Must Have Tools for the Workshop

Although his home may be his castle, a man’s workshop is worth his weight in gold- provided he has stocked it properly.  Certain tools should be in every workshop in order to make every task possible without a trip to the store to purchase a specific tool. 

Basic hand tools are essential simply because many repair jobs require them.  Power tools are necessary for projects that are more involved.  Clean up tools are essential to the proper running of the workshop.  Too much mess means less space to work.  Handy lists of the most important tools to have in your workshop are included below.

Ideally, you have a workbench or a workstation of some sort.  At the very least, invest in a couple of simple benches to use for your projects.

Hand Tools


  • Assorted screwdrivers- different sizes
  • Claw hammer
  • Assorted screws and nails
  • Utility knife- several spare blades
  • Wood chisel
  • Tape measure
  • Marking pencils
  • Circuit tester
  • Locking and needle-nose pliers
  • Torpedo level
  • Hand plane
  • Trowel
  • Wire stripper
  • Wire cutter
  • Clamps

Power Tools

  • Electric drill:  An electric drill can create holes in metal, wood, and tile.  Select a model that has both reversible and variable speeds.
  • Drill press:  If you plan on making vertical holes, nothing can beat a drill press.  Purchase either a tabletop model or a floor standing model according to your personal preference.
  • Power miter box:  This tool is handy if you are cutting molding and prefer accuracy.  It is capable of cutting boards that have more width as well as bevels.
  • Circular saw:  Circular saws can shorten the time needed to complete almost any task that involves wood.  This type of saw is handy for creating crosscuts and angled cuts.
  • Angle grinder:  This tool only comes in handy if you are working with metal.  It is great at smoothing and cutting metal, however, if you only work with wood, then you don’t need it.
  • Orbital sander:  An orbital sander can smooth out the roughness of wood with relative ease and in a short time.  This type of saw finishes wood with relative ease.  Moreover, they are less likely to gouge the wood than a belt sander, which is a heavier sander.
  • Belt sander:  Belt sanders are essential if you plan on using extremely rough wood.  It works more quickly than an orbital sander, but it is also more expensive.
  • Contour sander:  The contour sander is a handy tool for smoothing and shaping pieces with relative ease.
  • Table top scroll saw:  A good scroll saw is an excellent tool for cutting curves particularly on smaller pieces.
  • Band saw:  This type of saw is a bit more expensive than a scroll saw, but you don’t need both.  Buy either the scroll saw or the band saw, not both.
  • Jigsaw:  A jigsaw adds a bit of flexibility to your work since it can be handheld.
  • Table saw:  This is one tool that you won’t want to replace frequently.  Therefore, select a good model.  A table saw can do a lot of important work, so you’ll reap the benefits as you use it.
  • Combination miter saw:  This particular type of saw can create cleaner cuts that are more precisely angled.
  • Router:  The router is an excellent tool to have if you are into decorative cuts and edges.  If you can afford it, the addition of a router table makes it even easier to use.


Clean Up Tools

  • Shop vacuum:  A clean workshop is simply nicer and safer to work in.  Additionally, it can motivate you to replace your tools in their proper location so that you can find them.
  • Rags:  Keep these easily accessible and well stocked. 


Proper Care of Your Tools

Once you have your workshop properly equipped, take the time to maintain it.  Properly maintained tools will perform better and make your job easier.

Clean your tools after each use.  Never allow the tools to sit with moisture on them as this can damage the functionality of the tool.  Sharpen the blades on a periodic basis, infrequently if the tools are rarely used, and more frequently if they are used quite a bit.  Properly lubricate any tools that necessitate it.

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