100 thoughts on “Tool Recommendations for the Beginner

  1. Thanks Brian! One of the most informative explanations of tools I have yet seen. And the 4-5 best tools to buy was a huge money saver!!! Regards, Charlie

  2. Some great tips Brian, and a very informative video for beginners to ease their initial choice of "starter" tools. Wish this video was about when I started 😉
    Take care

  3. Great camera work. Excellent recommendations for a new turner to favor quality over quantity and master the few tools before loading up.

  4. Ha! So, where were you when I was starting out! Excellent advice … I have passed a link to this video on to a friend who is just getting started.

  5. Brian — Thank you for a very good video.  I don't agree with all your recommendations, but I would recommend your video to new turners anyway.  That's because you do a very good job of not just telling what your recommendation is by why you are making it.  Explaining why you hold an opinion is very informative and useful even if I, ultimately, disagree with it.  

    For example, I would recommend a new turner buy a spindle roughing gouge rather than a bowl gouge.  Why?  Because, as you point out, a 1/2" spindle gouge can do small bowls fairly easily.  It can even handle larger bowls as long as the turner keeps the tool rest close to the work.  So, there is little a new turner can do with a bowl gouge that he or she couldn't do with the spindle gouge.  If the turner likes turning bowls, a bowl gouge can be added later.  

    So why add a roughing gouge to the arsenal?  Because the tool is useful for long shallow beads and coves — like might be in a tool handle — and for long tapers.  These are shapes many new turners find easier to master with a spindle roughing gouge than with a spindle gouge or skew.  And, with light cuts, the surface left by a spindle roughing gouge will rival that from a skew.  So, I don't view the tool to be a one-trick-pony.  

    Which of us is right?  I don't think it really matters.  Armed with your clear explanation of why you recommend the tools you do and why I slightly disagree, my new turner friend will be able to make an informed choice.

    Well done.

  6. Brian, I have watched what seems like hundreds of videos on turning, but as a new turner I can truthfully say that I have learned more from you than any single source.  I really like your approach.  I plan to watch all of them as soon as I can.  Thanks,

  7. Very helpful, Brian. Just found your site. I like the way you address the pros/cons of tools. Was glad to see you include the skew. I've decided as a new turner to take up the challenge and learn to use it. I'm contemplating grinding a curvature to mine as I see a lot of people use it. Thanks again.

  8. Thank you for this very good informational video. I have looked online at sets and have been very overwhelmed. I really appreciate your advice and clarification. You may have previously, but could you suggest a decent beginners lathe? I really would like to find something that could get me off to a good start. Thanks!

  9. I just watched this again and can report that after buying an Alan Lacer skew, wide one, it roughs really well and almost eliminates the need for a spindle roughing gouge. Overall, I appreciate your advice. It's right on.

  10. I have been hobby turning for quite a while but I often like to refresh what I'm doing by watching videos like this one. This is top class information and advice.

  11. Hello,
    I've discovered your very good and informative channel some days ago. Lots of helpful things for a beginner as me. As a man who teaches video technique I'll can say, that the multiple views are very good and helpful. Thanks for that. May I give you a small but important tip? When you are talking into the camera to us, you're are looking into the LCD-Monitor and NOT into the objective. That can we see, that you're looking beside us. 🙂 So my advice is to look into the optic of the camera instead of watching the monitor. So we can virtually share eye-contact. Take care, Martin.

  12. as a beginner i LOVE this (and a lot of your others) very informational video i realy wish i would have found em just a little bit earlier 🙂 anyway i realy learned a lot and will definately follow your advices.
    Thanks a lot ! havent seen better videos for woodturning yet.

  13. Hi Brian,

    Thank you for such an informative video for a newbie like me. Right at the end you said the bowl gouge can be used for spindle work and you showed scraping cuts with it. Can the bowl gouge be used to make beads and coves and other spindle cuts?


  14. You know how to make lessons easy enough for beginners like me to understand. Thank you.

  15. I got given a lathe today, from a customers garage whilst fitting her new garage door.
    she was going to scrap it! now I'm here haha ive got a feeling this is going to be my new hobby!

  16. Hello Brian
    What a great Video, im coming back to Wood Turning after 34 years & need a little advice, this helped me a lot. Thanks for sharing ive subbed & liked. Cheers, Graham.

  17. Thank you Brian for your videos, they very well explain the does and don'ts of wood turning. What should a new turner look for in steel quality? You mentioned the importance of good steel. How will a new turner know what is and what is not?

  18. Brian, Just bought a lathe and this video was super impressive.  Thanks.  I want to invest in a chuck.  I've read that there are a lot of benefits to dovetail jaws.  Will I be able to put a square end blank into a dovetail jaw safely?

  19. Hey Brian,
    Wow!! Lot's of information for a beginner like me. I'll be watching this video several times I'm sure. Thank's for taking the time to teach us and help us get started on the road to turning.

  20. Thanks Brian! I have been using carbides….as money dictated me going that route. I'm now hooked, and am starting to look at getting more traditional tools. I am finding that it's harder for me to do bowls with medium carbides. This gave me a good list to start with.

  21. Hi Brian,

    I am fairly new to wood turning and have only done pens, which I made as Xmas gifts last year. This year I thought I would give out pizza cutters. The only problem was that I had no experience in making handles. So I went onto YouTube to see what I might find. I agree with all the others that I am thankful to you for your many videos. But I do have one question to ask. In viewing your video on tools for the beginner, which I am, you indicated that the number one tool you would purchase was a 1/2" spindle gouge. In going to my nearest woodworking store they had a spindle gouge and a fingernail spindle gouge. Which would you recommend for turning handles. Your comments are appreciated. And thanks again.

