Is Woodworking a Good Hobby? Everything You Need to Know

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Woodworking is a very popular hobby that many people enjoy in many different ways. Some do it for fun and as a way to relax while others do it to save money and create amazing pieces of art. No matter the reason, woodworking has many benefits and can be a wonderful hobby IF you have the time and dedication to do it right.

For starters, woodworking is a great way to express your creativity and create something out of nothing. Whether you’re making furniture for your house, such as a dining table or just creating small projects like birdhouses or jewelry boxes, the satisfaction of completing something from start to finish is immeasurable and can be quite rewarding.

Man measuring wood with a tape measure

In addition, woodworking is a great way to build useful skills that can be applied to many different areas of life. From reading woodworking plans and measuring accurately, to sanding, staining, and finishing off projects, there’s something new to learn every step of the way. There are many different aspects of woodworking that can be explored and mastered. With patience and dedication, anyone can enjoy woodworking and become proficient in their craft.

I started woodworking as a young kid because I loved spending time in the workshop with my Dad. He got me interested in it and 30 years later, I’m still at it! Woodworking has been an enjoyable hobby for me and has taught me many useable skills beyond the craft itself. Beyond that, it has also made me a good amount of money over the years.

Now that you know that woodworking can be a great hobby, let’s look further into what makes it so special.

Benefits of Woodworking as a Hobby

You Get To Create Custom Things You Can’t Find in Stores

The great thing about a woodworking hobby is that it can allow you to create things that you wouldn’t be able to find in stores. There are many times when something is needed that just isn’t on the market. Creating the needed item yourself will allow you to get exactly what you want and customize it to suit your own needs or preferences. This router and modem cabinet is the perfect example.

You Can Save Money

By building your own furniture, you can save money by not having to buy it. The cost of materials and tools for woodworking is usually less expensive than the cost of a store-bought piece. It might take some time and effort but the savings you get can be well worth it in the long run.

It Helps You Learn Problem-Solving Skills

Most woodworking projects require you to solve a problem. Even if you are following a pattern or template of some kind, there are so many variables that problems often arise. When they do, you’ll have to figure out a way to overcome the problem in order to finish the project. This provides a great way to learn to solve all kinds of problems. Pretty soon you’ll be looking for ways to solve problems in other areas of your daily life.

Building a picture frame

It Helps You Learn Patience

You’ll need to be patient with this hobby. If you rush through a project, chances are it will not turn out the way you want. Some areas require some tedious sanding or finishing techniques that can’t be rushed. If you are not a very patient person, you’ll need to learn how to be.

If you spend a lot of time involved in woodworking, chances are, you’ll develop a strong understanding of what it means to be patient. This patience will likely extend outside the workshop.

It Builds Confidence

As you complete projects, and expand your skills, your self-confidence and pride in yourself will grow. You’ll begin to feel a sense of accomplishment in being able to create something that is both beautiful and useful.

Your Hobby Can Turn Profitable

Although it’s a great hobby, there is also the potential for you to turn it into an amazing business. Once you become proficient in creating high-quality items, you’ll be able to market your skills and earn money from your creations. Many types of woodworking projects are in high demand and people enjoy buying products made from a skilled person’s own hands.

With so much mass-produced junk on the market, it’s always great to see items that are unique and handmade.

It’s Incredibly Satisfying!

Finally, woodworking can be an incredibly satisfying experience. From the planning stages to finally seeing your project come together, there is something so deeply gratifying about creating useful items with your own hands. It also provides a great sense of accomplishment and pride when you are able to show off your work and hear compliments from people who appreciate it.

I often find myself admiring projects that I’ve completed and am sometimes in awe that I actually saw it through. Some projects are quite challenging and when you complete something you can be proud of, the satisfaction is unmatched.

How to Start Woodworking as a Hobby

If you have decided to get started with this hobby, here are some tips to help you on your journey.

1. Start by Researching and Purchasing a Few Basic Tools

Basic woodworking tools

The first thing you need to do is purchase some basic woodworking tools. This might include a saw, chisels, a plane, a hammer, and a drill. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on these tools, but you should invest in quality tools that will last a long time. You can find affordable tools at hardware stores, online marketplaces, or second-hand stores.

Buying used is a good idea until you have a grasp on whether or not you’ll even like the hobby.

There are a few suggestions below regarding basic hand tools and power tools for beginners. Just a few tools are all it takes to get started.

2. Learn the Fundamentals

Once you have your tools, it’s time to learn the fundamentals of woodworking. You can find beginner woodworking books at your local library or any bookstore. These books will help you understand the different types of wood, how to use your tools, and how to make basic cuts and joints. This book is one of my favorites (affiliate link).

3. Watch Online Tutorials

Another great resource for beginner woodworkers is online tutorials. There are countless videos available on YouTube that cover everything from basic cuts to advanced techniques (Here is one of my favorites). You can also find woodworking blogs (such as this one) and forums, which can be great places to ask questions and get feedback from experienced woodworkers. These online resources are great for learning the basics and picking up tips from experienced woodworkers.

4. Start With Simple Projects

Once you have your tools and have learned the fundamentals, it’s time to start your first project. You don’t want to start with a complex project right away – start with something simple, like a wooden box or a birdhouse. As you become more comfortable with your tools and techniques, you can move on to more complex projects.

5. Practice, Practice, Practice

Just like most other hobbies, woodworking requires practice and dedication. The more you practice, the better you’ll become. Start with simple projects and work your way up to more complex ones as your knowledge and skill level progress. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes – it’s all part of the learning process.

