15 Handy Gifts for Woodworkers They’ll Use for Many Projects to Come

Updated: Jan. 14, 2024

Whether you're buying for the experienced woodworker or the carpenter just starting out, the best gifts for woodworkers make their hobby or job more enjoyable.

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Stanley Sweetheart Chisels SetVIA MERCHANT

Choosing a gift for someone in your life that loves woodworking can be a daunting task, especially if you’re not familiar with the craft. I’m even guessing that they’re hard people to buy gifts for in general. This is probably because anything they want, they build it!

Luckily, I’ve curated a list of gift ideas for the experienced woodworker or someone just starting out that’ll leave them ready to drill, saw and sand to their hearts content. As a professional woodworker myself, I have hands-on experience with a variety of tools, many of which you can never have enough of and use all the time, like clamps, carpenter pencils, bits and, of course, lumber. From quality tools for their workshop to smart accessories, there’s something here for everyone.

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Measuring Tape
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For the Precise Measurer: Measuring Tape

The first think you notice when you check out the FastCap measuring tape is the erasable notepad on the front case, which lets you jot down your measurements rather than searching for paper or relying on memory. There are other thoughtful features, like the built-in pencil sharpener and how the hook is held with four rivets instead of the usual two.

Another reason why I love this gift for woodworkers is that I’m awful at math and can’t for the life of me remember that 13/16 is the line after 3/4. This tape has the measurements clearly marked down to 1/16, and the numbers are marked on either side of the tape so you’ll never have to read upside down.

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Carpenter Pencil
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For the Writing Utensil Snob: Carpenter Pencil

This deluxe Pica mechanical carpenter pencil is an excellent marking device for woodworkers and trumps the standard carpenter pencil. I love the thicker (but not overly soft) lead that doesn’t break easily, and you can swap out different colors (red, white and yellow) for marking on darker woods. The Pica also features a built-in sharpener and the bright green color makes it tough to misplace.

The clip lets me easily fasten it to my shop apron, so I always have it on hand. (I can never be gifted enough of these as I have them stationed around the shop.)

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Beeswax Furniture Polish
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For the Furniture Maker: Beeswax Furniture Polish

On almost every piece of furniture I’ve made, the final step has been to apply a coat of beeswax, as it brings out the beauty and luster of any wood, hides minor imperfections in the finish and is easy to work with. Daddy Van’s natural beeswax furniture polish is 100% organic and comes in a recycled steel tin. It’s completely chemical free, and contains no artificial fragrances, solvents or petroleum byproducts. I also use Daddy Vans on my educational toys to keep them non-toxic. This wax is also an excellent finish for chalk-painted and milk-painted furniture.

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Pocket Rule
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For the Measurement Guru: Pocket Ruler

I have found the Woodpecker Paolini pocket ruler to be the most-used measurement device in my workshop—plus, it fits neatly in a shop apron. The double-sided rule features a slide stop to make repetitive measurements on different boards. When you need vertical measurement, slide the stop off and insert into the cutout to create a stand to dial up the height of a router bit or table saw blade. Create an instant marking gauge by simply setting the stop and placing a pencil in the notch. Like all Woodpecker products, this ruler is made in the USA.

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Combination Square
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For the Tool Lover: Combination Square

From beginners to master woodworkers, everyone needs a good combination square in their shop. They’re ideal for laying out joinery, making mitered or perpendicular lines and making sure your work is actually square! I prefer the Starrett 12-inch combination square, because it has been consistently square (unlike some other brands that have been out of square). I’ve had this model for years, and it’s held up well under heavy use.

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Pocket Plane
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For the Aspiring Kid Woodworker: Pocket Plane

I recommend curating a tool set complete with age-appropriate, quality tools that can serve a budding DIYer and still be a modest investment. Like learning to sew with a junk machine, working with poorly constructed tools can frustrate even the most aspiring woodworker. Children will feel all grown up when they can smooth and shape wood with the Surform pocket plane. Just include a small hammer and any kid will be ready to get their hands dirty.

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Magnetic Featherboard
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For the Accurate Woodworker: Magnetic Featherboard

Setting up a featherboard on a table saw, along with firm pressure against the fence, can help you get smoother, more accurate cuts. This rigid Magswitch magnetic weatherboard is a favorite tool of Tamar Hannah, founder of 3×3 Custom. This versatile featherboard can be used on any table saw, as there’s no miter slot limitation, making it winning gift for woodworkers,

“Whether you have an inexpensive hand-me-down or top-of-the-line table saw, you can mess up a cut by not holding a piece tight to the fence,” Hannah says. “Using this magnetic featherboard is like the opposite of fuss. It’s so simple to position, lock and unlock that it’s a pleasure to use, so I use it more often—and get better cuts.”

