10 Types Of Woodworking Machines-Woodworking Tools Guide

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Although there are many types of hand tools that we use while woodworking, most jobs would be difficult to complete without using at least one woodworking machine.  There are various types of woodworking machines available in the market to help us with our work.  These woodworking machines fall under two basic categories, handheld power tools, and stationary machines.

Woodworking machines are some of the most important tools for working woodworkers.  Although woodworking traditionally was done all by hand and some people still do, woodworking machines are a critical part of the trade. In this list we’ll cover the different types of woodworking machines that are available, at least the most common machines.

Man using woodworking machine
Man using a woodworking rotary saw. Image Credit: Nenad Stojkovic

Different Types Of Woodworking Machines

If you want a proper woodworking setup, you may not need all the machines mentioned here. However, you will find that any particular one of them can definitely make your work easier.

A. Handheld Power Tools

Electric Drill

ac mains powered hammer drill
Image Credit: File:Electric drill.jpg: Ssawka at Polish Wikipedia via Creative Commons

The electric drill consists of a motor enclosed in a body that also forms the handle. A chuck on the end of the frame holds different drills and bits to drill holes and drive screws.

A good drill machine will have the option of varying its speed. Electric drills come with a power cord or they may be cordless.

Jig Saw

Jigsaw AccuMaster
Image Credit: Артём В. via Creative Commons

We use a jigsaw to cut irregular curves. It consists of an electric motor that drives a reciprocating blade, which means that the blade moves in a forward-backward direction. The unit has a handle and flat guide which slides over the surface of the wood, enabling you to move the blade in varying directions to cut various shapes.

Handheld Electric Plane

A Makita electric handheld planer.
Image Credit: Mark Hunter via Creative Commons

This handheld power tool does the job of smoothing the surface of wood just as a hand plane does. It also has a shoe or sole plate over which it rides. The difference is that an electric motor powers the handheld electric plane. You can adjust the depth of the cut.

Nail Gun

Nail gun 008
Image Credit: Boatbuilder via Creative Commons

A nail gun, also called a nailer, enables us to drive nails into wood and other materials. It does the work of a hammer, but in a fraction of the time and with much less effort. The nail gun may be spring-loaded, or it could be powered by compressed air, gas-powered by propane or butane, or magnetism. Some nail guns use the force created by detonating a small explosive charge.

Handheld Sanders

Sander, Vlakschuurmachine
Image Credit: Rasbak via Creative Commons

The variations in handheld sanders include orbital sander, belt sander, and random orbit sander fixed machines. A sander enables us to finish surfaces with sandpaper, much faster than doing it by hand. It consists of a disc driven by an electric motor that rotates at high speed. With the provision of attaching a disc of sandpaper, we can fix discs of sandpaper of different roughness, to impart a smooth finish to a wooden surface.

Many electric drills have a sander attachment, enabling your electric drill to double up as a sander.


Bosch Wood Router
Image Credit: https://oberfraese-experten.de/ via Creative Commons

This handheld power tool enables us to be hollow out (rout) sections in wood and other materials. The router looks somewhat like a handheld sander, having a circular blade like a sander. Woodworkers consider the router one of the most versatile tools in the field of woodworking. See the different types of routers here.

B. Stationary Machines

Table Saw

Photo of a Jet Deluxe Xacta table saw
Image Credit: Mitch Barrie via Creative Commons

The other names of a table saw are sawbench and bench saw. An electric motor drives a circular saw. A portion of the circular blade projects through the surface of a tabletop. The workpiece slides along a guide on the tabletop over the saw to get shaped. We can adjust the height of the circular bade. This machine is handy for rough sizing of wooden planks and beams.

Wood Lathe

Wood Lathe CNC Machine is used for wood turning.
Image Credit: eagletec via Creative Commons

We call the process of working on a wood lathe “woodturning.” The wood lathe, much like the regular lathe for turning metal, enables us to shape wood. The lathe has a chuck that rotates on a belt-driven central axis. The end that holds the workpiece is the “headstock.” An electric motor drives this axis. A “center” holds the workpiece at the opposite side of the chuck, commonly known as the “tailstock.”

As the workpiece spins, we can shape it by holding a chisel against its spinning surface. Once the workpiece gets the desired shape, we usually run a piece of sandpaper over the still-rotating workpiece to give it a smooth finish. See the different kinds of lathes here.


A Powermatic jointer mounted on a custom rolling base.
Image Credit: Jeff Easter from San Francisco, America via Creative Commons

We use a jointer to create a flat surface across the length of a board. The other names for the jointer are “planer,” “surface planer,” “buzzer,” or “flat top.

A jointer prepares the edges of boards for them to be joined to each other as in butt joints or if they are to be integrated into panels.


Delta Bandsaws
Image Credit: Tiia Monto via Creative Commons

This woodworking machine traces its history back to the early nineteenth century. A bandsaw, as the name suggests, is a flexible saw-toothed blade that comes in the form of a band. This band fits over two or more wheels, driven by electric motors. The blade passes vertically through a slot in the workbench surface. The workpiece slides against the moving blade to get cut.

Bandsaws are an integral part of any timber mill. It has many variations, and you can even find automated bandsaws, where the feed is automatic rather than manual. It enables a single operator to operate several bandsaws simultaneously.


Now, you should have a better idea of the different types of woodworking machines available on the market. It is imperative to be aware of what you need to do before you actually buy a woodworking machine. Some of these machines are very specific to the type of work you can do with it.

Some of them, you may never need. However, one thing is obvious. If you can understand clearly what each machine does, you can definitely invest in the most suitable machine for your job. We hope that you now have a better insight into the various devices to be able to get the best out of your woodworking projects.

Featured Image: Simplicity Hunter