top of page

11 Best Woodworking Magazines (2021 Review)

Updated: Oct 19, 2023



Once you’ve started on your first woodworking projects, the hobby can get quite addictive and woodworking magazines become a valuable resource. However, it’s sometimes challenging to find inspiration for what to do next. Plus, you’ll then want some good instructions on how to do it.


That’s why I’ve gathered together 11 of the best woodworking magazines for you to peruse and subscribe to your favorites.


I’ve tried to cover a bit of everything for both beginners and experts alike. Some of the magazines are best for beginner projects, while others are professional industry mags meant for readers with a decent amount of technical know-how.


Without further ado, let’s get at a look at the top 11.


fine woodworking magazine

Fine Woodworking is a U.S. woodworking magazine with a strong legacy. It leans more towards experienced woodworkers and has everything from simple tips and tricks to product reviews and project ideas.


This is one of the few woodworking magazines out there to focus on the trade of woodworking rather than the weekend project.


The majority of the projects in the magazine are furniture projects. Also, it should be noted that there is a student gallery where anyone can submit work to. They provide a large variety of interesting projects with unique ideas and techniques that are actually valuable even to skilled woodworkers.


In recent years, they have been upgrading their style to show more close-ups and pictures of the projects that are easier to follow and imitate. Moreover, the projects have lots of tips from their experts to get the best possible results alongside their detailed step-by-step instructions.


The magazine writes many tips and tricks to help with the finer details of designing and constructing wood projects. They assume a decent amount of essential knowledge and are written in a style meant for solid woodworkers looking to up their game.


What’s especially useful is the detail in the photographs, diagrams, and plans provided for each project. Everything is meticulously laid out so that you can grasp the project as a whole and complete it in earnest.


Overall, Fine Woodworking is one of the best magazines in the bunch and is one of the star veterans of the field.

popular woodworking magazine

Compared with Fine Woodworking, Popular Woodworking is geared more toward beginner and intermediate woodworkers.


This one is a fan-favorite and one of the more popular woodworking magazines with lots of practical DIY projects for everyone. The range of information and interesting projects they provide is quite high.


Perhaps the best way to describe it is to go above and beyond the typical woodworking magazine and become a solid how-to guide for the fundamentals. It’s set up such that the projects give you all the practical knowledge you need to build up a reliable craftsman’s ability at woodworking.


The magazine covers various styles with their projects, including craftsman, mid-century modern, and more. By working on many different skills from multiple eras and styles, the magazine helps you become an independent woodworker in your own right.


Beyond just furniture projects, Popular Woodworking also covers topics like home improvement, how to improve your workshop, and many other aspects of the craft.


The instructions are pretty straightforward and begin with solid ideas that work for a wide variety of homes. The majority of the projects do require an intermediate workshop and skills, but they also mix in a decent amount of beginner-friendly projects.


The pictures are detailed enough to get you going and understand each step of the project fairly well.


Furniture and Wood Craft Plans is a series of carefully constructed plans made by experienced carpenter and educator, Mark Stuart. He lends his expert experience to each plan and provides excellent instructions for a wide variety of projects.


This is one of the more directly practical magazines on the list. There isn’t much fluff here, but rather basic instructions on a great variety of projects that are made to up your skills and build some solid projects around the house.


The plans are set up almost like a training program to get you the right tools and projects that will build up your skills until you can tackle just about anything.


It’s not about shortcuts, tips, and tricks, or other tidbits of information. Instead, this is a full guide to various projects and how to do them correctly, from beginning to end.

On the other side of things, these are just a set of detailed plans that leave you with complicated, overly detailed instructions and no real path or tutorial on how to do the actual project. Instead, these are clear instructions and step-by-step projects that can be accomplished with little skill and effort.

Mark has collected over 9,000 plans and makes every one of them easy to understand, with comprehensive instructions that are not overly complicated. In addition, the plans cover a massive range of topics and skills. As a result, there’s essentially no limit to what you’ll be able to create.

The program was also designed to be able to be started by someone with no woodworking experience. There is a guide to get through some simple first projects that then allows you to build the skills and tools to tackle the later ones.

Each project comes with detailed blueprints, schematics, step-by-step instructions, and a guide to the materials needed.

Also, if you are looking to turn your woodworking hobby into an investment for your home or for crafting goods for the local market, this is a great tool that can help you get there.

