Woodworking Tools

First, though this course will introduce you to permanently mounted power tools (table saw, band saw, chop saw, etc.) you will not actually be operating these tools. 

We will generally not be using large machines or pieces of equipment. Instead we will focus on learning the fundamentals of hand tools (think Dewalt) - and giving each student a little familiarity and confidence in using them.

We will also discuss dust collection – methods and machines, and safety equipment. When I say "Safety" understand that when you've been doing this as long as I have, you worry about the long term effects of woodworking on your lungs and your ears, as well as your eyes and fingers. I've been doing this for several decades, and things like respirators and headphones are a lot more important to me now than when I first started. 


  • Almost all of my tools are Dewalt; however, I use a corded Milwaukee Sawzall and a corded Skill handheld crosscut saw. For the most part, I would recommend sticking with one manufacturer – especially for battery operated tools. On corded tools, it is less important.
  • Battery vs Corded – batteries are getting amazing, but for certain tools, like my jigsaw, my grinder and my crosscut saws I prefer the torque with corded versions. Big downside – tripping over the cords in the shop. However, as batteries continue to get better the reasons to own corded tools diminish.

HANDHELD TOOLS - These are in general order of importance for what I have been doing lately in the shop. Your priorities will probably be different.


  • Dewalt Biscuit Joiner
  • Dewalt Palm orbital sanders
  • Skill Handheld crosscut saw
  • Milwaukee Sawzall


  • Dewalt impact driver
  • Dewalt Jigsaw
  • Dewalt Palm sanders
  • Dewalt screwdriver
  • Dewalt Sawzall
  • Dewalt Grinder


  • Japanese saw – one of the best gifts I ever received
  • Hammers – I have 15 different types – there are probably four that you should buy
  • Chisels – small set (Stanley)?
  • Steel rules – 6”, 36”
  • Squares (t-squares and digital angle gauges)
  • Stanley 16’ tape measure (and 30’ for construction projects)
  • Mechanical pencils, Sharpees and colored pencils
  • Box cutters (Stanley 99 is my favorite)
  • Glue sticks (handmade)
  • Countersinks
  • Forstner Bits
  • Kreg pocket jigs

Safety and related gear

  • Respirators and N-95 masks
  • Eyewear protection – goggles
  • Headphones (What?...)
  • Gloves
    • Goat or Deer skin; soft – my favorite
    • Neoprene rubber
    • Engineered gloves