A chisel is one of the most indispensable and versatile tools in carpentry, masonry, and other types of construction work. It consists of a long steel bar with a sharp edge (cutting edge) and a firm handle. The handle is typically made of plastic, wood, or any other durable material. The tool is used by carpenters to shape, cut, and sculpt various materials. Each type of chisel is named after the shape of its sharpened edge. All carpenters, newbies, and professionals alike, need a compact set of chisels to transform their craftsmanship into the desired outcome.
Being a significantly time-consuming art, wood crafting requires exceptional skill, dedication, and patience. All chisels are not made for every application. Each chisel is basically designed according to a specific need and required precision level. Professional artists and carpenters recommend using the right chisel for each application for impressive wood carving. Thus, picking the right chisel for a specific use is greatly necessary.
Nonetheless, shopping for the right set of chisels is not as easy as many people assume. With the numerous tools and brands in the market, you might end up buying a low-quality tool at an exorbitant price or a high-quality tool, at the right price but for the wrong purpose. We want you to create inspiring crafts using the right tools and without unnecessary headaches. After extensive research, I have come up with a detailed guide on the best wood chisels and how to shop for the ideal chisel kit for your needs. The guide also includes our top application-specific chisel picks from various brands depending on quality, sharpness, and performance.
Our Top Picks – The 7 Best Wood Chisels for Woodworking & Carving In 2021
1. GREBSTK Professional Wood Chisel Tool Set
The GREBSTK Professional Wood Chisel Toolset features four chisel sizes including, a quarter, half, three-quarters, and one-inch sizes. This set is highly efficient for wood trimming and will help you to create impressive woodcarving artifacts. The chisel set is perfect for newbies and professional woodworkers alike. They are made from vanadium steel to promote durability and rust-resistance ability. The chisels feature a sharp and functional blade in addition to a comfortable wooden handle. The manufacturer packages it with high-quality kraft paper and a convenient zipper bag for easier portability. For additional security and convenience, each GREBSTK Professional Wood Chisel blade features a storage cup to prevent it from getting damaged after use.
- Perfect for newbies or inexperienced woodworkers
- Made with vanadium steel for durability, rust-resistant, and long-term sharpness
- Sold with a high-quality storage bag
- Features an unpolished surface
2. REXBETI 10pc Premium Wood Chisel Set
The Rexbeti 10pc Premium Wood Chisel Set is a perfect selection for newbie carpenters looking for a toolset with all the essential items for learning and gaining experience along the way. You will also find some pro woodworkers and other craftsmen preferring this blade set among all others. To understand the complexity of this toolset, you need to familiarize yourself with the specific use of each device in the tool kit.
The box contains six chisel blades, each uniquely designed to fit a specific purpose. The blades are made of chrome vanadium steel alloy to promote sturdiness, resiliency, and rust resistance. This way, the tools can withstand regular use and even trim thicker wooden material. Their strength and sturdiness make them highly efficient in creating impressive artifacts and complex designs.
Their bevel-edged blade design makes them ideal for creating tenon and dovetail joints. You can effortlessly maneuver corners and create more polished pieces. The Rexbeti 10pc Premium Wood Chisel Set also features rubberized handles, which prevent your hands from slipping, allowing you to grip the handle tightly and comfortably for maximum control. The chisel blades also have a cap cover, allowing you to safely use a mallet with the blades. The chisel set also comes with protective caps to protect the tools when not in use to prevent hand cuts and other accidents.
Features a thick rubber handle to prevent the hand from sliding off the chisel and causing unnecessary accidents
- The steel alloy material increases the chisel’s durability
- These bevel-edged chisels promote accuracy in woodworking
- Comes with a metal cover for efficient use with a mallet
- It makes sharpening the blade challenging when using the short sharpening stone
3. VonHaus 10 pc Premium Chisel Set for Woodworking
VonHaus 10 pc Premium Chisel Set is ideal for newbies and professional carpenters alike. The chisel box contains six blades, each with a distinct size. You’ll find several essential accessories in the box as well. Each chisel blade is specially designed for a specific purpose such as crafting shapes, polishing edges, and creating holes on wood. The chisel blades are made with chromium-vanadium steel alloy for enhanced durability, efficiency, and functionality.
The chromium, vanadium, and steel combinations are highly effective in improving the blades’ strength, sturdiness, and robustness. The combination also makes the tools rust-resistant. Additionally, the chrome-vanadium steel alloy is heat tempered to add the desired chemical and structural properties to the chisel-set. The durable materials allow you to use these chisels regularly with ease for longer. The blades also feature narrow bevel angles, inclined to a specific angle for intense sharpening and precise trimming.
