There are not that many different veneer tools to work with, especially veneer hand tools. The list is relatively simple. The tools themselves are fairly basic as well, and so there are not that many variations. Some of the tools can also be used for applying laminate as well.

What are some basic wood veneer tools to get me started veneering?

For hand veneering, the basic tools will be the:

(Of course you will also need a veneer press, but I cover this within a different article as it is really more an equipment than a tool.)

Is that all that I really need to veneer something?

Yes, wood veneering inherently is not a complicated procedure. If you are veneering a flat surface, all you need are the tools listed above, and you will be fine.

Do I even need these tools if I have a regular woodworking hand saw and masking tape?

Veneer tools are specialized to make it easier to produce a high quality end product. The veneer saw and specialized tape are definately worth the very small investment.

How about the veneer roller and scraper?

The roller is used to spread glue evenly. If you are gluing a flat surface, you can use a regular paint roller with a thinner foam so it doesn't absorb too much glue. The scraper is used to scrape off the veneer tape and dried glue from the finished panel, because sanding it off will not yield a good result as it may take too long, and glue is not easily removed by sanding.

Why do you recommend an orbital sander for veneering?

Unless you have a small work piece, the orbital sander will be the quickest and safest way to sand, especially if you have piece with marquetry, or a burl. This is because if you have lots of veneer pieces coming in at different patterns, the grain directions of all the pieces (or a piece of a burl veneer), will be different. An orbital sander will be the best so as not to make cross grain scratches.

What exactly is a veneer trimmer?

There are a number of handheld veneer edge trimmers on the market, but I've found that the simplest way to trim veneer is to use a good old fashion file. Once the proper technique is learned, a specialized trimmer tool is not necessary.

Lastly, the utility knife is sometimes used to make small adjustments of pieces that are too small to be handled easily by the fingers. It can also be used to cut the veneer, although the veneer saw will yield a better result.

In general, these are all the veneering tools you will ever use. There are not too many and they are not overly expensive. Equipping yourself with the proper veneering tools is not very costly.