Last Updated on 2021-04-19 by Harry Masterton
Woodworking is something that nearly anyone can do, especially if they have the right tools. There may be some items that are considered handy to have around for certain applications, but there are a few essential woodworking power tools that all woodworkers need. Some you should buy before others.
Woodworking power tools also give you the ability to save time as you work. That feature alone makes them important, more so for those of us that have limited time in our shops due to other life commitments.
The roots of power tools can be traced back to ancient times. Examples of these implements are found in cultures such as the ancient Egyptians, who made use of a powered lathe. Through the years since, innovations made use of things like animal power, water wheels, and even the wind.
In A Hurry? Click Here
- 1 Woodworking Power Tools
- 1.1 Download Our Free Guide To A Small Space Home Workshop
- 1.2 Woodworking Power Tools List
- 1.3 Table Saw
- 1.4 Miter Saw
- 1.5 Circular Saw
- 1.6 Reciprocating Saw
- 1.7 Jigsaw
- 1.8 Orbital Sander
- 1.9 Power Drill
- 1.10 Bench Grinder
- 1.11 Wood Router
- 1.12 Plunge Router & Plunge Router Base
- 1.13 Detail Sander or Mouse Sander
- 1.14 Hand Held Belt Sander
- 1.15 Benchtop Belt Sander
- 1.16 Belt And Disc Sander Combo
- 1.17 Oscillating Belt and Spindle Sander
- 1.18 Benchtop Thickness Planer
- 1.19 Power Hand Planer
- 1.20 Woodworking Jointer
- 1.21 Why do I need a woodworking joiner?
- 1.22 Scroll Saw
- 1.23 Scroll Saw vs Band Saw
- 1.24 Woodworking Band Saw
- 1.25 The Essential Woodworking Power Tools List For Your Wood Shop
Woodworking Power Tools
Today's woodworking power tools began to take shape with the dawn of electrical power. It was only a few years after the light bulb demonstrated what electricity could be used for that inventors began to use electrical motors to power instruments that cut, drilled, and smoothed wood. These woodworking power tools became more refined and began to appear in the market for the woodworking hobby and homeowners in earnest after the Second World War.
Modern woodworking power tools are driven by 110 volts or 220-volt power from outlets, or through the use of battery packs. You can select from stationery designs that provide more power and greater accuracy or from hand-held designs that provide portability and a price tag that most hobbyist can afford.
Essential woodworking power tools, especially those found on a woodworking power tools list like the one below, allow you to shape your wood without having to spend years training your hands with muscle memory that is often required for accuracy with hand tools. They also provide accurate adjustments for layout dimensions so that you can fit pieces together correctly.
Getting your timber milled and shaped properly the first time will prevent frustration and encourage you to spend more time in the shop. As your skills and projects grow in size you'll want to explore all the possibilities that good woodworking power tools offer the woodworking hobby.
Your confidence as a woodworker will grow as well when you can move past simple projects, like a box made with butt joints, to a more complex piece that uses intricate joinery. You can build jigs and other accessories that will aid in making your projects a reality, like sleds for your table saw or even a router table that you can mount your hand router onto.
Included below are the woodworking power tools that every woodworker should have in their shop. They represent some of the most commonly purchased power tools that carpenters, DIY enthusiasts, homeowners, professional joiners, and woodworking hobbyists acquire for their woodworking journey.
This is the absolutely essential woodworking power tools list
Those starting in the hobby can get a hold of each tool as projects dictate. They can also purchase these items to help supplement weak spots in their hand tool woodworking. You will come to appreciate the tools and this list as well as the enjoyment that they bring to your woodworking.
Woodworking Power Tools List
This list of essential woodworking power tools begins with an item that many woodworkers favor due to how easy it is to make a cross and rip cuts with. The circular saw blade has been around for centuries and early examples of the modern design can be found in American catalogs from the 1880s.
Table saws consist of a circular saw blade that is attached to an arbor which is turned by an electric motor. The saw blade sticks out from a table that it is mounted under, allowing the user to support wood as it is fed into the blade as it spins.
