Four Basic Woodworking Power Tools You Need

What Is…How Good…How Long…Do I?

Have you wondered what type of woodworking power tools you need to start out with? Within this post, we are going to discuss what a person needs in order to make great impressive projects. In order to make an impressive wood project, whether for yourself, a family member, or making wood projects for clients, you need reliability, durability and most of all cost realistic power tools. So, you ask yourself, what is the best power tools for wood to buy? How good is this power tool? How long will it last and how much would it cost? Do I want to buy cheap or spend the extra money for a good high-quality tool? These are common questions that run through a person’s mind.

The cost is what scares a lot of people. I do know this. Good tools are hard to come by. I tend to judge on what I have used or recommended to me from another reliable source. If you want to build that perfect corn hole board set or a DIY wall mounted bookcase or make eye popping charcuterie board for the next Thanksgiving Day, you need to have the best woodworking power tools you can buy.

I’m going to cover four of the basic woodworking power tools a person should have when starting out as a beginner.

Compact Portable Table Saws

A portable compact table saw is a must have. They are designed to go anywhere with you. Whether in your workshop, to your job site or you need to do a home project, inside or outside your home, or in your back yard will become a valuable needed power tool. Setting up the table saw is simple as a couple of sawhorses with a large table-like platform or buy a stand that is compatible with the table saw.

On the compact table saw you can rip boards, crosscut boards, or cut various angles and degrees.

Portable Wood Lathes

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A wood lathe is another must have for wood workers. The wood lathes are heavy and must be securely mounted to a bench or desk to properly operate when using because of the vibrations coming from the high-speed spinning wood once secured in place. It is a good idea to watch some videos as a beginner and not just go blindly to work on the stock of wood with no idea of how to shape or carve. The wood lathe tool must be resting on the tool rest and held firmly with both hands. Safety glasses are a must because of flying debris coming from the tip of the tool cutting the wood stock. When starting out with a rough stock of wood you want to start on a low-speed setting and work off the roughness. Once the roughness is eliminated you can then add more speed to finish carving. Once the project is done you need to lower the speed to sand to desired smoothness. You can do the same with wood and resin combo projects. You can also add wax, varnishes or stains to the wood or resin projects which helps give a rich and glossy mirror-like shine.

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Portable Planers

A portable planer is another power tool a wood worker must have. I have on several occasions bought ash wood from Menards already milled along with cherry, hickory, maple and mahogany. The ash board I had to run through the planer to have the same thickness as of the other boards. The planers have a wheel or rotating lever to lower or raise the top motor cutting wheel housing of the planer to the desired height. On each side of the planer are folding side tables and these tables need to be level. If the tables are slightly off the cutting wheel inside the top housing will leave deep cupping effect within the boards or wood projects. So, make sure the tables are level by raising the housing up high enough to place a level that lies on both surfaces of the tables under the top motor/cutting wheel housing and adjust the table up or down by set screws located near the pivot hinge. The portal planers are heavy but can be moved around within your shop but be forewarned it will leave a considerable amount of wood shavings on the floor so look for a good location for easy clean up.

Combo Woodworking Battery Power Tools

A combo woodworking power tools is a definite must have for any woodworker. These combos are high in demand and versatile. There are different combos you can purchase. Most of these combos come together as four or five combos. These combos consist of a circular saw, drill/impact, jigsaw, or reciprocation saw and sometimes they will come with a flashlight. The bigger the combo pack will result in a higher price tag. Working in the construction field, I have used battery powered tools every day to do my job due to always on the go. There are brushless and brushed options you can buy. I have put a small list together to compare.

  • Brushed power tools
    1. Cost more
    2. Bulkier
    3. Don’t last as long as brushless (shorter life span)
    4. Noisy
    5. Builds heat fast which can result in overheating the power tool
    6. Less torque
    7. Battery life is not long
  • Brushless power tools
    1. Cost more
    2. Smaller and lighter
    3. Last longer
    4. Not as noisy as the brushed tool
    5. They are more energy-efficient
    6. Have more torque
    7. Battery life is longer
    8. Heat doesn’t build up as much (cooler)

When using the battery combo power tools, the good thing is you can exchange the dead battery for a fresh battery or use a battery from another power tool that you are not currently using.


Whether building power lines or in the construction field or just at home working in your wood shop, demands for reliable, durability and cost-efficient wood power tools is a must. As for your safety, you must practice safety. Having proper personal protecting equipment (ppe) such as safety glasses, hearing protection and sometimes gloves will help you stay safe as long as you pay attention to your surroundings and never get in a hurry.

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