11 Best Woodworking Magazines (2021 Review)



Intro

Once you’ve started on your first woodworking projects, the hobby can get quite addictive. 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.


1. Fine Woodworking

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 that 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.

2. Popular Woodworking

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


This one is a fan-favorite of the 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.


3. Furniture and Wood Craft Plans

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.


4. Woodsmith

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.



5. Woodworker’s Journal

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.


6. Woodcraft


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.


7. Fine Homebuilding