Looking for a Table Saw? Click over and see our full coverage of The Best Table Saw For Woodworking – With recommended buys for every budget
These woodworking power tools are great for crosscuts as well as rip cuts in boards and panels. A table saw employs a rip fence or miter gauge to help create accurate cutting that is far more precise than other saw designs can produce. Sawdust and debris are easy to clean up as it usually falls in one area and users have access to the collection point (they also have decent dust collection designs to be used with shop vacuums or full shop-sized dust extraction).
Keep in mind, however, that compact designs are less portable and that larger cabinet table saws are stationary tools. You will need plenty of room to work with a table saw. Also, you need to be able to bring the work to the tool and hold it safely while cuts are made. Finally, you will pay more for this power tool than other saws of similar size.
See our Best Sliding Compound Miter Saw Reviews – Recommended Buys In Every Category
A miter saw is another one of the essential woodworking power tools you need to look at. These tools, in the current form, have been around since the 1970s and are likely familiar to those working on construction sites. This is another cutting tool that uses a circular saw blade that is mounted to a motor housing that has a handle.
You drop the blade down onto the wood being cut, with some designs using an extension arm that increases the distance that the blade can be pulled.
It makes this woodworking power tools list for its ability to cut straight across the ends of boards. They can also be adjusted so that a woodworker can add a miter or bevel to the end of those pieces at the same time. These cuts are repeatable as the miter saw is designed to keep the in blade position until it is readjusted.
A miter saw will become invaluable for your projects that use longer stock, especially the various sizes commonly used in home construction. The tool allows you to move boards into place, so they can be continuously fed in place for similar cuts. Miter saws will allow you to turn the blade to the left or right so that you can cut a miter, and many designs will allow you to also adjust the tilt of the blade so you can cut bevels onto the end of boards as well.
Keep in mind that this tool will not perform rip cuts due to its limited range but should definitely be at the top or your woodworking power tools list.
A circular saw is possibly the most familiar of the essential woodworking power tools as it is used by construction workers, hobbyists, homeowners, as well as woodworkers. Many older users will also refer to them as a buzz saw due to the unique sound that it makes as it cuts.
Woodworkers should note that this power tool can be used to cut through a variety of materials besides wood as long as the proper type of blade is loaded.
See our recommendations for the Best Corded Circular Saw here. Top 5 recommendations with a surprise entry.
Looking for the top cordless circular saw recommendations? Click over to our Best Cordless Circular Saw comprehensive rundown
This hand-held system uses a housing with a circular blade to cut through wood. They are portable and can be taken to the project instead of having to bring the wood to the tool itself. You will find this an advantage for projects that are too bulky or heavy to cut on a table or miter saw.
Battery-powered models will provide an unlimited range as the tool is not limited to the length of an extension cord or outlet placement. Most circular saws are cheaper than the stationary saw mentioned previously, making them appealing to woodworkers of all ability levels and budgets. That makes the circular saw one of the woodworking power tools that woodworkers start with for making rip cuts and breaking down sheets of plywood or similar stock.
These tools can be a bit more tricky to safely use as the spinning blade is being held by the user and not by an arbor connected to a stationary platform. A circular saw cuts will also tend to be rougher than cuts made with a miter or table saw.
Looking for reviews of the Top Corded vs Cordless Reciprocating Saws?
Check our detailed review of the Craftsman CMCS350B V20 Brushless Cordless Reciprocating Saw
Check our detailed review of the ATOMIC DCS369B 20V MAX CORDLESS ONE-HANDED RECIPROCATING SAW in our Dewalt Atomic Compact Series Review
This saw design is often overlooked when someone is building an essential woodworking power tools list, which is surprising as it can serve woodworkers well in a variety of situations. The blade on this type of saw uses a row of teeth that move back and forth (reciprocating) instead of teeth spinning on a blade. This will create a slower cutting process but it will be an easier hand tool to control than a circular saw, making it safer in comparison.
