Cabinet Maker vs Carpenter - What's the difference?

When you see the job description 'carpenter' and 'cabinet maker', your first thought may be something along the lines of 'aren't they the same thing?'... but they aren't. Contrary to popular belief, cabinet making and carpentry are actually different things, with varying skills and tasks designated to each. You may even have both working on the one project.

Timber work

Due to the fact there seems to be a some confusion around each trade, we have set out what each one is and when you would need their services. If you have any questions regarding cabinet making for your kitchen reno, feel free to give Haddon Kitchens a call on 07 3204 0399 and we can discuss any queries you may have.

What is a carpenter?

A carpenter is used as an overarching team to describe anyone who works with wood, however this isn't entirely true. Carpenters do indeed work with timber, however their general job description is the use of timber to erect and maintain buildings and furniture, as well as other objects.

What is a cabinet maker?

Being a 'cabinet maker' has meant a lot of different things over the years, especially before the invention of of industrial design. Before then, cabinet makers were responsible for the creation of all furniture needed for homes and workplaces. These days however, a cabinet maker generally makes custom-made cabinets and other pieces with various kinds of wood.

Cabinet Making

What about a joiner?

To make things a little more confusing, you also have a joiner. The terms 'joinery' and 'carpentry' can sometimes be used interchangeably, however this isn't actually correct. Carpentry refers to the repairs or creation of wood structures or items in your home, whereas joinery refers to the process of working with joints within your home, such as window joints and trusses.

Cabinet maker vs carpenter - what's the difference?

Although both carpenters and cabinet makers work with wood, the big difference is the level of details which goes into their work. Cabinet makers focus on the finer details, which usually means that cabinet makers concentrate on internal fittings, such as bookcases and cabinets, whereas carpenters usually deal with larger external projects. This can include decking, house frames and pergolas, which also requires accuracy, usually does not require the level of intricate detailing and delicacy that cabinet makers need.

Cabinet Making

When do you need the services of a carpenter?

You will likely call on carpenter when you are having renovations completed to your home to complete structural work, as well as to build things like staircases, gazebos and house frames. They also install doors, windows mouldings and trim, in addition to erecting scaffolding, laying timber floors and installing timber cladding.

When do you need the services of a cabinet maker?

Alternatively, you will require the services of a cabinet maker if you require items with intricate details. They generally work on projects such as shop fittings, kitchen makeovers and bathroom renovations creating pieces such as bookcases, cabinets, benches and entertainment units. Some cabinet makers install pieces that they have created, whereas others do not.

Haddon Kitchens

Your Brisbane cabinet making professionals

If you would like to know a little more about cabinetry, give Haddon Kitchens a call on 07 3204 0399 today. We are local specialists when it comes to cabinetry in Brisbane, so get in contact now!


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