Regardless of your level of expertise at shaping dead trees, there’s definitely a publication out there that’s suited for you. The hobby is still alive and thriving today despite the fact that it’s largely absent from the public eye as mass-produced steel and plastic have overtaken many of the industries which used to be the domain of carpenters.
If you’re looking for one or several subscriptions to great woodworking magazines, you’re in the right place. We’re here to bring you up to speed on what’s currently available, and who they’re best suited for. These are, in our humble opinion, the best woodworking magazines on the market. Check these reviews out!
The title just about says it all. Wood is a journal aimed at the serious woodworker, and it delivers in spades when it comes to finding simple DIY projects that you can complete without having to purchase a ton of specialized tools.
They release a total of 14 issues every 24 months, and the cost comes out to a bit more than two dollars per issue which also makes it an absolute bargain.
Wood is mostly aimed at those who are just beginning their journey, focusing on simple DIY projects that nearly anyone will be able to complete with some basic tools. If you’re looking to get started and want some ideas and practical, actionable advice, you’re going to find yourself looking forward to the arrival of each issue of this magazine.
Woodsmith is one of the most commonly used magazines by woodworkers in the English-speaking world. Many woodworkers who feel they’ve advanced beyond the need for magazines still keep getting this one in their mailbox, and for good reason. It teaches techniques instead of trying to sell you tools.It will come into your mailbox like clockwork, one magazine every two months for the whole year.
Unlike many magazines, what you find here won’t be thinly veiled ads for tools. Instead, you’ll find that they’re teaching you about the art of woodworking in its entirety. Regardless of whether you’re currently able of utilizing the techniques or not, it’s a must-have for anyone who’s serious about their home carpentry. This is easily among the best woodworking magazines period.
Another must-have magazine for woodworkers of any skill level, Fine Woodworking is one of the best magazines of its type, bar none. It includes crafts that are suitable for pretty much any woodworker, from the rank amateur to the seasoned professional.
The articles themselves are mostly based around furniture, so if that’s your game then you’ll find it invaluable. That said, there’s something here for almost everyone.
Keep in mind that this is an advertising based magazine, so you’ll have to deal with the occasional ad for high-priced tools you don’t necessarily need. As long as you keep your head out of the “need” that appears in advertising, however, you’re looking at some truly solid information.
Amateurs without a deep interest in the hobby might find most of it to be a bit over their head, but this magazine covers every aspect of the craft from start to finish and even if you’re not yet capable of grasping everything in the magazine it will give you something to aspire to.
The Woodworker’s Journal is a compilation of advanced projects and techniques which are suitable for pretty much anyone with a little bit of experience in the field.
It’s probably not the best one to pick up for beginners, however. The articles aren’t going to spoon-feed you on how to use your tools, but if you’re already working with them, then you’ll definitely find out the best ways to use them.
If you can stand the complexity, then the Woodworker’s Journal has you in good hands. It’s highly recommended for hobbyists with some experience and professionals, and the articles might just leave you hungry for more as they dissect the information in an easily readable format. If you’re already somewhat familiar with tools, this just might be the best woodworking magazine for you.
Picking a Subscription
If you’re just beginning, get Wood (see full specs). It’s simple, easy to use, and you’ll rapidly find that it gives you projects which can easily be managed at your amateur skill level. You might also want to consider picking up one of the others, just so you know what you’re aspiring to, but that’s dependent on your personality and budget.
Craftsmen with a few years of experience are likely to be best-served by Woodsmith and Fine Woodworking. Both assume you know a little about what you’re doing, so you won’t find yourself repetitively reading things you’ve known since a few months into your carpentry journey.
The experienced craftsman will definitely find some value in Fine Woodworking (see full specs) and the Woodcrafter’s Journal, both of which are rather advanced.
Why Pick Up a Magazine?
It can be hard to see why you should pick up a magazine subscription with a large amount of information available on the internet for free or nearly free. There’re a couple of simple reasons, though.
Some people prefer print. It’s always nice to have the information in your hands, unless you want to risk keeping your laptop, Kindle, or smartphone open on your workbench while you’re going at things you’ll find yourself worrying less about a magazine.
No art exists in a vacuum, no matter how much it might seem like it at times. With a recurring subscription to the best woodworking magazines, you’ll be treated to an influx of new ideas and state-of-the-art work, displayed well and tastefully.
Even if you live in an area without a community of woodworkers, the constant influx of new information will help you feel connected to the community of craftsman as a whole, rather than just like you’re hiding in your shed not making any progress.
A subscription to a woodworking magazine that’s suitable for your skill level is a cheap investment when you consider how much tools, blades, and materials are going to cost you. It might just have the best return of any quick investment you can make as well, the gathering of knowledge and new ideas can lead to something truly great in the end. Good luck!