Beginner Woodworking Terminology

Subscribe to Training Hands Academy on Youtube

Woodworking is a great hobby – it’s challenging, creative, and you can make beautiful pieces of furniture or other items from wood. But if you’re new to woodworking, it can be tricky to understand the terminology. This blog post will define some of the most common woodworking terms so that you can start creating beautiful pieces of your own!



Hardwoods are trees that have broad leaves and grow relatively slowly. The wood from these trees is denser and harder than the wood from softwoods. Hardwoods are typically used for furniture, flooring, cabinetry, and other high-end woodworking projects. Some of the most popular hardwoods include oak, cherry, maple, mahogany, and walnut.


Conifer trees are also known as softwoods. These wood varieties are typically used in construction and woodworking because they’re easy to saw and nail. Conifer wood is also relatively inexpensive. Some of the most popular softwoods include pine, fir, and cedar.

But just because these woods are classified as “soft,” doesn’t mean they’re weak. In fact, conifer wood is often used for outdoor projects because it’s resistant to decay and insects. It’s also weather-resistant, so it holds up well in extreme temperatures.

Rough Cut Lumber

Rough cut lumber is wood that has been cut from a tree but not yet planed or sanded. This type of wood is also sometimes called green lumber because it hasn’t been dried yet. Rough cut lumber is generally used for construction purposes like framing or creating supports for a structure.

Grain Pattern

The wood grain pattern is the direction, shape, and appearance of the wood fibers. The wood grain can be straight, wavy, or irregular. It is important to know the direction of the grain when working with wood. The grain direction affects the strength of the wood and the way it responds to changes in temperature and moisture.

Dressed Lumber

Lumber that has been surfaced on two or more sides with a thickness planer, jointer, and sometimes a table saw. The goal is to have all the faces of the lumber be at the same thickness and often to square up the edges as well. This results in a board that is ready for use in many woodworking projects.

Dimensional Lumber

Dimensional lumber is a wood product that has been cut to specific dimensions. It is available in various widths and thicknesses. For example, a common size for dimensional lumber is two by four inches.

Kiln Dried Wood

Kiln dried wood is wood that has been dried in a kiln. This type of wood is typically used for furniture or cabinetry.

The process of kiln drying wood removes the moisture from the wood, which makes it more stable and less likely to warp or crack. Kiln dried wood is also less likely to rot or be attacked by insects.

Kiln dried wood is typically more expensive than air-dried wood, but it is worth the investment if you want to create a piece of furniture that will last for generations.

Pressure Treated Lumber

Pressure treated lumber is wood that has been treated with a preservative to make it resistant to rot and decay. This type of lumber is often used in outdoor projects, as it can withstand the elements better than untreated wood. Pressure treated lumber is available in different grades, depending on how much protection it offers. The higher the grade, the more expensive the lumber will be. However, it is important to choose the right grade of pressure treated lumber for your project, as using a lower grade may not provide enough protection against rot and decay.

When working with pressure treated lumber, it is important to wear gloves and a dust mask to avoid breathing in the wood preservative.


Plywood is a manufactured wood panel made from thin sheets of wood veneer. It is one of the most popular materials for woodworking projects because it is strong and durable. Plywood can be used to make furniture, cabinets, and other household items.

Measuring And Marking

Square tool

The square tool is one of the most important woodworking tools. It is used to make sure that your cuts are perpendicular to the wood grain. This tool is also used to mark out lines for cutting and drilling.

Precision Square

Click Here To Check The Price On Amazon

A precision square is a tool that woodworkers use to help measure and mark angles. It has two arms, each of which is 90 degrees from the other. This allows woodworkers to quickly and accurately measure and mark angles. Precision squares can also be used as a level, allowing woodworkers to make sure their projects are perfectly horizontal or vertical.

Speed Square

Click Here To Check The Price On Amazon

A Speed Square is a woodworking tool that helps you make precise cuts. It’s also known as a rafter square or a carpentry square.

Combination Square

Click Here To Check The Price On Amazon

A combination square is used for finding and marking 90-degree and 45-degree angles, as well as for measuring the depth of dadoes and rabbets. The head of the square contains both a spirit level and a rule, which can be locked into place with a thumbscrew.

Framing Square

Click Here To Check The Price On Amazon

The framing square is a tool used by carpenters. It is L-shaped and has two arms of equal length. The long arm is called the blade, while the short arm is called the stock. The framing square is used to mark out right angles on wood. It can also be used to check if a piece of wood is square.

The framing square is a versatile tool that every woodworker should have in their toolbox. Knowing how to use it is essential for anyone wanting to get into woodworking.

Sliding Bevel

Click Here To Check The Price On Amazon

A Sliding Bevel is a woodworking tool used to create or transfer angles. It consists of a blade with a handle attached, and a stock which the blade slides through. The blade can be locked in place at any angle using a thumbscrew or similar mechanism.

Straight Edge

Click Here To Check The Price On Amazon

A straight edge is a tool used in woodworking to ensure that your cuts are accurate. It is a flat piece of wood or metal that you run along the edge of your workpiece to make sure it is straight.


