Top Ten Woodshop Tools from Tommy Mac

Comments (0)
Top Ten

With holiday gift giving in full swing, Tommy MacDonald, host of the national public television series Rough Cut – Woodworking with Tommy Mac, shares his view of ideal gifts for the woodworking friends and family on your list. Rough Cut is produced by WGBH Boston.

Major funding for Rough Cut is provided by Woodcraft, and additional funding is provided byBesseyEasy Wood ToolsGeneral InternationalOneida Air SystemsRikon and Titebond.

Here are the top 10 tools that Tommy says every woodworker needs around the shop.

Here is a quick bullet point for the tools referenced in the video by Tommy:

• Clamps – Necessary for any project that requires glue-up, clamps are available in a wide variety of shapes and sizes for specific tasks. “You know what they say,” Tommy said, “you can never have too many clamps.”

• Glue – “It may not be the most glamorous gift, but trust me this stuff comes in handy around the shop,” Tommy said. To go along with the glue, he suggested some small brushesbottles and a scraper to remove excess glue.

 Chisels – According to Tommy, a six-piece set of bench chisels from 1″ to 1/4″ should cover any kind of woodworking around the shop.

 Mallets – Tommy has two mallets, but said he uses the dead blow mallet most of the time.

• Hand Planes – “Overall, I would suggest buying a #4 hand plane because this is going to do 98 percent of all the woodworking you need to do at the shop,” Tommy said.

• Card Scrapers – Available in a variety of sizes and profiles, Tommy said he has a wide assortment because they are good for both delicate woodworking chores and removing glue.

• Handsaws – Tommy said he started out with a gentleman’s saw which he bought for about $10, but later graduated to a more expensive saw with a composite handle, stronger back for better control and graduated teeth.

• Marking and Measuring Devices – A good marking gauge, a combination square, a 3′ straightedge, a dovetail marker and a marking knife are some of the marking and measuring tools Tommy considers necessary for woodworking.

• Drills – Available in a variety of sizes and prices, Tommy said drills do double duty since they are good for use in both the shop and house.

• Anti-fatigue Mats – Since standing is major part of woodworking, Tommy said he places these mats at every station to take the pressure off his joints while working.

Workbench In addition, Tommy suggested that if your list includes a woodworker who is just setting up shop, you might consider the gift of a good workbench. “I started woodworking with two sawhorses and a piece of plywood,” Tommy said.  “That is definitely not the way to do good woodworking.”

For more information about Woodcraft, please contact the store nearest you, visit or call (800) 535-4482. To learn about Woodcraft franchise opportunities, call (800) 344-3348, visit or email

Related Products


Write Comment

Write Comment

You must be logged in to write a comment. Log In

Top of Page