An age-old trade, the art of carpentry still holds a special place in modern civilization. Carpentry is the creative art of working with natural wood and wood-like artificial materials. It is a beautiful way of creating furniture, structures, decorations, and other aesthetic products. A typical project will consist of cutting and joining timber. The carpenter also has to work on the material for finer details. 

It’s essential for all carpenters to understand the appropriate tools and materials in carpentry. Carpentry tools range from small nails to advanced electric machines. Without the proper knowledge, unwanted accidents or damage may occur while using these tools. Also, a carpenter has to know their specifications and functionalities. This information is key to finishing the work faster and more precisely. 

In this article, we will discuss why every carpenter should learn about common tools and materials. We’ll also present a brief overview to summarize these items. 

Why a Carpenter Should Understand the Appropriate Tools and Materials in Carpentry 

A diverse set of tools and materials are used in different styles of carpentry. Having a practical understanding of these will be a huge advantage for any carpenter. Let’s talk about the main reasons why a carpenter should be familiar with the relevant media and tools. 

Ensures Safety 

As mentioned before, there are complex electric machines for advanced carpentry work. Machines like bandsaws can contain very sharp blades. Without adequate operational knowledge, a carpenter can cause major mishaps while using these tools. Even simple tools like hammers and utility knives should be handled with care. All levels of carpenters, from beginner to experienced, should learn more about their tools and materials to ensure safety. 

More Efficiency and Effectiveness 

Using the correct equipment will save you tons of time on any project. For example, an electric circular saw can cut large wood pieces faster and more accurately than traditional handsaws. As a carpenter, you need to know about these alternative options. Doing so will give you better results and more freedom in your work. You will save more time as well. 

Lower Costs 

It’s common to have a restricted budget for a task. In these cases, understanding different tools and materials can be a lifesaver. Suppose you have to use oak as your project material. You can choose American White Oak in place of English Oak. The latter is usually more expensive due to its quality. This is just one example showing how a carpenter can lower costs by understanding his materials or tools. 

Avoiding Damage 

A carpenter can badly damage the equipment or timber with incorrect use. When working on expensive wood like Jarrah, such damage can be a very costly mistake. Therefore, every carpenter should always try to learn about the delicate features. 

Improved Quality of Work 

You have more options to work with when you can understand the appropriate tools and materials in carpentry. You will be familiar with the unique challenges of various projects. Your work quality will greatly improve when you understand the appropriate tools needed for a specific job. You can take more interesting assignments. The high quality of work means that you will develop a strong portfolio. This will definitely strengthen your reputation in the field. 

Common Carpenter’s Tools 

Let’s go through the main features and applications of common tools used by a carpenter. Carpenters should know about their variants as well. 


Hammers are among the most recognizable items that carpenters use regularly. Mostly used for hitting nails, a hammer is a basic carpentry tool. Hammers are classified based on the material of their handles. You will also find common variants like the sledgehammer and framing hammer. A carpenter should have a clear concept of the functionalities and advantages of each type. 


Mallets are widely used in carpentry for making wood joints. Besides, these tools are also used when working with chisels. Hitting with a mallet does less damage to the wood surface. Here, mallets do a better job than hammers. 


Chisels come in multiple shapes in a set. These are extremely useful tools for shaving off layers from the surface of the material. Often used with mallets, chisels are sold with both wooden and metal handles. 


Cutting large pieces of wood into convenient sizes is a common step in any carpentry project. The handsaw is the most popular tool for this purpose. Every carpenter should be skilled at using this beginner’s tool. A typical handsaw has a set of teeth on its edge used for cutting materials. Depending on the number of teeth, handsaws will give smooth or rough results. 


You will come across different sandpapers on the market with different grit sizes. We highly recommend you learn these differences if you’re into carpentry. Carpenters will use sandpaper on the timber for a better and smoother finish. 

Machine Tools 

Machine tools have an electric power source. These tools can finish tasks much faster with great precision. Suitable for complex and lengthy projects, machines are an expensive investment. Machines mimic the functions of manual tools. Therefore, you will find various models of electric hand saws, joiners, and drills in carpentry shops. Combination machines combine two or more functions into one setting. 

Some Basic Carpentry Materials

Carpenters need to work with diverse materials. Materials like wood are used for the structure’s body. But it’s just one of the many materials used in a project. Knowing about different materials is as important as knowing about tools. 

Timber (Natural and Engineered) 

Two similar projects might require completely distinct timbers. Timbers vary in quality, strength, price, colour, availability, etc. Natural timbers come in hardwood and softwood variants. Artificially engineered options like plywood and particle boards are available as well. 


Metallic objects are almost always used in carpentry. A carpenter has to work with hinges, screws, nails, and other metallic fittings. 


Paint is applied to wood surfaces to give them a better look. Paint layers also prevent damage from water and other natural effects. 

Final Thoughts 

As you can see, there are tons of materials and tools in the world of carpentry. To be a successful carpenter, you need to be comfortable while working with these. A carpenter can work safely and effectively if he/she can understand the appropriate tools and materials in carpentry. As a result, his/her demand will greatly increase in the market.  

We highly recommend studying different tools and timber from common examples online and offline. One can try certificate courses and apprenticeships as well. Certificate III in Carpentry is a popular certification for carpenters in Australia.