Last updated: August 12, 2021

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Welcome to our big chisel test 2022. Here we present all the chisels we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best chisel for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a chisel.




Summary

  • Chisels enable you to do delicate work with wood, especially when building furniture or similar pieces of wood.
  • There are several basic types of chisels, each of which has its own area of application
  • For basic equipment, you can buy sets that cover all sizes. Individual pieces for specific applications are also available at reasonable prices.

The Best Chisel in the United Kingdom: Our Choices

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a chisel

What exactly is a chisel?

Chisels, often also called chisels, belong to the group of construction tools. More precisely, they are tools for exciting woodworking.

This means that you can use them to do fine and delicate work on wood that is difficult to do with a machine. There are various types of chisels to achieve aesthetic results for different projects.

Findings show that tools similar to today's chisels were used as early as 13,500 years ago.

These were first made from bone, later from stone and, with the advent of iron and steel, from about 2,800 years ago. The principle has not changed significantly since then and has always stood the test of time.

Chisels have been part of the basic equipment of a good craftsman for thousands of years (Image source: pixabay.com / Free-Photos)

What kind of work do I need a chisel for?

If you want to build or work on wooden furniture, you need a chisel to be able to do more delicate work. Joints between two pieces of wood can also be created with the help of a chisel, so-called mortise and tenon joints.

Other areas of application with wood are both instrument making and use in turning work, where a rotating piece of wood is worked with it.

Another area of application, rather different from the previous one, are chisels for boron hammers. These can be combined with a standard percussion drill and thus be used to remove concrete, tiles or, depending on the design, also metals.

How is a chisel constructed?

The following basic construction applies to all different types of chisels: Two parts - handle and blade. The handle can be made of wood or plastic. The blade is always made of hardened and ground steel.

There is a metal ring at the top and bottom of the handle. The one at the bottom, which sits at the junction of the two parts, is also called a ferrule and prevents the handle from splintering while you are working with it.

The metal ring attached to the upper end - also called a striking ring - ensures that the handle is not battered by blows with the tapping wood.

What does a chisel cost?

Chisels are almost always sold several at a time, as different sizes are often needed when working with them. There is a wide price range between the different chisels. The cost varies depending on the quality and size of the chisel.

The range can be from about 12 euros for single pieces to 500 euros for high quality sets of several pieces. If you use this tool in particular frequently and have many applications at home, the prices for chisels seem reasonable to us.

Single chisels start at a price of 12 euros, although narrower chisels are usually cheaper than wider ones. There are some unique pieces, especially those made in Japan, that can cost up to 250 euros.

Sets are available from 40 euros, but can also cost up to 500 euros. These are high-quality, multi-part sets that carpenters or similar professions use at work.

Type price range
Single piece approx. 12 - 250 euros
Sets approx. 40 - 500 euros

If you need a particular dimension of a chisel for an activity or if you want a high-quality tool for the dimension you use most often, you can buy them as individual pieces.

If you want to start working with chisels and don't have one yet, you can buy several at once in a set.

Alternative applications

Chisels can also be used as impact hammers. For this, you normally need attachments with an SDS socket, which is the standardised socket size for conventional drill models.

This combination is used, for example, for applications against concrete, tiles and other materials that can be removed in a similar way.

Decision section: What types of chisels are there and which is the right one for you?

If you want to buy a chisel, there are four alternatives to choose from:

  • Chisel/chisel
  • Gouge
  • Woodturning chisel
  • Japanese models

Depending on the application, you can choose one of these four categories. The following sections are designed to help you make your decision.

What are the characteristics of a chisel and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

First of all, a distinction is made between two types:

  1. Shape A: Straight edges. This is the most common shape of a chisel. It has straight edges as already mentioned. This work well for rough work and for chiseling out mortises for mortise and tenon joints. These allow wood to be mortised into each other, which gives the construction extra stability.
  2. Shape B: Bevelled edges. This shape is good for fine work and allows chiseling out sharp corners, e.g. pinnacles.

What distinguishes a gouge and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The gouge has a round, curved blade. It is used to carve out gouges or to make recesses. A distinction can be made between straight and curved blades.

The most frequently mentioned field of application is instrument making, especially violin making. The gouge is therefore a tool for filigree work.

What are the characteristics of a woodturning chisel and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Woodturning chisels do not have a striking ring at the end of the handle and the handles are usually longer than those of other types, which is due to the way this type is used.

They are not hammered, but used on a lathe to cut rotating pieces of wood. A distinction is made between chisels with a straight cross-section and tubes with a half-round cross-section.

