What Antique Tools are Worth Money?

Whether you're just starting to collect antique woodworking tools or already a seasoned vintage tool collector, having a comprehensive price guide is essential.

This guide not only helps beginners in expanding their collections but is also crucial for veteran collectors engaged in buying and selling–regardless of the platform used.

From wood planes to ancient ploughs, some vintager tools can fetch a tidy sum, with the rarest pieces reaching into the thousands.  

Knowing which tools hold significant value can lead to fantastic finds at estate sales or flea markets.  

It can also ensure that you sell items from your collection at their true worth, avoiding the pitfalls of under-pricing treasures or overpaying for common items. 

Keep reading as we explore which antique tools deserve a spot in your collection and why these old tools are worth your money, attention, and investment.

The value and allure of antique tools in today's market 

If you've ever strolled down the aisles of a hardware store, you're likely familiar with the steep price tags attached to quality tools. While the allure of DIY projects may initially spark excitement, the reality sets in as you tally up your expenses at the checkout. 

Older tools, while not as exorbitant as the latest power tools flooding the market, can still command a significant investment.   

However, they're worth it because they're really well made and last a long time. This makes them attractive to people who like working with their hands, like builders or hobbyists, and that makes them more valuable over time. 

Know your worth: Antique tools for collectors & sellers 

Understanding the value of antique tools holds significant importance for both collectors and sellers alike.  

For collectors, knowing the value of these items helps them make informed decisions about which pieces to acquire for their collections. Tools that are in good working condition and can still perform their intended tasks hold greater appeal to collectors. On the other hand, tools that are damaged or no longer functional may struggle to find buyers. 

Moreover, age, brand, and the type of tool also play crucial roles in determining their value. Generally, tools from before the 19th century may not be as useful for modern tasks and are less commonly found for sale, making them less valuable compared to those from the 19th century onwards.  

Some collectors actively seek out complete series from specific brands, such as Stanley, and are willing to pay a premium for these items, even if they are not marked with the brand's name. 

For sellers, understanding the value of older tools enables them to accurately price their items for sale. This knowledge empowers sellers to attract buyers and negotiate fair deals, ultimately maximising the value of their inventory.  

In essence, knowing the value of these tools benefits both collectors and sellers by facilitating informed decision-making and ensuring fair transactions within the vintage tool market. 

History of antique tools

Woodworking tools have evolved from ancient hand tools to modern machinery, reflecting centuries of craftsmanship. Blacksmithing tools, essential for shaping metal, trace their origins back thousands of years and represent the artistry of metalworking. Antique agricultural tools, from simple implements to mechanised equipment, illustrate the evolution of farming practises and their impact on society.  

These antique tools offer a glimpse into our past, showcasing the ingenuity and innovation of generations past while providing tangible connections to our agricultural and industrial heritage. 


Factors that affect the value of antique tools 

The value of older tools is influenced by several key factors, including: 

Type of tool 

Recognising the specific type of tool is vital for gauging its worth. Certain types may be more sought after by collectors, while different variations or sub-types could hold niche appeal. 

Condition of the tool 

The overall condition of an antique tool is paramount in determining its value. While some wear and aging are expected in tools over a century old, excessive damage or deterioration can significantly diminish their worth. 

Brand or manufacturer 

Identifying the brand or manufacturer of older tools can provide valuable insights into their age and craftsmanship. Examining for distinctive markings or logos can help trace the tool's origins and historical significance. 


The rarity of an antique tool can greatly impact its value. Tools that are scarce or uncommon are often more desirable to collectors, leading to higher prices in the market. 


The documented history or provenance of an vintage tool can enhance its value. Knowing the tool's ownership history, previous uses, or notable associations can add to its authenticity and allure. 


The level of demand within the collector's market can influence the perceived value of antique tools. Tools that are highly sought after by enthusiasts or are part of a popular collecting trend may command premium prices. 

Antique tools worth money 

Discover the hidden gems among antique tools that are truly worth your money. From the elegantly crafted wood planes to the sturdy, old-world chisels, learn which pieces can transform your collection and fetch a significant return. 

Antique woodworking tools 
  1. Planes

While vintage planes dominate the market for this tool, antique wooden planes still find their place in modern auctions. For those unfamiliar, hand planes are block-shaped tools used to shape wood gradually.   

These tools typically fetch prices ranging from £200 to £8,000 each, depending on factors such as brand and design. Consider the Kent & Co. elongated plane, priced just over £257, and compare it to the Norris No.5 plane, listed at £2,000. This significant price gap is partly attributed to Norris's esteemed reputation as one of the premier hand plane manufacturers before Stanley emerged. 

In the realm of antique tools, hand planes of various types stand out as among the most valuable options available. 

Crafted between 1871 and 1892, this antique wood plane exudes exceptional beauty, a key factor contributing to its value. The intricate design features gunmetal construction with a rosewood handle, adding to its allure. Notably, this plane served as the precursor to subsequent Stanley plane designs, rendering it highly sought after among collectors of Stanley tools. Offering adjustability and versatility, it represents a pinnacle of craftsmanship. 

