Carpentry Tools and Their Uses (with Pictures) #1

A fun and concise guide for carpentry tools and their uses… with .Gifs!

Tenon Saw

The saw used for cutting wood straight. It’s backed with a strong material (typically brass) to ensure it stays straight.

Coping Saw

The Coping saw is used to cut shapes out of wood. The blade is thin to allow it to move freely.


Planes work like pencil sharpeners. They take off a shaving, a thin layer to either:

  • Reduce the thickness of timber
  • Flatten a surface
  • Smooth an edge (while keeping sharp, neat corners)
  • Make an angled edge (like a mitre or bevel)

They come in different sizes with 4 (the Jack Plane) being the most common


A steel head and wooden handle (typically). The flat surface is for striking nails.

If it has a claw on the back, that’s for pulling out nails.


Using a Chisel & Mallet

Chisels have a plastic handle and steel blade with a sharp edge. The good face is the flat face (like a cricket bat). Chisels are used to:

  • Remove timber (most of the time)
  • Pairing (shaving material in joins)
  • Remove excess material


Typically a wooden or rubber head with wooden handle. Mallets are a more gentle version of a hammer. You can use them to:

  • Tap in joins
  • Help remove wood with a chisel (see chisel image)

Sanding Block

A piece of cork or timber about the size of your fist. Used to make sanding easier (by giving you something to grab hold of)


Used more on plastic and metal, files have fine diagonal lines which cut the material they pass. Files are used to:

  • Make material edges smooth
  • Make material faces smooth
  • Shape timber (slightly)

Files can come in different lengths, have different profiles (flat, half round, round and other shapes) and be different grades of coarse.


Similar look to a file but have coarse raised teeth that do the cutting. Rasps are used to:

  • Shape timber

Rasps can come in different sizes and profiles (flat, half round and round being most common)

File Vs Rasp


See the second part with more carpentry tools and their uses.


Thanks to EZgif for making and resizing my Gifs.