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Best Tools for Sole Proprietor Wood Shops

By Laguna Tools on April, 24 2020
Best Tools for Sole Proprietor Wood Shops

When it comes to woodworking, there are many different types of tools and equipment that can be used to make the process so much easier.

From dust collectors to jointers and table saws to planers, this article will cover the best tools for sole proprietor woodworking shops.


Dust Collectors

When working with natural materials such as wood, there is a lot of debris and dust that comes with the job. Free floating particles of wood dust can be dangerous to your lungs and respiratory system. No one wants to breathe dust in.

A dust collector is an air filtration system that works hard at keeping your workspace breathable and clean. It’s like the air filter units you will find inside your home and in your vehicle, but it’s designed specifically to filter out dust particles from wood.

The size of your dust collector will depend on how large your workshop is and how much money you are willing to spend. These units are powered by a small motor that generates between 1 hp and 3 hp. The more robust models are more expensive and are meant for larger shops.

Prices on dust collectors range from $388 to $9,999. Some may even come with a High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter and a filter sensor that alerts you when the bag is full.



One of the key pieces of equipment that can help a sole proprietor woodshop is a jointer. These machines use precise cutting technology to produce a flat surface.

Wood chips can exit the machine quickly due to the deep gullets. Keeping that in mind, the jointer produces a lot of debris, which is why you need that dust collector we just mentioned.

Depending on which jointer you choose to invest in, they can have 6- to 12-inches of cutting width and 0.5-inches of cutting depth.

These machines are perfect for woodworkers who build cabinets, bookshelves, and other large pieces of furniture that require long, flat surfaces. Prices vary from $1,399 to $7,499.



Essentially, a bandsaw is just a saw that is powered by a motor to make cutting wood very fast and easy. The toothed, metal blade is long and sharp. Stretched between two or more wheels, it can provide a uniform cutting action and even irregular or curved shapes.

This gives the woodworker more freedom to create specific designs unlike a traditional table saw, which we will cover in a bit.

These machines can produce 1.75 hp to 3 hp depending on which one you get. Prices range from $1,499 to $11,999.



Tablesaws do not have their own dust collection systems but have ports that you can hook a dust collector for dust removal.  Moving on to tablesaws, these machines are necessary to cut large pieces of wood such as plywood.

An electric motor powers a circular saw blade that is mounted to the arbor. The blade protrudes through the table and easily slices through the wood.

There is a big difference in the types of electrical motors. Universal electric motors are typically found on low cost units sold at the big box stores. Laguna and others use a TEFC motor that is quieter, has more torque and designed for longevity and better tolerances.

They can produce between 1.5 hp and 3 hp, and they are often equipped with their own dust collector system. This can help to cut down on the work your air filtration unit has to do.

Prices can range from $999 to $10,499 depending on what you’re looking for.



While you’re working on a new wood piece, you will often find that you need to turn the material. This is where the lathe comes in handy.

While cutting, sanding, or drilling, the lathe will rotate your piece of wood. This allows you to create symmetrical designs on the wood surface. Precision in creating intricate details is key with this machine.

With speed controls, it’s very easy to use and is a great upgrade for your woodworking shop.

Powered by an electric motor, these machines can produce between 1 hp and 3 hp. Prices vary from $799 to $3,799.



If you need to trim down the thickness of a large piece of wood, you will need to precise cutting abilities of a planer. This machine can cut through the length of a thick piece of wood, essentially splitting in half.

Typically powered by an electric motor that generates 5 hp, planners can have a table width measuring 16- or 20-inches. Prices are set between $2,999 and $10,499.



Here is the biggest dust produced in the shop. Sanders are power tools that create a smooth surface on wood.

As a raw, natural material, wood can have splinters and sharp points that can cut the skin. While you can use sandpaper and rub down the entire piece by hand, this can be tedious and very tiring.

To make the smoothing process easy and fast, you should invest in a sander. You will be able to take on more projects if you don’t have to waste hours of your day grinding away by hand.

There is a very wide range of sanders to choose from depending on your needs. You can find one for as little as $499 or as much as $37,999.



If you want to mold your wood pieces into a specific shape that isn’t just straight, you’ll need a shaper machine.

Driven by a vertically-oriented spindle, the cutter heads mill the wood profiles into the desired shape. If you design building pieces for houses like raised-panel doors or crown moldings, investing in a shaper can be a huge time saver.

Powered by an electric motor that can push our 3 to 5 hp, these machines can cost between $2,499 and $9,999.


Building Your Workshop

Woodworking is not a cheap endeavor. While you could technically do most of the work by hand, it’s much more difficult and time-consuming. Attempting to cut the correct angles or sanding by hand will take up a lot of valuable time that you could be using to take on more projects.

Depending on what type of wood pieces you build, you can customize the equipment inside your workshop to suit your needs.


In Conclusion

Now that you have a better idea of what you will need to enhance your woodworking space, you can get started on collecting the right equipment. For more information on classic machinery that’s ideal for sole proprietors, check out


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