Among collectors, the earliest models hold the greatest value, with the Stanley Miller Patent Plane No. 42 Type 1 fetching prices of up to £15,000 in excellent condition. Subsequent models retain significant worth as valuable antique tools, typically commanding prices of at least £1,200. 

2. Vintage Saws 

Chances are, you've encountered more plastic hand saw than you have the real deal, but these traditional tools still hold their own significance today.

While they may not match the speed of their modern counterparts, 19th-century hand saws boast exquisite craftsmanship, often adorned with intricately carved and engraved handles.  

However, the value of these saws varies widely, ranging from around £40 to £2,400. On average, they typically fetch between £160 and £240 each. For instance, a Disston Victory saw is currently listed for £154, while a Woodrough & MC Parlin No. 12 Panther saw fetched a hefty £2,300 at auction. 

3. Chisels 

Originating from Japan, this antique tool is believed to have been crafted by Tsuki Nomi, according to the seller's description. Beyond its functionality, this tool exudes artistic flair. Adorned with intricate dragon imprints, both chisels command attention with their distinctive design. 

Having been in use for at least a century, these chisels bear signs of cosmetic wear, as noted by the seller. However, they remain in good condition and are fully capable of performing exceptionally well with some sharpening. 

Presently listed on eBay, this remarkable chisel for $1,599. 

Blacksmith and farrier tools 

Explore the world of blacksmith and farrier tools with us as we introduce you to the essentials of these historic crafts.

Reab below to learn about the tools that shape metal and care for hooves and discover how they have evolved through the ages. 

  1. Anvils 

Anvils may not be the first thing that comes to mind when picturing antique tools, but these sturdy metal blocks play a crucial role in blacksmithing and various metalworking endeavours. The value of antique anvils can vary widely, spanning from the upper hundreds to the £6,000 range, largely contingent on their age and size.  

Generally, larger anvils tend to be more highly prised. For instance, the 470lb Trenton anvil is currently listed for £6,500 at auction, while a 26-pound Peter Wright steel anvil sold for a comparatively modest £2,300. 

2. Hammers 

The hammer is a cornerstone tool in blacksmithing and farriery, used to shape materials through repeated strikes. Blacksmiths employ a variety of hammers, such as cross peen, straight peen, rounding, flatters, and set hammers, each designed for specific tasks in metalworking.   

Among these, the rounding hammer is particularly valued for its versatility in both flattening metal and creating curves.  

Highlighting this, an antique Champion Tool Co. anvil logo blacksmith 2 lb. farrier rounding hammer is currently on offer, showcasing the enduring craftsmanship of historical tools. 

3. Tongs

Tongs are indispensable tools for blacksmiths and farriers, enabling them to safely handle and transport extremely hot materials from the furnace to the anvil and throughout the workspace.  

These tools come in various shapes and sizes, each tailored to grip different types of metal securely. In the UK, the value of antique blacksmith tongs can vary widely, typically ranging from £20 to over £100, depending on their age, condition, and historical significance. 

Garden and agricultural tools 

Now, we'll dive into the rich history of garden and agricultural tools with a focus on the iconic plow and scythe.

Let's discover how these essential instruments have shaped farming practises over centuries and explore their evolution from simple designs to modern innovations. 


  1. Plows

During the 19th century, salesmen would carry miniature sample plows to showcase to potential customers. These diminutive plows can hold significant value, often fetching thousands of pounds. 

Martin J. Donnelly Antique Tools has a documented sale of one of these salesman's plows for £4,000, in exquisite condition. If you happen to possess a miniature plow or other type of farm tool, it could potentially hold substantial value 

2. Scythe  

Scythes, once used for cutting crops and grass, replaced the labour-intensive sickles and bagging hooks that required users to stoop low. Though largely replaced by modern machinery, scythes still find use in some parts of Europe and Asia, particularly for clearing areas inaccessible to machines and maintaining corners of fields. Skilled users could clear up to 2 acres a day with these tools, which required regular sharpening with a stone.   

Historically, in Western Europe, the scythe is famously associated with the Grim Reaper, symbolising the harvesting of souls since the Black Death.   

This particular scythe from the Museum of English Rural Life was part of a collection donated by Mrs. Monger, descending from a line of shopkeepers and farmers in Bramley, Hampshire. It was likely made by Alfred Willis, a village blacksmith noted for repurposing farrier's rasps into edged tools, and known as the last hand-forger of agricultural tools in central Southern England. 

Explore more antique tools with Tool Bazaar 

Investing in antique tools not only adds value to a collection but also provides insight into the trades and professions of yesteryears. However, ensuring the authenticity of antique tools is crucial to making a sound investment.   

We source, restore and sell some of the most valuable and rarest antique tools on the UK market, equipping collectors with essential knowledge to make informed decisions.

Whether you're a seasoned collector or new to the world of antique tools, this comprehensive guide serves as a valuable resource for uncovering treasures of historical significance.  

Tool Bazaar is the trusted seller of antique and vintage tools in the UK, providing enthusiasts with a reliable source for historical artifacts.  

For inquiries or specific requests, feel free to contact us. We're here to guide you through the realm of antique woodworking tools. 

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