20 practical yet cool gifts for woodworkers

·14 min read
The best gifts for woodworkers in 2021.
The best gifts for woodworkers in 2021.

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There seems to be no end to the tools and accessories that woodworkers “need.” Buying tools can be a great go-to gift year after year, because, as a woodworker myself, I can promise you that I always, always need something—and the list of what I want never stops growing.

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With my woodworking expertise, coupled with Reviewed’s experience testing hundreds of products this year, we've put together a list of 20 great gifts for woodworkers. Have fun shopping for these tools, but before you buy, we recommend checking to see if your woodworker friend already owns something similar. Get a sneak peek of their wish list or get a gauge on what brands they prefer—trust us, they'll appreciate it.

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1. For every woodworker, ever: Jorgensen 48-inch Parallel Bar Clamps

Gifts for woodworkers: Jorgensen 48-inch Parallel Bar Clamps
Gifts for woodworkers: Jorgensen 48-inch Parallel Bar Clamps

A woodworker can never have enough clamps. They’re one of the most valuable tools in the shop.

It really doesn’t matter what kind of clamps you get—they’re all useful in their own way—but Jorgenson parallel clamps are a high-quality, versatile brand. The flat bottomed jaws and clamp stand allow the clamps to sit on the workbench on their own, making positioning projects fast and easy.

And, the deep jaws better distribute the clamping pressure along the workpiece, reducing the chances of cupping or bowing. Quality clamps are a gift any woodworker will appreciate.

Get the Jorgenson 48-inch Parallel Bar Clamps at Amazon for $118.04

2. For the woodworker who likes to work after hours: Amico LED Garage Lights

Gifts for woodworkers: Amico LED Garage Lights
Gifts for woodworkers: Amico LED Garage Lights

There is nothing worse than trying to either mark or cut to a line in dim or shadowy light. Basements, garages and sheds, where most woodworkers do their actual work, aren’t known for having the best light. Amico’s LED Garage Lights aim to change all of that. These super-bright, wide-angle adjustable lights screw directly into a regular light socket, pumping out 5000 lumens in 360 degrees.

I installed a set of these lights in my basement workshop, and it’s literally like night and day. The LED lights should last up to 50,000 hours of runtime—which equates to 2,083 days. What’s more, despite putting out more light than a single incandescent bulb will, these LEDs use far less electricity over their lifespan.

Get the Amico LED Garage Lights at Amazon for $36.99

3. For the woodworker who creates too much sawdust: The Oneida Deluxe Dust Deputy

Gifts for woodworkers: The Oneida Deluxe Dust Deputy
Gifts for woodworkers: The Oneida Deluxe Dust Deputy

Sawdust is a fact of life while woodworking. It gets everywhere—in your eyes, in your mouth, in your clothes and in your food. There are numerous tools to help contain the dust, but many woodworkers, especially beginner and intermediate woodworkers, use their shop vac as their primary dust collector. This works OK, but constant sawdust is hard on the motor and filter of a shop vac—they’re simply not built for it.

Oneida’s Deluxe Dust Deputy helps to turn a shop vac into a more robust, 2-stage dust collection system. It sits on top of a five-gallon bucket and serves as a dust separator in between the vacuum and whatever tool is creating the sawdust. The sawdust stays in the five-gallon bucket, rather than being sucked all the way into the vacuum. This keeps the shop vac filters cleaner and more effective, and reduces strain on the motor.

Get the Oneida Deluxe Deputy with 5-gallon Bucket at Woodcraft for $89.99

4. For the tech savvy, hand-drawn designer: The RocketBook Dot Grid

Gifts for woodworkers: The RocketBook Dot Grid
Gifts for woodworkers: The RocketBook Dot Grid

There are dozens of design tools to help woodworkers sketch out their projects. For many of us, nothing beats being able to sketch things out by hand with a pen and paper. I almost always hand-draw my designs before transferring them to Sketchup, for example.

However, hand drawings are hard to store, catalog, and retrieve weeks, months, or years later. RocketBook is a pretty typical notebook that uses special paper and a special pen. Simply draw whatever you need to, referencing the convenient dot grid matrix on each page for easy scale drawings. Once you’re done designing, you can take a photo of the drawing through the RocketBook app on your phone, and your drawing will be automatically sorted into one of up to seven digital preset locations, or simply emailed to you.