The sawzall as it was known was originally invented by Milwaukee in the early days of woodworking power tools
One reason that the reciprocating saw is missing from a lot of woodworking power tools list like this is that they are often associated with demolition. This, of course, makes them ideal for woodworkers who are remodeling things like installed cabinets or other types of remodeling that want to remove materials quickly.
They can also be used to rough cut stock that needs some curve to its shape. It will not be as tight as curves produced by a jigsaw but it will be made far more quickly than the finer jigsaw blade is capable of. Those curves would also be impossible for a circular saw blade to make.
Due to the power of most saws in this category, they can also be used by woodworkers who need to cut through materials besides wood when making certain projects.
The ability to cut quickly will mean that the cuts will be rough. You will need to follow up with a jigsaw or abrasives to get the final shape you wanted if it is used for the initial shaping of your timber.
Today's jigsaw design was introduced in 1947 by a Bosch acquisition, Scintilla AG. It has since replaced the treadle design in popularity and function. The hand-held design is also favored over the stationary platforms, such as the scroll saw.
Jigsaw Reviews Corded vs Cordless – Reviews and Top Buys In Every Category
Jigsaws make the essential woodworking power tools list due to the intricate cutting that the power tool is capable of. You will be able to make cuts with tight curves, allowing you to follow patterns that will take the look of your projects to a whole new level. Today's models also include a base, or foot-plate, that you can adjust to provide a bevel as you cut your curves.
A jigsaw uses a reciprocating blade that is similar to that found on the reciprocating saw mentioned previously. The difference is that the blade is finer, which will produce a cleaner edge then that achieved with a reciprocating saw. This finer blade and slower reciprocating cutting make this one of the safest hand-held power saw designs.
Many beginning woodworkers start with this tool and it is often the first tool used under supervision by younger woodworkers.
These hand-held machines will not provide straight cuts in your stock, a limitation you would expect from woodworking power tools designed for cutting curves. The thin blades are strained as you cut curves, so they will often break enough that you need to stock extra blades in your workshop. Also, keep in mind that they do best in thinner materials and will become less efficient as the wood you are working with becomes thicker.
Most woodworkers find sanding to be a less pleasant aspect of their woodworking journey so it should be no surprise that the orbital sander makes the essential woodworking power tools list. Few woodworking power tools provide such an observable impact on your woodworking efficiency and speed than a good orbital sander can.
We Review The Best Random Orbital Sander For Woodworking – With The Top 5 Recommendations
Sanding by hand tends to leave grooves and marks on the wood surface. An orbital sander will generate fewer of these marks. Adding a random motion to the mix, a random orbiting sander will even eliminate the swirling marks left by an orbital sander.
Woodworkers can appreciate the control that is offered by this style of power sanding. These tools will help to smooth out a project's surface without taking off too much wood. You can take the finishing process further by changing out sanding sheets with progressively finer grits that will take a surface from rough to polished.
An orbital sander will get your project ready for the finishing process quickly by creating uniform results across the surface. You can also perform limited shaping on board edges to remove materials that could splinter with use.
These tools differ from many of the others on this woodworking power tools list as it uses disposable accessories to complete the job. The sandpaper will be used up quickly and you will want to keep a selection of multiple grits on hand to work with. That is an added operating expense to keep in mind with this tool but it is an essential addition to your woodworking power tools list.
Along with the circular saw, the power drill is probably the most recognizable item on the essential woodworking power tools list. That is because cutting and drilling are the two major alterations made in wood projects. These tools are used by construction workers, DIY enthusiasts, homeowners, as well as woodworkers.
Which Power Drill Is Best For You? Corded Power Drill vs Cordless – Read Our No Fluff Reviews Below.
Best Corded Power Drill Reviews – Top Buys In Every Category
The Best Cordless Power Drill – Top Picks From Home To Jobsite
When it comes to woodworking power tools, few items have such a wide range of design styles. Most woodworking shops have traditional corded drills for making larger holes in thick woods. They also tend to provide the needed torque to get a bit through hardwoods.
