How Much Does it Cost to Start a Woodworking Business?

So you have mastered your craft. Woodworking is no longer a secret hobby of yours, but it has grown into something that you want to share with the world.

You are no longer satisfied staying in your woodshop and are looking to expand into a business, but what are the costs?

How much does it cost to start a woodworking business? The most basic startup costs are around $2,000 for wood and other materials, $2,000 for basic equipment and tools, $1,000 for miscellaneous expenses, and $300 for basic promotional material (ex. business cards). This does not include leasing expenses if you plan to lease or rent a storefront. 

For someone starting out, the cost may seem significant, but proper planning and a bit of imagination can cut your costs and have you sitting pretty.

Considering this as an investment in the years of profit (financial and otherwise) to come, this can have an entirely new appeal.

Let’s dive in.

What Tools and Materials Do You Need to Start a Woodworking Business?

If you are going to have a woodworking business, you have got to have the right tools.

Now, this doesn’t mean you have to go and drop $10,000 on any and every piece (although this is totally possible for some of you who are already invested), but you do need to have a selection of different tools that can get any and every job done. 

So, what tools and materials do you need to start a woodworking business? Primarily, you will need power saws like a circular saw, jigsaw, table saw, and handsaw. Then, you will need planes, a random orbital sander, hand files, a power drill, and other smaller tools. The types of projects will determine the specific tools you need. And, of course, you will need wood.

Of course, narrowing down the list of what you need for your specific business comes down to your budget, preferences, and the projects you have in mind.

Below, I am going to give you a list of tools you will need to start and the purpose of each.

From there you can choose what works best for the projects you will be completing. 

Power Saws

There are many different types of power saws that you can use when starting your woodworking business.

Primarily, it is best to start with a circular saw, jigsaw, table saw, and handsaw.

These have various costs based on the model and quality of tool.

Circular Saw 

There are a wide array of saws out there that can do anything you can imagine, it can get a bit confusing picking exactly what you need.

If you want something that is going to get a wide variety of different jobs done, then a circular saw is what you are looking for. 

These bad boys are all electric and come with ripping blades, crosscut blades, and combination blades to get heavy work and more delicate work done (as long as you are using the right blade).

These average around $150 each, but you can find some for more or less expensive depending on the quality you are aiming for.

Jigsaw

For more intricate cuts, you are going to need a jigsaw.

These work in an up and down motion rather than a circular motion like a circular saw.

They are great for interior cuts and are easily operated with one hand.

Essentially, a jigsaw gets all the tough work done that your circular saw isn’t capable of.

The average cost for a jigsaw for your woodworking business will range between $100-$200.

Table Saw 

Table saws are designed to make cuts that other saws are not as great at.

They come up from the table itself rather than coming down like a circular saw, but they are able to get fantastic angles on different woodworking pieces.

Their precision is adjusted easily and blade depth is easily controlled.

Choose between a cabinet table saw, a benchtop table saw, or a contractor table saw to see which would work best for your new business.

The average cost for a table saw for your woodworking business is between $400-$800 depending on the quality that you choose.

A more expensive tool required for your woodworking business, but one that will be well worth its up-front cost.

Handsaws 

Handsaws always have a place in woodworking and they are an easy and inexpensive addition to anyone’s tool chest.

There are all kinds of different types for different jobs, but just remember to purchase one that is of good quality.

A dull blade will get you nowhere, but a sharp one can cut nearly as well and as fast as any electric saw.

An average handsaw is roughly $20, so this should not set you back too much.

Planes 

No, I am not asking you to go out and purchase a Boeing 747.

Planes are used to shave off wood and make a nice smooth surface.

Again, with this area there are all kinds of planes to choose from like joining planes, rabbet planes, scraper planes, spokeshaves, block planes, and jack planes.

Figure out their purposes and which ones work for your personal needs. 

Because these come in such a wide variety of sizes and functional uses, the average cost is quite diverse.

For a handheld low-angle jack plane, you might spend roughly $80. However, for an electric planer, you can expect to spend above $450. 

Random Orbital Sander 

This is the electric wood-finishing tool you need.

It is fast, it gets the job done without you having to sweat out a hardcore sanding job, and it won’t sand your wood unevenly like some hand sanding jobs do. 

A random orbital sander oscillates rather than moving in a circular motion so that your wood isn’t left with circular patterns all over it.

This will leave your wood smooth without a trace of the tool that you used.

The average cost of a random orbital sander for your woodworking business will be around $75-$135.

Hand Files 

To get into smaller areas or precisely shape and form your pieces, a hand file is going to be your new best friend.

Invest in one that is made of quality steel to avoid it getting dull quickly and you’ll have a product that will last and last. 

Some hand files are designed to take off large amounts of wood at a time and others are used to finely smooth.

There are even some files that can be used dually.

The average cost of hand files for your woodworking business is minimal and can typically be found under $20.

Power Drill 

Power drills are going to make your life and your work so much easier.

You need one of these to speed up the process of getting pieces together but also for having a little torque behind your drill. 

A corded model will always have more power and will sustain longer than a cordless, so this is a more ideal purchase.

Even more than woodworking, this little tool can be used for all kinds of projects around the house.

Who doesn’t like a multi-use product? 

The average cost of a power drill for your woodworking business is $50-$70 with backup batteries and drill bits adding to this cost.

Other Smaller Tools 

Lastly, I just want to go over a few other small things that you need to have in your shop.

It is likely that you already have each of these or you know what they are without needing a big description.

If you don’t have them or have no idea what they are, no worries.

They are easy to use and take only a second to figure out what exactly they do. 

You definitely want a hammer that can pound and pry.

You’ll also need a mallet for softer work like tapping wood joints together.

Also, invest in an assortment of squares to help you verify all different types of wonky angles.

A tape measure is also a must-have along with a few rulers to make smaller measuring jobs a bit easier.

Have your basic hand tools as well, but don’t forget the chisels, you’ll need them!

For a surface to work on and work with you’ll need a set of sawhorses to help balance big sheets of wood.

If you have some scrap wood lying around you can make your own set without having to go out and buy one – saving some money for your business!

You also need a solid workbench that can hold your tools but also function as a space for you to get some work done.

Quality in this area is key because you will use it every single day. 

And, of course, you cannot forget to include the cost of the wood that you will use to make your projects to begin with!

The types and costs of wood range quite a bit, so be sure to review the associated costs of your favorite pieces of wood as you create your master woodworking business plan.

What Other Expenses are There Besides Tools and Materials in a Woodworking Business? 

Earlier, I shot you an average price of about $2,000 for tools and materials, but here’s the deal: both of these estimates can be greater or can be less depending on what you already have, what work you plan to complete, and what type of wood you will be working with. 

But, what other expenses are there besides tools and materials in a woodworking business? Besides the tools and materials, you can expect to find expenses in marketing and advertising as well as overhead. Then, be sure to set aside money for miscellaneous expenses.

Marketing and Advertising 

You need to figure out the specific market that you want to target.

This is going to help you zero in on the equipment that you need and the wood you are going to have to stock up on to get the job done. 

Overhead 

Always consider overhead expenses when thinking of starting a business.

The expenses do not stop at the very beginning.

If you have rent, that will always be there along with utilities.

You will also have to continually buy materials as well as upkeep of tools plus new purchases for projects that need something different than what you currently have.