Update on My Book- Essential Woodworking Hand Tools

My Book, Essential Woodworking Hand Tools, is now out of stock everywhere, but thankfully it is in the process of being printed as we speak! We are expecting new stock in a few weeks so, at least to begin with, the only place to buy it will be directly from us. If you’d like to be the first to know when it’s back in stock you can register your interest using the form below and we will contact you when the new stock arrives.

If you already have the book I’d love to hear what you think of it, let me know in the comments!

UPDATE DEC 2020: You can now buy the book directly from our online shop: https://rokesmith.com/shop/

82 thoughts on “Update on My Book- Essential Woodworking Hand Tools”

  1. Kurt Schultz (RI,USA)

    I have read your book cover to cover and it has been my go to reference over the past ~4 years as it lives on an easy to reach shelf in my garage. Full of my notes in the margins,, underlines and markings throughout,, dozens of tabbed pages to refer again and again. It has become my book. Only thing missing in my well used copy is your autograph! 🙂

  2. I have this book. Not because I need him (I learn techniques on your blog and soon with woodworking masterclasses) but because I want him for the future. I believe in book and maybe someone will found your’s in my bookshelves someday…

  3. I have read and re-read Paul’s book several times (at my age maybe it’s a memory thing?) and I never get bored. It is a powerhouse of knowledge for me and the first book I turn to for reference and information – I love it.

    I need to know though, I understand future publications of the book will only be available directly from yourselves, therefore my question is…..will any further new publications written by Paul only be available directly from yourselves (I watched the last VLOG about your new printing venture) ? As I (now) live in Canada, and as my copy of “Essential Woodworking Hand Tools” was bought in Ottawa at Canada’s most reputable tool supplier, will you be shipping any further new publications direct internationally?

    1. Yes, we already do that as shipping and storage with distributors became prohibitive for us. It’s as quick for us to ship directly and we have had 100% success this way. Probably modern-day logistics has markedly improved globally.

      1. Paul,
        I am hopeful that you will consider digital and audiobook in addition to the print media. I think written digital (can be) less expensive to produce and distribute, but more than that – it can be with us more often (at the Doctor’s office, during a commute etc. (not that you need something else to get into! ha ha) thank you again for all you do – and another vote for this is a “go-to” reference book for the beginner to the advanced hand tool woodworker!

        1. I agree, it would be great if you would offer a digital version. And why waste perfectly good wood for paper when you could make something out of it? (Okay I know it frequently is different types of wood etc.)

          Thanks for all you do, I’m still starting my wood working journey, and I can’t tell you how much I have learned and continue to learn from you. It’s always a pleasure to watch your videos and read your blogs. Keep up the great work, it and you are very much appreciated.

  4. I bought my copy a few years ago from amazon. It is my “go-to” guide for the use and maintenance of hand tools.

  5. good-morning Paul,

    Already I would like to thank you for everything I have learned thanks to you and for everything that I continue to learn day after day.

    I bought the book and the DVD to support your business, unfortunately my English is very poor.
    Will there ever be a French translation?

    thank you for everything

    1. @Elaand Your written English looks perfect to me. But I understand, I bought a German language version of Wille Sundqvist’s Swedish Carving when the English language version was out of print. Inspiring pictures but frustratingy unreadable. Fortunately it is back in print again, after alerting Taunton Press to the pent-up demand.

  6. Aw bummer! I had the book in my cart 2 days ago but didn’t buy it as it wasn’t payday yet… oh well guess I will have to wait. I enjoy all your videos and blogs etc but I prefer an old fashioned book. I like to have something physical and tangible, even reading classics etc.

  7. i ordered this book on 7 october from rokesmith, the book was sent to me on 16 october, every day i’m looking to receive it, i think that it’s just brain food and in this time of cov-2 food for the soul!
    Thanks for existing Paul!

  8. Roy W Sternberg

    I have this and read cover to cover as soon as it arrived. Very well done Paul and thank you for your teaching us hacks to be better craftspersons.