When you’re done, you can just erase the page, confident that your drawing has been preserved wherever is convenient in the cloud. I received mine as a Christmas gift, and it’s become my first stop anytime I’m designing a new project.

Get the RocketBook Dot Grid Everlast Notebook at Amazon for $29.99

5. For the woodworker who likes to experiment: Wood-Ever Assorted Exotic Wood Box

Gifts for woodworkers: Wood-Ever Assorted Exotic Wood Box
Gifts for woodworkers: Wood-Ever Assorted Exotic Wood Box

It can be easy for woodworkers to fall into the same old habits—building the same thing, cutting the same joints, using the same wood. However, part of the fun of the hobby is trying something new.

One of the more interesting products around are assorted wood boxes. Some provide a truly random smattering of different thicknesses, widths and species of wood. This assorted wood box from Wood-Ever is a bit more consistent: one 12-inch long piece each of purple heart, padauk, zebrawood and walnut.

This gives the woodworker in your life a chance to experiment with some potentially unfamiliar woods without having to make a major investment themselves. It’s a fantastic way to get exposed to new species, and make something unique.

Get the Wood-Ever Assorted Exotic Wood Box on Amazon for $32.50

6. For the very special woodworker in your life: The Rikon 6-inch Jointer

Gifts for woodworkers: The Rikon 6-inch Jointer
Gifts for woodworkers: The Rikon 6-inch Jointer

A jointer is an interesting tool. It is designed to flatten and square two sides of a board—typically the face and one edge. Then, you can take that board to the planer and table saw to completely square it. The problem with a jointer is that there are other ways to accomplish this, so many woodworkers, especially beginners, put off buying a jointer in favor of other tools.

However, a jointer makes dimensioning lumber, the first step in most projects, so much faster and easier. One isn’t cheap, but if there is a special someone in your life who loves to work with wood and you have a big budget, a new jointer is an awesome gift. It’ll save them time and energy, and get them to the fun parts of woodworking much faster.

Get the Rikkon 6-inch Jointer at WoodCraft for $499.99

7. For the uninitiated woodworker: The Suizan Japanese Pull Saw

Gifts for woodworkers: The Suizan Japanese Pull Saw
Gifts for woodworkers: The Suizan Japanese Pull Saw

Something I learned early in my woodworking days is that hand-saws typically only cut in one direction. Most familiar ones cut on the push stroke, but some cut on the pull, and the Japanese have perfected the creation of these pull saws. It’s shocking how much easier pull saws are to use. They’re more precise, require less effort and are less likely to rip up your wood than the traditional hand saw. If your favorite woodworker doesn’t have a pull saw yet, get them one. It will change their entire approach to using hand tools in woodworking.

Get the Suizon Japanese Pull Saw at Amazon for $38.80

8. For the fastidious woodworker: Readywares Tool Apron

Gifts for woodworkers: Readywares Tool Apron
Gifts for woodworkers: Readywares Tool Apron

Woodworking is a very dirty activity. Sawdust, oil, paint, stain and other chemicals get all over your clothes, no matter how careful you are. As such, many woodworkers wear an apron.

The Readywares tool apron is a quality, affordable option that the woodworker in your life will love. It’s made of durable 20-ounce waxed canvas that can stand up to both chemicals and sharp tools.

The adjustable straps give it the flexibility to fit men and women of all sizes. What’s more, the apron has nine integrated pockets to hold tools and consumables. No more putting down the tape measure and then spending five minutes trying to find it again.

Get the Readywares Tool Apron from Woodcraft for $49.99

9. For the woodworker ready for an upgrade: The Fujikawa Okyo 10-piece Chisel Set

Gifts for woodworkers: The Fujikawa Okyo 10-piece Chisel Set
Gifts for woodworkers: The Fujikawa Okyo 10-piece Chisel Set

Most woodworkers already have a set of chisels. They’re one of the most basic tools people get when they start, and a basic chisel set is just fine, particularly if you take care of them and keep them sharp and clean. My $40 Craftsman serves me well.

However, there’s a difference between a basic set from a big box store and a true professional set of chisels. Fujikawa chisels are made with a layer of white steel laminated to a softer steel body. These chisels are easier to sharpen and will hold their edge much longer, even against the hardest wood. No more having to stop to sharpen again halfway through a project. This is the kind of set that many woodworkers would never pick up for themselves, but that they will appreciate for years to come.

