The Only Tools You Need to Start Woodworking!

The Only Tools You Need to Start Woodworking!

Whats Happening Everyone! In this video I try to answer an ofteen asked question What tools do I need to start woodworking? Its not so easy answer but I list the bare essential hand tools you will need to start a woodworking hobby.

MY Instagram

Man In Shed Tshirt Store

Man In Shed Tool Store

Woodworking Books I Recommend
UK Link!
Collins Complete Woodworking Manual
Complete Guide To Joint Making
USA Link!
Collins Complete Woodworking Manual
Complete Guide to Joint Making

Tools I use and Recommend
UK Links
Veritas dovetail markers
Veritas marking gauge
Veritas honing guide
Gyokucho saws
Bosch Gcm 12sde

USA Links
Veritas marking gauge
Gyokucho Ryoba saw
Bosch Gcm 12sd
Milwaukee Drill and impact driver


  1. Gary Barling on September 29, 2022 at 2:11 am

    Is that the Matt Eastlea school cabinet?

  2. Bruce Hunter on September 29, 2022 at 2:14 am

    a professional electrician.. id say the chippies on site love you…haha. go on ya boy ya. Great videos fair play

  3. MrMike353 on September 29, 2022 at 2:14 am

    Very good advice John.

  4. myfaceback100 on September 29, 2022 at 2:15 am

    I got a set of chisels from Lidi and they are great they keep a edge
    i think they cost about €8

  5. fractode on September 29, 2022 at 2:16 am

    Some comments, to this excellent video.

    – Buy the best you can afford, even if you are starting out. Back about a million years ago, our woodworking instructor told us that "the most expensive tool you can buy is a $5 hammer".

    – I would recommend Paul Sellers’s book _Working Wood 1&2_ . Paul is the epitome of the craftsman, a true inspiration. And the bane of the power company.

    – I’m glad you stress _start small_ . I know a man (today, an extremely accomplished hobby woodworker) whose first dovetail project was done using only a Swiss Army knife and a screwdriver. (I’m not sure what he uses today, but I’m sure he’s upgraded.) Around his dining room table are eight chairs, each in a different style, or from a different era. He made them all, and they’re all beautiful.

    – *BEWARE OF "SETS"!* I wonder how many woodworkers out there have "sets" of drill bits, chisels, etc., in which most of the set is in "original" shape (through non-use)? I don’t think the Webb telescope has found that number of stars, yet. Buy what you need–you’ll save money, space, and time looking for things.

    – Last but not least: one woodworker, I think it was the late, great Sam Maloof, said that the first major tool an aspiring cabinetmaker should purchase is…a woodstove! They’re great for, er, "memorializing" the projects that didn’t quite work out. (Backwards dovetails, anyone…?) I certainly wouldn’t recommend this, of course–but it’s heartening to know that even the giants of the craft had their "oops!" moments.

    Semper shavings and sawdust!

  6. Part Time WoodWorker on September 29, 2022 at 2:17 am

    "If you need to buy more than 1 new (or used) tool, to complete an upcoming project, then do another project first". Someone told me this several years ago, and it still rings true today. Buy tools as you need them, but if you need to buy too many, you are probably going to get in over your head. It’s a nice and simple way to build up a workshop, while still doing some pretty nice projects. For someone starting out with zero tools, you aren’t going to go buy everything you need to build a workbench. You’ll probably start with a hammer to hang a picture, then a drill to put up some shelves, on so on.

    I think this is a great video for the start, and even experienced woodworkers (that’s not me) can learn something. Keep it simple.

  7. Annaisineire on September 29, 2022 at 2:17 am

    That’s great advice John, a big thumbs up!!!

  8. Warwick Harte on September 29, 2022 at 2:18 am

    Thanks John. I’d add a bottle of glue, and the one thing that we can never have enough of …. clamps.

  9. Zachary Hryndej on September 29, 2022 at 2:20 am

    You should change the name of your channel to “Shed Man Working”

  10. 999pil on September 29, 2022 at 2:21 am

    A little while back you gave a quick demo of your Record Power Wetstone grinder and said you would produce a more detailed set up video; I could really use that right now, all my gouges have more faces than a typical politician!

  11. Aya Archer on September 29, 2022 at 2:23 am

    If you can, spend the money on good quality tools. It will cause you less headaches over time and they will last you a lot longer. Chisels for example, the cheap ones you’ll be required to sharpen more frequently and more likely to come to you with defects that you’ll need to fix before use. The better quality you can get the longer they will stay sharp and they will last you forever. There are tools you can cheap out on like the marking tools but if it has a blade that needs to stay sharp, it’s definitely worth it to spend the extra.

  12. SLIM'S BOXING COMMENTARIES on September 29, 2022 at 2:24 am

    I forgot to comment on the video where u made that little wooden pencil case.. They were all the go back when I was in Primary and for a time even in 2ndary school.. It brought back some memories of when I was knee height to a midget.. LOL..
    Great videos John mate.. Love the energy u put out and also put out the right info while doing it.. Fair play to ya mate and take it easy

  13. John Cooper on September 29, 2022 at 2:26 am

    Another grey video John

  14. stewart boughen on September 29, 2022 at 2:27 am

    hi John! I see that the shelf is coming in handy again with mitre boxes. enjoyed the video.