You will love the VonHaus 10 pc Premium Chisel Set due to its rubberized and sturdy handle. The handles offer a firm and comfortable grip that prevents the tool from slipping from your hands while offering exceptional control. The blades kit comes with a sharpening stone and a honing guide to help you learn how to effectively use and maintain the tools. It also features a handy plastic storage case for easy portability.
- The steel alloy material promotes durability, rust resistance, and better functionality
- The side bevels promote seamless angled shaping
- Features a tough handle for a firm and comfortable grip
- The set consists of six chisels with different blade sizes
- You cannot hit the chisels with a mallet
4. Hurricane 4 Pieces Wood Chisel Set Cr-V Construction
Do you need a versatile and durable chisel set? The Hurricane 4 Pieces Wood Chisel Set is the perfect match for your needs. It features four different blade sizes ranging from ¼ inch to 1 inch. The handle is made of a sturdy, colored, and clear PVC material for a firm and comfortable grip that allows the user great control.
It’s highly effective for numerous applications and can be used on all types of wood including, softwood, hardwood, and laminated wood. This chisel blade set is produced from a superior combination of chromium, vanadium, and steel. The Hurricane 4 Pieces Wood Chisel Set also features a varnish coating lubrication for durability, robustness, and rust resistance. Additionally, these blades are exceptionally sharp and functional due to the heat-tempered bevel edge structure. For efficient storage purposes, the wood chisel set features four full-length safety guards for each piece – a great bonus for any craft smith.
- The wood chisel is extra sharp, thanks to the bevel-shaped edge
- Suitable for all types of wood-carving applications
- Features varnish coating lubrication for durability and rust resistance
- Comes with long safety guards to protect blades from damage
- The chisel handles are sometimes too small for some users
5. Narex Chisel / Mortise Chisel Set – 4-pcs
The Narex Woodworking Chisels 863010 set is affordable and contains everything any carpenter would need working at home or a working site. Your projects will seem easier and more impressive when using this set of sturdy chisel blades. The company has used a combination of chrome, manganese, and steel to produce highly functional tools. The alloy is intended to create sturdier and smoother chisel blades than carbon.
The manganese coating makes this set heat and rust-resistant. The blade’s hardness is rated as RC59, which makes the sharpness of the edges last longer. The handles are made of shock-resistant and varnished European beech wood to ensure durability. Some handles are polished to give the chisel blade a firm and comfortable grip.
Also, the chisel handles have some curves for a firmer grip and to prevent the tool from slipping off your hands repeatedly. The varnish also features waterproof materials that provide brilliant protection to the chisel set. The cutting edge is bevel-angled at 250 to retain the sharpness and precision of the corners on your design. It perfectly removes any undesired wood sections and creates a high-quality polished look for your artifacts. Interestingly, you do not need to sharpen your chisel blades every time you need to use them.
- Feature manganese blades to promote durability and efficiency
- The well-polished handles enhance convenience for regular use
- The bevel-angled blades are ideal for the creation of accurate designs
- Comes with a shock-proof varnish to prevent unnecessary accidents
6. IRWIN Marples Chisel for Woodworking, 1/8-inch (3mm)
Irwin is always devising advanced and efficient techniques to help you improve your wood carving craft. You don’t have to be an expert to buy Irwin tools. The Irwin Marples Woodworking Chisel Set features six chisel blades to enhance your woodworking potential. The chisels ensure that you work with high accuracy in your designs and especially when creating complex pieces. The set also comes with a one-inch chisel blade for larger trims.
Each chisel blade has a tough structure to bear the powerful force of a mallet. The cutting edge is made of a durable material, which prevents it from easily getting damaged. The material used to form the blade is a combination of carbon and steel to improve major physical properties. The alloys also make the chisel lighter, while giving the user more control over the device. The compactness is given a rating of 58-HRC.
The Irwin Marples Woodworking Chisel Set features a shock-proof polypropylene handle to prevent slip-ups when working. The handle also maintains a firm and comfortable grip on the tool for greater efficiency and precision. The Irwin masterpiece generally features a slim structure for steady control. After sharpening the chisel blades, always cover them up with protective caps for security purposes and to prevent dullness due to various atmospheric and environmental factors.
