Toolbox Essentials For Carpenters in 2024

Last updated: January 26, 2024

Whether you’re new to carpentry or a seasoned pro, there’s a checklist of carpenter hand tools everyone should have in their carpenter toolbox. If you are just starting out, it can be overwhelming when faced with all the tools you could need; with this list, you can take on many carpentry projects without having to rush out to the nearest tool store!

Let’s get started!


Basic Carpenter Hand Tools

Carpenter Pencils

Carpenter pencils are exceptionally helpful for marking lines on almost any material or grain. They are more durable and last longer than regular pencils, especially when working with rough materials like timber. Made of thicker and harder lead, they are flat and do not roll away from the user when placed on an uneven surface.

Faithfull Carpenters Pencil Kit Green / Hard (Pack 12)

Faithfull Carpenters Pencil Kit Green / Hard (Pack 12)

Bahco Carpenters Pencil Display with 200 Pencils

Bahco Carpenters Pencil Display with 200 Pencils


Chalk Line

A chalk line is a cord rubbed with chalk and used to draw long, straight lines on flat surfaces. They are more convenient and practical than marking by hand or straight edge. It is primarily used in carpentry, providing precise guides before cutting, laying tiles, levelling posts, handling wallpaper, and other tasks.

Stanley 0-47-681 FatMax Chalk Line Set 30m

Stanley 0-47-681 FatMax Chalk Line Set 30m

Irwin Strait-Line STL64494LP Chalk Line, Chalk & Level Set

Irwin Strait-Line STL64494LP Chalk Line, Chalk & Level Set


Chisel Set

Chisels are used to cut or carve hard materials like wood or stone. They have a sharp blade that is driven into the material by striking the handle with a mallet or hammer. Having an extensive set of chisels in various sizes is always a good idea.

Irwin Marples ProTouch Bevel Edge Chisel (Set of 6+2 FREE)

Irwin Marples MS500 ProTouch Bevel Edge Chisel (Set of 8)

Bahco 424P-S8 Bevel Edge Chisel Set with Rubberised Handle (Set of 8)

Bahco 424P-S8 Bevel Edge Chisel Set with Rubberised Handle (Set of 8)


Clamp

Clamps are exceptionally helpful tools for temporarily securing work in place. They are basically frames made up of a bar with two adjustable clamping jaws. 

They are used in a wide range of industries, such as carpentry, woodworking, furniture manufacturing, welding, construction, and metalworking.

Irwin Quick-Grip Q/G54122QCN Mini Bar Clamp Twin Pack 300mm (12in)

Irwin Quick-Grip Q/G54122QCN Mini Bar Clamp Twin Pack 300mm (12in)

Bahco BAHQC300A2P High Resistance Quick Clamp Twin Pack 300mm


Coping Saw

Coping saws are U-shaped handsaws used to make curved cuts on thin materials, such as wood, plastic, or metal, with a very narrow steel or tungsten metal blade stretched across a metal frame. It resembles a standard hacksaw but with a larger gap known as “the throat” between its blade and carrier.

Coping saws are named after a carpentry technique called “the cope”, which involves joining two pieces of wood trim on the inside wall of a building.

Bahco 301 Coping Saw 165mm 14tpi

Bahco 301 Coping Saw
165mm 14tpi

Stanley Tools FatMax Coping Saw 165mm 14tpi

Stanley Tools FatMax Coping Saw
165mm 14tpi


Hammer

We all know what a hammer is, but did you know there are three types of hammers available on the market? They are claw hammers, ball peen hammers, and club hammers.

The claw hammer is the most common type of hammer used by carpenters, especially when hammering in nails. The steelhead of the claw hammer has two functions: the face drives nails in, and the claws pull nails out. The handle can be made of fibreglass, wood, or steel. Claw hammers are available in a wide range of sizes and can be used for various tasks.

Stanley Fatmax Antivibe All Steel Rip Claw Hammer 570g (20oz)

Stanley Fatmax Antivibe All Steel Rip Claw Hammer 570g (20oz)

Estwing E20C Curved Claw Hammer with Leather Grip 560g (20oz)

Estwing E20C Curved Claw Hammer with Leather Grip 560g (20oz)


Joiner’s Mallet

A mallet is a rubber or wooden block with a handle to drive chisels. It delivers soft blows to surfaces like wood, leaving no marks or causing damage. They are commonly used in trades like carpentry and woodworking.