  15. Chris Norton on September 29, 2022 at 2:28 am

    Category 4 – joining wood (glue, screws w driver, nails or wood pins w a drill)

    Category 5 – finishing – sandpaper

  16. SMEAC on September 29, 2022 at 2:30 am

    Great video! There certainly is need of hobbyist woodworkers on YouTube. I love @mattestlea and @paulsellers, but the perspective and content you bring benefits us all!

  17. Ja Nee on September 29, 2022 at 2:31 am

    Just started as my son started to become a Carpenter.
    I’m Electrician too.
    Tools :
    ( the most expensive) veritas 62 plane + every chissel.
    Scissel bahco 434. 6 piece set
    Japanese sharksaw 9,14,19 tpi
    And for screwdrivers, etc : lidl
    Files :bahco 250mm

    Almost Free wood : 2nd hand sites and look for tables /cabinets

  18. Franco Scaramuzza on September 29, 2022 at 2:31 am

    Nice video. I like the shout out to Peter Sellers. Subscribed to your channel. Up the Déise

  19. Bill Barnes on September 29, 2022 at 2:32 am

    I fell in love with wood working in the seventies, and have been an electrician for over forty years.

  20. Kevin O'Kelly on September 29, 2022 at 2:32 am

    Love this video as always. I think I’d add a hand drill to the kit. You’ll need it for hinges for your boxes. And a sense of humour. I think you have that covered.

  21. Stephen Nicholas on September 29, 2022 at 2:35 am

    4H pencil works great as a marking guage but can’t buy them everywhere due to being used as stabbing blade in schools. Worth spending £20+ on Stanley grade square, cheaper ones flex and wobble or have sharp edges.
    Note to beginners: sharp is safer. Blunt tools lead to putting in more effort which can lead to dangerous slips and mistakes. Really sharp slides through the material smoothly and with control.
    Still got my Collins. Over 30 years old and I’d been woodworking for 20 years by the but still found it helpful. Power tool section looks quaint and looks like an advert for early Bosch green range – I had most, and still have some, of them. DeWalt still olive green! Happy and ancient memories. Impressed to see drawings include women using machinery contrast the TV shows of the day

  22. Everything United Dave on September 29, 2022 at 2:36 am

    I enjoyed the tips and ideas, cheers

  23. Sid Knowles on September 29, 2022 at 2:37 am

    Great video jut missed 3 items hammer, drill and screw driver after all you will need to stick it together.

  24. V081WLBlue on September 29, 2022 at 2:37 am

    Before ANY of these tools you need a workbench of some sort, to make your wee workbench lol!!!! so that’s me fekked!!!! Why do people love spending lots of money on silly names, near as bad as women’s handbags or men’s fekking razors or beard oil for you hipsters!!! lol. Lidl/Aldi chisels about £8, brilliant! Check Paul Sellers!

  25. KevInAShed on September 29, 2022 at 2:38 am

    Great video. I jumped in on the advice of a friend and spent the best part of a grand on power tools. I can make some stuff I like but wish I’d seen this video prior as I’ve jumped a few skills so I will take a step back and try some of your advice. Thank you. Keep up the videos. I’ve watched a few. Great stuff

  26. nowakeric on September 29, 2022 at 2:38 am

    Thank you SO much !!!

  27. Cindy Harrison on September 29, 2022 at 2:38 am

    Brilliant 👏

  28. Ronye on September 29, 2022 at 2:39 am

    I see you have a few of the tools from crimson guitars there aswell behind you. I got that set myself. Very handy

  29. Richard Hart on September 29, 2022 at 2:39 am

    You forget about drilling holes so a cheapish drill driver or wheel brace?

  30. Oliver Delica on September 29, 2022 at 2:40 am

    Are you British or Aussie?

  31. Arthur R saker on September 29, 2022 at 2:42 am

    Great video John. A clear concise no bs breakdown of the essential tool categories. The only addition I would suggest, and it might be considered borderline nice to have, or something to put on the tools for the next step in one’s development list, is a carpenter’s brace and a few mortice size auger bits . Not only great for its obvious use in boring holes, but also for removing most of the waste in mortices, efficiently, leaving only a little chisel work to be done with hand pressure only. Useful for any woodworker who needs to stay below the noise threshold of his neighbours annoyance, or those he shares a home with. Some spouses might demand that the first acquisition, before even so much as a carpenter’s pencil arrives on the scene, should be a sound-proofed shed ( ! ), preferably at the far end of a largish garden. To aspiring woodworkers so unjustly afflicted, might I suggest you can use the soundproofing to your advantage in augmenting the selective deafness endemic to the male of our species, and the shed should be of sufficient dimensions as to afford a bit of lcomfort and luxury, as your sanctuary and shelter. A stove to cook bacon butties and a small refrigerator for essential supplies and medications, and a comfortable old couch for obtaining the maximum benefit from a chaps meditative moments, should be regarded as the bare minimum requirements if the woodworking environment is to contribute usefully to the production rate. I am always open to suggestions as to how to improve on the foregoing arrangements if anyone has any bright ideas, please don’t hesitate to add them to the comment.

