It’s funny, but sometimes you just don’t know what you need until AFTER you get it. A recent WoodNet thread caught my eye with this title: “I wish I had bought this tool earlier and why..please chime in!!” I picked out some of my favorite suggestions… I hope these hurry you along to finding tools that improve your woodworking experience.

1) Bill_de: a Good Square
When I found that my square wasn’t square I started buying various Woodpecker and Starrett Squares and triangles. Not only are my tools aligned more accurately but my layout lines are more consistent. Wish I had started out with at least one really good square.

Also see: Top 4 Most Used Woodworking Squares >>

2) bsheffer: a biesemeyer splitter
“Although the saw always still scares me, it sure makes me feel more comfortable….knowing that the chance of kickback is highly reduced.”

Also see: When Kickback Calls… Six Favorite Table Saw Splitters >>

3) EdL: miter gauge
“A good miter gage! I always did crosscuts on the mitersaw or ras until I got my Incra 1000se. Repetive length cuts are a breeze now and pieces come out exactly the same length.”

Also see: Best Table Saw Miter Gauge: Incra vs. Osborne vs. Kreg >>

4) ronkan: Rubber floor mats
Rubber floor mats from Pep Boys. Not a tool, of course, but every time I drop a chisel or something else that doesn’t bounce well on concrete I am very happy that I covered my bench area with these mats.

Also see: Foot Protection: Best Shoes for the Woodshop >>

5) Nats: Impact driver
“Impact driver for driving longer screws. Much better than a cordless drill.”

Also see: Best Impact Drill/Driver? >>

6) B747 DRVR: Grrripper
Grrripper.I feel much safer ripping narrow strips now

GRR-Ripper placed 10th on The 11 Top Woodworking Power Tools That Give 100% Satisfaction or Better >>

7) bsheffer: digital caliper
” it takes all the guess work out of measuring. Large numbers make it simple and the unit was not that expensive.. “

8) ned: Fein Multimaster
“Rounded corners in 3 dimensions with a router were always more or less fugly- til I got the Fein Multimaster.”

9) Don Johnson: fractional calculator
A calculator that adds fractions and/or converts from tenths/mm’s to fractions. In making chairs with several mortises up and down the legs, it really comes in handy for double checking the measurements.

What about you? What tools do you wish you had bought earlier? Please comment below!

Go check out I wish I had bought this tool earlier and why..please chime in!! There’s a nice lively discussion started there and bound to be more tools added regularly!