FAVORITE HAND TOOLS

These are the tools that I use or have used. They are my favorites and ones that I can confidently recommend. I compiled this list as a resource for people looking for my recommendations.

Hand Saws

JAPANESE PULL SAWS

Japanese pull saws are what I started out with as they are much more affordable than new "Western saws". They can use a much thinner blade which gives you a much thinner saw kerf because they cut on the pull stroke while the blade is in tension. They are extremely accurate, blades are cheap to replace, and an absolute pleasure to use. Japanese Saws are still my go to for almost all of my sawing needs. 

Standard Ryoba Saw.

This is my favorite all-purpose saw. Rip and Crosscut sides. I use this for initial cuts and sometimes even joinery. 

Flush Cut Saw

This saw doesnt have teeth "set" which allows you to make flush cuts against wood without marring your work.

Large Ryoba Saw.

The "Ryoba" has rip cut on one side and crosscut on the other. I use this larger saw on very larger boards and timbers.

Fine "Crosscut" Joinery Saw.

This saw has an ultra thin blade like the dovetail saw but it has crosscut teeth. I pair this with the dovetail saw for my fine joinery.

Dedicated Crosscut

The Kataba saws are for crosscutting boards to length. They are a little more accurate and smoother than a ryoba. 

Japanese Dovetail Saw.

This saw has a ridged spine, ultra thin blade, and super fine rip cut teeth making it AMAZING for dovetails. 

WESTERN SAWS

Western Back Saws cut on the push stroke rather than the pull stroke like Japanese saws. Choosing push or pull is really just a personal preference. Here are some saws that I have personally used and can stand behind. 

Veritas Saws

Lie Nielsen Saws

Rob Cosman Saws

SPECIALTY SAWS

Fret Saw

by Knew Concept

 

My favorite for removing dovetail waste.

Coping Saw

Also can be used for removing waste, but blade isn't as fine as a fret saw.

Flush Cut Saw

Great from cutting dowels and tenon flush. The teeth have no set to scratch surface.

Chisels

Stanley Sweetheart Set

Timeless socket style design.

Irwin Marples Set

Another classic brand that still makes nice chisels that are affordable. 

Crown Set

The chisel set that I first started with. 

Veritas PM-V11 Chisels

My current go-to chisels

Narex Mortise Set

Heavy duty set for chopping mortises. 

Japanese Chisels

These hand made japanese chisels by Matusuma are my favorites

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** If you have the time and desire to restore old hand planes I would highly recommend trying that out. It is very rewarding bringing an old hand plane back to life. There are many great videos and articles online on how to do this and what to look out for when shopping for old planes. Great places to look are at your local antique stores, flea markets, and ebay. Otherwise here are some good new planes to get started with. 

Low-Angle Jack Plane

A jack plane is the first plane I would get.

Hand Planes

Smoothing Plane

The highest selling plane of all time and another must own. 

Block Plane

Another must have plane, great for chamfers and small touch ups.

Jointer Plane

For flattening larges surfaces and edges.

Shoulder Plane

Great for squaring up shoulders and cheeks on tenons.

Router Plane

Allows you to cut to exact depths. Super useful.

Lie Neilsen Planes

High end planes in the traditional Stanley design.

Veritas Hand Planes

Very nice high end planes.

PM-V11 Blades

I replace most of the blades in my planes to the Veritas PM-V11 blades. 

Sharpening Tools

They are behind the scene tools, but without good sharpening equipment your cutting tools will not perform properly. Dull tools are more dangerous and lead to frustration. Proper sharpening equipment is as vital as the cutting tool itself. 

Extra Coarse Diamond Stone

 

Used to shape blade, set primary bevel, and quickly remove chips.

4000/8000 Combo Wetstone

Love this stone! I use this to create my secondary bevel. Its hones an extremely sharp edge.

Simple Honing Guide

Great for learning or re-establishing bevel angles.

Lapping Fluid

Good for using on Diamond stones to prevent rusting.

Leather Strop

I use this as my final step to polish the edge to a razor finish. 

Work Sharp Tool Sharpening System

An all-in-one sharpening system for almost any kind of woodworking tool.

Miscellaneous

Mallet

My absolute favorite mallet. Its rubberized head wont mark or damage wood or your tools.

Carving Tool Set

A high quality set that can do most carving jobs.

Marking Knife

A must for laying out accurate joinery.

Wheel Marking Gauge

 

A very useful tool for accuate layout. Several companies make them. 

Mortise Marking Gauge

It makes laying out mortise and tenons way easier. I prefer this style to wheel M&T Guages. 

Saw Rasp

This type of rasp is made by combining several saw blades and works incredibly well. 

Rasp

Important tool for shaping wood by hand. This is a good general rasp to start with. 

Scraper Set with Burnisher

Used to get a smooth finish on difficult woods and grain orientations. 

Flat Spokeshave

Great for shaping and rounding edges.

Round Bottom Spokeshave

Used to remove material on curved pieces. 

Drawknife

For rough quick wood removal and shaping. 

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