Beginner hand tool sets

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Forum topic by JBahou posted 04-16-2010 08:04 PM 7867 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View JBahou's profile


15 posts in 2391 days

04-16-2010 08:04 PM

Need some advice on some good hand tools to pickup. What tools should I have/need? I would like to think that I am interested in a broad range of projects: boxes, furniture, around the house projects. I would consider myself a beginner woodworker with very little experience. Sears offers the following hand tool sets and would like to know LJs member’s thoughts on value, quality of tools, and so on.

Tool Set 1
Tool Set 2
Tool Set 3

Also, what brands are favored as far as hand tools are concerned? I am interested in the more quality tool even if the price is higher.


-- Jack †

10 replies so far

View DaddyZ's profile


2475 posts in 2460 days

#1 posted 04-16-2010 08:21 PM

My Advice is to talk with Friends & or Family Members, Find a fine wood store near you & go talk with them. I looked at tool set#1 $400 sounds high to me for some tools you probably not even use just starting out.

On the other hand Everyone starts somewhere. I personally like to check out auctions & flea mkts.

Years of self training are ahead! Enjoy !!!! :)

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

View BlacksheepWW's profile


9 posts in 2383 days

#2 posted 04-16-2010 08:26 PM

I’m also a beginner to the hand tools.
Just bought a Lie Neilsen Jack plane#5, and some Two Cherries
chisels. I wanted to get tools of quality so I would enjoy
using them. In the past I bought cheaper quality and didn’t
enjoy using them. So it means a few tools at a time, within time
il have some very nice tools that some day I can hand down to future woodworkers.

View PurpLev's profile


8523 posts in 3068 days

#3 posted 04-16-2010 08:41 PM

I’ll second Daddyz – you can get better quality tools like in those sets, for ~200 – new. not really sure how sears compiled those prices…

I’d start with coming up with a project- then getting the tools required for that project… and slowly slowly accumulate the tools that you’ll need for future projects.

you can start with a #5 hand plane, a block plane, a set of Narex chisels, and some marking tools all at less than $200 – don’t forget you’ll need sharpening materials for anything with blades (hand planes and chisels) which adds a little more to the cost.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5839 posts in 3004 days

#4 posted 04-16-2010 08:54 PM

Don’t waste good money on a set like these.It is unlikely you will need/want them all. unless there was a considerable saving on these tools I would take my time find out what I need and buy accordingly.These sets are fine for buying dad a nice retirement present etc but if you are serious about woodworking buy exactly what you need.MY” 2 cents Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View rhett's profile


734 posts in 3086 days

#5 posted 04-17-2010 02:29 AM

If you are new to hand tools, do not overlook eastern handtools. Wooden planes etc. have been around longer than their western counterparts, and I personally find them more comfortable to use. It is easier to pull a string than to push one.

-- Doubt kills more dreams than failure.

View knotscott's profile


7145 posts in 2795 days

#6 posted 04-17-2010 02:43 AM

Ditto what the others have said Jack. Skip those expensive sets, pick and choose a few select items on your own….a decent set of chisels, maybe a block and bench plane, square, mallet, hand saw as needed, marking gauge. I prefer to buy higher quality older used hand planes instead of the new inexpensive imports…Bailey, Bedrock, Record, Millers Falls, etc. It’s hard to imagine that you couldn’t do much better on your own for less than $300.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View Wintersedge's profile


83 posts in 2393 days

#7 posted 04-17-2010 04:42 AM

I just spent a few weeks putting together a list. I think it is pretty complete:

Wood tools to get
block plane 60 1/2 or 9 1/2
smoothing plane 4 or 4 1/2
jack plane 5 or 5 1/4
jointer plane 7 or 8

marking knife
try square
marking guage
mortise gauge
sliding bevel
steel rules

panel rip saw
panel crosscut saw
tenon crosscut saw
tenon rip cut saw
dovetail saw

bevel edged chisels
mortise chisels
paring chisels

wet stone
Diamond lapping plate
sharpening jig


cabinet scrapers
cabinet rasp #49,#50
carbide burnisher

-- Motivation alone is not enough. If you have an idiot and you motivate him, now you have a motivated idiot.

View JBahou's profile


15 posts in 2391 days

#8 posted 04-17-2010 03:10 PM

Thank you everyone, lots of good information.

This all makes much more sense anyhow. Buy what I need when I need it sort of thing. I’ll have to keep my eye out at yard sales, second hand stores, flea markets, etc.

-- Jack †

View MeanGene's profile


15 posts in 2390 days

#9 posted 04-17-2010 03:27 PM

For me, half the fun is looking for, and finding, good deals on used tools. Craig’s List is also a source for bargains but you have to sort through a lot of crap to score the deals. There are a lot of people who think they will like the hobby, build a workshop, and then eventually sell it off when the newness wears off. Keep your eyes and ears open!

View hObOmOnk's profile


1381 posts in 3547 days

#10 posted 04-17-2010 03:40 PM

Acquire skills, not tools.

-- 温故知新

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