Using Hand Tools

In this golden age of electric-powered machinery, knowing the basics of handsaws, planes, chisels, and measuring and marking tools is an essential skill set that can add quality and personality to your work. However, using hand tools takes practice and
Read More

  • Secrets for Better SandingEditors PickVideo: Secrets for Better Sanding

    with Ed Pirnik

    Learn the right way to random-orbit sand in Part I of our 3-part video series on sanding and surface prep

  • Bench Chisel BasicsEditors PickVideo: Bench Chisel Basics

    with Michael Pekovich

    The secret to better chiseling involves light cuts that preserve a keen cutting edge. Learn how to use your chisels the right way.

  • The Power of the Pull StrokeThe Power of the Pull Stroke

    by Andrew Hunter

    Andrew Hunter taught himself to use Japanese pullsaws. Admittedly not a purist when it comes to using Japanese tools, his techniques are a mixture of Japanese and ...

  • The Secret to Better ChiselingThe Secret to Better Chiseling

    by Michael Pekovich

    If you are not happy with your chisels, the problem may be in how they are being used. Even an expensive chisel won't hold an edge for long if you take heavy cuts. ...

  • File Joints for a Perfect FitFile Joints for a Perfect Fit

    by Chris Gochnour

    Files are great for removing wood when a joint is almost together—but not quite. A file will delicately trim a joint until it slides home with hand pressure and ...

  • 4 Planes for Joinery4 Planes for Joinery

    by Vic Tesolin

    Specialty planes make it easier to build furniture by hand. By adding a shoulder plane, a router plane, a rabbet plane, and a plow plane to his collection, Vic ...

  • Extend the Life of a Natural-Bristle BrushQ & A: Extend the Life of a Natural-Bristle Brush

    by Teri Masaschi

  • How to Prep Rough Lumber with Hand ToolsHow to Prep Rough Lumber with Hand Tools

    by Andrew Hunter

    Flattening and dimensioning boards by hand is the bedrock of hand-tool woodworking. Nothing can teach you more about wood than taking it from rough to ready with ...

  • Skill Building Hand-Tool ExercisesSkill Building Hand-Tool Exercises

    by Jeff Miller

    To firmly master the use of hand tools such as the handsaw, chisel, and handplane, you need to practice. Practice builds and reinforces your muscle memory, letting ...

  • Backer Board Prevents Tearout on RabbetsQ & A: Backer Board Prevents Tearout on Rabbets

    by Chris Gochnour

  • How to Master the BacksawHow to Master the Backsaw

    by Chris Gochnour

    You may be replete with power tools, but that doesn't mean you don't need a backsaw. A backsaw can cut joinery just as quickly as a tablesaw or router when you ...

  • Smooth Curves with Hand ToolsSmooth Curves with Hand Tools

    by Jeff Miller

    Every furniture style has its own visual language, and that language often involves curves. Whether you bandsaw curves or rout them, they all require smoothing ...

  • How to Make a MalletHow to Make a Mallet

    by Michael Cullen

    Make a stout woodworking mallet with an oversize head. You'll use it for any number of tasks, from cleaning out a mortise or chopping dovetails to delicate detail ...

  • Modify a Chisel for Cleaner CorneringQ & A: Modify a Chisel for Cleaner Cornering

    by Michael Pekovich

  • Easy-Start HandsawingQ & A: Easy-Start Handsawing

    by Michael Pekovich

Become a Better Woodworker

Save up to 56% on Fine Woodworking