Do you know the difference between a circular saw and a scroll saw? Know what a rasp does, or what type of tool you should use to create perfect cuts on crown molding? Take this quiz to see how many types of carpentry tools and equipment you can recognize!
Solid carpentry skills can get you far in life, no matter what career you choose. You'll be able to maintain your own home, making necessary repairs and upgrades and taking advantage of a bit of sweat equity.
Yet carpentry also offers perks beyond the ability to work on your own home. In fact, it can be a lucrative profession for those interested in building homes, renovating buildings, crafting fine furniture, cabinets and so much more. People in this profession can often start their own businesses for the ultimate in employment freedom, or find jobs for building companies or with commercial woodshops.
Of course, the one downside to being a carpenter is that it requires a large number of tools and equipment, and those who go solo might find themselves shelling out big bucks to stay well-stocked. Even those not responsible for buying their own equipment still have to be able to identify various tools used in the trade, and the best applications for each.
Think you've got what it takes to succeed in this profession? Take our quiz to see how many types of carpentry equipment you can name!
A random orbital sander fits in the palm of your hand, allowing you to quickly and easily sand or smooth a piece of wood. While it costs more than a standard palm sander and requires special discs, it also provides a superior result.
A claw hammer should be among the first tools that any carpenter or handyman adds to his collection. While a 20-pound hammer is among the most common, it's important to test the swing of different models to find one that feels balanced in your hand.
A block plane is a manual hand tool with a blade placed at a shallow angle inside. By running it along a piece of wood, you can remove very thin layers or shavings to flatten or square a piece of lumber.
A power drill is perfect for installing or removing fasteners, but sometimes a standard drill won't fit in every application. A right angle drill gives you all the power of a standard drill, yet has a more compact footprint for jobs where space is limited.
While table saws and other power tools make quick work of tough cuts, sometimes these tools are more hassle to get out and set up than they are worth. In these cases, simply pull out your favorite handsaw to cut wood manually, no electrical outlet required.
When working with materials on a table saw or router table, many carpenters use their free hand to guide material and hold it tight to the fence. A feather board takes the place of that hand, making the job not only safer but easier. Many carpenters choose to make their own feather boards, though you can also buy plastic or wooden varieties.
Whether you're working on a commercial jobsite or your very own house, it's bad form to leave behind piles of wood shavings and debris . A shop vac makes quick work of these messes, which can ensure you get asked back for the next job.
A bench grinder consists of a spindle mounted on a motor. Using a grinding wheel on the spindle, you can easily sharpen chisels and other tools, polish metal, remove rust and perform countless other tasks.
A compound miter saw has a tilting blade that allows you to make cuts which simply aren't possible with other power tools. This tool is perfect for making miters and bevel cuts, and is ideal for carpenters working with crown molding, furniture or cabinets.
A power drill is a must-have for any construction pro. Carpenters can choose between powerful corded models, or more portable cordless units that make working in the field a breeze.
A utility knife is useful for everything from scribing lines in wood to cleaning out freshly cut mortises and rabbets -- or even for opening tough packages. Pick models with retractable blades that can be replaced to balance convenience and safety.
Every carpenter needs a selection of screwdrivers for installing and removing screws. You'll need both straight and Phillips head models, as well as different lengths to meet the needs of different jobs. For example, a long-handled screwdriver provides extra torque for tight fasteners, while a short "stubby" model works perfectly in tight spaces.
No matter how skilled a carpenter you are, you've only got two hands. That can make it hard to hold wood in place as you work on it. Using clamps helps hold wood where you want it while freeing up your hands to work.
A palm sander is the most basic type of hand sander. Economical and easy to use, it's popular because it can use regular sheets of sandpaper rather than special discs. One downside to this tool is that it takes some skill to sand wood without leaving marks, while more advanced sanders help to prevent sanding marks in the finished product.
A tool belt keeps your hammers, screwdrivers and other tools right where you need them. It also keeps your hands free for working without having to cart your tools around everywhere you go.
A jigsaw is a type of power saw that features a blade which plunges down and into a piece of wood for cutting. It's an ideal alternative to a table saw for those who are just starting out, and serves as the perfect tool for cutting curves and circles.
A circular saw is a must-have for carpenters of every skill level. This portable power saw is used for everything from rough carpentry to fine wodworking, and can make quick cuts through both sheet wood and lumber.
A miter gauge is a must-have for making beveled or angled cuts in wood. The miter gauge allows you to set the desired angle you are hoping to achieve and cut the wood into this angle with ease, no guessing required.