These hand-held tools are also found in battery-powered versions. Modern battery platforms have improved these power sources greatly, and those new to woodworking would not be doing themselves a disservice by purchasing a cordless model first.
You can use your drill as a driver for fasteners such as screws. You can also use small bits to make pilot holes so that those fasteners will not split your stock when they are put into place. Small holes can be used to place reciprocating blades into so that cuts can be made from the interior of the wood surface and not the edge. A drill will also help clear out holes that can then be cleaned up with a chisel for many types of joinery.
Something you might be cautious of with a drill is the smaller chuck size of 3/8-inch which is cheaper but cannot hold 1/2-inch bits, or battery power should you purchase a cordless model.
The bench grinder might seem out of place on an essential woodworking power tools list as you might assume it is better suited for a machinist shop. While it is true that these power tools are essential to a machinist, they also have a place in the wood shop as a critical accessory for maintaining your other woodworking tools.
Check our review of The Best Bench Grinder For Woodworking – including recommendations on grinding jigs and CBN wheels
A grinder uses wheels with a variety of abrasive components to grind surfaces. They have a table that can be adjusted so that the material being worked on can be presented at an angle to the grinding wheel. This setup will allow you to repair and maintain edges on your tool accessories.
Power tool bits and blades will dull with use. This item makes the woodworking power tools list as it can be used to fix chipped edges, alter or reestablish bevels on cutting edges, as well as removing unwanted surface materials such as rust or other coatings.
The bench grinder also shines in maintaining hand tools. Working on chisels and hand plane blades can be done quickly on the grinder. It can also quickly clean up a screwdriver or driver bit edge that has been compromised.
Keep in mind, however, that you will not use the grinder on your project's surface in most cases. Some materials (usually not wood) can be polished with a buffing wheel, but the bench grinder is limited as a direct application tool for your project. The design is not intended to be portable, so it will take up space in your shop as well.
This list would not be complete without one of these essential woodworking power tools. The tool has found service in both professional and hobbyist settings since the first hand-held powered versions of the wood router were introduced in 1915.
Essentially, these woodworking power tools use a bit for making a hollow out portions of your wood projects. Hand-held versions are the most popular to use, but these can be mounted upside down onto a router table as well.
We've reviewed the Best Fixed Base Wood Router with the top buys in each category
A wood router can be used to create various shapes along the edges of boards and is the tool that is preferred for making molding. You can use the bits to trim off excess portions in the interior of wood projects where a circular saw blade can not reach, although a jigsaw would do those jobs easier.
Router bits can also be used to cut dadoes in wood and many woodworkers feel that it is safer to do so with a router than it is with a dado blade set in their table saws.
The only limits to the use of the wood router are the depth of materials it can hollow out. That should not be an issue for edge work but it could be a factor when using the power tool to cut deep joinery. It may require more than one pass to cut out the desired depth safely, but keep in mind that this will still be faster than doing these with hand-powered tools like a chisel.
Plunge Router & Plunge Router Base
You might wonder why a plunge router is included on the essential woodworking power tools list right after the entry for the wood router. Simply put, the plunge router excels at certain applications that a standard wood router will struggle with.
Our Review of the Best Plunge Router For Woodworking with the top 5 recommendations for your woodworking hobby shop
These tools can perform edge-work like a wood router, but it will be harder for you to control as you need to keep the tool pushed down as it cuts. It can also be used to make various hollows for joinery such as dadoes, fluting, grooves, mortises, and rebates.
A plunge router excels in applications where you are working away from an edge. These types of hollows need to start within the wood and can not be begun from the project's edges. The plunge router's ability to dip into the wood, make the hollow, and lift from the wood makes it a must for this woodworking power tools list.
These types of routers will come with a bigger price tag than the wood router models with the same power. They can also be less useful than a wood router when it comes to using them upside down in a router table.
