Since the ancient times, carpenters have always occupied a large chunk of the building trade. And since there will always be structures that need to be built, the popularity of carpentry as a profession is not likely to diminish any time soon.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics cites current demand for woodwork in the United States to be steady, and the industry is projected to grow by 8% from 2016 to 2026. In 2017, the median pay for carpenters reached up $45,170 per year, with earnings of $21.71 per hour. The country’s carpenters typically learn this trade from apprenticeship or direct on-the-job experience, and they have the option to work for general building contractors, special trade contractors, or in the field of heavy construction.
If these statistics are any indication, it’s a good a time as any for an aspiring or beginning carpenter to enter this field. The markets for new housing construction and artisan woodwork are consistently expanding, andthus there is no dearth of jobs for carpenters.However, there is some tight competition to be had amongst these highly skilled tradesmen.
One thing that can help narrow down the competition and shorten a new carpenter’s learning curve, is having a good assortment of tools. Carpenters cannot be without their tools, and their arsenal must comprise everything like basic manual tools (claw hammer, tape measure, saws, and clamps),corded tools like drills, and more complex battery-operated industrial hand tools powered with micro motors. The last of these are a particularly worthy investment, since demanding industrial applications require tools with high-quality motors that can handle alternating speed and torque cycles.Careful investment in proper tools will increase a carpenter’s ability to take on applications of increasing difficulty—and help them do these jobs with optimum speed, precision, and efficiency.
So, which tools should be in the possession of any budding carpenter? What tasks will they be used for, and why are they worth the investment? This is our lineup of five powered tools that we think should be part of a “starter kit” for newcomers in the carpentry business.
A circular saw is a power saw that cuts through material
using a rapidly rotating toothed disk. Circular saws are capable of cutting
long and straight lines on any type of lumber, and as such, a carpenter will
want to employ their own circular saw for cutting widely-used sheet goods like
plywood. For that reason, a circular saw should be a priority buy for new
Another go-to powered device that new carpenters should
invest is the power drill. Power drills, which will be used for boring holes
and driving screws, come in both the corded and cordless varieties. Regardless,
a carpenter will need a device that runs on a steady flow of power for high-torque
A new carpenter should also purchase an impact driver or a
high-powered screwdriver to go with their power drill. This tool will enable
optimum control with screws and bolts, and so is a must-have if the carpenter
is learning how to make wooden implements like shelves and stands.
A jigsaw or saber saw is a power tool that combines an
electric motor with a reciprocating saw blade. This type of tool will enable a
carpenter to cut through wood and other materials in a variety of shapes, such
as curves and circles. A beginning carpenter can also use a powered jigsaw to
work with more intricate wood designs, such as those that come out of stencils.
Random orbital sander
A random orbital sander is a powered that smoothens wood using hook-and-loop-fastened sanding disks. The “random” sanding motion in question helps eliminate any sanding marks on the material. A random orbital sander can make a wooden surface look clean, smooth, and professionally done—all of which can add to the new carpenter’s credibility.
Acquiring the necessary tools is the first step to becoming a fully fledged carpenter. Whether of the traditional or the powered variety, these tools will allow you take on projects one after another, allowing you to practice your skills and improve your craft over time. As such, make sure that you are properly equipped before committing to your first assignment.