Tool List for Cabinet Project

This list compiles all of the tools that you will need to complete the cabinet project! All buttons will take you to my page on Kit where you can read more of my thoughts on the tool and purchase it if you want to.

Where possible, I have supplied multiple options for each tool to account for different budgets. Keep in mind that these are listed in order of my preference, not necessarily price. Despite me being a tool snob, my first choice isn’t always the most expensive!

The majority of the links in this document are affiliate links meaning I get a small commission if you purchase after clicking. This is at no extra cost to you. The buttons below will take you either directly to the tool, or to my page on Kit. This will allow you to read more of my thoughts on the tool before purchase.

The tools marked with green buttons are the essential tools needed. The tools marked in blue will make the project a lot easier but are not essential. The tools marked in red are where you have a choice between various options.

Green Button

Essential tools needed to complete the project. Make sure you have one of these from each row.

Blue Button

Optional tools that are not essential to complete the project, but will make it easier at certain stages

Red Button

Tools where various options are available such as using a machine or power tool instead of a hand tool. Pick one of these.

Saws

Dovetail Saw

An essential tool for every woodworker. Characteristics of a good dovetail saw are a rip tooth pattern, roughly 14tpi. A long plate and a fine kerf is also very desirable. Both of these extra features help you make extra progress with each stroke.

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Veritas Dovetail Saw

Gyokucho Dozuki Saw

Rider Tatebiki Saw

This was my first handsaw and completely changed my woodworking for the better.

My go-to Japanese Handsaw. Incredibly versatile and perfect for a dovetail guide.

A smaller version of the Dozuki that is perfect for small dovetails.

Coping / Fret Saw

This will be used to clear the waste between the dovetails. A fret saw has a much thinner blade than a coping saw and is generally a lot easier to use. However it can also be easier to snap. So be patient!

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Knew Concepts Fret Saw

Bahco Coping Saw

Eclipse Coping Saw

An incredible fret saw endorsed by many woodworkers worldwide.

The rectangular section of this frame prevents the blade from de-tensioning.

An entry level coping saw this is simple and affordable.

Crosscut Carcass Saw

This will be used to roughly size the material. While you can use the dovetail saw to do this, a crosscut tooth pattern will give you a much cleaner and accurate finish. The word ‘carcass' refers to the depth of the blade, which is deeper than a usual dovetail saw.

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Veritas Crosscut Carcass Saw

Rider Crosscut Saw

Lie-Nielsen Crosscut Saw

I purchased this saw in my first year of woodworking and still use it today!

A razor sharp, easy to use crosscut saw that allows incredible control.

The tapered plate is a nice touch, but the saw comes with a heftier price tag.

Planes

Bench Plane

The plane will be used to shoot the ends of the components square and smooth off joints after assembly. I recommend starting with a Jack Plane as it's a good size for all round woodworking. However a No.4 would also be a good option.

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Lie-Nielsen / Veritas Low Angle Jack Plane

Quangsheng No.62

Rider No.5

An extremely versatile style of plane with many benefits over standard bench planes

A versatile style of plane for lower budgets compared to my first choice.

A brilliant bench plane for those on a budget. Everything a beginner needs.

Rebate / Rabbet Plane

This will be used to cut the rebates on the back of the cabinet to accept the back panel. You can also choose a shoulder plane or Router Table to do this job.

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Veritas Skew Rebate Plane

Veritas Skew Rebate Block Plane

Rider Rebate Plane

Easily the best rebate plane I have used. The skew pulls the blade into the work.

A smaller, handier size of the first choice. Used for all sorts of tasks.

A standard rebate plane, exactly the same as used in the video series.

Shoulder Plane

A very versatile tool to own. While it may not be easy to cut rebates with this plane compared to a dedicated rebate plane, this will be very useful in future projects.

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Veritas Medium Shoulder Plane

Quangsheng No.92

Rider No.92

An unconventional design, yet easily my favourite shoulder plane.

A high quality shoulder plane for those on a budget, but still want ease of use.

A basic shoulder plane that is useful for many trimming tasks.

Router Table

If you’re more of a power tool kind of person, a router table with a rebate cutter installed will be the easiest way to cut the rebates in the back of the cabinet. With a slotting cutter fitted, it can also cut the grooves for the drawer bottom. I recommend the Bosch GMF1600 to be installed in a Router Table. Click here to see why.

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UJK / Kreg Professional Router Table

Trend Router Table

UJK Insert Plate

Available with a variety of top materials to suit a variety of budgets.

A solid router table from a reliable routing brand.

Build your own router table around this insert plate. All you need is a router.

Block Plane

While you can use a bench plane to flush off joinery, they can be cumbersome at times. A block plane is an ideal substitute for this as well as many other tasks.

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Lie-Nielsen 60 1/2

Quangsheng 60 1/2

Rider 60 1/2

A comfortable, beautifully machined tool. Would strongly recommend.

A mid range budget block plane that will do everything you ask of it.

Works as intended, the trade off is the finish of the plane components.

Chisels

1/2" (12.7mm) Chisel

This is probably my most used chisel size. Characteristics of a good chisel are bevel edged with fine points at the bottom of the bevels. This will allow you to get into the bottom corners of the tails without bruising the material.

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Lie-Nielsen Socket Chisel

Ashley Isles Chisel

Rider Chisel

Comfortable, lightweight and high quality A2 steel. My favourite chisel.

A beautiful handmade chisel with a high carbon steel 01 blade.

A good budget chisel with a hornbeam handle and 01 blade.

1/4" (6.35mm) Chisel

This smaller size is much more precise than the ½ inch size previously mentioned and will be invaluable when cleaning waste between the tails.