Detail Sander or Mouse Sander
An essential addition to woodworking power tools list is the detail sander or mouse sander. They should not be confused with a palm sander as the detail design uses a pad that is shaped in the form of a triangle.
A versatile and handy woodworking power tool the detail sander is designed to reach into tight corners that other sanders can not. It can also be used to effectively sand thinner surfaces like frames on windows where larger pads would struggle to apply pressure without rounding the edges. They also make many woodworking power tools lists as they can smooth grooves and slots when used with the proper attachments.
Looking for the best detail sander? The Best Detail Sander Reviews Corded & Cordless
Detail sanders are small, making them easy to use on curved surfaces like chair spokes, where they can smooth the spoke as well as reach between them. You can also sand plywood and veneers with less worry about sanding through due to the units smaller motors that generate limited sanding capacity.
This woodworking power tool will not replace your orbital sander, however. They are designed for tight spaces and small areas. Attempting to smooth out rough surfaces or large areas will take you more time than if you did it by hand. Use your orbital sander for the rough work and large flats while saving the detail sander for parts of your project that are normally off-limits to power tool sanding.
Hand Held Belt Sander
Surprisingly, many woodshops lack a hand held belt sander. The hand held belt sander can provide woodworkers with a great way to quickly sand down your rough stock and is an incredibly versatile woodworking power tool particularly when you are expanding or setting up a small woodworking shop. It also excels at removing topcoats such as paints, varnishes and sealants.
The hand held belt sander uses two drums that are rotated by an electric motor. A loop of sandpaper fitted over the drum spins to remove material. It has two handles or hand rests, allowing you to control the sander as you move it across the wood.
Check Our Review Of The Best Budget Belt Sander – Top 5 Reviewed
We Review The Makita Range Of Professional Grade Belt Sanders Here – Makita 9403 vs 9404 vs 9920 vs 9902
And Our Review Of The Awesome Festo0l Edge Sanding Guide – 12 Reasons Why It's A Must Have Tool
One of the stand out features of a hand-held design is the ability to take the tool to your work piece. That is crucial when working with lumber that is too long or heavy to use on a benchtop design. It also allows you to focus the sanding in specific areas easily compared to moving wood around the belt on a stationary belt sander.
You will find that a hand held belt sander is good at removing stock from rough sawn lumber, taking the place of your fore plane in traditional hand tool woodworking. It can also handle fixing a misaligned joint by quickly leveling the two surfaces. Carpentry work involving floors is another place this style of belt sander excels.
Always take care when handling a hand held belt sander, however. It is a larger woodworking power tool and can move quickly on you, so you need to maintain a firm hold with both hands as you work. This tool can also dig grooves into your wood's surface if it is left in one place for too long.
Benchtop Belt Sander
The benchtop belt sander is probably slightly more prevalent in a woodworking hobby shop then a hand-held belt sander. This woodworking power tool is a smaller design than the standard belt sander. Woodworkers of all skill levels can use a benchtop belt sander to quickly sand surfaces and to shape edges.
See our article on the the Best Benchtop Sander – The best Edge Sander For Woodworking
The benchtop design also uses two pulleys that are driven by an electric motor. A loop of sandpaper spins around the drums, providing a continuous sanding motion.
With a benchtop sander, you can take the work piece to the sandpaper belt. The paper stays at the same angle, allowing you to achieve straighter surfaces when the stock is placed flat on the belt. Some woodworkers feel that they have better control with both hands on the wood rather than with a hand held belt sander and it is a great woodworking power tool to consider adding to your list.
The benchtop belt sander can be used to create curves along the edges of timber, sand edges for jointing, sanding veneers and for thinning boards to a thickness that a planer couldn’t manage. The bench top belt sander is considered to be an essential woodworking power tool in many serious woodworking shops
The ability to take lots of material off quickly makes it easier to produce curves along the edges. Manipulating your lumber by hand allows you to start and stop the curves more accurately than when trying to carve into the wood with a hand-held belt sander.