- It can be effectively used for various applications
- Features sturdy blades for durability and efficiency
- Comes with shock-proof handles for extra security and resiliency
- Usable with a mallet
- The chisel handles must be tuned manually
7. WORKPRO W043001 1/2 in. Wood Chisel
The WORKPRO 3-piece Wood Chisel Set is ideal for newbies looking to perform some basic woodcarving to decorate their living spaces with wooden masterpieces. These chisels are strong, robust, and tough, allowing them to withstand regular use. They are also rust-resistant, which prevents them from blunting easily. The chisel is normally heat tempered for the correct inclination of the bevel edge, which helps maintain sharpness. The chrome, vanadium, and steel combination significantly strengthens the blades, while increasing their durability and functioning. These chisels are specially designed to bear much force upon them, which allows you to hit them with a mallet to create the preferred artifacts. It’s an ideal tool to trim off unwanted sections on wood or other material.
The durable materials used to make these chisels provide a firm and comfortable grip, preventing the handles from sliding off your hands and causing accidents. The best thing about the WORKPRO 3-piece Wood Chisel Set is that you can adjust the bevel angles by sharpening the edges for a specific effect.
- Very durable due to the vanadium alloy material used to make the tools
- The bevel-edged alternatives can be used to work on corners
- The handles bear the mallet’s weight impressively
- The chisels are rust-resistant, thanks to the choice of materials
- Lacks protective caps
Types of Wood Chisels
While the market is full of numerous different types of chisels, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the differences. Chisels range from tiny tools used to hone aesthetic details on various stuff, to large devices used to remove undesirable sections on the material at hand. Chisel users begin working with the large tools before switching to the smaller ones for perfecting the details. Although the market is full of numerous chisel makes and models, there are only three types of chisels often used in woodworking. The three basic types of wood chisels include:
Bench chisels are the most common type of chisels. The chisel typically features a five-inch blade and a five-inch handle. They are the most preferred type of chisel among carpenters with their popularity stemming from their all-purpose functionality. Interestingly, “bench chisel” is a term that originated from their “reputation” of being found on benches or woodworking spots always ready for use. Bench chisels are further subdivided into two – straight-edge and beveled-edged (most common). This chisel is highly versatile and can accomplish almost anything, including, trimming, joinery, chopping, and paring.
As the name suggests, the mortise chisel is used by woodworkers to cut mortise and tenon joints. It typically consists of a huge and heavy blade with a hardwood handle that’s specially designed to withstand a lot of pounding. The cutting edge is angled at 300 and 400. This chisel also features steel hoops for reliable functionality and durability. Mortise chisels are available in various sizes ranging from 0.125-0.5, with the 0.25 chisel size being the most common.
Paring chisels consist of a thin, long blade ideal for accessing tight-fitting spaces. This chisel’s blade is sharpened to 150-200 for urbane cutting. They are ideal for cutting smaller and more intricate joints in carpentry. Since they are intended to produce clear-cut designs, you should only put just enough effort on the handle to prevent taking out too much material and damaging the cut. It’s important to note that paring chisels are delicate tools and should only be used by hand and never hit with a hammer. Paring chisels typically work hand-in-hand with bench or mortise chisels. Basically, the Mortis or bench chisel cuts out the undesirable section while the paring chisel refines the joint.
Other Specialty Chisels
- Japanese Chisels
- Wood Turning Chisels
- Fishtail Chisels
- Masonry Chisel
- Sash Mortise Chisel
- Slick Chisel
- Butt Chisel
- Dovetail Chisel
- Corner Chisel
- Skew Chisel
- Socket Chisel
- Framing Chisel
- Concrete Chisel
- Bolster Chisel
- Cold Chisel
- Cape Chisels
- Round Chisels
- Curved Chisels
- Power Chisels
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Wood Chisels
Selecting the best wood chisel kit depends on the user and its application. Many people who go shopping for chisels have a certain level of experience in woodworking or intend to gain some while working on various projects. Knowing the kind of applications you’ll be using your chisels for will help you decide which set of chisels is best for you. You need to consider various factors when choosing what wood chisel is best for your project – purpose, type of handles and blades, and accessories. Let’s take a deeper look at each of them:
The first thing is to determine the purpose of buying a wood chisel. It’ll save you from making unnecessary purchases in addition to saving you a lot of time. For example, if you’ll be making lots of tenon joints and mortises in your project, you’ll need to invest in an effective all-round chisel such as a bench chisel kit with multiple sizes. Here are a few suggestions:
- When in need of a chisel but aren’t sure of the specific application or project you’re to undertake, buy several but various sizes of bench chisels.
- If your project requires that you make numerous deep mortises and especially in hardwood, use a mortise chisel.
