The 5 Best Woodworking Magazines


woodworking magazines for woodworker reviews

You have a passion for woodworking, but feel that you need some help to make your first steps, assemble your toolkit, or raise your skills to a whole new level? Well, you need to look no further because the solution to your problems can be found in popular woodworking magazines.

By finding the best woodworking magazines, you’ll grow your skills in a pace you couldn’t ever imagine. Let’s take a look at our top five picks.

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Our Top 5 Picks


Wood Print Magazine

Wood is the magazine that has demonstrated both great reviews and loyal following ever since its first issue back in 1986.

What made Wood so enduring is its universal appeal. Whether you are just a woodworking novice, or you already have your own shop, you will find something for your skill level. Also, the content is written in a very laid back tone, which makes it a perfect read for beginners.

The variety of themes is excellent. You get the project ideas and tips of how to bring these ideas to life, latest tools and product reviews, good illustrations, shop-proven plans and tons of other interesting content.

Overall, a great entry that offers a lot of value with very few drawbacks.

  • A lot of great-quality illustrations.
  • Most of the projects can be pulled off even with the basic tools.
  • The “lifestyle magazine” approach makes a strong first impression.
  • The content is relevant and well-researched.
  • You can also get a digital edition.
  • The writing can sometimes become a bit superfluous.
  • The publishers tend to recycle already published ideas.


Woodworker's Journal

Woodworker’s Journal is yet another magazine that tries to grab the attention of woodworkers of all levels of skill. Unlike Wood that achieves this goal through great illustrations and easy-to-understand language, this entry scores points through sheer volume of topics that are being covered.

Here, you’ll find virtually everything that has to do with woodworking and carpentry, no matter how menial or high-profile it may sound.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that Woodworker’s Journal fails at its graphic design. The illustrations and provided instructions are all interesting, transparent, and, above all, helpful.

The majority of projects require some dose of experience and a varied toolset, but they are also highly addictive, and leave you yearning for more.

So, if you are already made your first woodworking steps, this magazine will certainly help you to transition to more advanced levels.

  • The unprecedented scope.
  • Easier to understand than most magazines aimed at professionals.
  • Paperback, hardcover and Kindle editions.
  • The provided explanations and guides are very thorough.
  • The projects are explained in a manner that you truly understand what you’re doing.
  • Absolute beginners may find some of the projects too hard.
  • The Kindle editions are not always well-formatted.


Woodsmith

Every publisher tries to find an angle it will use to differentiate its magazines from the competition. In the case of Woodsmith, that unique angle would be a development of woodworking techniques.

Every project you get in the magazine has an everlasting value in a sense that it is not concentrated solely on putting the plans into reality, but also on expanding your set of skills.

That is why, even if it’s aimed primarily at beginners, Woodsmith has a very strong following even amongst the experienced woodworkers.

The quality of the illustrations is excellent and the instructions are easy to follow. It should be mentioned that the overall quality of the projects is very good so they have a reasonable commercial value.

The difficulty of the projects is suited to woodworkers of different skill levels.

  • The magazine features no advertising.
  • Relevant content aimed at the development of techniques.
  • The illustrations do a great job at making the guides easier to follow.
  • Projects have commercial value.
  • Some of the projects are too large-scale for its audience.
  • Once again, projects and techniques tend to be repetitive.


Family Handyman

Family Handyman sticks out from the rest of the crowd for the simple fact that it is not an exclusively woodworking magazine, but rather a magazine that features woodworking themes.

Some may look at it as its biggest flaw. We, however, see the variety of featured topics as a plus, especially if you are still making your first woodworking steps.

Woodworking is a craft that is closely associated with other, similar home-based hobbies. If you learn all these different skills and techniques side by side your woodworking techniques can only benefit and your projects become more creative.

Besides, Family Handyman is a well-established publication that features great design, interesting illustrations, excellent articles, and easy to follow instructions.

As long as you know where to set your expectations, you won’t be disappointed.

  • A sheer variety of covered themes.
  • Woodworking projects are engaging and challenging.
  • Aimed at craftsmen of all skill levels.
  • Excellent design and illustrations.
  • An intriguing read.
  • As of lately, the magazine features an excessive amount of ads.
  • Experienced woodworkers will find the content underwhelming.


Popular Woodworking

Finally, we have Popular Woodworking, the publication that offers a lot of value and asks you to pay very little.

But, the popular price is not Popular Woodworking’s only lure. You also get a lot of engaging guides and projects that are grounded in reality and achievable even by the inexperienced craftsmen.

It is also good to know that the scope of the magazine is very comprehensive. You get info about the latest tools, techniques, illustrations, engaging articles, etc. All of them are designed to encourage you to think independently and start creating your own projects, which is a huge plus.

Furthermore, the publication has a very strong following amongst the professional carpenters which should be considered a strong certification.

  • Printed and Kindle editions.
  • An excellent way to train yourself to the higher tier.
  • The variety of topics will fill all the gaps in your knowledge base.
  • Illustrations are clear and do a great job explaining the projects.
  • Not meant for absolute beginners.
  • The Kindle edition features formatting issues.

Final Thoughts


Although all these publications are great, it is hard to deny that, with its tight focus on woodworking, excellent graphic design and the content that’s suitable for woodworkers of all skill levels, Wood Print Magazine makes the best all-around flagship magazine option. Regardless of your skill level or experience working with wood, this is the industry staple and a best go-to publication for everybody.

However, don’t feel discouraged to purchase other magazines from this list to expand your set of skills. All of them have their strengths and something unique to offer.

The Benefit


First, magazines are an excellent source of all woodworking-related information and a good way to stay up to date with the latest carpentry trends and news without having to do research on your own.

Also, no matter which type of magazine you prefer (paperback, or electronic), the copies are saved on a reliable material so they are always there to nudge you in the right direction.

Finally, the content you get has everlasting value. The things like step-by-step guides, illustrations, schemes, and practices never go out of date.

How To Choose The Best One


Of course, not all magazines are made the same, and some publishers will outright try to rob you of your monthly subscription. Here are some useful criteria you can use when making a purchase to see where your picks stand.

The Quality Of Information

The articles that are published in the magazine are very easy to check, so if you see that they lack quality or that the publishers are pushing some marketing agenda, you should better skip the magazine altogether.

Variety Of Themes

Some of the woodworking magazines are highly specialized which is great if you want to develop your skills within some particular niche. But, generally speaking, you can get a lot more value from the magazine that features a variety of themes and hires different types of authors.

Illustrations

The more you get the better. However, the pictures that are featured should be clear, well-framed and shot in high resolution.

Guides

The guides for any complex operations, woodworking included, should be written in a language that is precise and easy to understand. Also, they should always feature accurate measures and necessary tools.

Tradition

Famous magazines with decades-long history don’t entail such a loyal following without a reason.

Format

Both physical copies and electronic formats have their distinct advantages. Because of that, it is good to pick the publishers that give you an option to choose.

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