Get the Fujikawa Okyo 10-piece Chisel Set at Woodcraft for $239.99

10. For the practical woodworker: S SATC 5-inch Sanding Discs

Gifts for woodworkers: S SATC 5-inch Sanding Discs
Gifts for woodworkers: S SATC 5-inch Sanding Discs

When most people think of woodworking, they think of cutting with power tools, gluing wood together and driving screws. Some days though, it seems like most woodworking time is spent sanding. After all, often the biggest difference between a good product and a great product is how well it was sanded.

As a result, woodworkers go through a lot of sandpaper. So, you can never go wrong replenishing their supply. S SATC makes a decent quality product at a relatively low cost, and it is usually what I buy for myself. However, double-check with the woodworker in your life—they may have their own preferred brand and size of sanding discs.

Get the S SATC 5-inch Sanding Discs at Amazon for $15.99

11. For the woodworker who has a lot of projects: Titebond III Wood Glue

Gifts for woodworkers: Titebond III Wood Glue
Gifts for woodworkers: Titebond III Wood Glue

Another consumable that woodworkers go through is glue. It’s the number one way that wood projects are held together. Even projects that use screws or nails are usually glued up as well. I personally buy my favorite wood glue, Titebond III, by the gallon. There’s no such thing as having too much glue on hand. That said, different woodworkers have different glue needs. For example, if they make a lot of cutting boards, then they’ll need something waterproof and food safe. But, for normal furniture, regular wood glue is fine.

Get Titebond III Wood Glue on Amazon for $37.43

12. For the trigonometry-averse woodworker: The Milescraft Angle Finder

Gifts for woodworkers: The Milescraft Angle Finder
Gifts for woodworkers: The Milescraft Angle Finder

So much of woodworking is based on calculating, recalculating and then cutting angles. It’s a miracle that we’re not all math whizzes. But we’re not, and for those of us who aren’t, calculating the strange angles that some of our projects require can be a challenge.

The Milescraft Angle Finder makes figuring out those angles easy. This can match inside and outside angles, or the angle between two points, and lock in place. The included angle divider makes it simple to align your miter saw to the perfect half angle for your cuts.

Even if the woodworker in your life swears that they can just do the math, a quality angle finder like this one will make their work easier and faster.

Get the Milescraft Angle Finder at Lowe’s for $13.78

13. For the furniture builder: The Task Premium Doweling Jig

Gifts for woodworkers: The Task Premium Doweling Jig
Gifts for woodworkers: The Task Premium Doweling Jig

There are a hundred different ways to join wood together. One of the most straightforward methods—besides simply gluing—is using dowels. This works by drilling matching holes on each of the boards that you want to connect and then gluing dowels into those holes to join the boards.

Dowels are strong and precise—as long as you drill your holes accurately, the joint won’t slip or move as it dries. This is where a doweling jig comes into play. A good jig helps to line up those holes so your joint is exactly where you need it.

This doweling jig supports three different dowel sizes, is self-centering and has clamping screws to hold the jig in place while you drill. If I’d known what I know now when I bought my much simpler doweling jig, I would have splurged on this one. If the woodworker in your life is in a similar situation, then pick this up. They’ll appreciate it.

Get the Task Premium Doweling Jig at Woodcraft for $74.99

14. For the doweling jig user: Assorted Dowels

Gifts for woodworkers: Assorted Dowels
Gifts for woodworkers: Assorted Dowels

Anyone who uses a doweling jig regularly also uses a lot of dowels. This is one of those consumables that you can never really have too much of. There’s nothing worse than getting a project nearly all glued up and then finding out that you’ve run out.

Save the woodworker in your life from that torture with this assorted dowel package, which includes 120 total dowels in three different sizes, as well as a convenient storage case to keep them organized. It’s a great recurring gift for the regular dowel user.

Get Assorted Dowels from Woodcraft for $12.99

15. For the pencil-smudged woodworker: Pfeil Swiss-made Marking Knife

Gifts for woodworkers: Pfeil Swiss-made Marking Knife
Gifts for woodworkers: Pfeil Swiss-made Marking Knife

Woodworking involves a lot of measuring and marking cut lines on wood. Most of the time, people simply turn to a pencil. For precision work though, pencil lines can be too large and imprecise. A marking knife, which actually scores a thin line in the surface of the wood, is a much more accurate solution.

