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List Of Hand Tools Every DIY Enthusiast Should Own 2018

A comprehensive toolkit is essential for any DIYer. You need to have the necessary tools that can help you get through various types of projects with ease and perfection.

Other than power tools, there are some basic hand tools that you have to have in your toolbox, and these include handsaws, chisels, squares and clamps. These are tools that most people fail to realize their importance until a need for them arises.

This article will share 6 of the tools you need for your DIY home improvement projects. Read through carefully and note the importance of each tool and how essential they are for DIY projects.

1. Dovetail Saw

A dovetail saw is one of the tools that you should never miss in your woodworking hand tools kit. Not only will a good quality dovetail saw help you complete woodworking projects easily, but it will also help you achieve the much-needed accuracy and precision when dovetailing joints in wood for making drawer slides.

When buying a dovetail saw, you need to focus more on the blade material, number of teeth and the grip handle. These are the things that will ensure that you create accurate and clean dovetail joints. But why the blade material? Many handsaws come with blades made from steel, cast iron, and carbide. While all these are good materials for a cutting blade, carbide blades tend to be better both in quality and durability. Also, they tend to hold an edge much longer.

Regarding rip teeth, you should understand that less and widely spaced teeth produce rough cuts while many teeth that are closely spaced will produce cleaner cuts. However, the latter tends to produce fewer waste materials compared to saws with many rip teeth.

As for the handle, just ensure that the saw you choose has a comfortable handle that you can hold for longer hours without experiencing hand fatigue. 

2. Folding saw

Gardening can be quite a task, but if you have the right tools for the job, then everything becomes smooth. The best quality folding saw can help you to maintain your garden in more ways than you can imagine.

There are very many types of cutting tools in the market that you can buy, but these do not compare to a folding saw when affordability, portability, and convenience are in question. They are the best tools you can have for less absolute cutting requirements.

Additionally, folding saws are very versatile and flexible, which are essential qualities for DIY cutting tools, especially hand tools. Why so? With a folding saw, you are not limited to cutting specific materials or use it within a particular area. This saw has very many uses ranging from hunting, clearing thick brush, pruning trees, clearing pathways in the garden, etc. the areas in which a folding saw applies to is quite vast.

It is for this reason that I will advise you to buy the best quality of this tool since you will be using it a lot more often than other hand tools in your kit. Additionally, the best results come from the best tools so do not settle for cheap quality.

It is for this reason that I will advise you to buy the best quality of this tool since you will be using it a lot more often than other hand tools in your kit. Additionally, the best results come from the best hand tool brand so do not settle for cheap quality.

3. Coping saw

Coping saws are the most affordable type of saw you can buy for your DIY projects. This kind of saw is used to cut shapes and patterns in wooden boards, but most especially it’s used to remove waste from dovetail joints.

Coping saws have very thin blades that may seem weak at first but trust me;these blades are usually made of very reliable and high quality materials. The blades often feature fine teeth and narrow but very hard blades as previously stated. Note that the blade in a coping saw is adjustable to whatever angle you want and thus can be used to make cuts and curves in wood following any direction.

If you were keen when reading about the folding saws, we mentioned that handsaws tend to be used more often than other tools and thus you will need to buy the best quality of these saws to enjoy long lasting durability. For a coping saw, however, if you can afford high quality then go for it. But if you just need a starter. Coping saw then mid-range quality would also work fine. Just ensure that you have a variety of replacement blades.

4. Chisel set

Our fourth item on this list is a chisel set. This is yet another tool that you will use in a variety of applications. It is the most important item on this list that no serious DIYer should miss in their toolkit. Chisels are mainly used for woodworking purposes that involve chipping wood, removing thin edges from wood, removing waste from joints and they can also be used to cut joints in wood for constructions.

Therefore, if your projects involve lots of designing and shaping wooden structures, then a chisel set is essential to have in your kit.

Keep in mind that the sizes and shapes of chisels vary depending on their application. Most of themare made with plastic or wooden handles that tend to provide a firm grip to the user. Their heads feature unique designs that can easily shave or chip wood even in hard to reach sections.

The good thing about chisels is that they are not limited to woodworking. The market offers a variety of chisel types for use in various DIY applications. There are chisels designed for woodworking just as there are chisels made to be used in mason work. The difference is only that Masonry chisels are made with harder materials i.e. cast iron blades as compared to woodworking chisels that feature steel blades.

When choosing the best chisel set for your needs, always pay attention to the intricacy of the material to be worked on and the frequency of use. This will help you choose the best chisel size, shape, and quality.

5. Combination square

Most woodworking machines and especially power machines need some tuning and tweaking before they purr. For this, you will need tools that can help you set them up correctly and checking that they are in the right form when working. In woodworking, flat surfaces are often priceless. On them, you can mill lumber, joint an edge square and check pieces for twists after assembly. So what are these tools? Well, they are quite many, but if you were to have one, then a combination square is an ideal one.

The above square is incredibly versatile especially for woodworking purposes and should always be a part of your toolkit. It doesn’t matter whether you are a pro or an amateur, this square will prove useful in almost every project that you indulge in.

This tool is not just helpful for setting up machines, but can also be used to measure and produce right angles, can be used as a straight edge when drawing and also for checking the square of boards. It is evident that a combination square is one tool that you will likely keep and use for a very long time. And as such, you should try as much as possible to buy the best quality that you can find.

6. Woodworking clamps

Clamps are tools that DIYers can just never have enough. You will buy and buy as many clamps as you can just to ensure that all your projects are as successful as they can be. Clamps do not use power either do they require any particular skills. They are handy hand tools that help to make manual woodworking very easy.

In all honesty, fine woodworking cannot be fine without the aid of clamps because it is the clamps that contribute to holding glued pieces of wood together. Without these clamps, then glued pieces will fall apart quickly and thus become hard to work with.

However, while a majority of DIYers appreciate the usefulness of woodworking clamps, some still argue that there can be an alternative which in most cases is to glue wood and hold them with your hands until they are compactly held together. Well, this might work, but not as good applying a clamping force will. Moreover, holding pieces of wood using glue may leave residues after detaching which might not be suitable for fine woodworking as aesthetic appeal is also of importance.

So, for whatever reason that you might want to hold pieces of wood together, ensure that you have a good set of clamps to help you in the project. This way you can produce unique constructions as well as finish working on projects faster.


There you have it, a useful list of essential hand tools to get you started. You don’t have to buy everything at once; you can get some to start with and then add the rest gradually. My advice is to figure out where your interests lie in woodworking and the kind of projects you will be doing most. Once you have these figured out, you can easily identify tools that you will need for which kind of projects and buy them accordingly.

I know that you realize the essence of this piece and if you think that someone else might find it helpful, then feel free to share this article with them. You can also leave a comment below regarding the topic.

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