Think it's a pain having to wear safety glasses? Imagine how annoying it would be trying to work with an injured or permanently damaged eye because you were too busy to bother with your glasses. Protect your long-term career prospects along with the health of your eyes by wearing safety glasses every time you work.
A table saw is a major tool that all serious carpenters should invest in. This powerful piece of equipment can make rip and crosscuts as well as miter, rabbet and dado cuts. Many can be folded up and transported to the job, though some larger models are designed to stay in one spot.
Installing a typical floor or framing a house can require hundreds or thousands of nails. Rather than pounding each one in by hand, invest in a nail gun, which pops each nail in quickly and precisely with the simple pull of a trigger.
Nothing ruins a piece of furniture or the installation of a cabinet like noticing that the finished product isn't level. A level is a simple device that can ensure all installations are level, edges are square and vertical members are plumb.
You don't have to be a fine woodworker to make heavy use of a chisel. This tool is useful for everything from cleaning out a mortise or rabbet to hollowing out an opening for hardware in a wood door. Of course, various chisels can also be used to carve wood by hand when making furniture.
A drill press is a fixed drill mounted on a workbench, table or other stationary surface. It's designed to hold material steady as you drill holes, and offers much greater power and precision than a typical handheld drill.
A jointer is a special piece of woodworking equipment that is most often found in well-stocked workshops. When you feed a piece of wood into a jointer, the equipment automatically squares and flattens the wood, creating a perfect surface for you to work with.
A band saw is one of the more advanced saws used in the carpentry world. Designed for precision cutting, creating curves, mortises and other special cuts, it's available in cabinet, free-standing and table-mounted styles.
A rasp is a hand tool with a rough metal surface. It's designed to quickly and easily remove larger quantities of material from a piece of wood. For a more refined way to remove wood, consider a file rather than a rasp.
While power tools use electricity to give you far greater power than any hand tool, they aren't always enough for tough jobs. When you need even more strength, an air compressor can be used to transform electricity into energy for powering pneumatic tools.
A cat's paw is a must-have for old-school carpenters and those who prefer traditional tools. This crow bar-like device has a C-shaped notch in one end, and is perfect for removing tough nails from wood.
While radial arm saws have long been used by pro carpenters, their use has been eclipsed in recent years by miter and table saws. Some carpenters still prefer the radial arm saw, which features a circular saw blade mounted on a horizontal arm, for its precision and ease of use.
A speed square unites the functions of a carpenter square and framing square into one device. This triangular tool, which is made from metal or plastic, is used to check angles and ensure structures are square and level.
A surface planer is a major machine that uses extreme power to change the thickness of a piece of wood. You simply feed the wood into the machine and it rolls out the other side, finished much more quickly than you could ever hope to plane the wood by hand.
Per their name, sawhorses are often used to hold a piece of lumber as you cut it with a saw. They can also be used to extend the length of a work bench, or to set up a makeshift work surface wherever you happen to be working that day.
Accuracy and precision matter a lot in carpentry if you want your finished product to look right. While you can't exactly eye a flooring installation or visually determine whether molding is perfect level, a chalk line serves as the perfect guide for this type of work. It snaps an easy-to-follow line which can be quickly wiped away when the work is complete.
Every carpenter is familiar with the phrase "Measure twice, cut once," but this concept is hard to put into practice if you have no way to measure. A good tape measure lets you accurately mark and check distances as you work, then easily retracts so it's easy to carry or store.
A lathe is designed to spin a piece of wood at a controlled speed. This allows you to sand, shape and carve the wood using various tools. Lathes are useful for everything from forging a wooden pen to crafting legs for furniture.
A router is a power tool with a spindle bit that can be plunged into a piece of wood. The bit can remove material from wood, such as when crafting a panel door, or can be used to shape and curve the edge of a piece of material, such as when building a round tabletop.
A scroll saw is among the most appropriate power tools for delicate or refined work. It's useful for working with thinner pieces of wood or creating delicate or elaborate designs.
Every carpenter needs a sturdy workbench to serve as the heart of his workshop. This equipment provides a clear and convenient place to work, and allows you to achieve an ideal setup with all your tools close at hand.
Unlike many other saws, a reciprocating saw uses a push-pull motion to make cuts. This small handheld tool has a large blade, and is often used for demolition and various rough cuts. It may be referred to as a Sawzall, after a popular brand name of this tool.