Hand Tools 

Brief reviews of all the different hand tools that I use. Full disclaimer, the images and links are affiliate links so I will receive a small commission on any purchase you make. Every little bit helps out!

Narex 3mm (1/8”) Cabinetmakers Chisel with Beech Wood Handle (https://amzn.to/2PU8rvy)

If you want to make really clean mortises then you are going to need a good set of chisels. I acquired a set slowly based on what I needed so that the cost would be distributed over a few months (nice chisels sets can easily go over $100). This 1/8” chisel by Narex was advertised as fully sharpened. Usually you should take this kind of statement with a grain of salt but I was pleasantly surprised when I received it. It took just a few minutes of fine tuning on a strop and it was ready to roll. The chisel is strong, handle has nice weight, and cuts through hardwoods without a problem. I will definitely be picking up a few more of these.

Suizan 9.5 in Dozuki Pull Saw (a.k.a. Japanese Pull Saw) (https://amzn.to/2q6piA0)

An essential tool if your making a go at hand cutting mortise and tenon joints or other kinds of complex joinery. This saw only cuts on the pull stroke (hence the name) allowing you to make much more highly accurate controlled cuts than if you were cutting with a conventional saw on the push and pull stroke. The blade is quite sharp and was easily able to cut through hardwoods such as white oak and black walnut with no issues. Be careful or teach yourself how to sew because if you accidentally knick yourself with the blade your going to need stitches. Ask me how I know this… The blade has a rigid spine which helps it to stay straight while cutting but also prevents you from flexing the blade to cut through tenons flush. In addition, there is a feature that allows you to replace the blade when you finally wear one out. This became an essential tool in my shop and I would definitely recommend it.

Robert Larson 800-1800 Honing Guide (https://amzn.to/2R8Kq40)

If your going to be using chisels and hand planes then your going to need to learn to sharpen them. Properly maintaining your tools is essential to them working effectively and lasting a long time. Over time you will probably develop the ability to sharpen a chisel just by feel but if your starting out then it helps to use a honing guide. The guide serves as a clamp to hold the chisel at the correct angle while your running it over the whetstone. This guide was pretty inexpensive but worked wonderfully. It is adjustable to be able to accommodate both chisels and planing blades. I would highly recommend it, especially for the beginner woodworker.

CLC 1173 32-Pocket Tool Roll Pouch (https://amzn.to/2S8gXbX)

I love this thing. Plain and simple. If you are doing any kind of work where you’re bringing tools around with you (i.e. outside your shop) than this is for you. The 32 pockets can hold all kinds of different things: chisels, screwdrivers, pencils, knives, pliers, sockets and ratchets, the list goes on and on. I keep a mix of my most commonly used things in here so they are easily accessible. How many of you have rooted endlessly though a tool bag trying to find that one socket you need? One side of this tool roll has a whole set of smaller pockets just to hold a range of sockets. The best part is this roll has clips that allow you to cinch it down pretty tight so it doesn’t take up alot of room. Plus it doesn’t look half bad. Buy one, you will thank me.

Kunz 151 Flat Spokeshave (https://amzn.to/2sh4x5W)

Really wanted to get into hand shaping bench/table legs so I picked this little guy up. It only took about 15 minutes out of the box to get the blade sharpened up nicely. I most recently used it on making a set of bench legs for which it performed admirably. The handles are a little small but overall it worked quite well. If you are interested in playing around with shaping like this then this spokeshave is a great inexpensive option.