In addition, there are numerous special shapes for special areas of application.

Woodturning chisel in action (Image source: pixabay.com/ HesselVisser)

What distinguishes Japanese models and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

Are also referred to as Nomi. They are used when the highest precision is needed in the processing of solid wood. On the one hand, to make wooden joints, on the other hand, to build fine furniture or musical instruments.

The blade is forged from two layers of steel. On the one hand, soft iron, which protects the blade and dampens blows. The other is a thin layer of the hardest carbon steel. The blade is attached at an angle specific to this type.

Nomis are particularly comfortable to hold because they are made in such a way that there is a seamless transition from the blade to the handle.

Advantages
  • Higher quality
  • Particularly suitable for delicate work
  • Unique blade
Disadvantages
  • Expensive
  • Become shorter when sharpened

Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate chisels

In the following, we will show you which aspects you can use to decide between the many possible chisels.

The criteria you can use to compare the chisels with each other include:

  • Handle
  • Dimension
  • Material

In the following paragraphs, we will explain what is important in the individual criteria.

Handle (hilt)

The handle - also called the hilt - can be either made of wood or plastic.

Those made of plastic are considered safer because their shape protects them better from slipping when working. In addition, they are usually ergonomically shaped, which on the one hand ensures a safer grip and on the other hand makes better energy transfer possible.

If you opt for chisels with wooden handles, they are not significantly worse. They, too, can be ergonomically shaped by the supplier and can be non-slip to a certain degree by means of special varnishing.

Here you can decide according to feeling for the somewhat more advantageous plastic handles or a little more close to nature for the wooden variant.

Dimensions

Before buying, you should consider what range of chisels with different sizes you need. This ranges from 4 - 40 millimetres and goes almost to the end in steps of 2. From 30 there are 32, 35 and 40.

It is also important that this is printed in large letters on the top of each chisel or made clearly visible in some way. It is unnecessarily complicated to have to check exactly which size you are holding in your hand every time you change.

Material

Chisels are almost always made of hardened steel. There are only variations in the composition (special tool steel or chrome vanadium steel). The degree of hardness varies little. Only exceptionally cheap products deviate downwards here.

Facts worth knowing about chisels

What materials can I work on with a chisel?

Basically, chisels are used to work with wood. The different types are used for different types of wood (soft or hard) or for coarse (chisel) or fine (woodturning chisel) work.

How do I sharpen a chisel correctly?

There are some important points to consider. For one thing, the grindstone you use is crucial; there are different grit sizes. Furthermore, the angle plays a role when grinding. The smaller the angle, the lower the cutting forces and the more sensitive the cutting edge.

Grinding is divided into two different types. Stripping and grinding. Honing is sufficient for minor damage, but if the damage is larger or a different angle is to be ground, the chisel should be ground.

Type Degree of bluntness
Honing stone Little
Grinding machine Very

Honing:

For this you need a whetstone or whetstone, it must be moistened a little before use, either with water or oil. This helps the stone to glide better during sharpening. When sharpening, it is important that this is done in various increasingly finer stages. Sharpening stones usually have several grit sizes. At first, grits of 200 - 300 are recommended, but towards the end you should reach at least 1000 in order to achieve sufficient sharpness of the blade.

Once a whetstone has been used with oil, it can no longer be used with water.

  1. Grind the mirror side as straight as possible. The mirror side is the side that is down when using the chisel.
  2. When sanding the bevel side, you can start with finer grits. Be careful to make circular movements so as not to create any irregularities. Always try to keep the chisel close to the whetstone.
  3. You can sharpen chisels at different angles (between 25 and 40 degrees). The sharper the angle, the sharper the chisel. The sharper the chisel, the quicker the wear and you have to resharpen it. The angle you need depends on the hardness of the wood you want to work.
  4. The best way to keep the exact angle is to use a sanding aid.

Grinder:

If your chisel is very worn, it is recommended to grind it with a grinder before sharpening it by hand. This also applies to very old chisels that are already rusty. As long as the substance is not completely ruined, you can still save any chisel by grinding it with enough effort.

How do I store a chisel properly?

Because of the sharpness of the blade, especially of freshly ground chisels, they should not just be thrown into a toolbox. On the one hand, because they become blunt through abrasion. On the other hand, you can cut yourself on the blade when you take it out.

It would therefore be advisable to store them in a case, which is usually supplied with the order anyway, or in a suspension system as shown in the picture below.

With a wall holder, your chisels are always perfectly tidy and organised. (Image source: pixabay.com/ hrohmann)

Image source: pixabay.com / kim chungbae

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