12 Tools Every Carpenter Needs

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. Rogers Reno on January 16, 2019 at 8:19 pm

    I couldn’t Live without my favorite hammer. Best part of my morning strapping that sucker on
    – Roger

  2. Lanre Olan Enilo I on January 16, 2019 at 8:21 pm

    Can carpentered evaluate on buildings and suggest repairs especially in the city’s!

  3. Kevin Morris on January 16, 2019 at 8:22 pm

    i subscribed because this looks more like your old stuff

  4. Maynard on January 16, 2019 at 8:25 pm

    What does he use to cut the material with, his teeth? Always need a chalk line for framing. The only place I use the small level is when scaffolding. It is not true enough for carpentry.The L shaped square we usually call a framing square.

  5. Bryan Isensee on January 16, 2019 at 8:25 pm

    So cool, I’m not even a Carpender, but I have everyone of these tools, What do I do now???? Lol. No really, I bought a 39 foot trailer, it’s built weak, and I have to learn how to fix this, make it stronger, maybe add on a room, Big problem, don’t know what the fuck I’m doing?? I want to get out of this cheap, anybody recommend a station on how to do this???

  6. Jarek Kozera on January 16, 2019 at 8:26 pm

    As usual, not a word about the brain

  7. LegoJuggalo on January 16, 2019 at 8:28 pm

    I call it a crows foot not a cats paw… looks more like a crows foot

  8. fanaticz666 on January 16, 2019 at 8:31 pm

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

  9. Carpentry tips and tricks on January 16, 2019 at 8:34 pm

    Doesn’t need a tape measure coz he takes measurements with his chippies eye 😉

  10. Patrick Wagz on January 16, 2019 at 8:34 pm

    Title says 12
    You stated 13
    You only covered 11

  11. Allan Clarke on January 16, 2019 at 8:35 pm

    So no Tape or Caulk line?

  12. David's Favorite Videos on January 16, 2019 at 8:36 pm

    And I suggest to anyone using a utility knife to use Pilkington blades, way better than store bought crap.

  13. Jordan Bergmann on January 16, 2019 at 8:37 pm

    You forgot about a chalk line + line level, 25 or 30′ fatmax, nail set and you need a longer level then 4" for plumbing up. other then that youre right on. im gonna try out those oxy nylon pro framers once my oxy leather pro framers finally bite the dust.

  14. Chitranjan G. on January 16, 2019 at 8:39 pm

    hello sir how to make glass chanal box (show cesh)

  15. Theo F on January 16, 2019 at 8:40 pm

    Too bad, you keep trying to pass yourself as someone qualified to teach others. But you can’t teach anything, because you don’t have the knowledge.

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  17. Richard Dowd on January 16, 2019 at 8:42 pm

    where’s the tape measure, chalk box,pliers or side cutters,nail set,and ..pony clamp.???hmm.

  18. IamNemoN01 on January 16, 2019 at 8:43 pm

    This list of tools wouldn’t “impress” me. These are very standard tools that everyone doing carpentry should have. What would “impress” me would be if someone needed to make an accurate cut and went to their truck and pulled out a hand saw. I’d be even more impressed if he pulled out a Japanese pull saw. Or if they needed to sink a nail and pulled some counter-sinks out of their bucket. Or if they knew how to use a carpenter’s square. Or if they had a set of basic chisels and knew how to use them. And I’d be very impressed if a carpenter pulled out a block plane to take a high spot off a board.

    Everyone seems to be into power tools these days, and everyone owns power tools. But few people have anything more for hand tools than the most basic ones you listed.

    However, if three people go to a worksite, and only one of them brings a table saw, and one guy brings a small 10” Ban Saw, and the third brings a portable router table . . . THAT would impress me, and that crew would all add to their ability to do workmanship above and beyond average.

  19. Ian Ide on January 16, 2019 at 8:43 pm

    Spent the majority of my life doing home renovations of many types. The cats paw and screwdrivers spent the majority of time at the bottom of the tool box. Cats paw just isn’t that useful, your mileage may vary but pulling nails is a huge waste of energy and time; get a reciprocating saw and cut the nails.

    The combo style screwdrivers always filled with sawdust/grit which made it difficult to switch to other bits; tossed it in the trash not to long after I got one. Me and the guys would always encourage the "new" guys to get rid of theirs and get a standard set; 10/10 they didn’t listen and 10/10 they would be throwing theirs away and getting a decent set. You only need perhaps 3-5 screwdrivers for 95% of everything. But, if you are only a part time home gamer, the combo style screwdriver will do the trick. Make certain to clean them out now and then though.

    If I’m just pounding nails (framing) there is very little in my pouches. If I’m doing siding there is a different set of tools. Electrical, again different. There is no definitive "set" of tools for general anything. It totally depends on what you are trying to accomplish. You may want to consider a decent 25′ tape, a chalk box, a strong pry bar, a flat bar, a 7 1/4" circular saw, and perhaps a inexpensive 10" mitre saw (not required but VERY handy). When you start getting more serious, toss in a cheap table saw and that will expand what you can do.