- When working on fine furniture or cabinets that require numerous joints and a polished design, a paring chisel would be your best option.
Chisel handles are typically made of wood, plastic, or some other durable material. Wooden chisel handles are sturdy, visually appealing, and feature a firm and comfortable grip. These features make them be the preferred choice of pro woodworkers who feel the extra cost is a bargain given their look and feel. However, they are usually less durable than their plastic counterparts given their extra cost. Plastic chisel handles feature a soft or hard grip. The soft-grip handles are typically more comfortable, while the hard-grip handle is stronger. Plastic chisel handles are mainly preferred by newbies due to their comfortable grip, durability, and affordability.
Most chisels are made from carbon or vanadium steel. Vanadium steel is naturally stronger than carbon steel in that it’s a combination of steel and some vanadium for more resiliency and sturdiness. The extra sturdiness allows vanadium steel to maintain blade sharpness for longer when compared to carbon steel. As such, surgical tools are also made from this material since surgeons are required to maintain precision and accuracy in their work without worrying about the sharpness of the equipment. Carbon steel or tool steel is a blend of carbon and iron, which is tougher than regular steel. The sturdiness of a chisel blade determines the duration it’ll maintain the sharpness.
Your chisel size is mainly dependent on its purpose. Chisels come in various sizes ranging from 0.0625-3 inches. If you are involved in large projects such as framing, you’ll require to choose a larger set of chisels, normally 1.5-3 inches. For projects that require more detail and polishing, you’ll need a smaller set of chisels. The width and length of a chisel contribute a lot to comfort and control when in use. Longer blades are perfect for working on flat, easily accessible surfaces and provide the best control. Consequently, shorter chisels are best used when working on tight-fitting spaces that aren’t easily accessible with a long blade. Thus, ensure your chisel set features chisels of varying sizes to handle any project you may undertake.
With the amount of time, energy, and resources that you put into finding the perfect chisel set for your various projects, it’s only fair to invest in similarly quality accessories for maximum service and benefit. Purchasing a reliable chisel sharpener and mode of storage can help care for and protect your valuable investment. It’s important to keep in mind that chisels are sold blunt and you’ll need to sharpen them before use. The way you sharpen and store your chisel blades makes a significant difference in their durability and efficacy level. Some must-have accessories include:
Appropriate tool storage is a fundamental part of proper tool maintenance. Avoid keeping all your chisel blades loosely together in a drawer or box. When these tools bump and clink against each other, they can easily get damaged and dull. The chisel handles can also get chipped or come out loose. With this type of improper storage, you’ll be subjected to more sharpening, repair, and replacement of your tools than if stored appropriately. Dry your chisel blades thoroughly before storage and make sure they remain that way throughout to avoid rust. Some efficient storage options include:
Protective caps are a useful accessory used to store chisel blades. While some chisels come with caps to protect them when not in use, some do not. Check your local hardware for something that can work similarly to a protective cap. Protective caps are typically not a one-size-fits-all affair. Thus, ensure that you pick one that fits each chisel blade perfectly.
Storage cases are ideal for putting your chisel blades away when not in use. There are two types of cases – plastic and wooden cases, with each featuring a designated slot for each chisel blade. They also have fabric roll-up holders with compartments to hold several tools. Finding a specific tool is much easier when everything is in place.
If there’s a specific place or spot where you use a workspace, you can opt to store your chisel blades on wall-mounted holders with pegs and loops. Drilling holes in the shelves and inserting chisel blades into them when not in use can also be a viable storage option.
For woodworkers without all other types of storage options, you can use canvas or another type of thick piece of fabric. Line up the chisel blades onto the fabric and securely roll it, leaving some space between each tool. Bind it and carefully store it horizontally where it won’t keep rolling around. Otherwise, you can sew compartments into the fabric for more security.
Some efficient sharpening options include:
- Bench grinder
- Sharpening stone – You can choose from a diamond, water, or oil stone.
You’ll also need to invest in a tough wooden hammer (buy or make one) to avoid causing unnecessary damage to your chisels.
An effective and reliable wood chisel allows you to perform your projects with less effort and without unnecessary frustrations for the best results. Furthermore, the best wood chisels can be used to create impressive designs and crafts on other materials besides wood such as stones, iron planes, etc. investing in a quality chisel and accessories set will serve you best and for longer. We believe the aforementioned tips and products can be very helpful when the time comes for you to make a purchase. Therefore, let this guide be your most trusted arsenal when shopping for the best chisel set for your needs.