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 gfrench@thetoolcrib.flywheelsites.com.

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
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
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.
Shop Notes

Wood Smith: 48
Another solid contender. Also a part of the WoodNet forum family.
Wood Smith

11 More:
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.

They also have a blog written primarily by editor Christopher Schwarz, who made it into our list of sawhorse plans in the celebrity section :)
Woodworking Magazine

Woodwork: 19
Woodwork Magazine seems to have a contemporary feel to it.

American Woodworker: 13
Woodworkers Journal: 8
FWWonline: 2
Woodcraft: 2
Workbench: 2
Cabinet Maker: 2
Canadian Home Workshop: 2
Router Power Woodworking: 2

Everyone Else:
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.

Canadian Woodworking

Woodshop News
Fine Homebuilding
This Old House
Furniture and Cabinetmaking
Power Tool Woodworking
The Family Handyman

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
Best Magazine?