Best Gift Ideas for Woodworkers
Like every trade, woodworkers have certain items they go through all the time, and lucky for gift-givers, there is always a tool they’ve got their sights on.
In this article, we’ll help you identify some ideas to gift your favorite woodworker with, plus things to think about before purchasing. We’ll go through:
- What to consider when choosing a gift for a woodworker
- Gifts for beginners
- Gifts for experienced woodworkers
Let’s begin with a couple things to consider to help make the best decision.
What to consider when choosing a gift for a woodworker
When you’re getting ready to purchase a gift for a woodworker, here are some things you should keep in mind while you’re shopping.
Quality of materials and brand reputation
Woodworkers use their tools. They’re hard on their tools. And they need good quality tools. So before you buy, do a bit of research. Is your selection a lower price because it happens to be on sale or because the quality isn’t there?
Look for established, reliable brands that are known to be exceptionable quality—DeWalt, Bosch, Craftsman, Starrett, etc.
If you are interested in something that isn’t a brand you recognize, it doesn’t mean it’s not good quality. Research it; that brand could be a niche that makes one specific tool in excellent quality. In the same way, many reliable brands have certain tools they are known for.
But researching a brand will help you weed out the aftermarket tools that aren’t acceptable quality. As you’re researching, also keep an eye out for which brands have good warranties and customer support. And naturally, check if they have good reviews, not only on their website but also on third-party websites like Consumer Reports or forums like Reddit.
Functionality or practicality
Something else to consider is how practical or how functional the gift will be to the woodworker. Although funny gifts like signs or mugs are nice sometimes, a woodworker also likes things they can use out in the shop—something that will help them improve their skills.
But you may not know what they already have and don’t have. If this is the case, consumables like glue, sandpaper, and drill bits always work. Woodworkers go through lots of these items.
You can keep your ears open to know about something they’re especially hoping to purchase or a new tool they’re really excited about. If they’re interested in learning a new woodworking skill, you could buy them a book or a magazine subscription that would help them.
Safety is something we can’t stress enough. With all those blades and sharp tools, it’s imperative woodworkers keep themselves out of harm’s way.
As you’re considering what to buy them, check out the safety features. Does it have blade protectors or other guards and attachments to keep the user safe?
Their workplace, storage, and organization
Be mindful of the woodworker’s workplace. If they’re desperately in need of some organization, perhaps bins or boards to hang tools on would be a benefit. Or if they’re an organized person, look for something that could make their life easier as they clean up or put away.
Also consider the size of what you’re buying. Do they have space for another type of saw? Is their shop large enough to accommodate that dust collector? Buying them something they can’t fit in their shop creates an awkward situation for both of you.
Add a personal touch to a tool gift by having the woodworker’s name engraved in it. It could be a knife or a handsaw, or something else that they use regularly.
Another option is to have a tool personalized with a phrase or quote that fits their personality.
What line of woodworking is the gift recipient interested in? If they are pursuing cabinetry, buy something that will aid them in that field—and avoid buying them something unique to flooring, instrument-making, or other woodworking fields.
If you’re looking to buy learning materials, keep in mind the ways they learn. Some woodworkers would learn something in-person rather than in a book—in this case, it might be better to buy them a class in woodworking!
Knowing a woodworker’s experience is an important factor to take into account. If they have a lot of experience under their belt, they’ll probably have all the basic tools already. In this case, you can look for a more specialized tool.
On the other hand, if the woodworker is a beginner, they’ll likely need a lot of the basic tools: saws, drills, sanders, etc. What they probably don’t need at the moment is a highly specialized tool for an advanced woodworker, unless it’s something they’ve shown interest in.
We’ve seen some factors to consider when picking the perfect gift for your woodworker, so now let’s get into some good gift ideas for them.
Gifts for beginners
Beginners are new to the field. Not only are they getting used to the work, they’re still learning. They’ll be glad to have these essential tools and accessories.
Every woodworker needs clamps in their tool box. Clamps help hold pieces of wood together while the glue dries. These Irwin clamps have up to 150 lbs of pressure and a quick-release trigger for easy positioning.
Sandpaper is an essential woodworkers can never have too much of. Sanding is part of every project. This sandpaper set gives you some of all types of grain, suited for many different types of projects.
Every woodworker uses glue. And lots of it. This gel wood glue by Titebond is waterproof and strong—how woodworkers like it.
Aprons help keep glue, wood shavings, and other scraps off you as you work. They also serve as a great place to put your phone, a pencil or pen, and other small tools you want to keep with you. Aside from being constructed of cowhide, this fire-resistant apron is a heavy-duty welding apron designed to last.
The Woodworker’s Journal is a great resource for woodworking with articles on tool updates, workshop tips, and answers from experts.
This little tool Kreg makes allows you to measure all sorts of angles and lengths. It also allows you to measure in metric and imperial, plus level your projects with a built-in level.
Loud machinery puts a lot of strain on your ears if they’re not protected. These DeWalt earplugs reduce noise and are lightweight and comfortable to wear all day long.
