Card scrapers are exactly what they look like–a piece of boring old metal. But woodworkers LOVE them. Once you’ve become proficient at scraping, you reach for a card scraper constantly. I keep one in my apron so that I never have to look around for it. One annoyance of card scrapers is that they can be finicky to sharpen. This is where multiples come in. Sharpen a bunch, and cycle through them without the need to stop and sharpen.
Bahco Scraper– $10.50
This is a great card scraper. Can’t miss here. Even better is that the Bahco comes in a convenient plastic sleeve to keep its edge safe when not in use.
Honorable over-the-budget mention
Crucible Tools Scraper – $20
Christopher Schwarz’s Crucible tools made this scraper with a gentle curve that helps keep the edges from digging into a piece. While I reach for one of my Bahco scrapers most often, whenever I grab the Crucible scraper, I’m glad it’s there.
Woodworkers can always use more knives. I count five knives within arm’s reach of my workbench, and I’m not even that into knives. But each one serves a purpose! Even if your woodworker has a favorite knife to use in the shop, either of these would be welcomed and used.
This knife is a favorite in many shops. Chris Gochnour uses it as a marking knife and even though the blade is disposable, he has found he can hone it to get more use out of each one. I keep one in my shop dedicated to precisely cutting tape.
Olfa Stainless Steel Knife – $10
Michael Fortune turned us on to this little knife, and we believe one can be found in Tim Rousseau’s apron as well. I started using this when my nice marking knife went missing, and after using it for awhile, I’ve stopped looking for my nice marking knife. For around $10, it’s a knife any woodworker would be happy to have at hand.
-Pro tip: The only place I’ve ever seen this knife in the brick-and-mortar world has been in artist supply stores or in the painting aisle of Home Depot–not with the other knives and razor blades. Only in the paint section!
Glue-ups are stressful for us woodworkers. Sometimes they go smoothly, and sometimes… well… let’s not talk about it. Any tool that makes glue-ups a little bit easier is always loved. The Fastcap BabeBot is a 4-oz. bottle that stores enough glue for a few glue-ups and dispenses it from the bottom of the bottle, so it’s easier and quicker to get the glue where you need it.
More tape measures!
Tape measures are another item you can never have too many of, but woodworkers have specific needs. Nothing too big and heavy, and when possible, we like it to have a few tricks up its sleeve. When I polled our Instagram audience, each of these specific tape measures was mentioned multiple times. If that isn’t enough of an endorsement, I have two of each of these tape measures in my shop.
Fastcap 16-ft. Lefty/Righty tape measure (above left) – $9
The Fastcap lefty/righty is a favorite among people who aren’t using tape measures every day, all day. Instead of tick marks every 16th of an inch, it actually has the fractions printed on the tape. Some might be too proud to use tape because it acts as a crutch, but honestly, after using it a few times you’ll never want to use a tape without fractions again. I accidentally left one of these tapes at my brother’s house and he quickly declared I’m never getting it back.
DeWalt 9-ft. magnetic pocket tape measure (above right) – $6
This little tape is as close to perfect as you are likely to find. Since woodworkers rarely deal with boards over 8 ft. long, the size is perfect. It features a clip that easily attaches to a pocket or strap on an apron, and best of all, on the opposite side there is a powerful magnet allowing you to stick it to the side of any metal surface. They’re so handy that after making a video reviewing this tape, I went out and bought three the next day. I’ve only lost one since then!
Even if you have caught your favorite woodworker wrapping presents in blue tape because they have so much of it, they need more. I’m gonna say it one more time—BLUE TAPE! Extra points for different widths.
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