What do you get for the man who has everything?
It’s important to understand that woodworkers aren’t in the market for aesthetically appealing things (because they’re the ones making them).
Instead, they want something they can use, something that adds value to their shop, and a finer finish to their projects. Let’s get into it.
If you’d like to see a graphical breakdown of the gifts for woodworkers, we got you covered:
Miter saws are usually overlooked by most woodworkers in favor of a circular saw, but then they end up affixing a circular saw to one designated place anyway.
Sometimes it’s just seeing the short-term, but with a miter saw, you’re setting them up for long-term success.
This must-have item is sadly missing from many personal woodworking shops because it is a bit bulky.
Miter saws are basically permanent and require very little maintenance.
That’s always a blessing. The only thing that will really need to be replaced is the blade from time to time and depending on use.
If you’re going all-out and getting a miter saw for your woodworker, find out what blades it takes, and purchase a few extras to gift alongside it.
With a miter saw, you’re offering better safety for the woodworker in question. A circular saw is meant to be handheld because of its most compact size and lightweight build.
They’re versatile, whereas a miter is completely stationary.
The difference is that a miter doesn’t require them to put their hands as close to the blade, and offers a better line of sight for when they’re feeding wood into the blade slot.
One of the most aggravating things about woodworking is that sawdust flies up and gets everywhere, and clouds your vision.
It’s distracting and doesn’t do you any favors, but with the increased line of sight with a miter, that won’t be nearly as big of a deal.
Less distractions and mistakes make for a happier woodworker.
Steel or aluminum rolling toolboxes belong in basically every personal shop.
Nothing is quite as aggravating as looking for something in a sea of tools and ill-kept materials on a bland workbench, only to realize that you already used that last bottle of wood glue, and now you’ve wasted fifteen minutes of searching just to have to run to the store anyway.
If there’s one thing that we woodworkers generally forget, it’s organization.
The focus is on the project, and that’s exactly where it should be.
Rolling toolboxes are not only convenient and move with you from project to project, but they also offer excellent organization that doesn’t require a lot of work.
Between the durability and versatility, this is something that will be in their workshop for years to come.
When we’re organized, we work more efficiently and don’t waste time on certain areas of our projects. It’s about workspace optimization, first and foremost.
These are one of the most powerful tools in any woodworker’s arsenal when it comes to making viable furniture.
A biscuit is a little slat of wood that’s used to connect two pieces of wood together. However, it’s much more difficult in the application if you don’t have a biscuit joiner.
This handy tool cuts the perfect holes for biscuits and allows for a much smoother time during just about all woodworking projects that include joining two pieces of wood together.
They’re a relatively inexpensive power tool as well, so it doesn’t have to hemorrhage your wallet to pick one up for your favorite woodworker.
Are they building furniture? Maybe taking commissions for their work?
They need to speed things up without skimping on the details, and the best way to do that is by upgrading them from that small electric sander that they’re likely using right now.
A belt sander is a bigger sander that uses a belt to run strips of sandpaper at a high speed, allowing for faster sanding.
These are powerful enough to take inch fractions off of wood, which could really come in handy if your woodworker makes a very minor miscalculation.
Simple, effective little tools these are.
Grippers are basically handled with a lot of traction padding on an attached flat panel. You can apply it to almost anything, though it’s best when it sticks to wood fibers.
This allows the woodworker to hold the materials down with some level of force while trimming the edges or sanding it.
These also work great when small details are being applied, and one small nudge could ruin the entire thing.
Many woodworkers will also use these to hold lumber perfectly straight when running it through a table saw. It both improves traction and reduces the risk of cutting yourself on the saw blade.
It gets loud in a workshop.
Not only is it usually a bit stuffy in there, but there’s also a ton of noise pollution from electric sanders, miter saws, and larger machinery as well.
Even simple hammering and drilling will get on your nerves after a while. The larger machines and louder sounds can permanently damage your ears.
On average, a conversation between two people registers at about 62 dB, and noises over 85 dB can temporarily damage hearing, and over a long period of time, it can cause permanent damage.
Think of it this way: if you have a conversation next to an active miter saw, do you think you’ll be able to hear the person two feet in front of you’/ No, you won’t; it’s that loud.
This is in the safety and comfort department because anything over 120 dB will cause immediate irreparable damage to your ears.
The smaller the workshop, the more echoes there’s going to be, and the louder everything will seem. This is a thoughtful way to help them out.
Set of Marking Tools
We have to mark wood all the time to line up a certain cut.
The problem is, a no. 2 pencils just don’t do the trick.
We need something that’s more legible, something that we can see from farther away, particularly if we’re driving an eight-foot piece of lumber through a table saw.
This is a super inexpensive gift that you can get for the woodworker on your list. It’s the little things like this that make their tasks a little more efficient, and help out in unexpected ways.
These gifts are universal, so if you don’t know much about woodworking, don’t worry; you don’t have to find some ridiculously specific dimensions to make a solid purchase decision.
The miter is going to cut through a thick wood, but a sawzall is basically a handheld saw that gets in hard-to-reach places and works in a pinch.
These are great when you don’t want to bust out the big tools and set them all up.
A sawzall is what’s known as a reciprocating saw, where the blades move forward and backward (sort of like an electric knife) in order to make the teeth chip away at the wood.
The wonderful thing about a sawzall is that they also come with additional attachments, or are at least available for purchase.
This can transform them into a mini disc sander on the fly, or a wood rasp. The possibilities are almost endless here.
Your woodworker probably doesn’t need a heavy duty, construction-grade nail gun.
But a brad nailer?
That’s a lifesaver and a time-saver in a lot of woodworking situations.
