If you are just starting with woodworking, here’s a list of the basic cutting tools that you should own…

Rip Saw

The rip saw is used to cut through the grain of the wood. It is generally used applying full strokes at 60° angle

Crosscut Saw

The crosscut saw is generally used by woodworkers to cut against the wood grain. The best way to use it is applying full even sawing motion at 45° angle.


The backsaw is as rectangular saw with tiny teeth and a rigid spine along the top of the blade. Useful fo fine joinery projects and particularly good at cutting dovetail joints. It has a Japanese counterpart called Dozuki.

Dovetail Saw

Originally created in Japan, the dovetail saw has 7 inch long teeth for better control. For improved ripping performance, the teeth of the saw have been modified in the western version. You can use the dovetail saw to apply diagonal cuts for the occasional crosscut shoulder.


Great for cutting through metal objects. It is also often used to cut dowels and thin wooden strips. Easy to interchange the blades. and match the material you wish to cut.

Keyhole Saw

The keyhole say has a narrow blade that allows you to cut along the curves or short distances. Vey useful in those sections of the project where it is hard to insert a normal saw.


This is a tool used for smoothing or carving. It is similar to an axe but with the head is perpendicularly mounted on the top of the handle.


Side Cutters: typically used to cut electrical wires. The jaws are at an angle that allows you cut only the sheath of the wire.

Bent Nose Needle: used in narrow areas or areas that are difficult to access.

Needle Nose: with long thin jaws, this tool can help you reach very narrow areas.

Lineman’s Pliers: used for cutting and twisting wires.

Slip Joint: They have a slip joint to better grip larger items. Often, they come with a built-in wire cutter. Usually, slip joint pliers have both flat and curved surfaces on the jaws.

Bit Brace

It consists of a crank, a pommel and a chuck. It is typically used with auger bits or spoon bits. However, the bit brace it is usually compatible with other boring devices.


The Spokehave is a cutting tool made of 2 in-line handles with a small plane-like cutter mounted right in the center. There are all kinds of spokeshaves in the market, both in wooden and cast iron bodies.

Taper Reamer

The taper reamer is a cutting tool used to turn cylindrical mortises into cone shaped designs.

Source by P. Wheeler