  9. I bought a copy of this book from Paul (which he kindly signed) at a woodworking demonstration he gave several years ago in Harrogate. It is an amazing resource of information that is invaluable for anybody who works with hand tools. I can’t recommend it highly enough. Mr Sellers is an inspiration.

  10. Loved your book! I used it to help teach card scraper sharpening to a couple of my employees at my cabinet shop. Unfortunately lost it along with my library of other woodworking books in a fire in 2018, but was able to read it cover to cover before that! Thank you for what you do, as so many others have learned words from your experience and guidance.

  11. Essential Woodworking Hand Tools by Paul Sellers is a must have book. It is well structured and very clearly organized. The chapters are packed with knowledge. It is not information gathered by researching the web. It is knowledge by experience – I can feel this in the way I make mine the concepts and the explanations I read; they flow easily from the page to my mind then to my hands in the shop. This, of course, comes from the author’s long experience, but also from his teaching abilities and from his love for the craft and the craftmanship.

    The layout of the pages is dynamic. Text and illustrations are arranged in a pleasing and esthetic way throughout the book. The pictures come in different sizes and the photography is excellent in shooting and resolution. The author’s original sketching bring out the important details and make the explanations very clear. The font is nice; it could have been a point bigger, but then from 480 pages we would have some 100 more I guess and this impacts printing and shipping costs.

    Printing and binding: perfect! The paper quality is very good and the colour also; hardcover book …it can survive around most shops 🙂

    I bought the book from Rokesmith last summer. Excellent customer service from Mark!

    Do I recommend the book? Well, I clearly love it!

  12. Just felt like saying.
    Sandhills with spinifex
    Green open spaces
    Running water over smooth stones
    Blossoms like snow, boronia, sweet roses, hard packed gravel
    Shed with a hoist and bench
    New shoes and some helpful words from a wise friend

  13. Stephen McGonigle

    A most excellent book, it’s concise, but with sufficient depth and detail to explain clearly. A lovely concentration of your work and accumulated knowledge over the years. Watching you online is excellent, however quiet concentration with a book is better for the soul, and your’s is an enjoyable read as well as a learning and reference book.

  14. Excellent book with great content. Wonderfully produced.
    I keep re-reading it chapter by chapter.
    Don’t think about it any longer, buy it.

  15. Jean Claude Peeters

    My two favourite books on the craft are written by… Paul Sellers.
    Those and Roy Courtnall’s Making Master Guitars.

  16. Is this printed in English or U.S. English like the book from ‘Working Wood – The Artisan Course’?

    I ask because whilst I found that book useful, it was distracting and then somewhat irritating with the American spellings. It would be nice to have a book to give to the grandchildren in English and using terminology found this side of the pond.

    1. It’s English English not US English. I too lament the gradual takeover and see more and more Europeans who learn English from American films and TV adopting the Americanisms like “Sure!” instead of “Yes, please!” or “Wow!” Instead of, “How remarkable!”, and on a more basic level, “Cool!” instead of “Yes!”

      1. And you have a good prononciation very helpfull for learning. I improved my english with your blog. I find interresting learning wood working and learning english. What I could never do in French school. Thanks Paul and team.

      2. It isn’t just the difference between the two types of English. I think we here in the US are more willing to appropriate words for similar yet different meanings.
        The problem with that in my opinion, is that words like “Outstanding”, Amazing” and “Spectacular” become diminished when they become commonplace.
        Being present at the birth of my three children was indeed an “Awesome” event to witness. Watching them kick a goal in soccer? Not so much.

        1. Yes, I know exactly what you mean and that’s right. When you hear an English person ask to use the bathroom it can be quite painful! American, “Where’s the bathroom, please? English person, “Excuse me, er, do you think, mmm! Do you think you might possibly tell me where I might, er, find the ladies toilet?”