Layout is the arrangement of wood on a workbench before starting to cut. The layout establishes where each piece will go and how it will be connected. It is important that the woodworker understands basic layout so they can maximize their material usage and minimize waste.

Hand Tools

Traditional Hand Saw

Click Here To Check The Price On Amazon

A traditional hand saw is a woodworking tool that has been used for centuries. It consists of a blade attached to two handles, which allow the user to cut wood by pulling the blade towards them. A traditional hand saw is perfect for precision cuts and can be used to make straight or curved cuts.

Pull Saw

Click Here To Check The Price On Amazon

A pull saw is a type of saw that is designed to be pulled rather than pushed. This allows for greater control and results in a cleaner cut. Pull saws are ideal for woodworking projects, especially those that require intricate cuts. There are several different types of pull saws, including the Japanese-style saw and the coping saw.


Click Here To Check The Price On Amazon

A backsaw is a hand saw used predominantly in woodworking for cutting dovetails, tenons, and other joints. It has a stiff blade that is thicker than a coping saw blade and is wider than a standard handsaw. The back of the saw forms the spine, which extends down from the handle to the teeth. This makes the blade more rigid, allowing for straighter cuts. The downside is that the blade can’t be turned to make curved cuts.

Kurf Of Blade

The kurf of the blade is the beveled edge on a woodworking saw. It is important to keep this sharpened for accurate cuts.


An offcut is a piece of wood that is cut off from the main piece. It is usually used for smaller projects or for practice.

Offcuts can be saved and used for other purposes such as kindling, wood chips, or shavings.

Wood Chisel

Click Here To Check The Price On Amazon

A wood chisel is a tool that is used to shape wood. It consists of a blade, usually made from steel, and a handle. The blade is inserted into the wood, and then the handle is twisted to cut the wood.

There are different types of wood chisels, which are classified by their width. The most common wood chisel is the ¾ inch wood chisel.

Hand Planes

Click Here To Check The Price On Amazon

A hand plane is a woodworking tool that allows the user to smooth or adjust the thickness of a piece of wood. There are many different types of hand planes, each with its own unique purpose. Some common hand planes include the jack plane, smoothing plane, and block plane.

When using a hand plane, it is important to keep the wood moving in the same direction as the blade. This will ensure a smooth, even finish. Start by planing a thin layer off of one end of the wood, and then work your way down to the other end. Be careful not to apply too much pressure, or you may damage the wood.


You’ve probably heard the phrase “hone in on” before. This is because when you hone something, you are sharpening it so that it can be more focused. In woodworking, you might use a honing stone to sharpen your chisels or plane blades.

Honing is different than grinding in that it removes less material from the blade. This makes it a great option for touch-ups in between major sharpenings. It’s also good for woodworking tools that are already pretty sharp but just need a little bit of an edge.

Wood Rasp

Click Here To Check The Price On Amazon

A wood rasp is a tool used to shape wood. It consists of a handle and a blade with sharp teeth. The blade is usually made of steel or carbon steel.

The wood rasp is used by holding it in one hand and using the other hand to guide it along the wood surface. The teeth on the blade cut into the wood, shaping it into the desired shape.

The wood rasp can be used to create curved or straight lines, depending on how it is used. It can also be used to make rough or smooth surfaces, depending on the type of wood rasp that is used.

Subscribe to Training Hands Academy on Youtube

Power Tools

Table Saw

A table saw is a woodworking tool used to cut wood. The table saw has a circular blade that is mounted on an arbor. The arbor spins the blade, which cuts the wood. The wood is held stationary by a fence, which the woodworker moves along the length of the wood to make the cut. Table saws are used to make straight cuts, angles, and curves.

The table saw is the most important woodworking tool in the shop. It can be used to make a variety of cuts including straight, angled, and curved cuts. The fence allows you to cut wood with precision. Table saws are available in both stationary and portable models. Stationary table saws are larger and have more power than portable models. Portable table saws are smaller and lighter, making them easy to transport.


A planer is a woodworking tool used to create a smooth, level surface on a piece of lumber. The planer has a blade that spins and cuts away at the wood surface.

Most woodworkers use a hand plane to remove small amounts of wood from their projects. However, for larger projects, or for those who want a perfectly smooth surface, a planer is the best tool for the job. Planers can be rented from most hardware stores.


A jointer is a woodworking machine used to create a flat surface on a piece of wood. The flat surface can then be used to create a variety of different shapes and sizes. A jointer can also be used to create an angled surface.

Most jointers have two blades that rotate in opposite directions. As the wood is fed through the jointer, the blades cut into the wood and create a smooth surface. Jointers can be used on a variety of different woods, including hardwoods and softwoods.

Miter Saw

Click Here To Check The Price On Amazon

A miter saw is a type of saw that is used to cut wood at a variety of angles. It is a versatile tool that can be used for both woodworking and carpentry.

There are two types of miter saws: the standard miter saw and the compound miter saw. The standard miter saw is used to make straight cuts, while the compound miter saw can be used to make both angled and curved cuts.


