ManMade Essential Toolbox: Beyond the Basics – Get Yourself Some Beautiful Tools

H.O. Studley ToolkitWe’ve spent the year highlighting the tools we love in the shop. From the functional to the specialized, there have been 51 posts on the best tools for tackling creative, DIY, or around the house projects. Assembled together, they’re functional, long-lasting, and straightforward to use. But now, for this last post in the series, it’s time to go beyond the basics to explore those are as beautiful as they are useful.    Lee Valley Parallel Tip Screwdrivers1. Lee Valley Parallel Tip Screwdrivers $50 These beautiful screwdrivers are designed to perfectly seat into a flathead screw without nicking the inset wood. Smooth and polished cherry wood handles make them easy to control when seating those final fasteners. Complete with a burnisher to create a small layer of burrs along the edge so the driver won’t slip while turning brass screws.

Cergol Hammers2.  Cergol Custom Forged Hammers $400+ What happens when you blend traditional craftsmanship with incredible design? Excellence. That is exactly why you’ll have to wait about 3-4 months after ordering for a piece from Cergol Tools to arrive at the shop. Cergol has been featured by the industry many times over because his tools are distinct, his methods are amazing, and the finished products are the epitome of useful beauty.

Thin Keft Japanese Pull Saw3. Thin Kerf Japanese Pull Saw $400+ There is some debate as to the effectiveness of earlier, Asian craftsmanship tools versus the more modern western tools. In my mind, the traditional tools are still the best for a variety of reasons. First, I love the thin kerf this saw leaves behind, and cutting on the pull stroke is more precise in my experience. These traditional saws will set you back a bit, but if you’re looking for the best joinery saw, this is it.

Chestnut Tools Pocket Wrench4. Chestnut Tools Pocket Wrench $12 This tool makes the list because of it’s simplicity. A small, versatile tool that just works. This 5.5″ pocket wrench uses a unique jaw design to adjust to the nut size easily. It may not provide the gripping pressure of the traditional wrench design, but look at it. It just looks good.

Harold and Saxon Chisels5. Harold and Saxon Chisel Set $750 If the fine art of carving wood is a profession for you, a quality set of chisels is completely an essential tool. That said, this chisel set is on the high side of essential and well into beautiful with the exotic wood handles, extremely durable and sharp steel, and polished finish that just begs to be held.Damascus Steel Hallow Back Chisels

6. Tasai Damascas Pattern Blue Steel Multi-Hollow Back Chisel Set $4085 If only the very, very, very best will do, these chisels will do. Crafted by Mr. Akio Tasai, master of blacksmiths, these incredible tools seamlessly mend the art of craftsmanship into a functional piece that would make any project just a bit more enjoyable to work on.

What tools do you have in the shop that would be just as welcome in an art gallery?