Best Woodworking Books in 2022 (Reviews and Comparison)

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Woodworking can seem out of your depth but with the right resources, you can begin to truly understand this hobby or DIY activity effectively. The internet is full of information on woodworking from blogs to videos but with that sheer volume of information available, it can seem impossible to know what is correct and useful and what is not. Learn the best woodworking books.

There is no substitute for quality and well-researched books and we have found the best woodworking books to help you find a comprehensive resource that you will always be able to refer to.

Books do not require a stable internet connection to work and in order to be published the information is more verified than you would find generally online which can be written by anyone and could be completely inaccurate. 

A quality woodworking book will be able to assist you whether you are a beginner or an advanced woodworker. It should contain plenty of information, tips, and tricks to setting up your woodworking shop and educate you about available tools and how to use them.

You should be able to find information on types of wood and what projects suit these wood types best. Additionally, you should find various projects to try out complete with pictures and step-by-step instructions for guidance.

Basically a woodworking bible of sorts that you can always go back to. See our top recommendations for the best woodworking books here.

COMPARISON CHART

IMAGE PRODUCT

The Complete Book of Woodworking: Step-by-Step Guide to Essential Woodworking Skills, Techniques, Tools and Tips (Landauer) Over 40 Easy-to-Follow Projects and Plans, 200+ Photos, and Carpentry Basics

The Complete Book of Woodworking
  • Detailed project plans
  • Step by step instructions
  • Good solid foundation
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Woodworking: The Complete Step-by-Step Manual

Woodworking: The Complete Step-by-Step Manual
  • Good introduction to basics
  • Detailed project plans
  • How to set up your shop
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Great Book of Woodworking Tips: Over 650 Ingenious Workshop Tips, Techniques, and Secrets from the Experts at American Woodworker (Fox Chapel Publishing) Shop-Tested and Photo-Illustrated

Great Book of Woodworking Tips
  • Clear illustrations of what to do
  • Wisdom / advice from experienced woodworkers
  • Useful for novice to expert alike
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The Joint Book: The Complete Guide to Wood Joinery

The Joint Book: The Complete Guide to Wood Joinery
  • Great spiral bound book
  • Lots of detail on joint types
  • Step by step instructions
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Good Clean Fun: Misadventures in Sawdust at Offerman Woodshop

Good Clean Fun: Misadventures in Sawdust at Offerman Woodshop
  • A fun woodworking book
  • Lovely photography
  • Step by step projects
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The Complete Book of Woodworking: Step-by-Step Guide to Essential Woodworking Skills, Techniques, Tools and Tips (Landauer) Over 40 Easy-to-Follow Projects and Plans, 200+ Photos, and Carpentry Basics

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The Complete Book of Woodworking: Step-by-Step Guide to Essential Woodworking Skills, Techniques, Tools and Tips (Landauer) Over 40 Easy-to-Follow Projects and Plans, 200+ Photos, and Carpentry Basics

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The Complete Book of Woodworking: Step-by-Step Guide to Essential Woodworking Skills, Techniques, Tools and Tips (Landauer) Over 40 Easy-to-Follow Projects and Plans, 200+ Photos, and Carpentry Basics

Features

  • A comprehensive guide filled with information for woodworkers of all levels
  • More than 40 projects, with detailed plans and materials lists for both indoor and outdoor furnishings
  • Over 1,200 photographs, step-by-step instructions, helpful diagrams, and illustrations throughout 480 pages
  • Expert advice on setting up shop, safety, using tools, making jigs & joints, applying finishes, and more

The Complete Guide to Woodworking features detailed plans for 40 stunning projects for woodworkers of all levels, plus more than 1,200 step-by-step illustrations across 480 pages. For beginners and experienced woodworkers alike, this is the ultimate step-by-step guide.

From the principles of basic design to techniques to a gallery of 40 complete plans for fabulous woodworking projects, this thorough and attractive book provides all the information you need to become a master woodworker and have a houseful of fine furnishings to show for the effort.

WHAT WE LIKE

For the various projects, you can find materials listed that you will need, different ways of building, types of stains, and step-by-step instructions to help you on your woodworking journey. This gives you a solid foundation in wood and woodworking and the foundation to become autonomous.

Very detailed and well-illustrated and highly recommended as a reference book for a beginner-intermediate woodworker.