Click Here To Check The Price On Amazon

A jigsaw is a woodworking tool used to cut curves in wood. It has a thin, stiff blade that is held in place by a clamp at one end, and a handle on the other. The blade can be rotated around its pivot point, allowing it to be angled relative to the workpiece. This gives the jigsaw its characteristic curved shape.

Circular Saw

Click Here To Check The Price On Amazon

A circular saw is a hand-held power tool that cuts wood and other materials by rotating a blade around an arbor. The blade can be adjusted to cut at different angles, making it ideal for both straight and curved cuts. Circular saws are commonly used in construction and carpentry.

Orbital Sander

Click Here To Check The Price On Amazon

An orbital sander is a power tool used for sanding wood. The term “orbital” comes from the motion of the sandpaper pads, which orbit around the wood as they spin. This type of sander produces less vibration than other types, making it ideal for delicate work. They are available in both handheld and stationary models.


Click Here To Check The Price On Amazon

A router is a woodworking tool used to create smooth, accurate edges on boards. Routers are often used in woodworking projects that involve joinery and cabinetry.

There are two main types of routers: the plunge router and the fixed-base router. The plunge router has a base that can be quickly lowered or raised, allowing the router to be used for plunge cuts. The fixed-base router has a base that is attached to the router body and cannot be removed.

Routers are equipped with either a straight bit or a spiral bit. The straight bit is the most common type of router bit and is used for cutting simple, clean edges. The spiral bit is used for cutting more intricate designs and is especially useful when routing curved surfaces.

Cordless Drill

Click Here To Check The Price On Amazon

A cordless drill is a power tool that uses a battery to operate. It is portable and can be used for various drilling tasks.

Most cordless drills have two speed settings, which allow the user to control the speed of the drill bit. The higher the speed, the faster the drill bit will rotate.

Cordless drills are available in different sizes and power levels. The size of the drill will determine the size of the hole that can be drilled. The power level will determine how fast the drill bit can rotate.

There are also cordless drills that come with a built-in light. This is helpful when drilling in dark areas.

Pneumatic Nailers

Click Here To Check The Price On Amazon

Pneumatic nailers are a woodworker’s best friend. These tools use compressed air to drive nails into wood, making them ideal for projects that require a lot of nails or for working in tight spaces. Pneumatic nailers come in a variety of sizes and styles, so it’s important to choose the right one for your project.

There are two main types of pneumatic nailers: framing and finish. Framing nailers are larger and more powerful, making them perfect for projects like framing a house. Finish nailers are smaller and less powerful, making them ideal for finishing woodworking projects.

When choosing a pneumatic nailer, it’s important to consider the type of nails you’ll be using. Most pneumatic nailers use 18-gauge nails, but there are also some that use 16-gauge nails. Make sure to choose a nailer that is compatible with the type of nails you have on hand.

Types Of Cuts

Cross Cut

When you cross cut wood, you are cutting it perpendicular to the grain. This is done with a miter saw, table saw or radial arm saw.

Miter Cut

A miter cut is a type of cut that’s made at an angle. It’s often used for picture frames, molding, and trim work. To make a miter cut, you’ll need to use a miter saw.

Miter cuts can be either inside or outside cuts. An inside cut is where the wood is cut at an angle that’s smaller than the piece of wood you’re working with. An outside cut is where the wood is cut at an angle that’s larger than the piece of wood you’re working with.

Most miter cuts are made at a 45 degree angle, but you can also make miter cuts at other angles.

Bevel Cut

A bevel cut is an angled cut that’s made across the face of a piece of wood. Bevel cuts are often used to create decorative edges on furniture or to trim off rough, uneven edges.

To make a bevel cut, you’ll need to use a saw with an adjustable blade. Simply adjust the blade to the desired angle and saw along the edge of the wood. Take care to keep your fingers clear of the blade while you’re cutting.

When making a bevel cut, it’s important to use a backer board. A backer board is a piece of scrap wood that’s clamped to the workpiece behind the area where you’re cutting.

Compound Cut

A compound cut is a woodworking term for a cut that is made by combining two or more cuts. This type of cut allows the woodworker to make more complex shapes than they could with a single cut.

There are several different types of compound cuts, each with their own name. Some of the most common compound cuts are the miter cut, the bevel cut, and the rabbet cut.

Dado Cut

Dado cuts are used to create a groove in wood. The width of the dado cut is determined by the size of the saw blade used. Dado cuts are made using a table saw, radial arm saw, or miter saw.

Dado cuts can be used for a variety of purposes, such as creating shelves or mounting woodworking projects to a wall.

Rabbet Cut

A rabbet cut is a recess in wood that is created by cutting away at the edge of the wood with a blade. This type of cut can be used to create a groove, as well as to join two pieces of wood together.

There are three types of rabbet cuts – stopped, blind, and through. A stopped rabbet cut is one where the blade does not cut all the way through the wood, while a blind rabbet cut is one where the blade only cuts partway into the wood. A through rabbet cut is one where the blade cuts all the way through the wood.

Recommended Resources:

woodworking resources
How To Bring Old Tool Batteries Back To Life