Building kitchen cabinets can be a very rewarding experience. Once the work is done and you realize that the beautiful piece in front of you was once a pile of wood, it can give you a great sense of accomplishment. Most people don’t jump right into cabinetmaking without some prior woodworking knowledge … although I’ve seen a few who did. They may have played with a saw and hammer before, but had no real experience in the area of fine carpentry. If this is the case, here is a list of some of the top tools that you really should have.
1. Table saw
The most essential tooling tool. However, don’t just buy a cheap one. It should be a sturdy enough model to keep up with some of the work you need to do. The cheapest models have small tables and are very light. They tend to lean if something with a little length or weight is passing through them.
2. Getting high
This tool is a must-have if you want to get those smooth, clean edges on your wood. A small portable planer 10 “wide and 5” deep will handle most jobs. These tools are great when it comes to squaring wood. You need all of your parts to be very accurate in dimension or you will have a lot of headaches. The planer takes care of that.
You can get by without one of these, but I think it’s a good option. A router can do pretty much everything the modeler can do, but on a much lighter scale. The Shaper gives you a nice solid table and heavy duty motor to tackle tougher jobs like raised panel cabinet doors.
4. Miter saw
There are many of these on the market. A 10 “miter saw will handle most of your cuts. Radial arm saws are nice too, but the portable miter doesn’t take up as much space and you can move it anywhere. These tools are nice for clean, precise cross cuts .
The router can do many different jobs. You will mainly use it to give your work a nice finish, but you can buy a table for it and use it as a modeler as well. There are all kinds of bits with different cutting styles available. They will do just about any type of modeling project you can ask for.
Of course, there are many other essential tools that you will need to build your own cabinets, but these are some of the main ones. An orbital sander and cookie assembler would be very necessary, as well as several clamps and other small but very useful items. There are a host of tools available to the carpenter today, but if you’re just getting started, these five are the basics to help you get started and on your way.