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Basic tools that we use for household purposes need not necessarily be a professional’s handy equipment. The small yet important functions that they come for use in regular chores are great immediate solutions, and the best part is most of the tasks are DIY based and very easy to learn and practice. Out of many tools that are the patents of Carpenters, Chisel is a very sophisticated tool that can be used for multi purposes.

What is Chisel?

A Chisel is a tool with long blades which consists of a cutting edge at the end. It is supported by hammer or mallet and is used to cut wood, metal or stone. It can also be used to turn rough surfaces smoother, cut corners and smoothen hard areas. As you start using it, you will understand that it is an integral part of your tools set.

Usage method:

Whether you use it very regularly or not, a Razor-sharp Chisel will come to your use if you want to carve a strike plate or sharpen its end. To ensure that you become a pro in performing minor chiselling works, follow some of the following techniques to find the Best wood chisels:

To begin with, get yourself a 3/4-in. Chisel with sharp edges to use it for everything. If you have old Chisel, you may not throw it away. It can quite be useful for cutting nails or shaping sealants. It is better to have a plastic handle with an impact resistant system. You can even use a hammer for pounding, and it is sure not to get damaged. It is not an expensive investment and comes at a fairly reasonable price. Try to keep three—1/2-in., 3/4-in. And 1-in, if you can afford a bit extra and your starter kit, will be ready.

Sharpening is an essential part of maintaining a kit, and it happens even with a new set. It is obvious that you will find machine marks on the back of a new chisel. Polish them and ensure that no marks are left over. Now place the chisels in a canvas roll or between socks to make sure the cutting edge is safe and sharp.

How to use a Chisel for various types of cuts?

Mortise cuts:

Let the bevel be downwards. To cut thin slices, push on the back of the Chisel. Depending on the depth you need, drive the handle upwards and downwards.

Outline the area with a sharp knife and try to start working on mortises. You can also make an array of chisel cuts at 90 degrees to the surface. If you don’t do this, you are sure to see wood chips falling. If you see any thin slices take them off with the help of a hammer to avoid wood falling inside the targeted area.


In this method, you need to chop bigger pieces of wood by slicing aside smaller pieces. Chop about a

½ inch by beating on the chisel with a hammer. Make sure that your chisel is sharp and chop the piece from the ending to ensure that the piece is removed. Wear safety glasses while working on it.


Place the end of the Chisel facing towards you and cut any imperfections that you find on the wood as you hold the blade at 90 degrees.  Hold the blade with the help of your fingers and try to pull the Chisel towards you to separate thin chips and slices.

To make sure that scraping is done perfectly, see that the wood has sharp and flat edges.  Take care that no scratch marks are left behind while you cut it with the chisel tip.

Chop and pare:

Calculate the depth that you want to cut the wood and start sawing it from both the tips of the Chisel. Now break the wood in the centre and maintain ½ inch distance between two parts.

Fundamentals of Sharpening:

If you have any old Chisels, try to bring them to shape, as generally, old chisels have rounded and blunt tips.

To eliminate nicks, shape it to a25-degree angle with the help of a grinder. There are chances of overheating and the Chisel changing into blue colour. To avoid it from happening, place the grinder in water alternatively every 5 seconds.

Then take out the sandpaper and rub the Chisel front and back over it. This way you can polish the Chisel by holding and rubbing it on sandpaper allowing its back lay exactly flat on the paper. An ideal progression for any sharpening is 120, 220, 400 and 600 grit.

Now, since knowing the progressions, start running the Chisel by holding it at a 30-degree angle and let it go through the grits. Holding it at 30 degrees enables you to create a secondary bevel making it easy to run. Take a smooth-edged glass and paste the wet/dry sandpaper to it. Now you need to roll the chisel till you see a burr behind the plate. To get the burr off, lay the chisel flat on the sandpaper by turning the chisel reverse.

The basic things that you need for any of the Best wood chisels are

Honing guide: Helps in placing the blade in the right direction.

Sharpening stones: You can use water stones for sharpening.  You can use different sharpening stones for different grits.

Nagura stone: The usage of a stone depends on the grit used. If you are using a grit of 6000 or higher, it is better to use a Nagura stone. These stones specialise in sharpening the chisel.

Equipment needed for this project:

By keeping the equipment needed for this process ready, you can make your work easier and quicker.

The tools are :

  • Hammer
  • Wood chisel

Keep a honing guide handy in case you need it.

Material needed:

  • 120, 220, 400 and 600 grits, wet/dry sandpaper.

All the sharpening methods are DIY based and are very easy to practice at home. The new and modern Chisels that you get in the market are used for various purposes and knowing to use the right equipment at the right time eases your work to a large extent.

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