  32. Late Night Woodworker on September 29, 2022 at 2:43 am

    Love it. Have to look at your mini workbench video next. I at least have the Japanese saws.

  33. Sean Tomlinson on September 29, 2022 at 2:45 am

    This video was perfect in so many ways… well done Sir.

  34. Tony Finnerty on September 29, 2022 at 2:46 am

    Thanks John !

  35. Are Are Are on September 29, 2022 at 2:47 am

    Two years later, but thanks for this – I only have an apartment so I have to use hand tools (may blow the fuses for the entire complex if I try anything else). I had got a book where I could "learn to make boxes!" and everything was done with major power tools like planers and the like. Good to see what I genuinely need and thankfully, I pretty much have just a bit more than this. I can dooooo theeeeeeeeeesssssss.

  36. Bill Barnes on September 29, 2022 at 2:47 am

    “The best tool for every project is the proper mindset “

  37. Roy Rainey on September 29, 2022 at 2:49 am

    Dead on… nothing further needed to get started. Expanding the toolbox after that is quite enjoyable, though…

  38. Stefan Tabak on September 29, 2022 at 2:51 am

    The video and comments are great. I like everyone’s take on what is essential. When I retire I will be spending a lot of time at the inlaws apartment. The biggest limitation will actually be sound. Plan on putting together a minimalist tool kit.

  39. Jon'sWoodCraftUK on September 29, 2022 at 2:58 am

    Truth told, your toolkit grows with your experience…

  40. Paul Smith on September 29, 2022 at 2:58 am

    Great video John forgot one thing the mug of tea. What was the clamps called?. Just going to start designing a shed for my wood turning kit plus carving. If I built a bench and don’t get advice could I use these clamps to clamp my car bins in?

  41. bighand69 on September 29, 2022 at 2:59 am

    Genuinely the only tools you need are 3 chisels, bench plane and tenon saw. Optional then is block plane, Handsaw, sandpaper or dovetail saw.
    With just 3 chisels, bench plane and tenon saw I can make anything.

  42. Frank Williams on September 29, 2022 at 3:03 am

    John… this is why you have 10.5k subs…. that was a great video, well presented, well informed, empathetic to all viewers, constructive, enthusiastic and just great for anyone who is interested in woodworking. I think you should reward yourself ….. with a beer. Nice job John 😁👍.

  43. Terence Barnett on September 29, 2022 at 3:06 am

    How about a hand drill

  44. cmdrsocks on September 29, 2022 at 3:06 am

    Great set of tools.

    When I was young (school age) we had a static caravan on a site that was pretty much off grid (only the showers had power), all the caravans had gas lights/cooker/heater.
    My dad bought a big old double axle showmans caravan that was basically an empty shell and he and I spent a summer making all new fitted furniture for it and refurbishing it with no power tools at all – this was before battery drills were a thing for DIY.

    The tools I would add to the kit are:
    A two speed hand/breast drill (we had one with a 10mm chuck made in Poland) with a selection of bits (in low gear you could probably use a hex shank Auger up to one inch in softer wood)
    Screw drivers, we used a mid size Stanley Yankee (I still have that one, now about 60-70 years old, my dad bought it before I was born) and double ended phillips/slot one that came out of the tool kit in an Opel car he had
    A good box cutter/carpet knife – we had a 1970’s Stanley clamshell design.
    A 12oz hammer – better for furniture than a carpenters or framing hammer.

    For a workbench we had a 1980’s Black and Decker Workmate (they do NOT make them like they used to!).

  45. John Wayne on September 29, 2022 at 3:07 am

    The best. After watching around 30 videos about what tools I should start collecting, this by far was the most honest (gives a quality vs. cheaper option) and concise video. Exceptionally well explained and just ordered the Collins book 👍

  46. Michael plays on September 29, 2022 at 3:07 am

    Great video John

  47. Shane Fairchild on September 29, 2022 at 3:08 am

    Excellent analysis of what one needs to get started. I started with a circular saw, a handsaw, a pencil, a square and a measuring tape, screw drivers and a hammer. Great for building big things… not so much for small stuff. But that was 25 years ago.

  48. Mars Revol on September 29, 2022 at 3:08 am

    19:08 You said workbenches, I heard warp engines.

  49. Ian H on September 29, 2022 at 3:09 am

    Great Video John, I have a Mallet from my grandad, I am now a grandad so the mallet is prity old 🙂

  50. B. Mad on September 29, 2022 at 3:09 am

    I recently merged my tools with my fathers (65 years of collecting) and am working on weeding them. This was helpful. Thank you for sharing.