joiner vs. carpenter?

What is the difference between a joiner and carpenter?[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC short conversations: Fax problems[YSaerTTEW443543]

Hi Torsten,

To me a carpenter is a general word for someone who works with wood and makes things with/in wood. A joiner I would say is a specialist in carpentry who would be employed in the making of doors and frames within the building of a new house. There is also the possibility of a joiner being involved in something like cabinet making. I suppose you could make a rough analogy by talking about a musician as a general description but the specialist would be for example a trumpet player.


Well - I have had this conversation many’s a time and its usually quite funny hearing people talking about their perception of this as theirs often differs a lot to mine.

I would rather call myself a Carpenter although my trade was “served” as a joiner/carpenter.

I served my first year a a bench joiner - which I suppose is like a foundation course in Joinery work which is essentially “Joining” bits of wood together in various ways usually without nails,fixings etc. One of the last jobs which I made which did include nails was my “Carpenters tool box”

I then served the rest of my apprenticeship in Carpentry - A Carpenter normally works on site - building sites etc (Also Ships Carpenter) doing all the first and second fix woodwork. The carpenter is therefore more mobile traveling to were the work is and his tools etc are generally fewer for obvious practical reasons.(They must all fit in his box)

There are other terms like Site/Joiner and Site/Joinery but over the years the two words have begun to merge like the identity of the two trades. Fundamentally the Carpenter to me is the “Journey man” the travelling tradesman. Whereas the Joiner generally works in the shop.(Workshop)
In Germany my understanding is that the Zimmerman with the Dick Whittington type travelling knapsack(When serving his time 100km from home) would be the Carpenter.

And the Joiner is simply called a Tischler. Who makes Tischlerei (Joinery)

A lot simpler IYDMMSS . - And another good reason for preserving tradition

On a lighter note I much prefer the roving - “James Mulvenna carpenter” - its sounds more James Bond like than the rather dull guy with the apron at his bench - “Jamesy the joiner” :slight_smile:

The Slang for both in the UK is Chippy (In the US its Woodpecker)