Woodworking Hand Tools

Here you’ll discover the best hand tool woodworking advice directly from the experts. We cover everything you need to know to improve your hand tool woodworking techniques and make more informed decisions about choosing and using hand tools. From simple sawing techniques to smart strategies for tackling tricky grain with a handplane or card scraper, Popular Woodworking’s best are to share their many years of experience and make you a better woodworker.

robin wood axe

Robin Wood Axe for Carving (and More)

As a bowl carver, I am frequently asked about recommendations for beginner sets of tools. Though the Robin Wood Axe is always on that list, it’s not just a beginner’s axe. Weighing in at 1 pound, 9 ounces, it is a midweight carving axe, and considerably lighter than the Gransfors Bruks...

Veritas combination plane

Tool Review: Veritas Combination Plane

A plow plane is a joinery powerhouse in the hand-tool shop. Not only can you plow grooves with it – you can, if necessary, use it for rabbets and tongues, though it’s a laborious tonguing process. Enter the combination plane – a plane that excels at grooves and has changeable cutters for...

The No. 1 Plane

It sure is cute – but is it useful? by Clarence Blanchard from the December 2006 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine Few tools spark the affection of so many as the Stanley No. 1 size bench plane. Regardless of one’s interest, the small plane has a way of catching everyone’s eye....

Corradi Rasps Leave a Surprisingly Fine Surface

by James McConnell page 46 Conventional wisdom says that hand-stitched rasps leave a cleaner, more refined surface than machine-made rasps, but the “Model Maker’s Rasps” and the “Gold Precision Rasps” from Corradi are anything but conventional. Corradi manufactures a dizzying array of rasps and files. I chose to test two that...

$5 router plane

John Wilson’s ‘$5 Router Plane’

This article, by John Wilson (of The Home Shop, which offers Shaker boxes and supplies for making them) first appeared in the August 2005 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine. While we’re still calling it the “$5 Router Plane,” it’s possible it will now cost a bit more to make – but...

buck bros chisels

Tool Test: Buck Bros. Professional Wood Chisels

by Megan Fitzpatrick page 20 If you’re frugal when it comes to tool purchases, check out the U.S.-made Buck Bros. “Professional Wood Chisels,” available at Home Depot. A set of three (1⁄2″, 3⁄4″ and 1″) is less than $20. (I bought several sets from three locations for comparison purposes.) While nowhere...

The One-stop Place for Saw Maintenance

When I was learning to sharpen and set saws in the 1990s, I was desperate for information. All I had was one modern book, a somewhat helpful video and the attempts I had made on my bargain basement saws. It was a slog. While today there is a lot more information...

Making Your Own Chisel Handles

You don’t have to own a lathe to make replacement handles that will feel like an extension of your hand. by Roger Holmes pgs. 84-88 From the February 2002 issue #126 Buy the issue now A few months ago I had to face the unpleasant truth about my chisels. Given to...

Veritas Mortise Chisels from Lee Valley Tools

by James McConnell pg.14 The Veritas (Lee Valley) mortise chisels are awesome in every sense of the word. They’re big, heavy and can plow through a mortise in just a few good passes. The size, shape and substantial thickness of the blades bring English “dagger”-style mortise chisels to mind, while the...