The benchtop design is safer to use since the sander is on the bench and not in your hand. Less strength is usually needed to hold the wood than that required to operate the tool across the wood's surface. Benchtop designs are smaller than standard professional cabinet shop belt sanders mounted on a pedestal, allowing you to move it around and store it when necessary.
Belt And Disc Sander Combo
A popular choice for many woodworkers is to get a combination belt sander and disc sander in the same tool configuration. Belt and disc sander owners will often load a heavier grit on the disc for fast stock removal and a finer-grit belt to smooth the surface from that point so a belt and disk sander combo is an ideal woodworking power tool compromise.
Oscillating Belt and Spindle Sander
An oscillating belt and spindle sander is a combination unit that incorporates a belt sander and a spindle sander. The differences between these layouts combine to provide woodworkers with a versatile sanding woodworking power tool.
A belt sander consists of a loop of sandpaper that spins around a pair of drums. These drums rotate on top of drivers spaced far enough apart to provide tension on the sandpaper loop (or belt).
Models in this category will use small tables to support pieces as they address the belt. Most designs allow you to adjust the angle of the table so that you can create beveled edges on your projects making it one of the most versatile woodworking power tools on your list.
A belt sander allows you to:
- Remove large amounts of material quickly
- Sand to scribed curve along the edges of boards
- Take down high spots on the face of stock
A spindle sander consists of sandpaper wrapped around a drum. The drum often sits on one of the drivers of the belt sander on a combination platform.
Most oscillating belt and spindle sanders in this category come with multiple sanding drums that can be changed out quickly. They will come in a variety of widths, allowing you to match the drum to the curve or hole you are sanding.
The spindle sander station allows you to:
- Smooth interior surfaces of holes
- Sand rough edges along curves
- Eliminate saw marks along edges
Many oscillating belt and spindle sander products are compact benchtop power tools. One of the drivers provides an oscillating movement to the sanding drum or belt attached to it.
Oscillation protects your wood from banding or burns associated with power sanding. The movement also presents more of the sanding surface to the project, extending the life of the drum or belt.
Benchtop Thickness Planer
The benchtop thickness planer is a popular addition to a small woodworking shop, especially among woodworkers who like to mill their lumber. Using a thickness planer offers you a more wood selection and can save you money over less popular wood species that are pre-dimensioned. Wood projects that use consistent wood thickness look better, and in some cases, will fit better as well.
If you're looking for the very best benchtop planer then click over to our full and comprehensive run down.
A benchtop thickness planer uses a cutting head to hold a set of knives or cutting head. Rollers pull the wood into the planer, feeding it into the path of the cutting head. The planer uses a table under the cutting head to help achieve a consistent board thickness during the cut.
Traditional thickness planers were large machines. Today's market showcases these full-sized designs with the latest features and best maximum capacity ratings as a smaller benchtop woodworking power tool.
Current benchtop thickness planer models are more compact, saving you both space and money. A smaller capacity should not be a problem for most woodworking projects. Manufacturers tend to include finite adjustments and dust extraction on these models.
Benchtop Thickness planer tools help to produce boards used to make panels. The consistent thickness makes for less clean-up work after the boards are glued and dried.
Furniture makers can take your thick stock down to a more proportional size for boxes and chests. As mentioned previously, you can also take rough sawn timber and mill it into usable boards. The amount of money you can save doing this will justify the cost of the power tool in a busy woodshop.
The easiest way to achieve consistent board thickness is to have a reference face that is already flat. Placing that face on the table will help to ensure that the cutting head produces even results.
One thing you will have to be wary of when using a benchtop thickness planer is snipe. Keeping your in feed and out feed wings even with the planer table will help to eliminate this problem.
The benchtop thickness planer can be a frustrating woodworking power tool to use because it will follow the curves and warps that are inherent in you lumber and board.
Please make sure to read all about the benefits of a using woodworking jointer to bring your boards straight, square and true before they go into your benchtop thickness planer. The woodworking jointer is below.
Power Hand Planer
Traditional hand planes provide a consistent thickness to a piece of wood. They also create a smoother surface, especially in the hands of an experienced woodworker.