If you’re marking out lines for dovetails, for example, where a tight fit is everything, then a marking knife is the only way to go. What’s more, the scored line is a perfect guide for chiseling, making your cleanup of the joints more precise as well. Pfeil’s Swiss-made marking knife comes sharpened for immediate use and can be used right or left-handed, which is not true of all marking knives.

Get the Pfeil Swiss-made Marking Knife at Woodcraft for $31.99

16. For the precision measurement guru: Woodpecker’s 1281R Woodworking Square

Gifts for woodworkers: Woodpecker’s 1281R Woodworking Square
Gifts for woodworkers: Woodpecker’s 1281R Woodworking Square

There is nothing more frustrating than having a project nearly ruined because your square isn’t actually square. I’ve personally owned two cheap squares that let me down—you had one job, T-square!

For any woodworker who has experienced that special nightmare, Woodpecker’s 1281R woodworking square is a welcome addition to the tool collection. Precision machined from single cast aluminum, this square features lips on both sides to lock onto edges, a convenient control slot, and a base that it can actually stand up on. It even comes with a wall-mountable case so they can show off your perfectly square gift to everyone who comes into the shop.

Get the Woodpecker’s 1281R Woodworking Square at Amazon for $169.99

17. For the “thousandths matter” woodworker: General Tools & Instruments Digital Calipers

Gifts for woodworkers: General Tools & Instruments Digital Calipers
Gifts for woodworkers: General Tools & Instruments Digital Calipers

Calipers can measure the size of wood or holes less than the thickness of a piece of paper. In many applications, such as precise joinery or decorative inlays, a good pair of calipers can be the difference between a tight fit or not.

Digital calipers, while they function the same way as traditional calipers, allow an even greater precision, because you aren’t limited to guesstimating the distances between whatever the smallest measurement hash is. Not to mention, they’re just a bit faster and easier to read, saving time and energy for other parts of the project. This is a gift they may not even know they want, but will appreciate once they start using it.

Get the General Tools & Instruments Digital Calipers at Lowe’s for $39.98

18. For the less steady-handed woodworker: The Milescraft Handheld Drill Guide

Gifts for woodworkers: The Milescraft Handheld Drill Guide
Gifts for woodworkers: The Milescraft Handheld Drill Guide

There’s a surprising amount of drilling involved in woodworking, and my power drill is one of the most used tools in my shop. While you generally want to drill everything straight, rather than at an angle, some holes are more important than others. A drill press is the absolute best way to drill a perfectly straight hole. However, not everyone has a drill press, and not every workpiece can fit into the drill press.

The Milescraft handheld drill guide gives your regular handheld power drill the stability to drill perfectly straight holes. The guide supports six common bit sizes, and it has center lines along two axes for proper alignment. It can be clamped in place or held by hand and has a V-groove bottom to allow for use on cylindrical objects like pipes.

Get the Milescraft Handheld Drill Guide at Lowe’s for $8.98

19. For the woodworker who’s never used a router: 35 Router Bit Set

Gifts for woodworkers: 35 Router Bit Set
Gifts for woodworkers: 35 Router Bit Set

A router is one of the most versatile tools in any workshop, limited only by the number of different bits that you have to work with. Routers can cut decorative trim edges, route channels and dados, and joint wood pieces precisely.

This 35-bit kit has all of the pieces that a new woodworker needs to get the most of their router —v-groove, chamfer, straight, rabbeting, cover, flush trim, corner routes, slots, beading and more. The tungsten carbide tips are durable and maintain their edges, while the aluminum carrying case keeps everything organized. This is a great starter set that they'll use very often.

Get this 35 Router Bit Set at Amazon for $50.99

​​20. For the woodworker who wants next-level routing skills: The Kreg Benchtop Router Table

Gifts for woodworkers: The Kreg Benchtop Router Table
Gifts for woodworkers: The Kreg Benchtop Router Table

As versatile as a router is, it can be a challenge to operate one freehand—the bits tend to pull the machine over the line that you’re trying to cut to. A router table is the solution they didn't know they needed.

Router tables keep the machine stationary, with the bit pointing up. You simply run your workpiece up against the bit, using the fence or T track as a guide and support. This allows more consistent, smoother operation.

The Kreg benchtop router table is a small platform that can produce big results. For most projects, this is more than enough space, and it includes helpful features like a T-track, an included adjustable fence and dust collection.

Get the Kreg Benchtop Router at Amazon for $249

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This article originally appeared on Reviewed: Gifts for woodworkers: 20 gift ideas for the handy friend in your life

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