      3. Reminds me of Paul McCartney telling the story of when he first wrote “She Loves You.” Apparently he and John ran into the parlor to play it for Paul’s dad, and he responded with, “It’s a good song, but, you know son, there are enough of these Americanisms running around…couldn’t you change it from ‘She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah’ to ‘She loves you, yes, yes, yes?’”

      4. We had a saying in the Army that when training Soldiers, you had to show them what “right” looked like. Thank you, Mr. Sellers for showing what right looks like.

        Doc Lee in Arkansas.

    2. Christopher Johnston

      Addendum . A regular back of the book index would be useful and there is no mention of vices . Strictly speaking I suppose is a vice a tool? Ignore the person’s comment about which language the book is written in . Why? Because his first sentence ASKS what language it is and THEN criticizes. Also why no discount on elderly membership to Woodworking Masterclass? Twice I asked with no reply. Be well Paul . You are doing a marvellous job .

    3. Christopher Johnston

      Tried to post an addendum . It was polite but I was censored . It looks like this is a duplicate comment . IT WAS NOT . Very disappointing.

  17. I’ve read the book cover to cover and think it’s an excellent reference guide, with lots of useful details, great photography and sketches. It also makes a great gift for the would be hand-tools enthusiast!

    I’ve used it quite a bit and the binding has suffered as a result… and that’s not a criticism

    I do wish the book were available in other languages as I know of no equivalent in, say, French.

  18. Paul I have both of your books, and they are excellent. Those, along with the videos and blogs, are almost like an apprenticeship.

  19. Christopher Johnston

    I bought this book about 4 or 5 years ago . It is a very good comprehensive book on hand tools . Probably the only one that most people will ever need . Especially people just starting out it is an excellent reference work for them. Well done Paul.

  20. It is the best book about woodworking tools I’ve read. I’ve read it two times though english is not my native language, and I come back to it very often when I need to refresh something in particular. The only little thing I would have liked is a size of letter type a little bit bigger, but it is a fantastic book.

  21. Are there plans to have the DVD’s converted to streaming (download) editions? Or are they still under copyright of the publisher?

  22. Rajesh Devabhaktuni

    I am waiting for the book to be available / back to stock. I understand that it is going to be shipped internationally as well, directly from Paul.

    Is it possible to have Paul sign my copy when i place an order? I will have to order 2 to 3 copies one for my close friend and other for my Son’s alternate learning centre’s library.

    This is from ( Books To ) Bangalore, India and it will be great ( we will be Happy ) to have Paul sign them.

  23. I’ve had a search on Book Depository and other sites for over a couple years and have been unable to find stock. I’m so glad that you’re reprinting! 🙂

    1. Truth is that many online suppliers, book depository included, stated they had it and were out of stock when they never did. Catalog companies and such. They just use titles to gain clicks and popularise their sites to gain status positioning and nothing more.

    1. I think that this book is the non-fluff version and therefore very accurate and concise. Written by myself as a user of hand tools for 55 years, I don’t that there is a book like it that covers more indepth info covering all of the elements you will ever need. My unbiased opinion as the author!

  24. Paul wish I had it 50 years ago when I started building wood working projects. I’m going on 73 so I’ll read fast and work hard then I’ll leave it two my kids or maybe grand kids.
    Thanks for all the videos.
    Dave Grindel
    PS – what size kerf should I shot for in the hissy snake ? My current saw has a kerf around 1mm. To big ??

  25. Hi Paul,

    I hope you’re keeping well.

    I recall us chatting many moons ago about your planned book on hand tools and anticipated an excellent read, as well as my intention of investing in it once published….. Several years later and sadly missed it’s publication due to ill health, but can now pick up a copy, knowing it’s well worth having in my selection 🙂

  26. If you’re shipping all future sales directly, please consider adding an optional premium for a signed book. I’ve only recently discovered your channel, thanks to a welcome recommendation from a co-worker, and I must admit that I have been binge-watching a variety of your you-tube videos. Great stuff! — from the finished products and tools to the fundamentals of the trade, such as sharpening saws, planes, and more. If a signed edition were available, I would happily subscribe. Cheers!

