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From the Start - hand tool recommendations please

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From the Start - hand tool recommendations please

As a Carpenter's daughter I was brought up with wood shavings in my hair and the perfume of fresh wood... Spent many hours just watching my Dad chisel,plane and sand. I wanted to carry on the family tradition but the Mammy wasn't having any of it... " You are going to University etc etc" so I'm only now in my old age getting my workshop in order. All Dads tools were left in Ireland with the cousins so I'm starting from scratch. Any ideas for good hand tools recommendations for brands etc.. Ive invested in a Stanley planer and some good quality chisels. My first project will be a good strong bench then I will at least have a work area started... Wish me luck.



Community Manager
Community Manager

Re: From the Start

Fantastic to have you join us @Fitzie. Many thanks for introducing yourself and a very warm welcome to the Workshop community. We're sure you'll fit right in and will get lots of inspiration and advice from our helpful and creative members.


You might like to start by searching for some of the workbenches that have been shared, for example:





Let me tag some of our experienced woodworkers for you in regards to your question about tool recommendations. It is always a popular topic!


I trust members like @Wayne@She_Skills@AndrewJones@Brad@LePallet@Yorky88 and @woodalwaysworks will be happy to share their experiences with you.


Thanks again for joining us, and please let me know if you ever need help getting the most from the site or have any feedback about how we can further improve the site for you.




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Established Contributor

Re: From the Start

Hi @Fitzie, I would recommend a Japanese pull saw. Very sharp, very accurate, fine teeth cross-cut and coarser for ripping. I used it for the dovetails on the top of my workbench and cutting all the tenons. Have hardly used another saw since I got it.
Super Contributor

Re: From the Start

Hey @Fitzie welco to the workshop community.  Tools and brands really come down to personal choice at the end of the day. For me I’m a Makita fan pretty much all my power tools are Makita. Setting up can be a costly exercise but it’s worth buying quality tools from the get go. 


My my suggestion is you have a look online at a few different plans for the work bench you want to build to get an idea of what tools they suggest you might need to get the job done and go out and buy the best quality tools in your opinion that you can afford. 


Are you planning on using new timber or recycled timber/ materials? That may affect what tools you will require also. 


My my suggestion is a set of brushless drills,  impact driver and hammer drill. Definitely worth spending extra to have brushless. 

A drop saw is definitely a must in my opinion for accurate cutting.

jig saw 


speed square

Spirit level 


blower for cleaning up. 

There is Just a list of a few tools I use everyday. I hope that helps you a little bit. Any other questions feel free to ask me or anyone else here. There really is a wealth of knowledge in this community. 






Trusted Contributor

Re: From the Start

I will see if I can add anything...
I have the Bosch t-shirt so...

I have the brushless impact driver and hammer drill combo, the drill is a bit of an overkill for smaller jobs. SDS drill for concrete/brick fixing, great but maybe not for a more pure carpenter. What they class as a drywall screwdriver but is great for screws that are more sensitive that the impact driver can cope with and an angle drill that is more useful than I thought it would be.

I have both a compound gliding mitre saw and a table saw both are good depending on what you are using. I haven't been able to convince myself that a band saw or scroll saw is needed yet.

Jig saw I don't use as much as I would like, the hand held router gets more use even though I have circle jigs for both.

Sander and planer given my state of health I use both, if your arms and shoulders are ok it saves the need to go to the gym.

I have a small framing square and a larger one that covers me for most things and a digital spirit level that also has an angle finder, may be overkill.

For me the router table is useful and I have set ups for box joints, biscuit joints (Triton size) and spline joints. Dovetails are harder but I will work on a jig.

I find a multi tool is useful for so many things as is my fake Dremel.

I have gone with a wet/dry extractor over a blower as it fits my tools so there is less clean up afterwards.

I have clamps from Irwin, Kreg, Rockler and Axminster. Irwin bar clamps and accessories are the most useful.

I have Kreg pocket holes, draw slide jig, hardware jig, hinge jig, decking jig, project tables and 32mm shelf pin jig.

I also have 2 circular saws for when you don't want to move heavy stuff around and a metal saw which is not really carpenter related at all.

I am waiting on the new style Kreg corner clamps to be imported here.

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