WHAT WE DON’T LIKE

Aside from the legal disclaimer they basically ignore shop safety minimal mention of techniques to avoid kickback and other hazards not likely to be intuitive to beginners. Not organized by difficulty level, so beginners will struggle to figure out where to start.

This book is sort of a one-stop shop for the basics of each topic. If you need more details on certain topics like wood finishes you won’t find them in this book.

PROS

  • Detailed project plans
  • Step-by-step instructions
  • Good solid foundation
  • Well illustrated
  • Excellent reference book

CONS

  • Safe woodworking is not detailed
  • Not organized by difficulty level
  • Covers basics on techniques only
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Woodworking: The Complete Step-by-Step Manual

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Woodworking: The Complete Step-by-Step Manual

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Woodworking: The Complete Step-by-Step Manual

Features

  • Understand how to use essential woodworking tools
  • Choose the right wood for every job
  • Master key woodwork techniques 
  • Basic and advanced levels including 28 DIY projects

Complete and easy directions for key skills, from simple joinery techniques to more involved woodworking projects, with clear helpful photographs. Key carpentry skills, from simple joinery techniques to fine woodworking projects, through clear, step-by-step instructions and photographs.

New carpenters will learn about the essential tools needed and basic design principles and practice crucial techniques like wood joints, finishing, woodturning, and furniture restoration. Experienced crafters will enjoy enhancing their skills and learning something new.

We’ll make sure you choose the right wood for the job and find more than 100 hard and softwoods, plus their properties, in a handy directory.

WHAT WE LIKE

This book is an excellent complement to online videos, it’s a good introduction to the basics. It serves as a good starting point and as a resource to return to for basic fundamentals. The plans for the 28 DIY projects are very detailed with excellent photos that you rarely see in such plans.

From setting up your shop to what tools you need to step-by-step project instructions, the text is clear and the pictures are excellent.

WHAT WE DON’T LIKE

The section on wood species contains woods from all over the world that may not be applicable to your region. It has a preference for hand tools and is a bit on the light side regarding using power tools and workshop machines. 

American readers should be aware that it is a UK book with British authors so you may find some differing terminology.

PROS

  • A good introduction to basics
  • Detailed project plans
  • How to set up your shop
  • Clear text and excellent pictures
  • A good complement to online videos

CONS

  • Wood types may not be relevant to your area
  • No detail on power tools/machines
  • UK book with British terminology
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Great Book of Woodworking Tips: Over 650 Ingenious Workshop Tips, Techniques, and Secrets from the Experts at American Woodworker (Fox Chapel Publishing) Shop-Tested and Photo-Illustrated

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Great Book of Woodworking Tips: Over 650 Ingenious Workshop Tips, Techniques, and Secrets from the Experts at American Woodworker (Fox Chapel Publishing) Shop-Tested and Photo-Illustrated

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Great Book of Woodworking Tips: Over 650 Ingenious Workshop Tips, Techniques, and Secrets from the Experts at American Woodworker (Fox Chapel Publishing) Shop-Tested and Photo-Illustrated

Features

  • 800 color photos and illustrations
  • Hints to help sharpen your woodworking skills
  • The ultimate collection of woodworking tips
  • A book to value for years to come, essential for every woodworker’s reference library

This is the essential DIY reference, packed with reader-written woodworking tips and techniques from American Woodworker magazine, the premier publication for woodworkers. This comprehensive guide offers more than 650 ingenious solutions to common woodworking problems.

Supplemented with clear workshop photography, the editors have tested each insightful pointer workplace. Whether you are an accomplished woodworker or just beginning to set up your workshop, you’ll find quick answers to all of your most challenging questions.

WHAT WE LIKE

The illustrations and pictures offer absolute clarity on how to do what it sets out to instruct you. The wisdom in this book comes from woodworkers who have a lifetime of experience in using the best practices in woodworking and shop methods.

There is something in it for everyone, from novice to expert woodworkers. It covers many topics about woodworking, gluing, sawing, routing, organization of workspace, etc.

WHAT WE DON’T LIKE

Some items in the books are repeated, which tends to take up extra space in the book. It does sometimes contain some contradictory advice which can be confusing. The editing of this book was not done well.