    Also save your wrists a bit and don’t get some monster hammer, a 16oz wooden handle does good and the vibration absorption of wood truly helps. Get a long handled 20oz if all you are doing is framing. You have nothing to prove so if you aren’t a full time framer, you don’t need to be a He-Man and prove how cool you are by using the biggest hammer. Technique goes a long way to driving a nail…

    You do have a good list for a start though, most of what you have listed will get used a lot and that is what is important. People find different uses for many tools. Hell I hardly ever use a framing square unless I’m building stair stringers or marking anything wider than a 1×6, even then I’d use the speed square for marking (its just such a handy item).

  20. David Duarte on January 16, 2019 at 8:45 pm


  21. Gio on January 16, 2019 at 8:45 pm

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

  22. Frank Kincannon on January 16, 2019 at 8:47 pm

    I’ve never been to a work site that I didn’t need a tape measure on

  23. Daynaleo1 on January 16, 2019 at 8:49 pm

    No tape or 25 to 30′ tape measure, I would send you packing.

  24. papasquat on January 16, 2019 at 8:49 pm

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

  25. Tree Climber on January 16, 2019 at 8:50 pm

    Forget the age old advice "Measure twice, cut once", as with no tape or saw, it will be a slow day. LOL!!

  26. Tr1ck One on January 16, 2019 at 8:50 pm

    what about your cutters ??? for cutting studs/ tracks???

  27. francisco barajas on January 16, 2019 at 8:51 pm

    no SAW.? skill saw/ hend saw?

  28. John Doe on January 16, 2019 at 8:52 pm

    Estwing suck. The more shit I bring on the job the more your going to pay me

  29. Gabriel Mungaray on January 16, 2019 at 8:52 pm

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

  30. northernman on January 16, 2019 at 8:55 pm

    "stanley knife"

  31. Rhys Simms on January 16, 2019 at 8:55 pm

    No Tape Measure??

  32. Josue Cruz on January 16, 2019 at 8:55 pm

    Dude your tools are so rusty and poorly taken care of if you show up to my job site with them tools ur a Laborer NOT A CARPENTER . No tape or chalk box ? and every carpenter knows a wooden handle is easy on the joints rather that metal eastwing. Looks you picked up them tools from the swap meet.

  33. Heidi Tanton on January 16, 2019 at 8:59 pm

    What about female carpenters…..

  34. Michael Mac on January 16, 2019 at 9:01 pm

    chalk box?

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  36. Tony Mikesell on January 16, 2019 at 9:01 pm

    4 foot level in tool bags get real no one carries a 4 footer

  37. Alexander R on January 16, 2019 at 9:02 pm

    the hammer fool. lost respect

  38. Anthony T on January 16, 2019 at 9:02 pm

    You dont have the tools mate. You dont have our respect.

  39. NLDHGRockStaR on January 16, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    respect??? hahaha.if you would show up at my jobsight with only these tools i would send you right back home to pick up the rest of your tools, if you dont have ‘m ,don’t bother…. just stay there..

  40. jasper thomas on January 16, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    you dumb ass no tape measure no chalk box

  41. keath dean on January 16, 2019 at 9:08 pm

    What carpenter needs a screwdriver? Knowledge, skills and a good work ethic are what sets the best Carpenters apart from the guys who just want to collect a check. Estwing all the way!

  42. curt sundell on January 16, 2019 at 9:11 pm

    You’re correct in specifying what level of carpenter you’re hiring. I never looked at his tools cause he may have had hi shit stolen yesterday. I just asked them if they could do three things. Cut a set of stairs, hang a door, and build a sawhorse. If they can’t do those three tasks, they’re not a carpenter. I remember a number of years ago I showed up at a jobsite looking for work and the "lead" guy asked what I did. I said I’m a carpenter. Dude then says are you a framer, plater , sheeter, joister, lay out? I can’t say what I told this guy, but I got back in my truck and left. By the way I personally preferred a 22 Earwig. It’s a question of mass vs velocity 🙂

  43. Richard Dowd on January 16, 2019 at 9:12 pm

    real carpenter doesn’t swing a Metal estwing framer.

  44. IamNemoN01 on January 16, 2019 at 9:12 pm

    Cat’s Paw. Frankly it looks more like a camel toe than a cat’s paw; but that name’s already taken. ;^)

  45. El JERO on January 16, 2019 at 9:14 pm

    Where’s the measuring tape? And chalkline

  46. Domus deBellum on January 16, 2019 at 9:14 pm

    synthetic bags stretch and distort shape(us leather), steel shaft hammers ruin the elbows of thousands of framers every year(use wood shafts), a screwdriver for your toolbox, yes. for your bags, no. you also forgot that the driver is also a 1/4 and 5/16 nut driver

  47. Lance Keiser on January 16, 2019 at 9:14 pm

    No tape? No chalk line?

  48. Alan Holden on January 16, 2019 at 9:17 pm

    torpedo levels are for children. 4 foot level a must , DeWalt framing Hammer, much lighter , easier on the elbow, and if it breaks it’s covered by DeWalt

  49. Houston on January 16, 2019 at 9:18 pm

    Tools don’t make the tradesman skills do. You could have the most expensive tools and highest quality, but no be worth a damn at work. You could have the cheapest tools, but have the skills that make you outperform
    the men next to you.

  50. Riza Khan on January 16, 2019 at 9:18 pm

    Tape measure?