Tools Needed to Start With Joinery

Tools Needed to Start With Joinery

For beginners interested in getting into joinery or carpentry, the sheer volume of different tools and equipment can be overwhelming. It can be challenging to work out what essentials must be bought first, and what you can put off buying until you’ve got some more experience under your belt.

Here is a quick guide to the main pieces of equipment you’ll need to get started.

Solid Wooden Workbench

A joiner without a workbench is like an artist without an easel. They are the anvil of the traditional woodworking workshop. Even beginners need a good quality solid wooden workbench to get started. You will use it for securing wood in place when planing and sawing.


Don’t worry; you don’t need to buy a private jet. Instead, a plane in joinery is a tool used to straighten the edges of boards. Invest in a jack plane (a general-purpose plane) or a block plane (good for more precise work) to start with. Eventually, you’ll need to purchase a dedicated smoothing plane or a jointer plane, as you move onto advanced techniques.

Hand Saw

Hand saws, also known as panel saws, have a large wooden handle and a long, thin saw. They are used for roughly dimensioning a piece of wood. A basic hand saw is essential for getting started.

Other saws to consider purchasing include, backsaws (used for fine, precise work when making wooden joints), miter box and saw (a large backsaw used with a box for cutting exact lengths and angles), and a coping saw (excellent for cutting intricate shapes from wood).

Band Saw/Jigsaw

If you have money to spend, a band saw or jigsaw are essential pieces of machinery for cutting large pieces of wood. Jigsaws are incredibly manoeuvrable for the price, allowing you to cut curves and more intricate shapes than a simple band saw.

Bench Chisel Set

A good set of chisels, comprising 5-7 different sizes, will allow you to complete most beginner’s joinery tasks. If you invest in a good quality set, you may not ever have to replace them. Generally, chisels with a wooden handle are considered higher quality when compared with their plastic counterparts.

There are also specialty chisels, such as parish chisels, fishtail chisels, etc., for more advanced joinery techniques. However, to begin with, all you will need is a basic set.


Clamps are essential for holding the wood still while sawing or for holding together a freshly glued joint. Therefore, invest in a few types of hand-screw clamps in a range of different sizes to get started. Clamps are essential if you want to have bespoke cabinets and other custom joinery.

Measuring Equipment

A try-square is used for precise-fitting joints. You can have a go at making your own; however, if you are not confident, buy a metal try square. You will use it to scribe square lines on the face and edges of boards, marking where to cut with your saw.

A measuring tape or ruler is an obvious essential for measuring straight lines. But a set of dividers (compasses) will also help you measure precise arcs and circles. Make sure you’ve got at least one set.

That’s it for now. Thank you for reading!

As ever, call us for any joinery and carpenter services in Cambridge, Newmarket, Ely and Soham!


The Cambridge Joiner Ltd

51 Fordham Rd,
CB7 5AJ,
United Kingdom


Mobile: 07803 840630

Companies House
Suite Endole
Business Site


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