In terms of return on investment, this is more direct than many magazines in giving you a straightforward set of plans for a variety of woodworking projects you can make and potentially sell. In addition, there are lots of smaller, simple projects included, like trays, frames, and bird feeders that are easy to make something out of.

Compared with woodworking magazines, this is a great choice to just dive right into the field and go from basic skills all the way to a large variety of significant woodworking projects.


woodsmith woodworking magazine

Woodsmith has some of the most comprehensive woodworking plans amongst woodworking magazines. They provide a solid materials list, clearly laid out plans, and full access to all of their past projects in their archive when you subscribe.


They also provide a ton of free time-saving and work-improving tips, plus good safety tips. So they are really a well-rounded choice of magazine.


They go over the best wood choices for each project and other potential variations you can make, which is nice.


Now, it is a reasonably technical magazine, and so it is not as fun for the average browse, focusing instead on the details of actual projects. It is also better for more experienced woodworkers for that reason. Therefore, it is best subscribed to for people with a decent amount of experience under their belt looking for a serious method to increase their skills.


Beyond the usual fare, they also offer tool reviews and inspiration for different projects. Their projects run the gambit of varying difficulty levels so that you can find everything from something small to a whole month-long project.


It is quite a pricey magazine, so that is something to keep in mind. It might just be worth it for the price, but there are cheaper options with almost as good content.


Beyond anything else, this is a magazine that cares deeply about the art of woodworking and is looking to improve the craft in its entirety.



woodworkers journal magazine

The Woodworker’s Journal specializes in solid projects with straightforward and easy-to-follow instructions that are best for a simple workshop and an intermediate skillset.

This is a solid choice for hobbyists looking to up their game with projects that are neither too simple and easy nor too complicated and technical. Woodworker’s Journal provides a nice midrange set of projects.

They try to pick slightly different and unique projects from what all the other magazines are doing, but they are by no means too eccentric for your average woodworker. It’s more that they bring in more of their own unique techniques and project ideas, so they feel worthwhile in that way.

Each project comes with a detailed step-by-step guide with good close-ups, photos, and illustrations. In addition, there are sections for finishing, product reviews, new techniques, hardware, and joinery.

It is not quite beginner-friendly enough to recommend for true beginners, but it is great for those about two or three years into the hobby.

If you’re happy with a bit of complexity, you can find a lot of interesting new projects every issue.


woodcraft woodworking magazine

Woodcraft is a tremendous all-around woodworking magazine for everyone from hobbyists to professionals. They specialize in beautiful, innovative creations and care deeply about the artistic side of woodcraft.


They provide expert tips and tricks with every project in their magazine and provide a guided tutorial for many of them. These tutorials help you learn the best woodworking techniques on that project that you can then carry over into other projects.


For the major projects in each issue, there are step-by-step woodworking plans with carefully thought-out illustrations and diagrams to help you through it.


Woodcraft Magazine is also interested in the history of woodworking and current news. Every issue has articles featuring exciting news in the hobby or deep dives into the history of the craft.


Overall, woodcraft is an excellent addition for almost everyone from rank amateurs to professionals looking to learn a little more about the hobby. Their innovative techniques and eye for artistic detail make them a magazine to watch out for.


fine homebuilding woodworking magazine

Unlike many other magazines on this list that focus on hobbyist projects, Fine Homebuilding is all about construction and remodeling!


They are one of the most trusted resources on residential construction projects. They speak directly with people involved in actual job sites, design, and remodeling about their favorite techniques and methods.


Their motto is “exceptional homes are achievable,” and they believe it is worthwhile to try to pursue the best craftsmanship to accomplish your home-owning goals.


This is another magazine dedicated to a little more advanced tradesfolks and home remodelers. But, it is also a great way to dive into home building and remodeling from other woodworking projects.


Their articles cover everything there is to know about residential construction, including design, finishing, carpentry, and more. In addition, they provide energy-saving advice, design ideas, code updates, safety advice, and all the more up-to-date construction methods they’re aware of.


It is the guide for people looking to remodel, flip houses, or otherwise be involved in residential construction.

Their walkthroughs provide a solid Tools & Materials section and go through everything you need to know to complete each project. Example projects include installing cabinets, fixing an old shed, and building a kitchen table.


