Woodworking magazines provide great plans, tips and – especially – inspiration for your woodworking projects. In my research into 6 different forum threads I turned up 28 different woodworking magazines, so if you’re a newbie or just looking for something different to read you have a lot of options left open.
Be sure to let us know which ones you read and which ones you leave on the newsstand! You can leave comments or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Note on Skill Level:
Before getting into the top 5 magazines I want to point out that many of the titles reflect different woodworking ability levels. Fine Woodworking for example is widely considered to include plans and tips at a very high skill level. Shopnotes is more accessible for the beginner and intermediate level woodworker. It’s always a good idea to check out a copy at the newsstand or library before you subscribe, even if a magazine ranks highly in our list.
A Mr. TerryB in the RigidForum lays it out well:
“Woodsmith and Shopnotes are very good for tutorials and beginning to intermediate projects. Wood and Popular Woodworking are both good for project plans and techniques – Popular Woodworking at a little more advanced level, I feel. Both of these two are also very good for tool reviews. Fine Woodworking – that’s for showing what’s possible when your skills reach a really high level. It’s beautiful and provides inspiration – but seldom a project that a relative klutz like me can do. It also offers good tool reviews.”
Top 5 Woodworking Magazines
Fine Woodworking: 169 votes
Taunton’s Fine Woodworking is widely considered the finest woodworking mag available. I did read comments that some people find they’ve started to get repetitious and that, in recent years, the quality has fallen off some. Still, it came in #1 by a margin of over 100 votes. Look at the other margins and it’s tough to argue that it’s providing some kind of benefit to its subscribers. One note – lots of folks mentioned subscribing online, where you can search and access all their past issues as well as get access to new articles as they come out.
Taunton’s Fine Woodworking
Review of Fine Woodworking
Wood Magazine: 65
From the Better Homes and Gardens publishers comes Wood Magazine, that very narrowly took second place on the list. Check it out if you’re looking for a solid, consistent magazine at the intermediate level of ability. Looks like they have a good forum going too.
Wood Magazine Review
Popular Woodworking: 64
Popular Woodworking ranks 3rd on the list. It sounded like another solid woodworking read, with a little something for everyone. Again it sounds like it straddles that novice to intermediate space.
Popular Woodworking Magazine Review (from epinions)
Shop Notes: 49
Shop Notes is a favorite for its focus on jigs and plans. I read high praise coming even from veteran woodworkers. It’s well worth a look. Also it’s owned by the same folks who run WoodNet, one of my favorite forums.
Woodworking Magazine: 23
This “newer” magazine has really started to make waves in the forums. It doesn’t have any ads. As far as I can tell the editors live and breathe woodworking and writing, so it looks like a great magazine to me.
Note – just because these didn’t get as many mentions in the forum threads does not necessarily comment on their quality. Some are just more narrowly targeted.
Forum Threads Referenced:
Favorite Woodworking Magazine Poll
What Magazines do you get
What WW Magazines do you like/dislike
What woodworking magazine do you like best?
Best Woodworking Magazine