PROS

  • Clear illustrations of what to do 
  • Wisdom/advice from experienced woodworkers
  • Useful for novice to experts alike
  • Covers a wide variety of woodworking topics

CONS

  • Some repetition 
  • Contradictory advice at times
  • Poor editing
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The Joint Book: The Complete Guide to Wood Joinery

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The Joint Book: The Complete Guide to Wood Joinery

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The Joint Book: The Complete Guide to Wood Joinery

Features

  • Step-by-step illustrated instructions for making all the basic joints in every joint family
  • Both hand tool methods and power tool techniques
  • A variety of easy-to-build jigs.
  • How the nature of wood and its properties affect joinery, glue, and furniture design

The Joint Book provides easy-to-follow directions for creating edge and scarf joints, lapped and housed joints, mortise-and-tenon joints, miters and bevels, dovetails, and dowels and biscuits, plus detailed descriptions of fasteners, hardware, and knockdown joints.

Featuring illustrated instructions for over 70 joints, this spiral-bound book is the perfect companion for any woodworker interested in improving their joint-making skills.

The interior photographs, illustrations, and diagrams make the learning process simple and fun for beginners, while advanced readers will gain insight from the book’s useful tips.

WHAT WE LIKE

This is a fantastic little book, a great plus is that it is spiral-bound. It provides great information on many different types of joints including detailed step-by-step instructions to construct the joints. There is a generous amount of complimentary info including joint advantages/disadvantages, and plenty more.

WHAT WE DON’T LIKE

It could stand to have a little more information about the applications of the joints. The drawn-out illustrations could have been replaced with photographs for better reference. It is on the smaller side and does not provide as much detail as you might imagine.

PROS

  • Great spiral-bound book
  • Lots of detail on joint types
  • Step-by-step instructions 
  • Generous complimentary info

CONS

  • Lacks enough detail on joint applications
  • Illustrations should rather be photographs
  • Smaller sized book
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Good Clean Fun: Misadventures in Sawdust at Offerman Woodshop

Features

  • A variety of projects for every skill level, with personal, easy-to-follow instructions by the OWS woodworkers
  • Mouth-watering color photos (Nick calls it “wood porn”)
  • Writings by Nick, offering recipes for both comestibles and mirth, humorous essays, and odes to his own woodworking heroes
  • Insights into the ethos of woodworking in modern America, and other assorted tomfoolery

After two New York Times bestsellers, Nick Offerma, woodworker, actor, comedian, and co-host of NBC’s crafting competition series Making It returns with the subject for which he’s known best, his incredible real-life woodshop.

Now Nick and his ragtag crew of champions want to share their experience of working at the Woodshop, tell you all about their passion for the discipline of woodworking, and teach you how to make a handful of their most popular projects along the way.

This book takes readers behind the scenes of the woodshop, both inspiring and teaching them to make their own projects and besotting them with the infectious spirit behind the shop and its complement of dusty wood-elves.

WHAT WE LIKE

This book is fun. There’s lovely photography that will inspire you, and several techniques and ideas are not so common in some of the project plans.

But, this book is different because there are also artist profiles, general shop advice, and Nick Offerman’s humor and sensibilities throughout. Find step-by-step projects, and they’re targeted to a variety of skill levels ranging from the beginner to the advanced.

WHAT WE DON’T LIKE

Don’t expect this book to provide a very complete education in woodworking. Also, if you don’t have access to a well-equipped shop, you’re going to struggle to find things you can do in terms of the projects. Some sections of the book feel like filler and are not very helpful overall.

PROS

  • A fun woodworking book
  • Lovely photography
  • Includes artist profiles and general shop advice
  • Step-by-step projects 
  • Applicable to beginners and advanced woodworkers

CONS

  • Not a complete woodworking education 
  • Need a well-equipped shop
  • Some sections are filler

FINAL VERDICT 

Finding a helpful woodworking book can seem impossible with the many available options, but we recommend The Complete Book of Woodworking as our best choice. Overall this book gives you the best general overview of woodworking and is the most comprehensive guide out there.

Find details on woodworking for all levels from beginner to advanced woodworkers. Get 40 detailed project plans complete with step-by-step instructions. There is something for everyone on this project list. Including 1200 photographs accompanying the project plans you will have all you need to succeed in these woodworking projects.

Find expert advice on how to set up your shop, use tools, make jigs, types of joints, and much more. This will definitely become a woodworking go-to resource to help you along your woodworking journey. 

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