Every house needs furniture – but building your own might seem like a major step. It requires a considerable time commitment, and it isn’t a skill that you can pick up overnight. But if you work at the craft, you can develop yourself. You’ll not only get a fulfilling pastime; you’ll also get furniture that’s tailored to your particular needs and taste, and to the home you’re going to be installing it into.

So, what are the tools you really need to get started? Let’s take a look at a few of the essential items. You’ll want to shop according to the kinds of projects you’re looking to pursue.

Mitre Saw

This is a power tool that will allow you to cut across a long piece of timber. So, you might buy a long length of timber and slice it into shorter lengths, in order to build the frame of a sofa or cabinet. Some mitre saws will offer the ability to tilt the blade as well as rotate it, and some will allow you to slide the blade back and forth to make longer cuts. Look for a reputable brand, like Milwaukee mitre saws.

Table Saw

A table saw is a kind of stationary circular saw that’s fixed into a level surface. The idea here is that you feed the workpiece into the saw, rather than pushing a saw through the workpiece (as you would with a circular saw). A table saw can be an intimidating thing, but if you take the proper precautions, it can be a powerful servant. Don’t make cuts without a riving knife in place, and make sure that you concentrate at all times.


Handheld sanders are invaluable if the timber is going to be on display. They come in many different forms, but arguably the most useful is the random orbital sander. This will move an abrasive disc at random, so that you don’t get any repeated patterns sanded into the timber.

Drill & Impact Driver

You’re going to be drilling a lot of holes and driving a lot of screws – it makes sense that you should have both tools. If you try to do both jobs with the same tool, you’ll run into frustration.

Spirit level

A spirit level provides an easy way to check that a given surface is level. They come in many kinds, and you’ll want them in several different lengths.


Most of the work that goes into building furniture involves measuring things: distances, angles and curves. As such, you’ll want several different measuring devices. Tape measures, set squares, bevel gauges and callipers: they’re all useful.


You can build furniture without resorting to a hammer and nails, but the chances are that at some point, you’ll find yourself reaching for them. Invest in an eight-ounce hammer, and don’t look back.

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