sliding T bevel, which is also called a bevel gauge or false square.
It can be adjusted for precisely setting and transferring of angles.
The handle is connected to a metallic blade.
It is generally made up of wood or plastic.
In order to set an angle the blade pivot is to be first locked. Locking of the blade pivot is made possible by either loosening or tightening the thumbscrew.
The operation of a sliding bevel is complemented with other measuring tools such as protractor or framing square.
A Nail puller is kind of a standard tool in carpentry.
It is also referred to as cat’s paw or cat’s claw.
It generally consists of a bar which is hexagonal or can be round, consisting a pointed or a cup-shaped tip.
This bar is curved at the end. This tool has its main utility in holding on or gripping the nail heads.
Demolition work forms most of its utility because it is used for tearing wood and the surrounding the nailhead.
An icepick shaped metal piece which is used to drive finished nails is called a Nail Set.
A Nail Set finds its relevance and a lot of importance in field of carpentry because of various benefits such as a nail set while driving finished nails at or below the building material will not cause damage to the finished surface. A nail set is so compact that it can fit the narrower spots as well.
It can be complemented with the use of a hammer as well.
Thus a nail set will work wonders without harming the arms, hands or wrists.
Also the best part is it is very easily accessible an economical to purchase.
Ever wondered which is the basic tool with which you are able to cut huge blocks of wood or logs?
It is known as Handsaw, which comes in varying shapes and sizes.
They are also known as Panel Saws used for cutting or carving wooden blocks into varying shapes and sizes.
It basically consists of two edges where one edge is flat and the other is a sharp edge used for cutting wooden pieces.
Handsaws also have the potential for pruning wood or even cutting metal.
Various kinds of Hand Saw are available namely keyhole saw, cross cut saw, rip cut saw, back saw, flooring saw etc.
Chisels and Screwdrivers
A tool with a shaped cutting edge on the blade at its end is known as a chisel.
This tool finds its utility in cutting of hard materials such as a metal piece, stone or wooden blocks by hand.
The tool can use mechanical power or can be struck with a mallet. In order to use a chisel, forcefully insert the blade into the desired material to cut it.
The force applied can be via hammer or hand.
A simple tool used for inserting or removing screws is known as screwdriver.
It can either be manual or the power operated one. A screwdriver does the basic function of screwing or unscrewing of screws.
It consists of a handle and a shaft. At the end of the shaft one can insert the screw head and then turn the handle in order to screw or unscrew.
Composition of shaft is of steel. Composition of handle is either of wood, plastic or can even be of metal.
While working on building material, holding of material usually wood tightly and with great precision is a challenge without the use of Workbench.
It consists of a tight fitted table used for holding work pieces with precision.
In order to hold the workpieces tightly a workbench must be rigid as well as heavy.
A worker can adjust the width or height at which the workpiece is to be held at the Workbench.
Depending upon the operation to be performed, a worker can choose from varying kinds of benches specifically designed for different workpieces of various shapes and sizes.
Hand Tools Safety Tips
Traditional woodworking uses a variety of apparently safe type of hand tools like Hammers, torques, several types of hand saws, drillers, screwdrivers, etc.
Hand equipment seems to be safe; however, sometimes they provoke a series of wounds.
Truth be told, about a 10% of the woodworker’s payable wounds has origin from hand tools related accidents and sometimes they aggravate to serious wounds.
Carpentry tools can provoke any kind of injuries like the amputation, cuts, punctures and several others.
These devices are designed to cut or pinch wood, imagine what can be the repercussions on the human flesh if safety procedures and certain safety norms are not kept in mind while dealing with these potent of harming tools.
As they say, “Prevention is always better than Cure”.
Hence taking suitable precautions can avert major and minor accidents while dealing with these tools.
A good idea is to elude these kinds of wounds.
Here we provide you with some basic safety tips which you must keep in mind when working with any tool:
- Always wear your required safety equipments before operating the tools.
- Make sure you wear proper attire before proceeding to operate the tools.
- Make sure you disconnect the power while changing various parts of the tool, example before a blade change.
- Always make sure you operate or hold the tools from flat edge rather than the sharp edge.
- Avoid the consumption of toxics such as alcohol or drugs at work place.
- Do not operate such devices that are not in proper working condition or are out of order.
- Always use such tools which are as per your specifically designed work piece.
- Do not operate broken or worn out devices, such as dull cutting apparatuses, or screwdrivers with worn tips.
- Ensure your grip and balance is firmly secured while operating the instruments.
- Always cut materials placing it at certain distance away from your body.
- Avoid distractions.
Carpentry Power Tools and Their Uses
Like we evolve and upgrade ourselves, the same way our skill set also is evolving and upgrading.
After you have made yourself comfortable with basic hand operated non-power tool, you are now ready to take a fresh leap to a whole new experience of Power tools.
Power tools are much easier to use and require far less personal physical strength as compared to the non-power ones.
But their usage requires a certain kind of skill set. After operation non-power tools for a while, one feels comfortable in operating any kind of power operated tools.
Here we introduce to you some commonly used power tools that can help you make better choices before you purchase them.
While you prefer budget woodworking, a basic power operated circular saw is a household name in the field of economic carpentry operations.
You can operate this with clamp-on straight-edge and it increases its accuracy and precision manifolds.
This combination would be perfect at cutting plywoods or medium density fiberboard.
The most basic kind of power operated tool used for boring holes is Power Drill.
It can either be cordless or corded. For beginners, a corded power drill is usually recommended.
Depending upon the utility, specifications of Power drill can be chosen based on size of chuck or chosen from keyed or keyless chuck etc.
Random Orbital Sander
While a normal sandpaper is a sheet of abrasives, power operated random orbital sander consists of hooked and looped sanding disks.
Depending upon the utility it can be fixed with sanding disks of various grits.
This customization allows you smooth sanding operations without leaving any sanding marks.
Carpentry Tools Buying Guide and Tips
Here are few general guidelines for buying the right product:
- Know your Requirements well: Before purchasing any product, one must be thorough with ones requirements. You must know what size of work piece you will be working upon and so buy the product as per your specifications such as blade size, workbench shape etc.
- Read the Guidelines carefully: Read the guidelines mentioned on the toolbox carefully. These guidelines will help you choose the product for your requirement.
- Check for damaged articles: Check whether the tool you are about to purchase in good condition and is not out of order. This can seriously harm your safety, if not verified beforehand.
- Buy a Quality Product: Many products of the same kind are available in the market but make sure you buy a quality product without compromising with your budget. Check the specifications of the product well before purchasing. Also check if there is any warranty available in order to ensure the durability of the tool.
- Review the Tool: Before purchasing review the tool for its cost, specifications and utility well before hand.
Carpentry Tools and Their Uses – Conclusion
As you can see, a carpenter requires many tools in order to get their jobs done! These tools range from simple sandpaper all the way to complex power tools.
We hope this article has been helpful in explaining what tools a carpenter needs, and the role each tool plays in their work.
You may also enjoy reading: How To Cut Wood Without A Saw
About The Author: Hi There! I’m Dave. I’m a certified millworker and carpenter, and have been working in the industry for over 10 years. I created this website to pass on my knowledge so that other enthusiasts, no matter what their skill level, can enjoy the craft as much as I do. I hope you enjoy!