One of the basic woodworking tools, a planer helps smooth flat surfaces and true edges, along with many other uses. This handheld planer boasts an adjustable throat plate, allowing for different types of wood, and extra-thick iron for a great edge retention.
All woodworking projects are best done with safety glasses. You never know when a wood shaving will fly up and into your eye. These anti-fog and anti-scratch safety glasses will do the job.
Glue can be pretty difficult to get out of the bottle, especially when you get down to the bottom. This 16-oz glue dispenser makes it easy—you squeeze it and the first chamber forces the glue up into the second chamber and out the nozzle. When you’re done, the glue is sucked back in to prevent dripping.
Handsaws always come in handy for cutting wood. This saw by Irwin has small teeth up front to make first cuts easy and deep gullets to get rid of wood chips.
Made in the USA, these countersink drill bits by Snappy Tools allow you to drill a pilot hole and countersink or counterbore in a single step. They come in five sizes, allowing you to drill #4, #6, #8, #10, and #12.
This stainless steel ruler, made by General Tools, is pocket-sized to meet all your needs. It’s also rust-proof and has a sliding pocket clip to aid in measuring.
Chisels are some of the most versatile woodworking hand tools out there. Even professionals still use them. Ezarc makes a sturdy 6-piece set with pre-sharpened blades and a comfortable ash handle.
Everyone needs a set of drill bits for their wood shop. These DeWalt titanium drill bits will be strong and durable.
As woodworking shops are full of sharp dangers, cut-resistant gloves are a must. These gloves are a snug fit but don’t restrict movement. They’re even anti-slip and touchscreen friendly.
These are versatile layout and marking tools with their adjustable heads. This Irwin combination square can measure at 90 and 45-degree angles and comes with a built-in level.
For the man or woman out in the shop, steel-toed boots are highly recommended. In the event of a falling beam or piece of machinery, steel toes will prevent your foot from being crushed. These boots are also slip resistant.
Gifts for experienced woodworkers
Experienced woodworkers have all the basics down and probably own most of the basic tools. While sandpaper and glue can always work as great stocking stuffers, here are some gifts that are a step up from starters.
Calipers provide a super accurate measurement, better than a tape measure or ruler. This one by Asimeto has an accuracy of ±0.001”. It also has four measuring nodes and converts between inches and millimeters.
The more experienced a woodworker gets, they get a better feel for which type of wood they like. While buying wood online isn’t always recommended, you can find some good lumber with some research. Find out what kind of lumber your woodworker likes—here is a selection of kiln-dried exotic woods.
Dust collectors are great for sucking up all the sawdust ever permeating the workshop. This one moves 660 cubic feet of air every minute and has a 4-inch port, allowing you to connect it to all your tools. Plus it has a 12-gallon bag for dust collection!
A dowel jig is a strong method of joining wood together using pins. This jig—which is Amazon’s choice—comes with six steel bushings and is self-centering, allowing you to make accurate joinings.
Routers cut decorative edges, chamfers, slots, beading, V-grooves, and more. This 35-bit set will cover all your needs. The tips are made of tungsten carbide and can be sharpened as needed.
What goes along with a router bit set is a router table. Kreg’s benchtop router table is 16 inches tall and comes with sliding faces, locking levers, and jointing capabilities for easy use. It’s also designed to be low-friction to decrease vibrations.
Although designed for woodworkers of all experience levels, this magazine might appeal more to those who already understand the basics. It includes not only plans and step-by-step instructions but also expert advice on various techniques.
An upgrade from plain sandpaper, this orbital sander is also cordless, allowing you to move whatever distance you need. This DeWalt sander even has a dust-sealed switch to prevent dust from clogging up the insides.
For the woodworker who uses a lot of power tools, this is the gift for them. Extra batteries for all their favorite tools will allow them to use those tools after the first battery dies. Just be sure to get the right kind and brand of battery.
If your woodworker might be looking to start a business, or personalize their work, this wood branding iron will allow them to add their logo to a wooden item. It’s made of thick brass and only has to be heated a few minutes.
Some people enjoy being able to pick out their own brands or items they like. Home Depot (or Lowe’s) gift cards are perfect for this. Load them for as much as you want and let the woodworker pick their gift.
Most saws are European style, which cuts the wood when you push the saw. Pull saws cut as you pull the saw, which results in a cleaner edge. This pull saw is made of high quality steel and has a razor-sharp edge. It’s also lightweight, making it easy to handle.
You might have finished a project before and later found the wood cracked or bowed. This is due to the moisture—either too much or too little—present in the wood. If the wood isn’t at the equilibrium moisture content, it will have issues down the road. Checking the moisture content of your wood before using it is vital to a strong, lasting project, which makes it a great gift.
Woodworkers always have a list of things they want (and need!). This makes gift-shopping for them easy, and taking into account the skill level and personality of the woodworker, as well as brands and quality and so forth, will help you get the perfect gift for them.
At Bessemeter, we offer one of the best time-saving, money-saving, and frustration-saving gifts out there: moisture meters.