Woodworking Power Tools:
The Basics Please!
Woodworking power tools will save you time and sometimes money. They will decrease your shop time and increase
your production and quality. Obviously you don’t need much convincing you are reading this already aren’t you?
Let’s just get started with the basic woodworking power you will need to get started, shall we?
Circular Power Saw
The circular power saw is something every shop should have. For the beginner, it can look a little intimidating,
but once you get used to it, this tool will become the foundation on which your shop was built. Maybe even
literally. A good circular saw can be used for multiple tasks and familiarizing yourself with the functions of it
will save you a lot of time.
A power drill is probably next on your list. The biggest question most people as is “corded or cordless?”
Without reservation, the answer is cordless. Maybe twenty years ago cordless drills lacked power and torque, or
were too expensive, but today they are plenty cheap and pack a wallop. You’re going to have enough stuff lying all
over the floor without one more cord to step over.
A sander is a beautiful thing and on the woodworking power tools greatest hits list. As bad as sawing by hand or
turning a screwdriver can be, sanding it worse. You want a smooth surface and as quickly as possible. You can make
the transition from built to finish without spending 78 hours sanding a piece of wood.
Yeah, they make something to help you avoid that. Typically, you might want to go with a vibrating palm sander
or random orbital sander. They random orbital sanders take less attention on your part as they are least likely to
mark up your surface or leave sand marks. This doesn’t mean you can watch the game or read a copy of Gone with the
Wind while you sand either.
A jigsaw will dramatically improve the quality of your work as well as add some inspiration. Of all your
woodworking power tools, the jigsaw is the one that will make you feel the most artistic. A jig saw is used to cut
circular patterns or rounded edges in stock. This will no doubt take some practice, but it is the fun kind.
A corded jigsaw is typically recommended due to the amount of time you will probably be spending on it and
running out of power halfway through a cut is never a good thing. There are a couple of types, but for the
beginner, go with what feels best in the store. By best, I mean it should be comfortable in your hand.
A table saw will make for easier, more accurate cuts and will be one of the pricier initial items you will buy
as far as woodworking power tools go. Honestly, it’s recommended that you buy a table saw that will cut angles. The
base of the saw will rotate to accommodate any angle you might need the wood cut to. They will cost a little more
but when you consider you won’t have to buy a miter saw as well, the savings is obvious.
Other Woodworking Power Tools to Consider
You might consider adding a router to your woodworking power tools arsenal, or even a lathe, the choice is
yours, but the tools outlined in this article will get you through just about any project you have planned. The
thing to remember is to start slow, get used to your new tools, be extra careful and stay that way!