Why You Shouldn’t Start Woodworking

There are many great reasons to start woodworking but there are also a few reasons why you should not start this hobby.

It Can Be Dangerous

This hobby involves the use of sharp tools, heavy machinery, and power tools. If you’re not careful, these tools can cause serious injury or even death. Beginners who jump right in without learning safety rules and the proper use of tools are just asking for trouble. You’ll need to understand the dangers and invest in proper safety gear, such as hearing protection, eye protection, and a high-quality mask to help ensure your safety.

Cutting lumber on a table saw

It Takes Time to Master

Unless you have a lot of time to spend learning and perfecting your craft, woodworking may not be a good fit. It takes many hours to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to achieve quality results. Chances are, when you first begin, you’ll create some items that are less than stellar.

This takes time to get a feel for the entire process from turning rough cuts of lumber into something you can be proud of. Like anything worth doing in life, it’s going to take commitment and hard work to get where you want to be.

It Can Be Expensive With Upfront Tool Costs and Ongoing Supplies

Although you don’t need to buy the most expensive tools, you will still need to purchase the basic ones and the price can quickly add up. You’ll also likely have to make use of a variety of materials for different projects which could add up quickly.

10 Essential Tools Needed to Get Started in Woodworking

If I were starting from scratch with only a desire to learn woodworking, I would choose the following tools first. This is based on my experience with the hobby and knowing what I use the most.

1. Safety Equipment

First and foremost, I would start with the most important tools: hearing protection, a dust mask, and safety glasses. Most people don’t take safety as seriously as they should. I learned from years of not wearing these things just how important they are. Don’t just assume you won’t need these items. Take safety seriously before you even think about purchasing anything else.

2. Drill and Drill Driver

It’s hard to get by without a cordless drill in this hobby. Every good woodworker needs one since there are so many instances where one needs to drill holes. Having a drill driver or an impact driver is even better for certain applications but if you are on a budget, the normal hand-held drill will do just fine. You can usually buy both together in a kit.

3. A Miter Saw or a Circular Saw to Make Quick Cuts

A miter saw is a very useful tool for making quick cuts on lengthy lumber. When you need to cut longer boards down to size quickly and accurately, a miter saw is the way to go. A circular saw can work similarly and also comes in handy for cutting plywood sheets, which require longer cuts than what you can make with a miter saw.

Cutting wood with miter saw

4. A Jig Saw for More Intricate Cuts

A jig saw is great for achieving more intricate cuts that a miter saw or circular saw just can’t do. It’s also great for cutting curves and other unique shapes that you would not be able to make with any other saw on this list.

5. An Orbital Sander to Smooth Wood Surfaces

Every great woodworking project has to be sanded smooth and finished properly. A good orbital sander will make quick work of any project and it is relatively inexpensive. Just remember to get the right grits for whatever material you are using. Sanding can be a tricky process and requires that you progress through different grits to achieve a proper finish.

6. A Good Chisel Set

A chisel is great for cleaning up edges or for creating fine details. Having a basic set of chisels is useful and will come in handy for many projects.

7. Tape Measure and a Straight Edge Ruler

It’s hard to imagine doing any type of woodworking or carpentry work without a good tape measure. This is essential for achieving proper measurements.

8. Square

There are many different types of squares but a good speed square is a good place to start. They are affordable and will give you a great starting point for making sure everything you make is square.

9. Hammer

When all else fails, just break out a hammer and smash your entire project! I’m only kidding but having a hammer does come in handy for striking chisels and pounding nails into place. You’ll certainly need one along the way.

10. Clamps

Clamps are essential for holding pieces together while gluing, screwing, or nailing them together. A clamp is like having an extra set of hands so make sure to get a few of these. I prefer one-handed squeeze clamps because of their ease of use. However, there are lots of different types of clamps so choose what works best for your needs.


There’s something special about working with your hands to create a beautiful piece of furniture or decor out of a simple piece of wood. Woodworking truly is a rewarding hobby that can also pay off in the long run. With access to the right tools and a willingness to learn, virtually anyone can become an expert in this craft.

Whether you want to create a unique piece for your house or turn your passion into a business venture, the possibilities are endless. With practice and dedication, your new hobby can become a great way to earn some extra money and have a lot of fun while doing it!

So grab your chisels, sandpaper, and saws, and let your creative juices start to flow. With some patience, practice, and a little creativity, you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a workshop?

While it’s possible to practice woodworking without a workshop, having a dedicated workshop will make your life easier. Not only does a workshop provide the space you need for tools and lumber, but it also ensures that you can work comfortably and efficiently. With a workshop, you can set up all the machinery you need, organize your tools, store your raw materials, and have plenty of room to move around. So, if you’re serious about woodworking, investing in a workshop or setting up a work area should be considered a top priority.

What wood should you use?

As a beginner, it’s best to stick to cheaper woods like pine, whitewood, and plywood. These woods are readily available and won’t break the bank if you make a mistake. Avoid using more expensive hardwoods or exotics until you have a firm grasp on what you are doing. Be sure and save scrap pieces because these can always be used for testing on before you commit to the final project piece. You may also be able to find free wood such as pallets and other scraps that others would throw away.

Can you make money from woodworking?

The beauty of woodworking is that it allows you to mix your creative side with your practical side, creating one-of-a-kind pieces that can’t be found in stores. If you can create a useful product or a piece of art that people are willing to pay for, then you can make money from woodworking. Of course, it can take time to turn your hobby into a full-time business but the option is certainly there for those who wish to pursue it.