Updated: Oct 16, 2020
Do you ever use certain tools and remember when you bought them? Like remembering what project you bought it for, or when your last one died at the most inconvenient time and you had to sprint out and buy the one you use now? Fine – it may sound kind of cheesy, but we have A LOT of memories and milestones associated with our tools that tell a story of how we started and when we decided to officially create our business.
This taught us a big lesson on how to invest in tools when starting a woodworking business – whether some were done the right way or the wrong way! Because it can always be a bit scary to make your first big purchases.
So I’ll list these tools in the order we bought them with a brief description and what result came from investing in it (there will also be a link at the end of each one if you’re interested in investing in one of these for your very own business!!).
Ryobi Circular Saw. I’ll cut to the chase – we were not a woodworking business yet and all we wanted was to build a coffee table and a bed frame. We couldn’t afford a table saw and didn’t want to spend any more money than we had to on multiple tools. This has been a very good saw for us and we still use it from time to time, but now that we have a track saw, miter saw, and table saw, it doesn’t make many debuts anymore. https://amzn.to/2EOxGvF (Check it out!)
Rigid 10-inch miter saw. This little miter saw has been SO GOOD to us. We still were not a business when we bought this little guy, but we were learning that we actually really, really liked building furniture!! After our coffee table and bed frame, we went on to build sofa tables and bed-side tables for our little apartment. As our skills grew and we got more and more excited about our new talent, we knew this tool would be awesome for making the process go faster – TOTALLY WORTH THE MONEY. Fantastic first investment in the business we didn’t know we had yet lol. https://amzn.to/2EOxGvF (Check it out!)
Craftsman Random Orbital Sander: Hand sanding gets old…..fast! We splurged a bit and went the craftsman route and this thing has lasted FOREVER!! It is my go to sander for literally every single project. Definitely a good investment for a woodworking business that’s starting out.https://amzn.to/2KQExZk (Check it out!)
Wen 10-inch drill press with laser. Okay…I know this is a very odd tool to buy yourself when you’re still a beginner woodworker…but let us explain! We so badly wanted to include our family in our new found hobby that we decided we were going to make some awesome salt and pepper shakers out of pine and red oak (pine for the salt, oak for the pepper) for each of our family members. After designing them, we knew a drill press would really be the easiest way to go….so Davis convinced me to invest a little more money into the hobby. I wasn’t super thrilled about it, though…because usually, you make money off of things you invest in. The drill press has been great for us, and when we look back at those shakers we get a pretty good laugh out of them!! Guys….we didn’t even put finish on the things….https://amzn.to/2HO54EN (Check it out!)
Rigid 9-gallon shop vac. We bought this shop vac because we were getting sick of how much sawdust was ending up all over the floor of our garage from our saws and orbital sander. Man…sounds like we were getting pretty serious, huh? (https://amzn.to/2YXnatC ) Yeah, we realized it too – but we kept telling ourselves that there’s no way we could make enough furniture that was high enough in quality to sell to people until we bought a table saw…
Rigid Hybrid Cabinet Table Saw: Here it was! The point at which we told ourselves we would get our new found woodworking business off the ground and start a YouTube Channel just like all of the awesome people we had been watching for years (Jay Bates, Home Made Modern, Steve Ramsey). We could make longer and more precise cuts and projects went way faster than they used to when we were tied to just a miter and circular saw.
And as soon as we got it…word had gotten out that we were woodworkers and the requests came flooding in. At that point we determined that we could make way more money than just charging people for materials…and hence the business-oriented YouTube Channel began!
But honestly…this tool didn’t last us forever….not because it died, but because it just wasn’t precise enough! Once we started charging what our time was worth, we realized we needed to guarantee that our clients were 100% getting what they paid for. So we then bought a G0833P Polar Bear Series Table Saw to replace it, and it has been wonderful for us! We get straight cuts every time. https://amzn.to/31vl85l (Check it out!)
DeWalt 12 1/2″ Planer. Similar story to replacing our first table saw…we knew we needed to increase our quality if we were going to be consistently selling our projects, so we got this table top planer and it works pretty well for our needs. However, now that we’ve been growing we’re looking into getting a slightly larger one to support more of the table tops we make. https://amzn.to/2WiL8mx (Check it out!)
Fuji Spray Mini-Mite 4 Platinum Paint Sprayer. The finish is one of the first things people see on their brand new piece of furniture – so we splurged and got this sprayer after reading a ton of reviews! It was a bit more expensive, but since our tools were now an investment and we were putting money back into the business after every project, it made sense and was totally worth it to us! We love it. https://amzn.to/2Z4z5px (Check it out!)
Makita Track Saw. This was the one tool we DROOLED over. We wanted one so badly, but we knew we would have to get a few big projects to be able to afford it in our woodworking arsenal. Once we hit that goal and purchased our Makita Track Saw…cutting down plywood, farm doors, and table tops was a breeze and it actually allows us to SAVE MONEY in labor costs! https://amzn.to/2GDrR5p(Check it out!)
We waited quite a while before we became a business…but honestly, we were in a perfect spot when we decided to take the leap…so this tool investment order turned out to be ideal for us. It was a bit scary to keep spending loads of money on tools – but when you take it slow and increase the tools as your skills grow and get more client work, it seems to come naturally.
For us that was the key – don’t get ahead of yourself, but also don’t hesitate to take the leap once you’ve made the decision that you want to turn a profit doing what you love. If you want an even more in-depth look, check out our Summer 2019 Shop Tour video!
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This post may contain affiliate links for products we used to create this project! If you’d like to check them out, we do get a small percentage of the sale and they are of no extra cost to you! It all goes towards supporting the content creation of Jennie and Davis. BUT – we do not take tool sponsorships and there were no tool endorsements. Just our honest opinions!