The power hand planer brings this ancient hand tool into the modern era as a versatile woodworking power tool that you'll find yourself picking up and using often, specially in a small woodworking shop. It uses an electric motor to spin a cutting head located on the bottom of the tool. Cutting blades are placed into the turning head, removing material as the head rotates.
For more electric hand planer content check our article How To Use An Electric Hand Planer
The baseplate behind the blades aligns with the cutting head. Nose plates adjust up and down, allowing you to set the depth of cut. These products provide a handle for the control hand as well as a secondary handle or knob.
The advantage that a power hand planer offers you is the ability to take the power tool to your workpiece. That makes it easy to work on large boards that would be difficult, if not impossible, to use on a thickness planer. You can also use the hand planer on wide boards that cannot fit between the pillars of a thickness planer.
These hand-held designs cost less than a benchtop or full-sized planer, making them popular in most workshops. Novice woodworkers and those on a tight budget can justify this purchase over larger designs.
These planers will take no more than 1/16-inch of material at one time. That prevents you from digging too deeply into your board. It also prevents you from hurting yourself from sudden twists.
The motion generated by this woodworking power tool is similar to that created with a hand-held belt sander. You need to maintain a firm grip so that the planer does not jump out of your hands as you work.
Wide boards will require multiple passes with this tool. You may find this creates an undulating surface that requires more cleanup.
A versatile woodworking power tool as your skills and the scope of your projects expands the woodworking jointer is used to create a flat edge along the length of your lumber. That edge is useful as a reference surface. It also makes edge joinery that fits together seamlessly.
The woodworking jointer makes use of two long tables, or wings. A rotating cutting head separates them. It also includes a fence, or side guide, that holds the boards in place as you run the edges across the cutting head.
The infeed and outfeed tables are adjustable. You will have the infeed table sitting lower so that the wood contacts the cutting head as you feed it. Outfeed table height matches the cutting head so that it can support the wood as it passes beyond the blades, preventing snipe.
Cutting heads often use two or more knives to cut the wood. Helical and spiral cutting heads are more expensive but produce good results and tend to last longer.
Many woodworking jointer designs targeting the woodworking hobby have cutting widths that can reach up to six inches. Larger models are available that can reach past 12-inches, but these most often are found in manufacturing settings.
Furniture and cabinet makers will to use woodworking jointers for quality fine woodworking. Their need to make glued-up panels made from several boards requires jointed edges. An electric jointer makes edging boards quick and easy to do.
Several passes on the jointer will remove the curve along the edge of a bowed board. The jointer is also used in conjunction with a thickness planer to mill wood. You can create a reference face on the jointer before moving to the planer.
Why do I need a woodworking joiner?
Using a woodworking joiner correctly you will end up with a board that will be flat true and square. This is something that you will never achieve with a planer. It is the one woodworking power tool that becomes essential as the scope and size of your projects progresses.
Once your board is exactly flat true and square you can then run it through your thickness planer to achieve the thickness of board that you are looking for
Once you understand that you’ll never do without a woodworking joiner in your shop and will consider it an essential woodworking power tool, particularly as your skills and the size of your projects grow.
This is a fascinating video by Matthew Cremona where he answers the question, ‘What does a woodworking jointer do?’ This video is a must watch and explains exactly why you need a woodworking jointer. ‘The jointer is the first step in the entire furniture building process, it sets the foundation for everything that comes later on' Matthew Cremona
One of the woodworking power tools labeled as a “specialty” power tool far too often is the scrolling saw. The saw uses small blades designed to cut tight curves. These saw blades are smaller than the reciprocating saw blades used in a jigsaw and are associated with scrollwork (this intricate work helps answer “What is a scroll saw?” for anyone unfamiliar with the tool).
What is a scroll saw designed to do? The power tool cuts curves into your workpiece. It has a tighter cutting radius due to the fine reciprocating saw blades that it uses.
