Building a Log Cabin- The Essential Tools


Learn about which tools are a must-have when you are building a cabin and improve your woodworking skills.

Planning on building a Log Cabin?

Being a passionate craftsman or woodworker, building a log cabin could be a dream come true, or you simply have taken an interest in building something with your own hands. In any case, having the right kind of tools and understanding how each tool works is vital to building an impeccable log cabin.

As a personal project, a log cabin can be a great way of putting all your skills, knowledge, and techniques into action. This way you will have a great practice and the result will give you a little hideaway where you can spend some quality time with your loved ones or just have a personal space of your own.

Some tools are an absolute requirement when it comes to building a log cabin, like acquiring power off-the-grid. With generators, you’re covered. There are many more requirements to building a cabin but power is a great start! 

It is important to have an overall knowledge of how these tools work (depending on whether you will be using the traditional ones or the power tools) and what are their replacements. Don’t worry, just keep reading.

Different Type of Necessary Tools

Now that you have finally driven into the woods and found yourself a good cabin to buy before you get into renovating it, you need to know what tools will be required.

First things first, you need to have some tools in your car at all times because when working in fairly remote sites, it is not easy to keep running back home to get the small tools or accessories. Some prerequisites like a hammer, writing equipment, measuring and electrical tape, a shovel, flashlight, drills, and nails, etc. must be carried at all times.

Hand Tools VS Power Tools

Now let’s get into the debate between hand tools and power tools.

Typically, using hand tools will slow down the process as you take the traditional path to build this cabin. There will be a number of small and large details that you need to work on, and you need some sharp tools like shears, hacksaws, chainsaws, etc. Tom Bradley has a site that is a good place to start if you are looking to buy such equipment.

Power tools are like the alpha in log cabin building tools, and we are talking about working with lumber. Beginning from the foundation of the cabin to the roof, these tools are essential and will make your work much faster. There are various types of cuts you need to apply like crosscutting and ripper cutting.

To do these the right way you need to have perfectly sharp and clean power blades.

Some of the most common power tools used are jigsaws, cordless drills, circular saws, and electric screwdrivers. You will also require a power system to give you a steadfast power source on-site like portable generators, hanging lights (for the night-time), and climate control systems.

What are the Must-Have Log Home Tools?

Just like Bob the builder, whatever the problem is, we can fix it, and to fix it you need these tools without which you can forget about your dreams of having a beautiful Log cabin.

An Adze

When we talk about an adze, we need to refer back to the Stone Age. This hand tool is almost similar to an ax, the key difference is it has a perpendicular blade and a handle on the edge. This tool is known as the hewing tool and is used for straightening a log whose bark has been detached.

It is a fairly simple tool to use and can be used as a substitute for a drawing knife that is used to debark or peel logs. A good alternative to an adze is a broad ax as that can also be used for hewing and detailing logs.

An Axe

For harvesting and felling logs, the best tool to use is an ax. This hand tool may be older than the adze, and they both belong to the same epoch. This tool may primarily be cast-off for harvesting but has been proven to be of use in many other house building jobs like notching and preparing lumber.

A good alternative to an ax is a chainsaw.

A Chainsaw

This is the one power tool that is worth the money and needs no summary. When you think about building a cabin from scratch, the first thing that comes to mind is cutting, rounding, and notching your logs. You cannot go for a cheap one. The better the quality the easier your work will be.

The best type of chainsaw would be an 18” bar length Makita or Husqvarna.

A Drawknife

To give proper shape to your logs you need a drawknife, this helps with debarking and peeling of logs and is considered to be a modern tool. It contains two wooden handles with a tapering tang and a flat chisel-shaped blade. Its initial job is to remove any excess wood on your logs.

A specific alternative tool would be the debarking spud. This tool is useful if you don’t debark a tree immediately and the wood gets tacky on top.

A Mallet

Mallets are very common and are used in every household. This traditional hammer has a huge rubber head and is used in woodwork (to avoid splitting and damaging timber while designing it). They are used to positioning logs and driving the corners of logs together.

If you are positioning logs then another good tool to us is a sledgehammer. However, this is not considered as a replacement.

A Peavey

This logging tool is used to move and roll your heavy logs through uneven areas or short distances where you don’t have to use your vehicles. The sole purpose of this tool is to allow the movement of logs from one place to another, this can be a pretty expensive tool. However, you will not regret buying it.

As an alternative, you can use either a heavy-duty flat pry bar or a cant hook, basically anything that has the strength and stability to move logs.

With This Knowledge, You Can Now Build Your Dream Cabin

Now that you have all the information that you need about some complicated yet easy to use must have cabin tools, you can finally inaugurate your dream project.

Happy Building!


Author Bio:

Based on more than 15 years of personal, first-hand experience as a professional handyman and woodworker, Tom has authored over 1,000 articles about how to succeed in the handyman business. Tom teaches all the tricks of the trade that he’s learned, ranging from which tools he prefers to which woodworking plans he has had the most success with. His Woodworking Toolkit blog https://tombradly.com/ is regarded as one of the authorities about woodworking tools on the internet.

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is a husband, father, martial artist, budget-master, Disney-addict, musician, and recovering foodie having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Whole Foods Market. Click to learn more about me

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