Woodcutting guide for beginners in 2021

Whether you are an expert craftsman or a beginner to woodcutting. We are all united by a common passion for the art of cutting wood and making something beautiful from it. It is the material that gives joy to our lives and allows us to bring our imagination to life.

Having said that, when working with wood, it is important to know the tools you are working with and to that end, we created this guide for the tools we all know and love. This is mainly a woodcutting guide for beginners but the experts can always appreciate a refresher.

Tools of the trade

Many budding woodworkers might be intimidated by all the jargon and the names of tools they will come across. So we are here to break all the essential items down so you can become familiar with the tools and get comfortable with them. After all, you will be spending a lot of one on one time with them, best to make friends. So let’s get started with the tools of the trade.


Almost every project in woodwork starts with cutting wood. And for that, you’re going to need different types of saws depending on your requirements. The saws which should be part of every woodworker’s collection are:

Circular Saw: 

These have a large round, a circular blade attached to a corded motor. The blade rotates very fast and tears straight through the wood. All versions of circular saws are electrically powered but more machines are becoming cordless these days so we might just see this upgrade available for a circular saw yet. 

Circular saws blades come in three types:

  • Ripping Blades: These cut wood lengthwise
  • Crosscut Blades: These saw wood across the grain
  • Combination Blades: These can cut wood lengthwise and across


best jigsaw blade for laminate countertop

 You can never go on woodworking without a jigsaw, they are essential for making detailed and intricate cuts. They can cut in back, forth, up and down motion. You can use them for cutting wood, laminate, plastic, and even metal. When working with jigsaws you have to keep a good grip on them to keep your cuts clean. Read all about our jigsaw cutting guide here.

Compound Miter Saw:

 These saws are the evolved versions of the standard cut off saw and are available with fixed arm versions and sliding arm versions. They take the same blades as a circular saw and you can fit them with blades as small as 7.5 inches in size.

Table Saw:

 Table saws are very straight forward, as their name implies. They consist of a table with an exposed upside down the blade. You can adjust the blade depending on your need for angles and precisions. They are available in three different versions. There are heavy cabinet table saws, portable benchtop table saws, and contractor table saws.


These tools are a combination of circular saws and jigsaws and you can use them for making intricate curved cuts. They are available in multiple sizes and you should get one based on the size of the stock that you are planning to cut. In these blades, a flat table is mounted between two pulleys that can be tilted for angles.


No matter how many power tools are created, no matter how precise or awesome electronic tools become, there will always be a place for the traditional handsaw in a woodworker’s workshop. They are easy and straightforward to use. Great for precision cuts and you never have to worry about tangles of wires or low batteries with these.

Drilling tools

Drilling tools have come a long way today. They are now available in different varieties. Cordless drill machines are now available at economic prices and they come with many handy attachments. It is also possible to get an attachment that doubles as an electric screwdriver. When selecting the one that suits you keep their power in mind and check how long their battery lasts. Perfect for jobs where you have to do a lot of drilling and screwing, the benefit of both jobs done by one machine.

Sanding tools

With all your woodcuts, next comes sanding so you can refine the wood and a smooth finish. For this purpose, you will need the orbital sander. They make the process of sanding far more efficient and fast. They use sandpaper revolving it in an orbital pattern to remove the material from the surface. However, you have to be careful because orbital sanders can leave abrasive marks due to the orbital movements. For such cases, you can get a random orbital sander that has random movements and does not leave any marks on your finished product.


Along with sanding tools you have to be more precise with shaving and for that, you need a plane. These use blades that shave wood fiber and smooth them, leaving the surface completely flat. You can use them in combination with sanding tools to produce smooth and flat surfaces. There are different types available and used for different types of finishing.

Hammers and Mallets

Hammers and Mallets are essential tools for woodworking and even though they might seem to have the same purpose on the surface, you can use them for different reasons. A hammers usually has metalheads that are used for pounding other metal surfaces like nails. Mallets on the other hand have a removable head that can be detached from the handle. The head of a mallet is usually made of wood or rubber. This is because mallets are used for softer pounding and are not meant to be used for metal but wood.


So there you have it, a comprehensive list of essential tools that beginners can use to start building their own workshop and start crafting products from our favorite material. There is a myriad of other important tools off course but these are some of the basic ones you need to start on your practice. With these tools, you will be able to bring your imagination into reality. I really hope this woodcutting guide for beginners is helpful for you.


  1. How thick of wood can you cut with a jigsaw?

    Jigsaws are the best tool for cutting wood whether it is soft or hard. But the thickness of the wooden piece is limited for smooth cutting. The recommended thickness that a jigsaw can easily cut is up to 3 by 4 inches. This value is for hardwood cutting. For softwood, the thickness value is limited to 1 by 2 inches. The thickness of wood more than these values is not recommended to be good for fine cutting.

  2. How do you cut wood with precision?

    When it comes to cut wood with precision, choosing the best tool is an important task. For this task two of the tools are highly recommended which are Table Saw and Miter Saw. These tools will give you extra precise cuttings. Avoiding the use of a Band Saw would be much better when it comes to precise wood cutting. Because band saw gives rough cuts to the plane.

  3. What is the fastest way to sand wood by hand?

    The fastest way to sand wood is by using a sanding machine. But sanding can be done by hand. Using good sandpaper is the best way to sand wood by hand quickly. It may feel very displeasing but it is the fastest way to sand the wood by hand.

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