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File Sander
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For the Super-Detailed Friend: File Sander

The woodworker in your life will thank you for this gift, as it solves a common challenge that many encounter—how to get into nooks and crannies with a sander. This is where the Wen file sander comes in. This lightweight (2.4 pounds) sander is built solid, but allows easy maneuvering while filing effortlessly. On top of that, it comes with three different sanding belts of various coarseness (80, 120 and 320 grit). Best for mill work and shaping, I also found it useful to fix a sticky cabinet door while it was still attached.

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Tool Tray
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For the One Working with Small Parts: Tool Tray

Having all the tools you need close by makes a project easier, especially at the drill press when bit changes are common. This drill press tool tray is the optimal accessory for holding drill bits, pencils, tape measures and even a warm cup of coffee. Talk about a helpful gift for woodworkers!

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Turning Squares
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For the Woodworker Who Likes to Experiment: Turning Squares

Wood? You can’t be a woodworker without it. And most woodworkers can never have enough stock on hand. If you want to get something beyond the classic oak, a walnut variety is a popular choice among woodworkers for tool handles, pens and other small- to medium-sized spindle turning. This four-piece pack includes kiln-dried black walnut lumber.

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Doweling Jig Ecomm Via Woodcraft.com
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For the Premium Furniture Builder: Doweling Jig

The principle behind joining wood together with dowels is simple: drill perfectly matching holes in each board, that when glued together, provide a strong joint. Sounds easy right? Not exactly. This is where the premium doweling jig comes into play. It helps line up the holes so your doweled joint is exactly where you want it. This doweling jig is self-centering and has clamping screws to hold the screw in place.

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Chisel Set Ecomm Via Amazon.com
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For the Woodworker Ready for an Upgrade: Chisel Set

Run-of-the-mill hardware store chisels can only take a woodworker so far. Eventually, they’ll get tired of constantly sharpening a soft steel edge or get fed up with non-ergonomic plastic handles. That’s when it’s time to try out Stanley SweetHeart 750 Series socket chisels, which are ideal for dipping your toes into quality hand tools. The timeless design and wooden handles are the way tools are supposed to feel. With a little care and setup time, they’ll find themself reaching for these chisels time and again.

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Wood Glue Dispenser Ecomm Via Amazon.com
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For the Glue Glob-Averse Woodworker: Wood Glue Dispenser

Woodworkers use glue by the gallon, so a quality, refillable glue bottle is a must. The FastCap wood glue dispenser is very popular. The no-drip tip, wide mouth for refilling and extra-wide base so it doesn’t tip make this buy a no-brainer. Applying glue is easy and clean, and it dispenses glue both horizontally and vertically to reach every nook and cranny.

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Layout Tool
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For the Designer: Layout Tool

Maybe they tend to have a tough time figuring out the equal spacing for things like coat hooks and shelf locations,  so they’ll appreciate the Point 2 Point MK2 layout tool from M-Power. It’s an accordion-like apparatus with seven adjustable marking points. Just stretch it out so the distance between the marking points (or every two or three marking points) is the proper space you need, tighten the pinch bolts and mark the locations on the project. You can also use it to space fasteners, find center points and figure out how many small boards you can cut out of a larger one.

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Saw Rasp
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For the Woodworker Who Does Shaping Work: Saw Rasp

Rasps play an important role in shaping and finishing wood. The 9-inch Shinto saw rasp makes quick work of roughing out three-dimensional shapes in all kinds of wood. Its cutting surface is like a series of folded bandsaw blades. You’ll find it works just as well for quick material removal as it does for finer detail work and even works with end grain! Use the rasp for any shaping work, like guitar making, and handles, bowl and spoon carving. It’s also a smart gift for DIYers.

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FAQ

What is the essential tool for every woodworker?

An essential tool for a woodworker is a set of chisels—sharp ones. Chisels come in various sizes and shapes, and they are used for carving, refining shapes, joinery and removing dried glue. They are indispensable for tasks such as creating mortises, paring wood surfaces and cleaning up joints and flattening the bottom of a rabbet or dado. Chisels are probably the most versatile woodworking tool out there.

What is a practical gift for a carpenter?

A practical gift for a carpenter is a tool that enhances their woodworking skills, makes their shop time more productive or helps stoke their creative fire, like a woodworking book or magazine. Below are a few more ideas.

  • Quality tools: Consider gifting premium, high-quality tools, such as Stanley SweetHeart or Irwin chisels, Lie-Nielsen hand planes or specialty tools like a spline jig, dovetail jig or quality router bits from Whiteside or Freud.
  • Tool storage: A sturdy and organized tool chest, portable tool boxes or tool belt will keep their tools organized and easily accessible. Quality brands include Milwaukee, Craftsman and Husky.
  • Safety gear: Safety is essential, so gift high-quality safety glasses, ear protection or respirator masks.
  • Measuring tools: Tools like digital calipers, a digital sliding T-bevel gauge and angle finders help them achieve precise measurements.
  • Multi-tool: A high-quality multi-tool, like the Leatherman Wave+, has a variety of functions, like pliers, screwdrivers and scissors, that can be incredibly useful in a carpenter’s everyday tasks.

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