It’s like a lite version of a normal nail gun (known as a finish nail gun) and works well for a ton of different woodworking applications.
You can attach upholstery with these, create small frames for projects like birdhouses and stools with ease, applying baseboards, and other small projects just like them.
Because these nails are low profile compared to standard nail guns, they let the woodworker focus on the overall aesthetic without having to make accommodations for exposed nail heads.
Air Filtration System
It gets dusty in the workshop.
Just wearing a disposable face mask isn’t enough, because when you pull the mask off, there’s still sawdust, paint and polyurethane fumes in the air, and more.
Many of us woodworkers get into the workshop, put the pedal to the metal, and attentively focus on our projects. We’re not always thinking about health, apart from some basic common sense.
Air quality matters, and it’s something we often overlook. A standalone air filtration system continuously cleans the air and traps particles in its filter.
After the first use, the woodworker is going to pull the filter out to either clean it or throw it away and be quite dumbfounded as just how much was in the air.
This also protects the wellbeing of any and all who enter the workshop, because these particles linger in the air for quite some time.
Corded Electric Drill
Corded drills offer more amperage, which equates to more consistent and reliable power.
As they continue with woodworking projects, they will scale up to bigger goals, and the more powerful drill will come in handy.
At the very least, they might need to plug this into an extension cable (which they’re bound to have loads of) to move around the shop.
A corded electric drill also goes well with another gift idea further on down in this list.
Drills are fairly versatile and can be equipped with different bits and heats in order to achieve various requirements in woodworking.
The right corded drill can be used not just to hang cabinets that are made by hand, but to create the perfect environment for the hardware as well.
They might already have a few clamps, as any self-respecting woodworker would.
However, it’s one of those things that you can never have enough of. Eventually, they undergo enough stress and lose their luster, but they’re an absolute necessity.
They’re used during glue-on periods, and sometimes even after a biscuit joiner is used.
It keeps wood together in a tight bond while the glue has time to dry, and it’s one of those things you can never have enough for (trust me, your friends will be trying to borrow them all the time, so it’s good to have some backups).
These hockey puck-like little wonders are lifesavers when you’re trying to keep things straight and steady.
Commonly used with sanding big pieces of wood, these little rubber traction padding pucks lay underneath your project and prevent it from sliding.
These are commonly seen as one of the most versatile and minimalist components of any woodworking shop.
They’re not only ridiculously affordable, but they’re only limited by imagination.
If the workshop is in the garage with that cement flooring, you can position these to prop up a cabinet or project so it doesn’t get scratched on the floor.
They’re great for a multitude of things, and handy to have sitting in your rolling tool box in a pinch.
Hole Drill Bits
While you could get a fully kitted wood driller machine (stationary, bulky, expensive), you don’t need to in order to get a perfect hole drilled in wood.
Whether it’s to hang a doorknob, cabinet handles, or run wires through a custom desk, there’s a ton of different ways that you can use this.
Getting a set of hole-cutting drill bits is cheaper and more versatile than a wood cutting machine, but are usually limited to ½” diameter holes.
Those are good for just about every woodworking project, except for extremely specific tasks.
Since you get multiple bits, the woodworker on your shopping list is able to apply different sized solutions to different projects as if it were nothing.
This might not be directly related to woodworking, but the silence in the workshop can sometimes be deafening.
Get them a high-quality Bluetooth speaker that has a bit of bass to it, that way they can listen while they have moderately noisy machines moving.
Even if they don’t admit it, it can get a bit lonely in the workshop from time to time.
A lathe is what’s used when woodworking gets obsessive and interesting.
Plenty of people can bind wood together and build a bench or an end table, but few can achieve excellence with a woodworking lathe.
This machine spins wood pieces around like a high-speed rotisserie and allows the woodworker to gently apply their tools to the wood as if it were a whetstone.
They’ll gradually and gently grind away at the wood, leaving designs and different markings along the way.
It’s how a lot of table legs and intricate wooden statuettes are made, and works wonders to add depth and aesthetic volume to any piece.
The thing is, most full-scale lathes are pricey and climb into the low four-figure range. A benchtop lathe is a compromise.
They’re limited in the size of wood they can put on the benchtop lathe, but it’s still enough room to be completely viable to woodworkers that are looking to take things one step higher.
Lathes are definitely intricate pieces of equipment, but it’s safe to assume that your woodworker doesn’t currently have one.
This takes them a step higher and grants the ability to get extremely creative. It no longer becomes about efficiency; it’s all about artistic freedom, at least when this is all fired up.
The Furniture Bible
This handy little book by Christophe Pourny is exactly what the title says.
There’s a little bit of information in here that a seasoned woodworker might not know, but it’s a very heavy hitter with beginner woodworkers or those who are thinking about setting up shop.
This book features a ton of step-by-step instructions on repurposing and refinishing old projects, how to treat wood, and how to make a ton of different furniture.
Sometimes it can be difficult to get all the straight answers you need in one place when you look online, especially if you hover around public forums with a lot of opinions flying left and right.
Pourny managed to capture everything that a woodworker really needs to know about making furniture, all in one convenient book.
This is also a thoughtful gift for those on a shoestring budget. You’re putting their interests on display, and getting something that really speaks to them.
The Golden Rule of Woodworking Gifts
It has to be functional, or it isn’t worth it.
The woodworker on your shopping list is trying to maximize efficiency while still enjoying what they love to do, and an aesthetic present like a woodworking-inspired wall hanging just isn’t going to hit home.
They’re using their hands, their minds, and their time: they want something functional, so pick and choose something from this list, and watch them light up when they open it up.