Beginners Guide to Must-Have Tools for Woodworking

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Jigsaws are easily operated with one hand. That allows you to hold your work solidly with your other hand. Jigsaws nicely cut small, intricate pieces. One of the best applications for a jigsaw is interior cuts, like an inner circle or rectangle. You simply drill a pilot hole and insert the blade. With some practice, you’ll soon learn to make plunge cuts with your jigsaw.

Compound Miter Saw

Compound miter saws are a step up from regular circular saws. They still take the same rip, crosscut and combination blades as circular saws. However, they’re fixed in an arm or a track much like the radial arm saws they’ve almost replaced. Common blade diameters are 10 and 12-inch, but compound miter saws can be fitted with the smaller 7 ½” size. For a miter saw, one should always use a quality crosscut saw blade.

These electric saws are exceptionally versatile tools. They’ve replaced the standard miter box and backsaw in most shops. Beginners find that powered miter saws make far more accurate cuts for miters, bevels and compound angles. They’re easily set at standard angles like 22 ½, 45 and 90 degrees, but they can be adjusted for every angle in between. That includes left and right cuts.

Powered miter saws evolved from the standard cut-off or chop saw. Now they’re available in models with sliding arms that extend cut lengths. Their power heads also tilt to each side, allowing for a combination of miter and bevel cuts. Practically any series of angles can be cut with a compound miter saw.

Table Saw

Most beginning woodworkers invest in a table saw early in the game. Table saws produce cuts that aren’t easily achieved with other saw types. They’re designed like upside down circular saws where the blade is exposed from below the saw table or work surface. Blade depth and angles are easily adjusted for precision.

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