Tips / Tools

What Beginner Hand Tools Do I Really Need?

If you’re just getting started in carpentry and you’re not quite sure what hand tools you’re gonna need then stick around. Twelve out of the fourteen hand tools I use them for everything no matter the size of the project. They’re for here’s a list of all 14 hand tools that I recommend buying and having with you while working on any project. A lot of these tools might be familiar to you already but some of them may not be. So let’s quickly walk through them together.

Speed Square

First up is a good speed square. This thing has so many uses.

6 in 1 Screwdriver

The second is a good six in one screwdriver. This tool is pretty self-explanatory and it has many uses not only for the things that you’re installing like hinges and hardware. But for the power tools and accessories, you’re using to do the job.

Diagonal Pliers

Next is in diagonal cutting pliers. Now you might not be familiar with these but they’re great for cutting nails, wires. And they’re really good for pulling nails as well.

Utility Knife

Fourth a utility blade. This tool gets a lot of use from opening boxes the cutting sheetrock and installation – sharpening your carpenter’s pencil.


The fifth is a hammer. There are hundreds of hammers out there but I like the Estwing. I prefer a straight claw rather than a curved claw for both finish and rough carpentry. But whatever hammer that you get just to make sure it feels really good in your hand.

Sliding T-bevel

Next up is the sliding T-bevel. This tool shows up mostly in woodworking but it’s great for transferring existing angles to other materials or you can use it in conjunction with a protractor or even a speed square to create new angles.

Wood Chisel

Moving on to the wood chisel. There’s always a need for chisel work from hinges to shaving off material just to get something to fit better. I found that having a 3/4 inch chisel on me at all times is great for almost any carpentry project. God-willing and when you can afford it I would recommend buying a whole chisel set.

Nail Set

Number eight is a nail set. What can I say when you need to set nails this is a tool to have.

Pry Bar Scraper

Moving on to number nine. This might be my favorite tool that pry bar scraper. This tool is not only great for prying and scraping materials but I use this thing as an extension of my hand. So if I’m working on something I don’t want to get my fingers in a way I like prybar getting away and let it do the work. The other great thing about this bar is it’s very thin making it easy to get behind finished trim without damaging the wall.

Tape Measure

Ten is a tape measure an important tool. Picking the right tape measure is a personal preference but for me and because of my hand size I like a 25-foot fat max.

Utility Pry Bar

Number 11 is the flat pry bar. This is a great demo tool able to pry and pull nails and sometimes they use it in conjunction with the smaller bar. This by far is my most used pry bar.

Chalk Line

Number 12 is a chalk line. This tool is great for making long straight lines and almost any material. For example, it can be used for snapping lines and concrete for lining up walls plywood for making cuts drywall you name it.

Torpedo Level

Lucky number 13 is a torpedo level. Having a small level like this and your pouch to check the level and plumb on smaller tasks is very handy. It can be used alone or actually can be used in conjunction with the other hand tools for marking lines.

2 ft. Level

Last but not least a good level this one here is a 2-foot level. It’s a pretty good size because it fits within most tight spaces it’s also big enough then to give you a pretty good accurate reading on larger things as well. But when you can afford it I would recommend getting one that’s at least 4 feet or bigger.


Well, I hope this list of hand tools has helped to answer your question of what to buy.

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