Tools of the Trade – Wood Worker

The trade of woodworking is probably one of the oldest trades requiring the use of tools. Since probably before recorded history, mankind has been making things out of wood. To get the most out of your woodworking you’ll need the right tools to work with. It goes without saying that your standard screwdrivers and hammers are needed, but in addition to those, there’s a few things you’ll need that are unique to woodworking because with this trade you can do anything from making shelves to chairs to cabinets and more. So let’s take a look at some tools that make woodworking what it is.

Woodworking ChiselsOne tool that’s pretty unique to working with wood…and I guess stone too to an extent, is the chisel. For woodworking there are a few different styles. The bench chisel is probably the most commonly used style because it’s so versatile. Many woodworkers use it for chopping or paring wood that couldn’t be cut with a larger saw for various reasons. The mortise chisel is a bit thinner and squarish and it’s used for chopping mortises (fancy word for a hole or recess). The paring chisel is a finer type of chisel and is designed to do more precise chopping of wood when you need to be more careful. When selecting your chisels it’s also important to pick the right kind of handle. There’s the socket chisel which is just the metal edge attached to the handle by a socket, but make sure to get a good one that won’t fall apart. The tang chisel has the metal going up in to the handle of the tool. Most chisels would be used in conjunction with a wooden mallet. Whatever kind or brand you end up getting, it’s an essential tool for getting the “just right” look on your woodworking project.

Norseman DrillbitsDrill bits are another piece of critical hardware, without them it would be a lot harder to put your projects together. Before using fasteners, it often helps to create the hole first. To do that you need drill bits that are strong, won’t break and that will be able to drill a lot of holes before wearing out. Most of us can get by with something common, but if you’re using these to earn a living or a dedicated hobby you want something a little tougher. Wera consistently makes excellent tools and their drill bits are no exception. Their steel is very strong and feels really dense, yet they somehow manage to get a really smooth finish. A couple of other brands we like are Irwin Tools, a brand that has been making tools since 1828 and established their reputation in 1884 with the Irwin Auger Bit. Irwin manufactures tools in the USA and abroad, and it’s a brand we have our eye on. Another undersung manufacturer of bits are Norseman brand drill bits. Norseman bits are manufactured in Minnesota and they use the best available materials, they also engineer them to be more resistant to heat than other brands. They look every bit as solid as Wera so we’ll be checking them out.

elkhead screwdriversWhile there are many other tools that get used in woodworking, we’ll round out today’s post with screwdrivers. With screwdrivers you have mainstays like Wiha or Klein. If you want to get a little fancier, Felo and Wera are also great options. Aesthetically, Wera screwdrivers look and feel like a perfect tool. They’re well balanced and feel solid. Felo’s are great too and are a little more affordable. Felo tools are a great and affordable way to start building a German Tool Box. But if you want to see what a true masterpiece of screwdrivers for woodworking looks like, take a look at Elkhead Tools. Elkheads are referred to by some as the “Ferrari of screwdrivers”. They’re made from the highest quality steel and their handles are custom made for each order and the blades are permanently locked in the handle for the ultimate stability. Since they’re pretty much custom made, they are spendy and take a long time to get, but their commitment to quality and the fine workmanship make them worth a mention. If anyone wants to gift us some Elkheads, let us know.

Woodworkers need high quality tools and there are many affordable options that are good quality, then there’s also some that are more of an investment, but they’re going to last. We’ll touch on woodworking again in the future and be sure to spotlight some more awesome tools. Keep checking back to see the latest!

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