Chisels are one of the most fundamental tools and, once sharpened, a pleasure to use. Many books describe the many types of chisels that can be purchas, but in practice, I've found that I only need a handful of high-quality implements. Buy Chisels Chisels are versatile hand tools use for cutting, shaping, and carving various materials such as wood, metal, and stone.
They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials, each designed to suit specific tasks. Whether you're a professional woodworker, a DIY enthusiast, or someone looking to take on home improvement projects, selecting the right chisels can greatly impact the quality of your work. This comprehensive chisels buying guide will walk you through the key factors to consider when purchasing chisels.
1. Wood Chisels: Wood chisels are perhaps the most common and versatile type of chisel. They are designed for woodworking tasks that involve cutting, shaping, and carving wood. Wood chisels come in different shapes and sizes to cater to various woodworking techniques and applications:
- Bench Chisels: These are general-purpose chisels with beveled edges, suitable for tasks like cutting joints, shaping wood, and removing material.
- Paring Chisels: Paring chisels have thin blades and are used for delicate tasks requiring precise shaving and trimming, such as fitting joints or creating fine details.
- Mortise Chisels: Mortise chisels have thicker and stronger blades to withstand the force required for chopping out mortises, which are rectangular holes for joinery.
- Skew Chisels: These chisels have angled blades, making them ideal for creating clean and smooth cuts on edges and corners.
- Gouges: Gouges have curved cutting edges, making them suitable for carving and shaping concave surfaces.
2. Masonry Chisels
Masonry chisels are specifically design for working with stone, brick, and concrete. These materials are much harder than wood, so masonry chisels need to be more robust and durable:
- Cold Chisels: Cold chisels have a wide, flat blade and are used for cutting, shaping, and trimming stone and concrete. They are often struck with a hammer to break through tough materials.
- Point Chisels: Point chisels have a pointed end and are used for breaking up concrete and stone. They're effective for creating holes or starting cuts.
- Bolster Chisels: Bolster chisels have a wider blade and are used for heavy-duty tasks such as splitting stone or brick.
- Pitching Chisels: These chisels have a wide, flat blade with a slight angle, making them suitable for rough shaping and trimming of stone and masonry.
3. Metal Chisels
Metal chisels are designed to cut and shape various types of metal, including steel, aluminum, and copper. Metalworking tasks require chisels that are capable of withstanding the hardness of metal:
- Cape Chisels: Cape chisels have a sharp, narrow blade and are use for cutting slots and channels in metal.
- Diamond Point Chisels: These chisels have a diamond-shap point and are use for detailed metalwork, such as engraving or creating decorative patterns.
- Flat Chisels: Flat chisels have a wide, flat blade and are use for cutting, shaping, and removing material from metal surfaces.
- Round Nose Chisels: These chisels have a rounded cutting edge, making them suitable for shaping and smoothing curved surfaces.
Stanley: Stanley is a renowned name in the world of hand tools, including chisels. With a history spanning over a century, Stanley has consistently delivered high-quality tools that cater to both professionals and DIY enthusiasts. Their chisels are known for their durability, precision, and wide range of options to suit various woodworking tasks.
Narex: Narex is a Czech tool manufacturer that has gained recognition for producing high-quality woodworking chisels at an affordable price. They offer a variety of chisels, including bevel edge, mortise, and carving chisels. Narex chisels are often praised for their excellent value for money and reliable performance.
Lie-Nielsen: Lie-Nielsen is a brand synonymous with premium hand tools, including chisels. Their chisels are meticulously craft using high-quality materials and traditional techniques. While Lie-Nielsen tools may be on the higher end in terms of price, they are sought after by serious woodworkers for their exceptional build quality and attention to detail.
Two Cherries: Two Cherries is a German brand known for its top-notch carving tools, including chisels. They have a rich history of producing high-quality tools for woodcarving and woodworking. Two Cherries chisels are highly regard for their sharpness, precision, and longevity, making them a favorite among woodcarvers.
Irwin Marples: Irwin Marples is recogniz for its wide range of woodworking tools, including chisels. These chisels are design to offer a balance between affordability and quality, making them a popular choice for both beginners and experienc woodworkers. Irwin Marples chisels are known for their comfortable handles and reliable performance.
