A question I get asked from time to time is how to get into woodworking, what tools I would recommend, and where to start.
I can't really make good recommendations as to what specific brands of tools are better than others. Most of my tools were opportunistic purchases, with relatively little regard to specific brands. More often than not, it's price and a quick inspection to gauge the solidity of the tool that are the determining factors. My tools are usually not among the best that can be had, but good enough.
Where to start?
But where to start with woodworking? What machines do you need? My suggestion is that you should start by doing some woodworking, and only after that start buying big equipment.
I don't mean that entirely literally. But I think it's best if you buy just a few tools and start using those. As you get more comfortable with what you have, it becomes easier to understand what tools you should get next. It also reduces the risk of buying a workshop full of tools only to find out that you aren't really into woodworking.
Start by getting a few hand tools - a hammer, screwdrivers, nails, a few chisels, a hack saw, a try square, some sort of work table, and some clamps.
jigsaw, drill Your first power tools should probably be a drill and a jigsaw. Those are tools that come in handy here and there, even if you are not into woodworking. You won't be able to make any fine furniture with them, but it's enough to bang together a few projects for the basement or outside.
There are different grades of tools available at different prices. Salesmen will probably tell you to get good quality tools that last a lifetime. But the price difference between a cheap tool and a good quality tool can easily be a factor of four. My advice is to get cheap tools first and use them until they break. Once they break, it's time to consider getting something better. But unless you are a professional who uses the tools every day, even a cheap tool is likely to last a long time.
skillsaw A good tool to get next is some sort of circular saw. A circular saw cuts a lot faster than a jigsaw, and it's easier to make a straighter cleaner cut with it. It's also a very useful tool for cutting up big sheets of plywood, even if you already have a table saw. At this point, you have enough tools for some simple projects such as this table or some storage shelving
You should consider getting a hand plane or two at this point, and maybe a workbench with a vise on it. It may be a good challenge to build a workbench while you are at it.
You may also want to invest in a doweling jig, or a pocket hole jig (although I'm personally not very fond of pocket holes joinery because it's not very strong)