This is one of the outstanding magazines in its niche and the go-to if it’s what you are in the market for. It is a bit pricey, but as with most of the magazines on this list, the higher the quality, the higher the price.


Overall, this is one of the best magazines for everyone interested in remodeling and those who make their living in the residential construction industry.



wood magazine

Wood is one of the well-known all-around woodworking magazines. They are organized, easy to read, and great for all levels. Their style is a bit simplistic, but it works. You’ll get clear instructions on a variety of projects with expert advice.


Wood’s especially significant because it is beginner-friendly and provides easy-to-follow instructions on lots of foundational projects. Luckily, you don’t need a lot of specialized tools to get their projects done.


Another great aspect of their magazine is the price, which is also budget-friendly. You can dive right into some simple DIY projects, or learn a bit more details through their helpful tips sidebars.

Some projects get a bit more advanced, but almost every issue has a lot of beginner-friendly content, so I would recommend Wood for those just starting out to people of an intermediate level.


furniture and cabinetmaking woodworking magazine

For the professional maker that does it for a living. Fast construction methods, great hardware recommendations,


Furniture & Cabinetmaking Magazine is one of the UK’s best woodworking magazines. They emphasize excellent quality and craftsmanship. Their furniture projects range from classic to modern and teach both kinds of techniques.


They’re also an industry news magazine, with information about major shows and the latest news. Finally, their machine tool reviews are a solid addition to round out the suite.


Professional cabinetmakers and furniture designers show off some of their best projects and explain how they achieved their designs. They also mix in a lot of more viable projects and reference how to build on a production level.


Unfortunately, they have lowered their content of industry news and professional designs in recent years to showcase the more amateur and achievable projects. For some people, this might make them a more attainable magazine, but it has made them more generic as well.


Overall, they are still one of the UK’s best woodworking magazines and have many exciting projects. It is worth checking out for yourself.




wood design building woodworking magazine

Wood Design & Building is a great architectural design magazine that runs an annual architectural award. It is exclusively about wood architecture and construction, making it a niche yet interesting magazine.


Most of all, the magazine is an excellent resource for architects and builders. But, for those of us with an eye for architecture, it can be a lot of fun to simply admire some of the best large-scale woodwork out there. However, you should go into it knowing that it is a professional publication made for those in or adjacent to the industry.


With the recent trend of taller wood buildings, the magazine has found much to discuss. In addition, they are the only magazine to reward excellence in wood architecture. Each Winter edition of the magazine features the winning projects of their annual award.


Beyond this, Wood Design & Building magazine provides news and updates on the industry, technical information about the designs shown, and reviews of many of the leading architectural designs and projects leading the industry.


Overall, it is a fantastic magazine in its niche, but not a general woodworking magazine if that’s what you’re looking for.




woodturning magazine

Finally, Woodworking Turning magazine is a masterclass into the world of woodturning. A lathe is a serious machine and I've always said woodturners have a lot of tricks up their sleeves. Here's where you'll find them!


In this series, you’ll find detailed instructions on lots of beginner-friendly woodturning projects, plus tips and techniques on how to increase your general tool skills.


You’ll learn how to improve your measurements and turn with precision and speed. How to layout properly curved pieces, how to cut perfectly, and which types of tools are used for different jobs.


This magazine has numerous topics, which are a great beginner’s guide to getting started with woodworking. Many masterclass turners who taught me how to two decades ago have been in this magazine. If you want to learn how to Master the Skew, carve hollow barley twists and make symmetrical half-columns here's where you'll learn. The advice has helped thousands learn everything from the basics to more advanced Turning techniques.


Overall, these can be a great kickstart to the hobby and get you started on the right path.



Conclusion

We’ve covered everything from furniture, architecture to full-on remodeling and residential construction. So whether you’re just a hobbyist or have skin in the game, we hope you’ve found some good new choices among popular woodworking magazines to pick up and get started on some projects with.


More and more woodworking magazines are going fully digital these days, but we hope we’ve sparked your interest in these print ones to be worth considering a print subscription. Getting to refer back to your project easily is awesome, plus being able to dog-ear the parts or projects you’re interested in for the future is just a nice experience.


 

Disclosure: I only recommend products that I have used myself and have in my workshop. All opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that may earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you.





Comments


bottom of page