Pfeil: Pfeil is a Swiss brand renown for its high-quality carving tools, including chisels. Their chisels are favor by woodcarvers for their exceptional sharpness and durability. Pfeil offers a wide range of carving chisels, catering to various carving techniques and skill levels.
1. Precision and Control:
Chisels are precision tools that offer exceptional control over material removal. Whether you're working on intricate woodworking projects, delicate carvings, or detailed metalwork, chisels allow you to make precise cuts and shape materials with a high level of accuracy.
Chisels are incredibly versatile tools that can be use on a wide range of materials, including wood, metal, stone, and even plastic. This adaptability makes chisels essential for various industries, from woodworking and sculpture to automotive repair and masonry.
Chisels enable you to create custom shapes, sizes, and designs in your projects. Woodworkers can fashion unique joints and contours, while sculptors can bring their artistic visions to life. The ability to tailor your cuts according to your creative or functional needs is a significant advantage.
4. Material Removal and Shaping:
Chisels excel at removing excess material or shaping it precisely. Whether you're hollowing out a mortise in woodworking, creating intricate engravings on metal, or sculpting stone, chisels provide efficient material removal while allowing for fine adjustments.
5. Handcrafted Aesthetics:
Chisels allow for handcrafted aesthetics that showcase the artistry and dedication put into a project. Carvings, engravings, and ornate details creat with chisels carry a unique charm and character that can't be replicat with power tools alone.
6. Connection to Tradition:
Using chisels connects artisans and craftsmen to traditional techniques and methods. Many skilled trades have relied on chisels for centuries, and continuing to use them honors the heritage of craftsmanship and mastery of the craft.
7. Skill Development:
Working with chisels requires a certain level of skill and finesse. As you practice and refine your technique, you'll develop a deep understanding of the materials you work with and how to manipulate them effectively. This hands-on experience contributes to your growth as a craftsman.
8. Minimal Noise and Dust:
Unlike power tools, chisels produce minimal noise and dust, making them suitable for indoor or quiet work environments. This is particularly advantageous for home workshops or shared studio spaces.
1. Blade Material and Sharpness:
The blade material of a chisel greatly affects its performance and longevity. High-carbon steel, tool steel, and even specialty alloys are commonly use to create chisel blades. The sharpness of the blade is crucial for clean and precise cuts. Well-design chisels come with sharp edges that can be maintain through regular sharpening.
2. Bevel Angle and Edge Geometry:
The bevel angle of the chisel's cutting edge plays a significant role in its cutting performance. Different angles are suit for various tasks. A lower bevel angle creates a sharper edge for fine work, while a higher angle offers more durability for heavy-duty applications.
3. Handle Design and Ergonomics:
The handle of a chisel affects comfort, control, and safety during use. Well-designed handles provide a secure grip, reducing the risk of slippage. Ergonomic handles with contoured shapes minimize strain and fatigue during prolonged use.
4. Tang and Socket Design:
The tang refers to the part of the chisel blade that extends into the handle. Chisels can have a full tang or a partial tang. Full tang chisels provide better stability and durability, while socketed chisels have a socket that holds the blade, making it easier to replace or re-handle.
5. Blade Width and Length:
Chisels come in various widths and lengths to accommodate different tasks and materials. Wider chisels are ideal for heavy material removal, while narrower ones are better suit for delicate work and detail-orient tasks.
6. Chisel Types and Profiles:
Different chisel profiles serve distinct purposes. Wood chisels have beveled edges for precise woodworking, while masonry chisels have wider, flat edges to withstand the hardness of stone and concrete. Specialized profiles like skew chisels, gouges, and carving chisels cater to specific tasks within woodworking and sculpting.
7. Durability and Resistance to Wear:
Chisels need to withstand the forces generated during cutting and shaping. Quality chisels are make from durable materials that resist wear, ensuring longevity and consistent performance over time.
8. Sharpening Ease:
Regular sharpening is essential to maintain the cutting performance of chisels. Chisels designed for ease of also sharpening have bevel angles and blade geometries that make the sharpening process smoother, even for beginners.