The difference between a Carpenter and Joiner

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When you need something made out of wood, do you call a carpenter or a joiner? A frequently asked and debated question is if there is a difference between the two. Even though carpenters and joiners share some of the same skills, the overlapping of those skills does not erase the fact that they are indeed two separate and distinct trades. Although both considered carpentry, each of these tradesmen specializes in skills exclusive to their craft.


Carpenters are skilled tradesmen who primarily use wood and metal to construct or repair boats, structures and furniture, by cutting, fitting and joining them together with a variety of materials. Carpenters usually focuses on the larger elements of construction, such as roofs, floors and wall framing. The erection of a building and all the framework that goes into constructing it require the skills of a carpenter. Carpenters have a great flexibility in where they practice their craft. Portable and lightweight tools give carpenters the ability to apply their skills just about anywhere.

As a trade, joinery is a form of carpentry that cuts and fits joints and wood without metal fasteners, screws or nails. The skills of the trade are usually responsible for producing such items as stairs, windows, bookshelves and tables, as well as interior and exterior doors. Because the machinery used to form the various joints is not portable, most of the work is done in a workshop. Cabinet markers are often regarded as a part of this group because of their excellent work working skills.

In a nutshell, a joiner makes the product that the carpenter installs or repairs. Although the same craft, these are two different and distinct specialties in a highly highly-skilled trade.

For a further explanation of the difference between the two trades contact Leicester Carpentry and Joinery of Leicester.

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