Differences Between Carpenter and Cabinet Maker

Who should we call if we need some work done in our house? Do we call a carpenter or a cabinet maker? Given that both jobs are related to woodwork, sometimes people may get dizzy when choosing a cabinet maker or a carpenter to build their houses. As a professional cabinetry manufacturer in China, let me introduce and explain the differences between the two.


Carpentry is a skilled trade and a craft performing in the cutting, shaping, and installation of building materials during the construction of buildingsshipstimber bridgesconcrete formwork, etc. A carpenter refers to one who works in the construction of roofs, floors, and timber-framed buildings, i.e. In short, a carpenter’s job is to use timber to erect and maintain buildings, furniture, and other objects.


Carpenters can be divided into several types in terms of their scope of duties. Let me introduce some of them.

Finish Carpenter

Finish Carpenter is also called trim carpenter, specializing in molding and trim installation, such as door and window casings, mantels, crown moldings, baseboards, and other decorative work. Finish carpenters continue where framing leaves off, hanging doors, and installing cabinets.

Conservation Carpenter

Conservation Carpenter works in architectural conservation, also known as “preservation” or “restoration” in the United States; they work in historic preservation, keeping structures as they were built or restoring them to that condition.

Form Carpenter

A form carpenter, also known as a formwork carpenter, specializes in building frameworks, scaffolding, and forms with various materials such as wood, metal, or even plastic. Most form carpenters work on various commercial projects like bridges, buildings, and other tall structures. Climbing to high places, they must lift moderate to heavy forms, cut and shape materials, and secure frameworks before filling them with concrete.

Skills & Abilities Required to Become a Carpenter

Their jobs are physically demanding, requiring long standing while cutting, joining, and working with wood.

  • Must be good at doing handwork
  • Must have physical stamina and strength
  • Must have good business skills. Self-employed carpenters must be able to bid for new jobs, track inventory, and plan work assignments
  • Must be detail-oriented
  • Must have a very logical mind and excel when facing problems
  • Must be able to measure exactly and work accurately
  • Must be good at maths

Cabinet Maker


A cabinet is a case or cupboard with shelves and drawers for storing or displaying items, typically made of wood. A “cabinet maker” was previously responsible for creating all furniture needed for homes and workplaces until a new definition and work scope were attached. In modern society, cabinet makers generally refer to those who concentrate on making custom cabinets, millwork, and other pieces with various kinds of wood. A cabinet maker is a specialized carpenter who makes cabinets and cupboards like in a kitchen or something similar.

Skills & Abilities Required to Become a Cabinet Maker

  • Enjoy practical and manual activities
  • Must be able to follow written instructions
  • Must be able to work to a high level of accuracy
  • Must be good at maths
  • Must have good communication skills
  • Must have good hand-eye coordination
  • Must be able to work independently or as part of a team
  • Must have no allergies to dust

Cabinet Maker vs. Carpenter - What's the Difference?

Although both carpenters and cabinet makers work with wood, the main distinction is the level of detail in their work. Cabinet makers concentrate on the finer details, which usually means that cabinet makers work on internal fittings such as bookcases and cabinets, whereas carpenters work on larger external projects. Decking, house frames, and pergolas are examples of items that require accuracy but do not require the intricate detailing and delicacy that cabinet makers do.

When Do You Need the Services of a Carpenter?

When you have home renovations completed, you will most likely hire a carpenter to complete structural work and build things like staircases, gazebos, and house frames. In addition to erecting scaffolding, laying timber floors, and installing timber cladding, they also install doors, window moldings, and trim.

When Do You Need the Services of a Cabinet Maker?

While both cabinet makers and carpenters are skilled at working with wood, cabinet makers take the craft a step further by focusing on the finer details of what can be accomplished with the material. Their attention to detail makes cabinet makers specialize in internal fittings such as kitchens, bookcases, tables, cabinets, and benches. 

It is highly recommended that you use a cabinet maker if you consider adding or upgrading any of these to your home. This is because a qualified cabinet maker will not only have greater attention to detail, but will also be a trained expert at working with high-quality building materials and difficult, intricate constructions.

George Cabinetry provides wholesale kitchen cabinets, wardrobes, and other house cabinets. With the quality & affordable feature, get in touch if you want to chat about your projects.

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