List of Tools for Carpentry

Updated February 21, 2017

Carpenters are builders who create structures such as houses using wood and other construction materials. Carpenters may have to perform a wide variety of construction tasks depending on the demands of a particular job. Skilled carpenters must have expertise with many different types of hand tools and power tools to efficiently complete construction.

Claw Hammer

The claw hammer is one of the most basic hand tools commonly used in carpentry. A claw hammer has a metal head consisting of a blunt end used for striking nails, chisels, and other objects, and a claw-like curve on the other end that can pry nails from boards. The main use of a claw hammer is to join wood pieces with nails. The claw enables the carpenter to quickly remove and replace bad nails.


Saws are tools with metal toothed blades that are able to cut through wood. Saws are important carpentry tools that allow carpenters to cut wood pieces into sizes required for the job. It is often possible to purchase lumber that is already cut into useful sizes, but further cutting is often required on-site. There are many different types of saws, including ripsaws, which cut wood along the grain; crosscut saws, which cut wood across the grain; hacksaws, which are designed to cut metal; and coping saws, which are ideal for small, intricate cuts. Power saws such as table saws, circular saws, and reciprocating saws are ideal for large cutting tasks.


Power drills are essential tools in carpentry. One of the main uses of a drill is to create holes in wood or other materials so pieces can be joined with screws or joints. Power drills are typically preferable to hand-powered drills, because they can make holes much more quickly and accurately.


A level is a measuring device that allows a carpenter to see whether a surface is level with the ground. Levels are important for ensuring that construction is precise. Some levels can also measure angles relative to the ground.


Pliers are all-purpose tools consisting of two handles and metal jaws that tighten as the handles are squeezed together. Pliers can grip various objects to bend them or hold them in place. Needle nose pliers have long, slender jaws that can clamp things in small or narrow spaces.

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About the Author

Gregory Hamel has been a writer since September 2008 and has also authored three novels. He has a Bachelor of Arts in economics from St. Olaf College. Hamel maintains a blog focused on massive open online courses and computer programming.