The 7 Best Tool Books to Improve Your Woodworking Skills

Woodworking is a rewarding hobby for anyone, regardless of age and skill.  

But for beginners, starting a new hobby like woodworking can be daunting, especially when choosing the right tools for the right projects. That is where books filled with expert knowledge come in handy.  

At Tool Bazaar, we are passionate about restoring antiques and working with quality vintage tools that boast a rich history or craftsmanship.  

To help you elevate your skills, we have stocked a wide collection of useful tool books that will cover all your questions and concerns about woodworking. 

Dive in below to discover the top seven best tool books you need to become a woodwork master! 

The Benefits of Using Tool Books to Improve Your Woodworking Skills 

Woodworking is an art honed over millennia, with each generation adding its own touch and refining techniques. While tools may give us the means to craft, the rich knowledge captured meticulously in tool books, provides the real essence.  

These books, available at Tool Bazaar, enshrine the wisdom and secrets of the ages, ensuring that the skills of the past aren't lost in the sands of time but instead passed down, ready for the next generation to grasp and evolve. 

The following section will cover some of the best tool books we have available here at Tool Bazaar.

We believe that these tool books aren't just repositories of history, they present a harmonious blend of theoretical knowledge and practical applications. They delve deep into the scientific principles behind various woodworking techniques, and they also provide tangible steps and methods, ensuring an easy-to-follow, hands-on approach.

Let’s find out more!  

7 Fantastic Tool Books for Your Collection 

 The following 7 tool books were written to help you level up your woodworking skills.

These books are more than just pages bound together; they are a guide and a bridge between the traditional woodworking techniques and the modern craftsman's workshop. Let's look at each one in more detail. 

antique tool book for wooden planes


Book 1: The Wooden Plane 

At the heart of woodworking lies the artistry of the wooden plane, a tool integral to shaping timber. 

The Wooden Plane by John Whelan is an exhaustive manual encapsulating the spirit and heritage of these traditional tools.  

What sets it apart is its incredible depth, describing and classifying all manners of wooden planes, from the mundane to the most arcane. Its vast reach outlines an impressive international range, combining global plane traditions into comprehensive work. 

With over 1,000 illustrations and detailed examinations of over 300 complex moulding profiles, it's no wonder this book is an unmatched asset for the woodworking community. 

tool book guide to restoring antique tools

Book 2: Restoring Antique Tools

A treasure trove of expert knowledge, Restoring Antique Tools by Herbert Keane reveals the secrets that have long been the reserve of professional restorers. Whether it's edge tools, planes of both metal and wood, measuring instruments or saws, this guide covers it all. 

Meticulously detailed, it offers readers a chance to understand the 'how' and the 'why' behind each restoration technique. This makes it a truly indispensable asset for any woodworking enthusiast. 


tool book for working with moulding planes


Book 3: Illustrated Drawings Of Mouldings

Stepping back into the 19th century, this reprint of the Illustrated Drawings of Mouldings Manufactured by Alex Mathieson & Sons showcases the vast range of moulding planes from a bygone era. 

Beyond its practical value, the record is a snapshot of history, reflecting the woodworking trends and innovations of its time. As a resource, it serves as inspiration and a testament to the enduring nature of woodworking craftsmanship. 


Antique Tool Value Guide tool book


Book 4: Antique Tool Value Guide 

Whether you're a seasoned collector or a craftsman keen on understanding the worth of your tools, the Antique Tool Value Guide by Tony Murland is essential.  

Packed with insights, it provides valuations for many antique tools, from the expansive Stanley range to notable names like Norris and Spiers.  

Enhanced with rich illustrations, it provides a realistic and comprehensive understanding of the value of antique tools, ensuring you're always informed of what’s in your toolbox. After all, you could be sitting on a goldmine without knowing it! 


Norris Metal Planes tool book


Book 5: Norris London Metal Planes 

Norris of London is famous for the creation of metal planes. This updated edition brings the Norris section back to life, enhanced with vibrant coloured illustrations absent in the original.  

As if diving deep into history, readers are treated to reprints of the 1914 and 1920s Norris catalogues, making it a rich source of information on this legendary maker. 

You can grab this revised reprint of Norris London Metal Planes by The Atragal Press for only £20 from Tool Bazaar! 


tool book guide for using the Record No. 405 plane 


Book 6: Record No 405 Instruction Book 

The combination plane is an elegant tool and the Record No. 405 Instruction Book is a testament to its multifaceted uses.  

This helpful instruction book provides a detailed breakdown of this iconic plane, enriched with precise illustrations to ensure clarity and understanding. It's a guide and a masterclass in using the Record No. 405 plane to its fullest potential. 


tool book for handsaws


Book 7: The Handsaw Catalogue Collection

Saws form the bedrock of woodworking and The Handsaws Catalogue Collection by The Astragal Press is a tribute to the master saw makers of yesteryear.  

By combining catalogues from industry giants like Spear & Jackson, Disston, Atkins, and Simonds, this collection offers an unparalleled glimpse into the handsaws of the early 20th century.  

More than a historical document, it celebrates the tools that have shaped woodworking throughout the decades. 


Buy Your Tool Books from Tool Bazaar! 

Tool Bazaar, established from humble beginnings, has become one of Britain's premier old tool dealers. Our journey as an antique tool seller for decades proves we are committed to our passion and customers.  

All our tool books are kept in the best condition possible, ensuring that reading them will enrich your Woodworking knowledge and enhance your skills as a craftsman and carpenter 

We pride ourselves on offering quality tools and the literature that complements them. We invite you to dive into our curated collection of tool books, each a testament to our dedication to this beautiful craft.  

For any specific requests around bespoke tools or rare tool books, please do not hesitate to get in touch and we will do our best to source the exact product that you’re after!  

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