Woodworking power tools save you time in the shop, and the scroll saw takes the place of a coping or fret saw in traditional woodworking shops. You can use the tool to cut beveled angles on the curved edges. These tools have a support table that can be tilted to your desired angle as you cut.
The reciprocating blades are short. A scroll saw blade can be threaded into a drilled hole, allowing you to begin your sawing inside of the board's face. You can make cut-outs on your workpiece without starting the cutting along the edge of the lumber.
The saw blades are thin, which produces a smaller kerf along the cutline. That allows you to make sharp turns while you work, allowing you to create intricate patterns with the saw.
Woodworking power tools come in several designs, and this tool is no exception. Most products will come as either a parallel-arm design or as a C-arm variation.
Parallel arm scrolling saws use an electric motor installed near the back. The top and lower arms remain parallel to each other. The C-arm design has the saw blade mounted between the ends of the one-piece arm.
Scroll Saw vs Band Saw
Those new to woodworking often presume that a band saw and a scrolling saw cut the same. Both tools can make curved cuts, but there are plenty of differences between a scroll saw vs band saw.
Band saws use a looped saw blade that continuously spins. Scrolling saws use a short reciprocating blade.
Scroll blades are thinner than band blades, and the smaller profile allows them to perform more intricate cuts. The wider band blades will cut faster and through thicker material, thanks to the looped saw blade.
A bandsaw provides faster cuts guided by a fence, miter gauge, or jigs. Scrolling saws are the woodworking power tools used for free-hand work.
Looking for more content on band saw vs scroll saw? See our article Bandsaw vs Scroll Saw 20 Point Checklist
Woodworking Band Saw
Some pieces of timber are just too thick for many of the previous saw designs we have discussed. No list of woodworking power tools would be complete without the woodworking band saw. The woodworking band saw will allow you as a woodworking hobbyists to handle jobs that no other power or hand tool can.
The woodworking band saw uses a metal blade that is shaped like a loop to make cuts. That saw band is stretched between two or more pulleys to provide tension on the saw blade. An electric motor spins a pulley that transfers the motion to the saw blade, allowing it to perform the band saw uses woodworking, metalworking, and lumbering shops or mills require.
The saw blade moves in one direction, creating a highly uniform cut due to the even tooth distribution across the edge. A banded saw blade can vary in Teeth Per Inch (TPI) as well as shape, making this one of the more versatile woodworking power tools in your shop.
You can purchase saw blades with different widths and kerfs, which will affect the curved radius you can cut, as well.
For most hobbyists, this power tool will come as a benchtop model or as a floor design. Benchtop models will be cheaper, but the smaller size limits the thickness it can safely cut through. You will pay more for a floor model, but it will provide you with a thicker potential cut.
The smaller benchtop designs max out at about 9 – 10 inches and will handle light workloads. All accessories, like the fence or support table, will be smaller. These designs are highly portable but will need securing to something, and they will transfer a lot of vibrations.
Most floor designs for amateur woodworkers and small fabrication shops max out around 14 or more inches, and they will handle medium and heavy workloads. Accessories, like fences, will be longer and wider for more support. You will not be moving these products around much, but the extra weight and beefier components will dampen vibrations.
The stand-out feature of these woodworking power tools is their ability to cut thick stock. These cuts can be straight or curved and can have a beveled edge if the table is at an angle.
Fences, miter gauges, and DIY jigs create the cut you desire, or you can free-hand a curved cutline (the curve radius will depend upon the saw blade thickness and kerf).
The Essential Woodworking Power Tools List For Your Wood Shop
Woodworking can be a very rewarding hobby that is practiced for its own sake and to create wonderful items for you, your family, and friends. The essential woodworking power tools listed above are items that need to be in your shop for several reasons.
First, they make your time in the shop more productive. They also provide users with cleaner results than many can achieve with hand tools. This will allow you to tackle more complex projects that can make use of finer joinery, giving you the greatest satisfaction possible! Buy your woodworking power tools with care, buy the best you can possibly afford and they should serve you and your woodworking hobby for a long time to come.