Useful Stuff 3: Dave's Basic Tools

I've selected the most used woodworking tools in my tool box and found a link for you to look at each one through This way you'll be familiar with what I'm talking about and if you don't have one of these or need a new one, it's a convenient way to buy it. has about the best prices around.


My favorite hammer is a 20 oz. straight claw Estwing. (see on Amazon)


8 point for average jobs. If you do mainly finishing work, go for a 12 point. (see on Amazon)


You should have a 24" at least, with 36" and 48" optional, depending on what you do. (see on Amazon)

Framing Square

(see on Amazon)   (how to use)

Combination square

(see on Amazon)

Nail set

(see on Amazon)

Utility knife

I like the break-off blade type, they are always sharp. (see on Amazon)


I use these for tying re-bar or for general purpose. (see on Amazon)

Nail Claw

For removing common nails. (see on Amazon)

Tin snips

(see on Amazon)

Chalk line in a box

One of the best inventions made. (see on Amazon)

String line

(see on Amazon)

Block plane

(see on Amazon)

Jack plane

For a hand tool this will be one of the most expensive. A belt sander may do to replace this tool. I very seldom use a jack plane anymore. I choose the belt sander instead. (see on Amazon)

Some of Dave's Favorite Power Tools

Circular saw

7 1/4" is a must for any tradesman. (see on Amazon)

Belt sander

(see on Amazon)


3/8" electric is the basic. (see on Amazon)

For a real toy check out the rechargeables. I have a 14.4V and am happy with it. Test the 18V before you buy, it has a lot of torque—hard on the wrist. Get one with the keyless chuck. (see on Amazon)


I have a 5/8 HP router that I use as a portable and laminate trimmer. I use the 1 3/4 HP router as a 'shaper' mounted under a table. (see on Amazon)


Just a basic model is all you need for light work, usually 1" stock. For lots of work in 2" stock get a band saw. (see on Amazon)


My son-in-law has this model and he uses it as an on-the-job portable while installing siding. It cost him almost double the price of's. I've got an old Delta 9" that's about 25 years old for the shop and a lightweight Delta for the job site. (see on Amazon)

Enjoy your new tools!


(Ask Dave) (About Dave)

Your source for building tips, woodworking & furniture plans, house plans and building advice directly from Dave...

Hi, I'm Dave Osborne. With over 50 years experience as a journeyman carpenter, foreman and contractor in heavy construction I enjoyed working with apprentices and sharing the tricks of the trade that others shared with me. Now I get emails from Members all over the world and we include many of my answers in our Free Monthly Newsletters. Some of my answers include drawings and instructions specific to a project, but may also answer your questions. I use correct construction terminology, so you can confidently inform your building supply dealers or contractors exactly what you need.


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