Top 10 Tools to Teach Your Kids to Use

Top Ten: If your kids show a desire to learn about the tools in your shop, it’s a great idea to get them involved. Not only will they learn about tools and how to use them, but it will only strengthen the bond between you and your kids. Obviously safety is a big part of the instruction, no matter which tool they’re learning about.

Tools to Teach Your Kids to Use

Top 10 Tools to Teach Your Kids to Use

1. Screwdrivers

Screws can assist in securing many beginner joints, and learning the differences between screws will allow a child to be able to take many things apart. I’ve found taking things apart – which screwdrivers excel at – is a great step in learning how things are made.

2. Tape Measure

Depending on their age, kids are familiar with numbers and like using this new skill. Measuring items around the house is a great way to learn how to read a tape measure, and extra addition and subtraction practice never hurts.

3. Block Plane

A small block plane isn’t going to be a shop workhorse for a child, but they will really enjoy using one. Making shavings is something adults love, and kids are no different. With the plane grasped with two hands, chamfering sharp corners and just planing boards to create shavings are fun tasks.

4. Clamps

From securing a piece a child is working on, to assembling a newly formed joint, clamps are as helpful to kids as they are to adults. Knowing which type and size of clamp to reach for, as well as how to use it, is a good skill to learn.

5. Vise

Like clamps, a vise is invaluable to properly securing a workpiece while it’s being worked on. Little hands aren’t strong, and a vise makes a tough operation much easier.

6. Pencil

Even though your child has probably used writing utensils for years, do they know how to use it accurately? Learning how to mark an accurate line, as well as how crucial a sharp pencil is, are important skills. I much prefer a mechanical pencil.

7. 4" Square

Even though they won’t be hand cutting advanced joints soon, kids should learn how to handle a square and what it does. It can also lead to discussions about geometry – perpendicular, parallel, etc., are all a part of woodworking and life in general. 

8. Cordless Drill

The first power tool, a low-powered, small drill is helpful in drilling pilot holes, countersinking, using dowels and driving screws. This isn’t the first tool I would teach my kids to use, but adding power to the equation sure opens their eyes. Added respect must be used.

9. Hammer

A hammer is a simple tool, and it can be used with nails, assembly, tapping in dowels and much more. A small hammer is best, and can be found at many hardware stores.

10. Hand Saw

I use mainly Japanese saws in my shop, and that’s what I will teach my kids with. I find that unless you have enough strength in your upper body and are confident with the operation, a western-style saw poses problems for people. On the other hand, a western-style saw is a bit more robust and forgiving.





Introduce Your Kids to Woodworking (Oct/Nov 2012)
Build a Kid’s Toolbox (Oct/Nov 2012)


Related Articles

Easy On Dust Collector Bags from Busy Bee Tools

Shop News: Easy On Dust Collector Bags solve the age old problem associated with emptying your dust collector.

Bridge City Multi-Tool at Northwest Passage Tools

Shop News: The MT-2 Multi-Tool combines most of the tools required for doing layouts into one combination tool. 

Stockroom Supply Offers RIKON Power Tools

Shop News: Stockroom Supply is now a dealer for high quality RIKON Power Tools - “Pro Tools for Tool Pros” - designers and manufacturers of woodworking machinery that enhance the woodworking experience.