The DIY home improvement market reported a skyrocketing growth in 2020. According to a report published in October 2020, the industry is growing at an annual rate of 4.8% and is on track to reach $1137.57 billion in the following five years.
Although a surge in DIY projects has been noticed since the early 2010s, in 2020, it became obvious that woodworking is about to become one of the most popular hobbies. Stuck at home with few other options to pass the time, many of us discovered that we love DIY and that we don’t have to depend on mainstream furniture stores to make creative changes to our living spaces.
During the lockdown, woodworking ranked as one of the top hobbies for US adults, along with cooking and exercising. That doesn’t exactly come as any surprise, considering that woodworking has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety, improve mental sharpness, and built muscle – not to mention it even has fans among celebrities such as Nick Offerman. It gives you the satisfaction of creating something beautiful with your own hands and helps you turn your creative design projects into reality when you simply can’t find what you need on store shelves.
Whether you’ve been dabbling in woodworking in the past few months, or you’re thinking of taking up a new hobby, buying your first woodworking supplies is a good idea. A starter kit doesn’t require a significant upfront investment, plus it helps you do things faster and better.
If you feel intimidated by getting serious about woodworking, don’t be. Even if the results might not be perfect at first, it’s one of the most satisfying hobbies, and the woodworking community is extremely positive and helpful. You can always find easy to follow tutorials based on your level and, before you know it, you’ll have a collection of projects to be proud of.
Of course, a woodworker’s kit is never truly full, and you’ll always find upgrades and knick-knacks to add to their collection, but, for starters, here are some essentials you’ll need.
The result of DIY projects greatly depends on your working space. If it’s not sturdy and stable enough, not only will the precision of the cuts be affected, but you also risk hurting yourself. This is where router tables come in. So, even if it sounds a bit much for a beginning, a router table can make your job more pleasant and save you a lot of trouble down the line. You can check out the Tool Inspector Top 10 Router Tables guide to find the right option for your budget.
If you’re looking for a versatile tool that can cut just as easily through wood, metal, and PVC, then you need a reciprocating saw in your life. Although it’s not as cheap as a manual saw, it has more applications and can make woodworking more productive. Reciprocating saws have variable speeds, and, as an added benefit, they also come in handy during remodeling projects because they can cut through drywall and brick.
Except for some old-time woodworkers, who still need hand drills for certain projects, most modern craftspeople swear by power drills. 18-volt is a good starting point for a beginner because it has enough strength to serve you on more complicated projects in the future. For the set to be complete, make sure you also buy drill heads depending on your favorite applications.
Woodworking is fun and rewarding, but safety comes first. Since you’ll be working with tools that can get you hurt and substances that can be dangerous when they come in contact with your skin, it’s essential to invest in some safety equipment if you get started. You should have a pair of safety goggles, ear muffs (the noise produced by power tools can damage your hearing), gloves, and a face shield/face mask.
If you’re looking for a simple and convenient joinery method, you can’t go wrong with a Kreg Jig. They don't require glue, they’re fantastic for inaccessible areas such as drawers, they make joint assembly a piece of cake, and they have a short learning curve. There is a huge variety of Kreg Jigs out there, and, considering that they’re very affordable, you’ll be tempted to buy all of them. However, if you’re a beginner, we recommend getting only one at first and then expand your collection depending on the applications you need them for.
Filing and sanding supplies
After cutting pieces of wood to a rough shape, you need filing and sanding supplies to chisel them and give them an elegant finish. For this, you’ll need different types of hand files (mill files, half-round files, rasps), planes, and if you prefer electric tools, an orbital sander.
Although hammers and mallets might look similar, they have different applications. Hammers are made of steel and deliver a much stronger blow. Mallets have a non-metallic head and leave minimal marks, which makes them perfect for joining wood. You can use them when working with ceramic tiles, laminate floors, carpeting, PVC, and other materials that would get damaged by a hammer.
Although manual screwdrivers shouldn’t miss from your woodworking kit, it’s still a good idea to invest in a screw gun. It comes in handy when you have to put multiple screws in place, and you don’t have to waste a long time unscrewing them either.
Measure twice, and cut once. And for that, you’ll need all the measurement tools you can get. Squares and tape measures are essential pieces in your woodworking kit, and you can find them in any hardware store.
Last up, you should have a large glue supply because you never know when you might need it. The best glues for woodworking include light-duty wood glue, heavy-duty glue for outdoor use, special glue for antiques, and thin glue for small fixtures. While you’re purchasing glue, you should also get a special glue container to prevent the glue from plugging up.