Building a workshop. What tools to buy / in what order?

I’m starting to build a small workshop in my garage for general fix-it and home improvement tasks. I don’t have any major power tools (just a power drill, hand-held circular saw, and a scroll saw right now.) What do I need and what order should I get things in if I budget for one item at a time?

We are presently finishing our basement and I’m borrowing a table saw. I know I’ve gotta get my own one! We’re also pretty set for minor hand tools.


Filed Under: Hand Power Tools


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  1. Juan G says:

    Its amazing what you can do with a hammer, some nails, a saw and maybe a tape measure?….but the jobs will always look badly done without the right tools, over the years the following tools are what Ive found the most need for;
    Im a practising artist / home fixit dood (of sorts)

    Compound mitre saw
    Woodwork vice
    Engineers vice
    Angle grinders
    Arc welder
    Paint brushes
    Nails, screws, nuts and bolts
    Sandpaper grits
    Emery paper
    Builders pencils
    Tee squares
    Woodwork glue
    Pop riveter and assortment iof rivets
    Sash cramps
    Electric planer
    Belt sander and hand plane
    Band saw (optional)
    Sanding wheel (bench mounted)
    G clamps (not the plastic ones)
    Cordless drill set up for for screwdriver jobs
    Crow bar or jemmy
    Oil filled glass cutter
    Wood turning lathe
    Well thats my idea of a cool workshop anyhoo….

  2. Kim H says:

    Depending on what you do and how large a projects it is

    1 sawzzall (reciprocating saw) these things are handy in so many ways.

    I love my Roto zip it is so versatile and check out the attachments too the dremel tool accessories work with it..and a variety of cutting bits and blades..if u need to cut an exact hole for example in sheetrock to install light fixtures or switches it’s perfect.Also u can cut thru water lines if need be

    If you are gonna be doing any frame work you could use a a nail gun and compressor to speed things up.If it’s for one time use you can rent these.

    No matter what u have, if your a beginner i can guarantee you’ll spend more time at Lowes or where-ever then you will working on it in the beginning LOL..Just be patient with yourself and others because this would be normal..many times you don’t really know what you’ll need till you start working..

    But I swear by my zip saw and you can get one with many accessories for under $100

  3. harley jazz says:

    i would start with a table saw. you can rip long boards as well as cut small ones. then i would get a miter saw. at least a 10″ one and one that can cut multiple angles, i think they call it a compound miter saw. it allows you to cut accurate 45 degree angled cuts and well as other angles, not only angled vertical cuts, some angled diagonal cuts.

  4. old goat says:

    go to the new Yankee workshop website,

  5. The ghost says:

    My experience in purchasing tools is- buy them as you need them. You are most likely to need something from the hardware store when you are fixing or building something anyway, so buy the right tool for the job at that time and sooner or later you will have a shop full of tools that are appropriate for the type of work you do. If you try to buy tools ahead of time, you may end up spending good money on tools that you may never use. If you are only going to do minor woodwork a few times, a tablesaw may more than you need. A good hand-held circular saw with the right blade can do a lot of good work in the hands of a skilled operator.
    However… A large sturdy workbench, good lighting, a bench vice , and a bench grinder with a wire wheel have been invaluable in my garage for years. If you must buy tools in advance, look for ones that have a lot of universal applications. It would not be wise to buy specific tools like a 2-7-32″ slotted socket made only to replace the muffler bearings on a 1949 DeSoto. Oh, and don’t forget the stereo, it’s a must.

  6. altterrain says:

    12 inch compound miter saw. A sliding one if you can afford it.
    Table saw
    A nice big shop vac
    Lots of clamps, all different shapes and sizes
    Tool cabinets
    Air compressor for use with nail guns and other air tools


  7. papamoe says:

    The best thing That I have found is to let the jobs that come up determine the next tool that I need to buy.

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