Tool List Handtool & Joinery

The tools listed below will provide a range of foundational tools for you to begin woodworking by hand. Note that although I have added links to suppliers, these are only suggestions and if your budget doesn’t allow or if you have access to other suppliers or tools that will be perfectly fine.


Essential tools needed for the class

  • A set of  bevel edge chisels: 3/8”, 1/2”, 3/4” will do to begin with. I prefer the Lie Nielsen chisels but used marbles or other brands from other suppliers below will also work. They will just need to be specific for woodworking, ideally NOT ones with a metal strike plate on top.

  • A strong layout knife (A chip carving knife is adequate) also as typical razor knife will also work as well or

  • A combination marking/mortise gauge

  • A small saw (dovetail or gents saw), $25-125 Lie-Nielsen or Heartwood tools makes a good one

  • A 12” combination square, ideally a Starrett

  • Bevel Square or dovetail template marker.

  • A solid joiner’s mallet $45.

  • Bench Hook

Optional Tools

  • A #4 or 4 ½-smoothing plane (I recommend the Lie-Nielsen, or you can find a used Stanley on Ebay)
  • A low angle block plane, with the adjustable mouth (I recommend the Lie-Nielsen )
  • A router plane large or small
  • Cutting gauge, either with a knife blade or a wheeled gauge
  • A flat-bottomed spokeshave
  • Rubber mallet

Please note that for registered students the School can provide an educational discount for Lee Valley tools – the form must be signed by the School and completed by you.  Please send a request for the form to [email protected]


Sources for Handtools

Lee Valley tools 1-800-871-8158

Makers and suppliers of woodworking tools, plans, books, and specialist equipment. They also have a large inventory of hardware.

Lie-Nielsen tool works 800-327-2520

Makers of fine quality heirloom woodworking tools.

Tools for Working Wood 800-426-4613

Suppliers of tools, books, videos, and accessories for the woodworker.

Craftsman Studio 888-500-9093

Suppliers of fine quality hand tools and books.

Highland Hardware 1-800-241-6748

Woodworking equipment and tools, plans, books, and specialist equipment

Woodcraft 1-800-225-1153

Woodworking equipment and tools, plans, and books.

They have a location around the country. It is nice to be able to walk into a store and look at the tools you are buying.