Thor 953 Black Rubber Mallet 
64mm 550g

Thor 953 Black Rubber Mallet
64mm 550g

Thor 8070 Cylindrical Hardwood Mallet 
67mm 800g

Thor 8070 Cylindrical Hardwood Mallet
67mm 800g


Spirit Level

Spirit levels are measuring tools that use a liquid-filled central vial and an air bubble to ensure that objects are perfectly straight and levelled. They are required for tasks such as installing cabinetry, hanging pictures, and aligning cabinets, making them one of the most important tools in a carpenter’s toolbox.

Stabila 70-2 Double Plumb Spirit Level Pack 60cm, 120cm & 180cm

Stabila 70-2 Double Plumb Spirit Level Pack 60cm, 120cm & 180cm

Milwaukee 4932459100 Minibox Level 
10cm

Milwaukee 4932459100 Minibox Level
10cm


Marking Knife

A marking knife is a woodworking tool carpenters use to create sharp layout lines into a workpiece. It can draw a finer line than the thinnest pencil tip. The knife’s edge slits the fibres of the material, creating a clear distinction. This enables you to make precise cuts that can be followed with a hand saw or chisel.

Faithfull Marking Knife 175mm

Faithfull Marking Knife 175mm


Nail Puller

Although a claw hammer can accomplish the same task. A nail puller is useful for removing nails without damaging the wood surface. It is a must-have tool for any woodworker.

Milwaukee 4932478250 Nail Puller 254mm (10")

Milwaukee 4932478250 Nail Puller
254mm (10″)

Faithfull Nail Puller 60cm (24")

Faithfull Nail Puller
60cm (24″)


Sharpening Tools

Hand tools with blades require regular maintenance and sharpening to function properly. It is essential to keep a good tool sharpener at hand at all times.

Stanley Oil Stone 200mm, Oil & Honing Guide

Stanley 0-16-050 Sharpening System Kit


Tape Measure

Tape measures are a must-have in any toolbox. Whether you use the imperial or metric system, there is a wide range of tape measures available on the market.

Stanley 033726 FatMax® BladeArmor® Tape 8m/26ft (Width 32mm)

Stanley 033726 FatMax® BladeArmor® Tape 8m/26ft (Width 32mm)

Makita P-72986 Tape Measure
8m / 26ft


Full Carpenter Hand Tool Sets

Faithfull Carpenters Tool Set (7 Pieces)

Faithfull Carpenters Tool Set (7 Pieces)

Draper 32272 Mini Woodwork Set (5 Pieces)

Stanley Tool Kit & Open Tote Bundle


FAQs

What types of fasteners should carpenters keep in their toolbox?

Carpenters commonly keep a variety of fasteners in their toolbox, including nails and screws. Nails are frequently used for structural framing, securing wooden components together, and general construction purposes. Screws, on the other hand, offer a strong and secure hold, making them suitable for joinery, cabinetry, and finishing work. Carpenters often have an assortment of both nails and screws with different sizes and types to accommodate various woodworking applications.

Why is a carpenter’s pencil preferred over regular pencils?

A carpenter’s pencil is preferred over regular pencils in carpentry due to its specific design features. Carpenter’s pencils typically have a flat, rectangular shape, preventing them from rolling away and making them easier to grip on uneven surfaces. Additionally, the flat lead allows carpenters to create broader and more visible lines on rough materials, facilitating accurate marking and measurements in the demanding and dynamic environments of carpentry and construction work.

Should carpenters invest in power tools, and if so, which ones are essential?

Yes, carpenters often benefit significantly from investing in power tools, as they can enhance efficiency and precision in various tasks. Essential power tools for carpenters include a cordless drill for drilling and driving screws, a circular saw for making accurate and efficient cuts, a jigsaw for curved cuts, and a power planer for shaping and smoothing surfaces. These tools not only save time but also provide versatility in handling a wide range of carpentry projects.


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