  27. Carlos Alvarado

    Hi Paul I have been wanting to buy your book for several but when it was available I was short of cash and now it is not anywhere. When will it be available as I am able to purchase it now, so hopefully it will not be to long a wait. I have been following you for a couple of years and truly appreciate your teachings as I have learned so much.I have looked for your other book but have not found it will that be for sale also? I am 77 years young and like they say “You are never to old to learn”. Again thank you so much for helping us learn.


    1. Hello Carlos. My latest book Essential Woodworking Hand Tools is with the printers right now and should be available in two to three weeks. There is a form on my blog that keeps you up to date for ordering your copy when the printer’s stock comes into us.

  28. I have purchased the book , great information, quality top notch. I did get the dvd That accompanied the book forgetting I am in The US and pal will not work on an NTSC DVD player. Are these videos on YouTube? Thank you for all you do for wood working community!

    1. Sorry, but Waterstones do not carry nor have they ever carried my book. They use everything about my book and name as click-bait alone. To say it is, “Temporarily unavailable” and “Currently unavailable to order.”is disingenuous of this giant distributor, I am afraid. No moral compass!

    2. Sorry, but Waterstones do not carry nor have they ever carried my book. They use everything about my book and name as click-bait alone. To say it is, “Temporarily unavailable” and “Currently unavailable to order.” is disingenuous of this giant distributor, I am afraid. No moral compass!

  29. As disciple since meeting you and the team at Cressing Temple years ago. I think this book is your one accomplishment that stands head and shoulders above your many accomplishments. And probably the one that will carry your name into the future long after we’ve gone. As a book it’s is beautiful, as a source of information and knowledge it is incomparable. THANK YOU PAUL.

  30. Good afternoon from across the pond, Paul!
    If we order a book from you when they are available, would it be possible to get one that is autographed?

  31. Great book Paul. Bought for me by my wife in 2016. Signed by you in November 2017 at the Long Wittenham course. Keep safe and thanks.

  32. Conundrum alert: I have already been struggling with my efforts to de clutter being met by my ever increasing wood hoarding (“for a future project…” I mutter to myself every time I have to tiptoe around my wee workshop under the house, literally choked floor to ceiling with piles of wood in varied states of sorting

    Now, I look at my bookshelf which I’ve been steadily freeing up (donating books I no longer read)… neighbouring my only one woodworking book (a 1950’s hardback gifted to me along with a rusty #4 bought for restoration) I see a suspiciously empty corner calling out to me…

  33. Mr. Sellers and team, here’s an idea:
    How about a new giveaway which is likely to cost you less than the amazing set of tools recently gone, though providing as much craftsmanship support AND pleasure to the receiver?

    A signed copy of your reprinted book (+ a couple of witty lines by Paul, is it asking too much?)

    I selflessly suggest gifting it among woodworking masterclass users (I’m not yet one, I’ve been putting off ‘graduating’ until I get more ‘basic’ notches on my proverbial belt)
    …if wanting to spice it up: every year of membership gives you one entry, so diehard fans get a well deserved advantage over newly joined competitors 😉


    Noho ora mai,

  34. Michael O’Brien

    Quite simply it is superb reference book that I have owned since its first release. I have read it through and through several times learning new things with each revisit. All you need to know about hand tools in woodworking in one source.
    Thanks Paul.

  35. Hi Paul.
    I have the book and love it. I have used it often. It was my first goto point when starting out.
    It is clear and concise and with the photographs, leave no question unanswered.

  36. As the book has gone to the printers already, it is too late to request that an index be added to the back. Would it be possible for your team to create a separate index for the book in the form of a downloadable PDF? That way I can print it out and put it at the back of the physical book for easy reference.

    1. Fraid not, Paul. We did our best and the work is done. We have to keep moving fora=ward and everyone here is always working to capacity.

