If you want to get into woodturning, then one of the most important things that you’ll need to have is the right tools. The tools are what will enable you to turn a log of wood into something amazing. These tools will need to be your best friends, you’ll need to fully understand how to best use them in order for your work to be a good as it possibly can be.

Without these tools, you will seriously struggle to create anything at all, let alone anything that actually looks good. It’s hard to describe just how important they are.

The best way to obtain your tools is to purchase a tool kit. Doing this is going to be cheaper and more efficient than buying all of your tools individually.

You will be able to purchase a kit of woodturning tools from most wood workshops. Most of the time, they will even come in an easy to carry, and easy to story case. Once you’ve got your hands on a tool kit, all you have left to do is to understand what each of the tools do, and practice using them. Once this is done, you’ll be on track to being a pro!


When you use your tools on the wood, over time, they will become blunt. And when this happens it will be time to sharpen them.

There are many ways of sharpening these tools, but the best method is by using a grinder. A grinder is basically a motorised filer.

To sharpen your tools on this device, all you will need to do is hold them up against it at an angle, and keep it there for a couple of seconds. When it’s done, your tools will be perfectly sharp and able to cut through any wood.

But why do you need to sharpen them at all? Why does it matter? Why can’t you just use blunt instruments?

The answer is fairly simple. Blunt tools don’t work.

When you’re cutting anything, the sharper your tools, the easier it will be to create a clean and smooth cut. So making sure your tools are nice and sharp is the best way to ensure that your job at making things will be made as easy as it possibly can be.

So although it can sometimes take a bit of time, sharpening tools is definitely worth taking some time out for you to be able to do.

1. Spindle Gouge

Spindle Gouge

The first tool that you will find within your tool kit is known as the Spindle Gouge. The end of this tool looks like a giant ‘U’. I would actually describe this tool as looking a bit like a metallic piece of celery.

If you want to create details such as beads and coves, then this is the tool that you will be needing. So it’s particularly good for items such as gavels or table legs, as you want put patterns onto a cylinder with minimal effort and in a short amount of time.

2. Skew Chisel

Skew Chisel

Next up, SpwoodTurners.org has the skew chisel. This looks like a rectangular rod with a slanted semi-circle on the end. The purpose of this tool is for creating patterns and pictures on wood. In a way, it’s a little bit like a pen, only it creates carvings into wood instead of pictures on paper.

When using this, it will be best to use the middle part of the blade, rather than the edges, as this will enable you to have more control over what you’re creating.

Whilst it can be difficult to get the hang of, once you do, it’s very easy to use.

3. Parting tool

Third, it’s the parting tool. This tool is a rectangle with a triangle on top. As the name would suggest, the parting tool is a tool that is used for parting. Parting is just a fancy way of saying separating. So if creating a separation within wood is part of what you need to do, then the parting tool is what you will need.

If you have a larger piece of wood, then it’s best if you don’t use a parting tool to cut the wood. For this you’ll be better off using a saw.

4. Bowl Gauge

Bowl Gauge

If you want to make a bowl, then a good tool to use would be the bowl gauge. The shape of this one is rather hard to describe, but the best way that I can would probably be, celery with the ends cut off at an angle. You need to look at a picture to see what I’m talking about.

This tool is what you will need for shaping bowls, at it will both be able to create the semi-circular bottom, as well as being able to hollow out the inside.

A bowl is great task for a beginner to create.

5. Scraper

And the final tool that we have on this list is the scraper. The scraper is essentially just a rectangle. As you may have figured out from the name, the purpose of the scraper is simply to scrape. This might not seem very important, but it can be. Because with a lot of projects, before you will be able to get down to action and create your art, you will first need to make it smooth. And the quickest way to do this would be to scrape away imperfections within the wood.
Only then can you do what you came for.

Depending on what tool kit you have purchased, the exact tools that you own may vary. However, the 5 tools in this list today, and the five tools that are included in most tool kits. With these tools, you will be able to turn a log of wood into a bowl, furniture, ornament, or anything else.

All of them will require practice, and of course, safety should always be a priority.

I’m not for one minute saying that these are the only tools, but what I am saying is that they are the most important ones!

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