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Carpenters First Tools


Which tools to Buys First When Stating Out

Concord Carpenter,

I have no real “building” tools right now. When I go to the home store and think about all the stuff I could be building, It sort of boils down to me not knowing which tool would you suggest as a carpenters first tools?

I have drills and bits and wrenches etc, but no real CUTTING tool.

So, what tools do you recommend to get started with? For example, table saw or miter saw? Seems like there is a lot of overlap between the 2, but a lot of the big functions I’d need to make a book case, for example… ie, what’s the least I can reasonably work with for any building project (book case, toilet topper, picnic table, replace baseboards, etc).

Thanks again!!


Hi Jason,

Thanks for the question.

If you have no cutting tools the first saw you need is a circular saw. A circular saw with a decent blade and a rip fence  or a rip guide to accurately cut plywood for case work, baseboard trim, and other projects.

A chop saw certainly helps with crosscutting and is a necessity for cutting miters on trim but a circular saw will do this as well.

If you told me you wanted to start a workshop here are some of the tools I’d suggest.

Starter tools

1. Circular saw
2. Miter saw
3. Table saw
4. Jig saw

You also should have:

1. Good squares
2. Block plane
3. Random orbital sander

4. Clamps
5. Chisels

I hope this helps. Check out the workshop tab in the “Topics” box for more tips on equipping a workshop and shop tips.. Stay tuned!

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