  37. Hi Paul – Good news that your excellent book is being re-printed. I was fortunate to buy the last copy in my nearest Lee Valley (Veritas) store in March 2019, and almost every day when I am doing woodworking, I refer to it. Your YouTube Videos are excellent, but I still prefer to “turn-the-pages” of a book… Learning from the book has elevated my skills from “old-bodger” to the next level. Your method of sharpening chisels and planes (free-hand, diamond stones), is probably the greatest factor contributing to my improvement. Thank you.

  38. Hi Paul,
    Since we can only buy your book through you it would be nice if you could autograph it!
    🙂 Rick

    1. This can’t really work, Rick. I work 10-12 hours a day six days a week doing what I do, how would I do this?

      1. Possibly, writer Rick believes you suffer from somnambulism and could easily do it in your “Off Time”? (Although writing in the dark could present a few problems.)

        Tongue In Cheekily Yours,
        “J. B.”

  39. I don’t think I have come across anyone more globally successful than you in the craft. I have followed you since you released your first DVDs and will continue to do so till you retire. While I may not agree with your choice of workbench or using a plane not any larger than a no.5 for flattening long boards, I consider your mentorship invaluable. I hope one day we meet in person.

  40. Love your book Paul. I read it cover to cover and it’s sitting on my desk permanently for quick reference.

  41. Hi Paul I have read the book and full of detail, I use it for reference, its well written and in true detail and also the Dvd is good as well, because when watching it you can reference to the book. I hear yout in the process of reprinting the book, will it be as the original or have added anything to it.
    Can I also mention, I have the book or yours and the dvd set Working woodT he Artisan course, which is absolutely brilliant. I anyone to buy this so good
    Thanks Paul

  42. Adriano J. M. Rosa

    The quality of the book is very good as well as the knowledge transmitted. I would like the font to be a number above, but I understand why it is that size.
    The book follows the quality of the teachings transmitted on video.
    Thank you for your work.

  43. I would love to buy your book for my husband. He is a huge fan. But we are in South Africa and our postal system is just pathetic. We have to make use of courier services. Any suggestions how I can buy a copy.

    1. Tanya, We sell directly from here and ship to every continent. Our new stock should arrive a week on Monday 30 November all being well. Somewhere on my site, there is a place to click and tell us you are interested when the book comes in stock so you can register there.

  44. Hi Paul,
    Now with the brexit the shipping costs from UK to Belgium (Europe) became very expensive. Recently I bought online a Record #80 for 52£ and had to pay 42 euro extra for customs and tva. After learning a whole lot from your videotutorials I would like to buy your book very glad to have your advice by hand. Do you know how much I have to pay for the shipping of your book?
    Thank you very much to learn from your amazing craftsmanship .

  45. Clive Buckingham

    G’day Paul
    Received your book today here in Queensland, Australia. It is too hot to spend much time in my shed so I will spend much of the day relaxing with your book in air conditioned comfort. I see that I’m 22 days shy of being a year older than you. I started woodworking after my retirement some 4 years ago. I started mainly as a hobby to keep me active and as therapy. I had been using mainly power tools and had built up a quantity of machines and power hand tools. I have started finding the noise and dust to be less therapeutic, this led me to finding you on YouTube. I like your concept of lifestyle and way of doing things. I have decided try my hand at working with my hands rather than machines and I’m slowly building up a selection of hand tools, hence the purchase of your book.

    I did start an apprenticeship in 1964 not in woodworking but as a fitter and turner. Unfortunately, I didn’t find a George. I started working in a machine shop and after a few months was put to work on a semi automated lathe making stud axles. Feeding in raw metal rods, pulling a few levers, removing the axle and starting all over again. I was so proud to have finished the batch well under the allotted time. That didn’t last long as I was grabbed by a few large men and had my head pushed down an unflushed toilet for working too hard. I left and later joined the Navy. Served 10 years including in Vietnam. Attended university at 45 completed a degree in social work and worked a number of years in child protection. Now living in a rural farming community and eager to start a new venture.

    Cheers Clive

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