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Lie-Nielsen Socket Chisel

Ashley Isles Chisel

Rider Chisel

Comfortable, lightweight and high quality A2 steel. My favourite chisel.

A beautiful handmade chisel with a high carbon steel 01 blade.

A good budget chisel with a hornbeam handle and 01 blade.

3/4" (19mm) Chisel

Not essential for this project but very useful in the long run. If I could only choose 3 chisels, it would be a ¾ inch, a ½ inch and a ¼ inch. 

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Lie-Nielsen Socket Chisel

Ashley Isles Chisel

Rider Chisel

Comfortable, lightweight and high quality A2 steel. My favourite chisel.

A razor sharp, easy to use crosscut saw that allows incredible control.

A good budget chisel with a hornbeam handle and 01 blade.

Measuring and Marking

Cutting Gauge

Another essential tool for any woodworkers toolkit. This tool is invaluable when laying out joinery as well as a multitude of other workshop tasks.

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Veritas Marking Gauge

Quangsheng Marking Gauge

Irwin Cutting Gauge

Easily the most accessible, easy to use, and accurate gauge available today.

Both WR and QS models are very similar. Slightly bulkier than the Veritas model.

I recommend re-shaping the blade into a semi-circle as opposed to a point.

300mm Ruler

I much prefer a ruler as opposed to a tape measure when laying out fine joinery.

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Rabone Ruler

Japanese Ruler

Ruler

Incredibly accurate with easy to see markings. Both metric and imperial.

A clear, easy to read ruler with solely metric markings. 

A basic metal ruler. Nothing too fancy to see here!

Sliding Bevel

A sliding bevel will be used to define the angles of the dovetails. A dovetail marker is much handier for this specific task, however you’ll probably find the sliding bevel to be more useful in future projects

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Shinwa Sliding Bevel

Bahco Sliding Bevel

Sliding Bevel

The lock on this thing is absolutely rock solid and will not budge after tightening.

Very similar to the Shinwa Bevel, but in Hi-Vis orange!

A simple sliding bevel with a standard locking mechanism.

Dovetail Marker

A dovetail marker is helpful when laying out dovetails because it allows you to draw the pitch of the dovetail as well as square across the endgrain in one pass. If you’re unsure what dovetail ratio to use, this video will help.

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Veritas Dovetail Marker

Sterling Dovetail Marker

Dovetail Markers

These come in 1:8 and 1:6 pitches and allow squaring across endgrain simultaneously.

A precision made tool that can also be used to square down the face.

A simple set of dovetail markers that will mark out the pitch for you.

Marking Knife

I much prefer a scalpel blade for laying out my joinery, specifically a Swann-Morton SM01 blade. However I recognise this isn’t to everyone's taste!

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Custom Marking Knife

Stanley Pocket Knife

Veritas Striking Knife

My go-to knife for precision marking. These custom knives are all made by me!

A super sharp, precision, fold away knife that is incredibly versatile.

A sharp, ergonomic knife. Sharpening it can be difficult though.

Engineers Square

Engineers squares are guaranteed to be square on both the inside and outside edges. Whereas wooden try squares are only guaranteed to be square on the inside edges. A good set of these will last you a lifetime (If you don't drop them)

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Faithfull Engineers Square

Kinex Engineers Square

Axminster Precision Engineers Square

I purchased this set in my first year of woodworking and still use it today!

Reliable precision that is used by our students at Rycotewood Furniture Centre.

A basic set of engineers squares. Far more accurate that wooden try squares.

Awl

This tool is used to mark precise locations prior to drilling and will be used when attaching the back. Any pointy thing will do this task, but this is much nicer.

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Axminster Round Awl

Narex Round Awl

Faithfull Round Awl

A nice stubby awl that allows precise marking. Also doesn't roll of the bench!

Very similar to the Axminster Round Awl, but is available from Workshop Heaven.

A basic awl that can be used to mark screw locations before drilling.

Mallet

Used with a chisel to help clear out waste between dovetails as well as tap joints together during assembly. 

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Dovetailing Mallet

Veritas Brass Mallet

Wooden Mallet

A handmade mallet made by myself. Only available in batches!

A very compact mallet that certainly packs a punch!

A traditional beech carpenters mallet that is bulky but versatile.

Clamps

As this project is quite small, you want to ensure that the clamps will not distort the piece during assembly. Lightweight parallel jaw clamps are my go to option for this. While it's good to have a mixture of lengths, I find the 600mm to be most versatile.

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Axminster 600mm Standard Duty Parallel Jaw Clamps

Bessey 600mm UniKlamp

Aluminium Sash Clamp

Lightweight, versatile, and will not distort the piece while clamping.

The original parallel jaw clamp. Shares the same benefits at the Axminster ones.

Good for clamping flat panels but the jaw height can be limiting for boxes.

Titebond

Titebond 2 has a strong initial tack which is ideal for this project, particularly edge jointing the side panels as it prevents the components from slipping in the clamps. Although if you would like a longer window to get the clamps on, Titebond Extend would be better suited.

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Titebond 2

Titebond Extend

Titebond 1

My most used glue. Easy to clean up, water resistant, and has a strong initial tack.

If you want longer before the glue dries, Titebond extend gives you a larger window.

Standard Titebond glue that can be used in many wood gluing operations.

Dovetail Saw Guide

If you’re not confident in your sawing, a dovetail saw guide is an ideal solution. It's not cheating, it's simply another means to get the job done.

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Katz-Moses Dovetail Guide

David Barron Dovetail Guide

Veritas Dovetail Guide

My favourite magnetic saw guide. Designed by Jonathon Katz-Moses

My first dovetail guide that was designed by David Barron.

One of the first dovetail guides available, made by Veritas in Canada.

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