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12 Tools Every Carpenter Needs

Putting together a comprehensive set of carpentry tools can be a lifetime's work. With each new job you tackle you find you could do with just that one extra tool. As your abilities as a carpenter grows you take on more challenges and of course they require…more tools.
But if you're just starting out and you want to gather together a few essentials that will come in useful for most carpentry projects.

#1Tool Belt

For ease of use when actually working on a project, you can't beat a tool belt. Buy one that will accommodate the tools you use most often. Models to which you can add extra pouches for more specialised tools extend flexibility.

Bashing away at things is part of the fun of carpentry — don't deny yourself. If you intend to do heavy work you'll need the grunt of a 20 oz. framing hammer. I prefer the framing hammer by Estwing.

Tape Measure
Without some way to measure out your projects you might as well not even start. Tape measures aren't expensive. You want the retractable metal sort. I prefer a 25' to 30" carpenters tape by Stanley tools.

If a carpentry project isn't true and square it will probably be impossible to complete. And if you do get it finished, it'll almost certainly fall not reflect well on your character. Two types of square invaluable in the squaring process are a large L-shaped carpenter square and a smaller, triangular speed square. I recommend you purchase both.

Spirit Levels
For any sort of construction work you'll need a spirit level. The larger the scale of the project, the larger the level needed. A small torpedo model will suit most needs around the home. For larger framing tasks I recommend a 4 ft level.

Utility Knife
Otherwise known as a Stanley knife, this tool has a thousand uses, from cutting drywall to trimming pencils. Keep one in your toolkit and make sure you have extra blades stored inside the utility knife.

Marking Tools
You'll need a carpenter's pencil to mark your cuts and layout.

Carpentry without a saw? Impossible, unless you work only putting together IKEA furniture. You could buy a crosscut saw to cut against the grain, a rip saw to cut along the grain and a panel saw for finer work. But for a basic tool kit, just go with a universal saw. I recommend a Stanley Fat Max carpenters saw.

I recommend a basic combination screwdriver. Home depot sells a nice unit by Buck.


  1. Did you really forget to add a tape measure?

  2. We call Estwings ” knuckle takers”.
    Stiletto hammers suck.
    I never allow waffle face hammers on my crew because they leave picker
    tracks in the pineline.
    Vaughn 999 20 oz. smooth face. Plumb makes a good hammer. Rockets used to
    be popular.
    Hammer (preferably 20+oz.)
    25 ft tape
    50 -100′ tape for squaring
    speed square (aluminum)
    torpedo level
    aluminum framing square (steel rusts)
    utility knife
    Vaughn,Dead On,Dewalt,Irwin cat’s paw.
    Chalk box/es (blue,red,black)
    Different colors incase you have to re snap due to some L O B not holding
    end right.
    6-7 inch pinch bar for prying corners of facia
    stair gauges
    nail set
    multi screwdriver
    dykes, (wire cutting pliers)
    2,4,6 foot levels from plumbing was answered gables,leveling basement steel.
    nail sets,or punches
    100′ cord
    circular saw
    recipe saw
    That is what most good framers carry on a crew in Michigan.
    Does any other state frame ,sheet,attach overhangs,gable,lapsing on
    exterior walls?
    We tip ’email up and tie the corners. We even build our brick freeze,queen
    Anne’s and bays w/roofs on the wall while laying flat.
    Would love to travel and see the different methods.
    I here the sheet walls after they stand out west,the bring in a cornice
    We do it all on the deck.

  3. Ha Ha

  4. You said 12 tools in the introduction then 13 tools before starting with a
    tool belt.

  5. FYI THe retractable drywall knife your recommending , I believe, was first
    introduced ‘invented’ by Stanley ! Here in the UK there simply refered to
    as a Stanley Knife even though it may be made by a different company !

  6. +Keith Tomczyk mill face straight clawed hammers are okay if just framing
    cuz you get a better grip while nailing at an angles in corners. i am 6′-3″
    and can nail pre-cut stud walls standing on the floor/ no ladder. only
    framing tho then throw it in the truck. if there’s too much “milling” just
    grind it down a little. then a 16oz curved claw for finish, that’s best 2
    hammers i have found. the ones you mentioned i like two tho. saw a vaughn
    hammer face break in two at -25 degrees

  7. Thank you, now I know what all I need to get for my husband for Christmas.

  8. I crave your acceptance.

  9. Stiletto hammers suck? Don’t be ridiculous. You can buy smooth faces for a

  10. you should consider growing a thick flowing mustache

  11. No Tape?? wtf! you would not have my respect sir if you showed to my site
    without a tape, lol

  12. Poser.

  13. Personally, I love Stanley tools. I prefer the folding utility (Stanley if
    your a fellow brit) knifes. i have a lovely Stanley with a rosewood handle
    i dont like taking it on the job though. plus the missus has just got me a
    new fat max one for fathers day. she won’t let me have it early though;)
    and thanks for the vid

  14. Stanley still make the best ones, i prefer the folding type

  15. Tape measure?

  16. no chalkbbox either.

  17. Dont forget a tape measure lol

  18. Marius Høgnesen

    why on earth would anyone use tape in wood work?

  19. I’d add s 16′ tape too. I was looking in my 5 gallon homer bucket I use
    around the house. ☺

  20. he must eyeball his measurements lol

  21. chalk box?

  22. So no Tape or Caulk line?

  23. chalk line? tape measure? flat bar? finish hammer? flat knife?

  24. +nasser d Yeah but what is the t for

  25. +Lorenzo Martinez its a cross

  26. +nasser d across from where?

  27. +Lorenzo Martinez well trolled;)

  28. +nasser d trolled?

  29. string line? chalk line? nail punch? tape measure?

  30. What about female carpenters…..

  31. He means a measuring tape, not duct tape or something, and you need it to
    be able to know how many mili metres you are measuring, you cannot just
    measure pine or beech by eye

  32. +Ruckus D haha! ofc, i thought he meant duck tape xD

  33. +Marius Høgnesen haha, nah man its an easy mistake

  34. +Heidi Tanton No he did not say every male needs, he said every carpenter
    needs, get your ears checked, you are being such an idiot lol

  35. +Ruckus D stop making yourself sounds like an insensitive pric who lives
    off his mothers benefits mate

  36. +Heidi Tanton okay he said most guys, but that does not make him a sexist,
    do you think he does not know their are female carpenters? The trade of
    carpentry and joinery is mostly consistent of males, but their are also a
    lot of female carpenters, you are just being a dumbass if you think that
    just because he said “most guys” he is against females having the right to
    woodcraft, use your brain, of course these tools apply to you for fucks

  37. what about duck tape to gag them fucking annoying customers that believe
    they know how to do your job better!

  38. Those Estwing handles are tough. I’ve only seen one on the job that was
    bent, and it only bent because the guy fell off the roof of a two story
    building with it, and broke his leg over it. Not really the fault of the

  39. pegs for a pegboard

  40. everyone is like look at the tools I knew to include! why tf are you
    watching this video…….

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