A Few More Essential Tools For DIY Projects

October 9, 2019

Hi! I'm Nicole

Fearless DIY. Sharing building project tutorials and interior design tips. Let’s build something beautiful together. For more projects, design tips and behind the scenes, follow me @designtobuild.nicole

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Last week I shared the only 5 tools you need for diy projects. If you already have those tools and are ready to move onto the next level, here’s a list of a few more essential tools for woodworking. We’ll start off with the category of saws. I’m always using some type of saw in my projects.

More essential tools: 5 (well kinda 4) saws (you’ll see what I mean 🙂 )

1.) Miter Saw

If you read last week’s post you know that I already listed this saw as one of my must-have items. That being said, nothing has changed–you need this saw for the ease of DIY projects. It’s purpose is straight and precise cuts, along with bevel cuts. If you’re only going to have one saw in your arsenal of tools, this is the one you want!

One of my many tools: Ridgid miter saw

2.) Table Saw

Next to my miter saw, my table saw is my most used saw. (That could almost be a tongue-twister). A table saw enables you to rip large sheets of wood. I usually always have Home Depot cut down my large 4×8 foot sheets of plywood (etc.) into manageable sheets. But generally that only requires one cut and then I can do the rest at the measurements I need on my table saw….

Essential tools: Ridgid table saw

As with any tool, be sure to wear protective eyewear and protect those ears too! Don’t let this saw scare you. With all of the safety devices on saws today, they are not as menacing as they look. But of course, do protect your digits and keep them away from the blade. A push stick is a must-have when it gets too close for comfort….

table saw push stick on a table saw

3.) Jig Saw

I love this tool! It is the best tool when I need to make intricate cuts. I use this tool on my remodel projects more than I do my furniture building projects. You can run the jigsaw as quickly or slowly across your board as you are comfortable with. I prefer to go slow, as I feel it gives me a more precise cut. So incredibly easy to use and not intimidating at all! One of the first saws I familiarized myself with. You will love this essential tool. Very versatile. (Amazon Affiliate Link)

Essential tools: jigsaw

4.) Oscillating Saw (Also called an Oscillating Hand Tool or a Multi-Tool)

Another tool I use primarily on remodel projects and basically never on furniture builds. But another tool, I absolutely love! This one is great for trim work, allowing you to undercut door jambs. This enables you to cut away trim to make way for flooring. This is the perfect tool to get into those tight spots, where no other tool will fit. With several blades/accessories compatible to this tool, it also allows you to sand, remove caulk and grout and so much more. So many functions with this awesome hand tool!   (Amazon Affiliate Link)

oscillating saw with attachments

5.)Circular Saw

My last saw, is one I use on occasion. I actually try to avoid it like the plague. I’m not sure why, but this saw gives me fits and basically makes me break out in hives. But sometimes I have no choice but to use it. I’m not sure what it is with me, because a lot of DIYer’s actually have great success with this tool. I’m sure it is user-error. But basically, this saw is great for (if it likes you more than it likes me), cutting off excess wood and ripping large boards (if you don’t have a table saw). Since this one is not my area of expertise (far from it), we’ll leave it at that. 🙂 By the way, I know my blade is in need of changing in this picture. Trust me, I’ve changed the blade and still have problems with this saw. 🙁

circulating saw

Other essential tools I use in my shop (a.k.a garage 🙂 )


I would be lost without my sawhorses. Although they are not a necessity, they do save my back. I have a couple sets of them. For the longest time, I used these old ones from my grandpa; if these babies could talk–oh the stories they could tell. 🙂

essential tools: wooden sawhorses

I finally decided to splurge and bought these more stable metal sawhorses. However, many times I still resort to my old wooden ones. Primarily, because the wooden ones are already upright and ready to go. Whereas, these are collapsible and not always as convenient (but much easier to stow away)… (Amazon Affiliate Link)

metal sawhorses


Another great back saver. Along with keeping me more organized, this space is great for drilling pocket holes, working out measurements, painting small items and the list goes on. I picked up a very simple workbench at Home Depot-so simple, my 11yo (at the time) put it together for me. This workbench on Amazon is a great deal! Wish I would have seen it back when I was in the market. (Amazon Affiliate Link)

workbench made of wood


These 36-inch clamps are also from my grandpa. He passed down 4 of them to me. They make jigging my tabletops together so much easier, tighter and straighter. The funny thing is, my grandpa never took the price tag off of them. Back in the day, they were $8.77 each. Now…just under $40 on Amazon. I know it’s not the price of the 80’s and 90’s, but I highly recommend them. If you’re building tables, they are so helpful! (Amazon Affiliate Link)

Essential tools: metal 32" clamps

So there you have it, a few more essential tools to get you off on the right track with DIY woodworking. Of course, if you ever have any questions, please shoot me an email or comment below. I would love to help you out!

PIN IT FOR LATER…Ridgid table saw pin

Until next time,

Happy Building, Friend!!

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  1. James Kelly

    Great saw guide. I am a beginner woodworker. I started working with wood as my dad is a professional woodworker. buy I like to scup and make designs on woods. It really gives me joy in life. I think I will take this as a profession. I don’t know for sure. At least I like to think that I will take it as a profession.
    Great post regardless. Thank you very much for sharing.

    • Nicole Nigg

      Hi James!
      You’re welcome! I’m glad you enjoyed it!


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