  22. Thats real good news – saw this after I wrote my letter to Santa, but got them all on the list 🙂 Excellent video, thanks.

  23. Lots of great information!  I would suggest, however, especially for beginners that the tool rest be very close to the work. 1/8 inch if possible.  That is much safer as it decreases the chance of a tool hooking into the wood and flying though the air with exciting results.  Expert wood turners may get away with greater distance as your video shows.  Outside of that observation your video is great!  Thumbs up definitely!

  24. I am an avid woodworker, and professional guitar builder, but I am brand new to turning. This video was very informative. Thank you Sir!

  25. MAN! Being new to this I can't thank you enough! Ben doing a # of things wrong, and a few right. I can't tell you how much this helped! THANK YOU! Already working my way though all your stuff!

  26. Excellent video, loads of good advice, demonstrations short and to the point, but the sound really suffers in places. 8/10, would watch again.

  27. thanks for the simple explanations and demonstration. I want to try this but it appears overwhelming. good delivery for novice.

  28. I came across-ed a good deal on a lathe and 18 different tools. Had no idea what they are or where to start with them. Thanks so much so far after 3 months. I now have a better understanding about the tools. This video is very straight forward and direct

  29. Thank you for taking your time to help out struggling newcomers. There is no greater service than to teach someone  and watch them progress to a point where even you admire their work. This and your end grain video have helped me know how to hollow out a pot I was working on. Keep up the good work and again many thanks. Oh and I just subscribed to your channel.

  30. Hi,
    You listed the 1st tool a new turner should get, but what about the others in the video? Could you name those as well?
    Thanks for a great (and needed) video!

  31. Thank you for the info. I have never worked on a lathe but plan to purchase one after the first of next year. I have watched many videos and have decided upon a Nova Comet 2. I don't have room for a shop so portability is a priority for me. I appreciate the choices you have offered and the insight I have gained from you is invaluable. Would you recommend high speed steel as opposed to carbon steel tool choices?

  32. Really good video.  It is a great deal of help.   Would like to know the speeds you do and the speeds for different types of wood and shapes.

  33. This is a really good video. I'm amazed at all of the different ways you're using those gouges. Wish I would have watched it before I started ordering gouges.

  34. Hi Brian, at first thank you for all your great videos… I want to buy a spindle gouge 1/2 and a bowl gouge 1/2 but I don´t know which spindle gouge to choose. European-style or English? I am confused with "Detail Gouges ( Round cross-section or Rectangular cross-section) — depth of flute. Which tool should I buy to be most versatile? Same issue with a bowl gouge, what shape of flute should I buy? I am beginner but want to keep one tool for the longest time possible.

  35. I just bought a lathe and found this video. Thanks for the explanations and demonstrations on beginning chisels. The video was very helpful.

  36. Brian, excellent instructional video, I have followed up your recommendations to buy my first four tools (Carter & Son), I just have a doubt regarding the Parting Tool, should it be 1/8” or 3/16” as first tool?

  37. Great information and solid video work. I just have to laugh at limiting yourself to a four tool list, only to chafe at the restrictions and stick in mentions of more tools that almost made the list.

  38. AWESOME VIDEO! ! Just what I been looking for i learned alot just starting out got a mini and a nice set of Sorby tools from my brother. ….used some of them upside down lol! Great help thanks for sharing. …….John

  39. good video this helped a bit as I'm looking to get started, my question is how does one know what is a good tool over a cheap tool?, i.e. what metal is best for turning and holds a good edge? also I'm looking at getting a couple of carbide tip tools to go along with your top 4. My last question is about the tool length How does one know what length to buy if I haven't turned yet?

  40. Thanks Brian. Some terrific information here for us beginners. I agree with your logic about finding what you like to do before you go out and buying more tools. I actually bought a set when I bought my lathe, chuck and protective equipment etc. I'll certainly be subscribing to you. What about Tungsten Carbide tools; what do you advise about these?

  41. Thank you very much for sharing . I am you years ago and appreciate this info . You did a great job explaining and confirming other things I have been learning . Thank you sir

  42. Nao intendi nada do que voce falou kkkk
    Mais compreendi tudo que voce fez kk
    Excelente video muito detalhado
    Eu uso as imagens pra construir minhas ferramentas.

  43. I’ve watched a lot of videos by a lot of turners, and you sir, seem to have the best mastery of the tools. Impressive.

  44. Look at the lens, not the gorgeous picture of yourself which you think is so amazing that you can't take your eyes off of yourself. You won't come off as such the douchebag.

  45. For someone guiding beginners, I did not like you adjusting the tool rest whilst the wood was still spinning. A bad idea.

  46. Brian, fabulous video. Now that you’ve told us newbies four tools, can you recommend a couple of decent manufacturers from which to buy them? Thank you

  47. Good but…it's a beginners guide but you have people grinding their own tools. That's a whole other video. It would have been nice, as well, to say XYZ company has a great quality product for not too much money. Other than that I think it's a great review.

  48. I think the radius on the skew probably makes it less of a 'beast' to use. (The taming of the skew? Sorry, had to drop that pun).

  49. First YouTube comment ever. Great educational video, I just got a used lathe thinking I'm going to expand my woodworking hobby. I'm overwhelmed by the choice of tools, this got me on a good starting track, thank you. Looking forward to watching more of your videos

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