You have gotten great advice above, from experienced people who know what they are talking about. I am a newbie, too. I got a table saw about a year ago, and things took off from there. Here are my suggestions:
* SAFETY COMES FIRST!!
Dust Masks (and filters if you are using chemicals!).
The problem with safety equipment is that other than eye protection, nothing is likely to harm you right away. You can breathe the dust and work around those loud sounds for a while and not notice the bad effects. Only later do the breathing problems, the cancer, and the deafness appear. Start with SAFETY FIRST NOW!
* Buy Tools As You Need Them.
I agree with the others, buy tools as you need them. You can get by with power hand tools for a while. You can build amazingly good projects with them with careful use. The issue isn't entirely about quality, the big shop tools improve your productivity more than affect quality.
* Consider Buying Used Tools, Which Can Sometimes Be Better than New.
Consider buying used power tools, especially the larger ones. Used tools often come with many accessories - blades, jigs, and those costs add up. Old, American-made tools can be far superior to their modern counterparts, made from heavy cast iron instead of aluminum and plastic. Buy used tools in very good working condition. Take the time to learn what to look for (and especially common problems to detect and avoid). I have a mixture of used and new tools. My bandsaw was made years before I was born, and it is more solid than anything you can buy today.
* Plan on Making Your Big Tools Mobile.
If you are working out of your garage, plan on putting your large tools (and maybe your workbench) on casters, so you can move them around. Casters and stands add to your costs; budget for them. You can buy rolling supports or make them. I have a combination of both. I wheel my tools from the garage to the patio in back, where I work. (I have a back door, so it isn't far.) Working outside means that I don't have serious dust accumulations in the garage, which is a huge benefit, especially for my spouse's car. Even though I work mostly outside the garage, I still wear a dust mask and connect a cyclone/shop vac to the tools whenever I work. (Yeah, I wear the eye and ear protection, too. The protections are annoying, but they are so worth it to do what you love to do.)
Some bench size tools are small enough, where you can mount them to boards and clamp them to your workbench, or fit in the expansion space on the table saw that you don't own yet. Small router tables, grinders, and drill presses might fit that description.
In my opinion, some tools need their own stands. You can buy a benchtop table saw, but I would recommend a folding jobsite table saw as smallest effective solution. Table saws are so useful that maybe the space tradeoff is worth it to buy a real contractor or cabinet table saw. Power jointers need long beds to be most effective. I think that planers are too heavy to be practical as a portable tool to lift and move around.
* Quality Consumables (e.g. Blades) Get You More Quality Improvement than Replacing Tools.
The quality of your projects will improve the most through practice and experience, for sure, but ...
... Another thing that I learned is that investing in better quality blades and other consumables may get you more project quality improvement than spending money on a more expensive tool. In other words, you will do much better with a good blade in a decent saw than you will do with a cheap, crappy blade in a top-of-the-line, super-expensive saw. Cheap router bits suck from the start. You won't have to wait until they wear down to get unwelcome burns, chipouts, and other failures. Sure, I buy tools from Harbor Freight, but I would buy their blades only for cutting up waste material for the trash, just so I don't squander my good, expensive blades.
I don't know the condition of your blades, but maybe replacing your circular saw blades with fresh new ones may get you the most quality improvement and value for your money.
* The Public Library Is a Great Resource for Woodworking.
Try the public library to find great books on woodworking. I found and read over 50 books on woodworking from our library. Some of them sucked, but several of them were so good that I bought a copy for my home.
-> One thing that I learned from the books is how much more (and better) I could have done with my handheld smaller tools, such as a circular saw.
* Join Your Local Woodworking Club.
Find and join your local woodworking club. I suspect that most clubs are like mine, where most of the members are very old men. They are incredibly wise and experienced woodworkers, who can give you lots of great advice, especially if you are a patient, good listener.
Join Your Local Woodworking Club as a Source for Great Used Tools!
-> The woodworking club may be your best resource for great used tools at very reasonable prices. Many of the members are aging out and retiring from woodworking. They value their tools and lovingly care for them. They want their tools to go to woodworkers who will love them, care for them, and use them well. Prices are sometimes embarrassingly low. Many of them would rather see their tools in the hands of a dedicated learner than get the highest price from someone who doesn't care. Furthermore, their former owners may be around to answer questions about the tools they sold you.
Last edited by Tool Agnostic; 03-13-2018 at 12:58 PM.