Woodworkers, crafts people, and hobbyists all want a set of the best wood chisels to create their work. With this type of tool, a block of wood can be transformed into a piece of furniture, toy, or work of art.
A chisel is equipped with a sharp blade at the tip – this blade is used for cutting and carving wood to the user’s desired shape. Typically, a mallet or a hammer is used to pound on the chisel while applying force to cut through wooden materials. Chisels can also be used in conjunction with a wood lathe machine.
Today, I will help you choose the best wood chisels for your needs. And in this post, I will present you with 6 of the best products in this category and review them in a Top 6 format.
Best Wood Chisels (January 2020): Top 6 Picks & Reviews
Product Name & Features
Why You Need Wood Chisels
Different types of wood chisels have different uses. Their sizes can also define their purposes as follows:
- Small Wood Chisels – Small chisels with narrow-tipped blades are meant for defining tiny details in a woodwork. The user must be careful not to take out big chunks of wood during the finishing process, you know.
- Medium Wood Chisels – These are the most basic types of chisels and they’re versatile enough to perform detailing in small projects.
- Large Wood Chisels – Because of their size, these chisels are used to remove large chunks and portions of wood to make way for the basic form of the main project.
- Extra Large Wood Chisels – Extra-large chisels are also extra tough as they’re meant for roughing out the shape of a block of wood to make it more manageable.
Note: The procedure to working with wood usually involves the use of larger chisels first (depending on the size of the project). The carpenter or wood worker will then finish off by using small chisels to detail or finalize the work.
Your Buying Options In Wood Chisels
You actually have 2 buying options when looking out to purchase the best wood chisels.
Buy A Set
- You will save on money when you buy a set of wood chisels as the price per piece is usually lower when buying a package (it can even include a free case or holder).
The only disadvantage to this method is that the package can contain pieces that you really don’t need in your projects.
Buy Individual Pieces
- You also have the option of buying one piece of chisel at a time. With this technique, you will eventually grow your collection according to your specific needs.
Each piece, however, will be more expensive.
Again, buying a set or individual pieces is up to you. This will depend on your purpose, goal, and type of work.
3 Basic Types Of Wood Chisels
- Bench Chisels
- Paring Chisels
- Mortise Chisels
In order to make an intelligent decision as to the best wood chisels for your needs, it’s important to understand the types of chisels that woodworkers, carpenters and hobbyists use. Below are the 3 basic types of chisels and I will discuss each one briefly in the next sections of this post.
- Bench Chisels
- Paring Chisels
- Mortise Chisels
Considered as the work horse in the chisels family, this is the most basic type of chisels because you will use the pieces in this group frequently. These chisels are also versatile – that you can even use them as paring and mortising chisels.
For this type of chisel, it’s best to choose models that have bevel edges. This means that the blades have angled edges on the sides to enable the chisels to fit into tight spaces.
Having a set of 4 to 10 pieces of bench chisels can work for beginners and experts alike. And if you choose wisely, you can depend on a set of bench chisels to complete the work in several projects.
Paring chisels are meant for creating detailing works. With this special tool, you can make your finishing touches on your final work cleaner and smoother as well.
This type of chisel is intended for light jobs – as compared to the work horse bench chisels and the tough mortise chisels. However, for added control, paring chisels are usually made to be longer than bench chisels. They also need to have bevel edges to fit into narrow spaces.
Mortise chisels are intended for mortising jobs – for cutting and creating a cavity in a wood to be able to accommodate a tenon and lock with it. In large projects, this tool will need to chop large chunks of wood.
Because of its demanding job, mortise chisels are made to be sturdy and tough. It’s the type of chisel that will take on a lot of beating when creating projects. For this type of chisel, however, it’s not supposed to have bevel edges – as you want the blade to be solid and strong.
Chisel Blade System Styles
There’s another factor that you need to understand when looking out to buy wood chisels. There are 2 blade system styles to choose from:
- Socket Chisels
- Tang Chisels
Socket chisels have blade systems that are positioned on top of the handle. The blades, therefore, are removable. Here are some of the advantages of socket chisels:
- They’re more durable and stronger than tang style.
- If the handle gets broken, you can easily get a replacement handle for the remaining blade.
- You can replace the chisel handle anytime (if you want to).
As for the disadvantages, consider the points below:
- Socket chisels are more difficult to create than tang chisels as they require more time to make – this can add to their price.
- Sometimes, the blade system can come loose – you might need to apply some glue to keep the blade part from separating from the handle.
With tang chisels, the blades are usually longer as they extend up to the handle. Unlike socket chisels, the blade system in a tang chisel is not removable. Here are the advantages of chisels with this style:
- They’re easier to manufacture than socket chisels – this can result in cheaper prices.
- Metal ferrules are usually used to support blade systems in tang chisels (to make them stronger and more durable).
Note the following disadvantages of tang chisels:
- When too much force is applied on a chisel (such as when you hit it with a hammer or a millet), the handle can break.
- There are no replacement handles for broken tang chisels.
Chisel Handle Materials
Chisel handles should never be taken for granted as you will need to hold onto this tool while doing a project. An ergonomically designed handle will surely help with your work, and so is the type of handle. Basically, there are 2 types of chisel handles:
- Wood Handle
- Plastic Handles
Consider the following benefits of a wooden handle:
- Wood handles are aesthetically better looking than plastic handles.
- Handles that are made of wood offer good balance.
- Granting that the wooden handle is ergonomically designed, this will be more comfortable on the hands of the user.
Here’s the one negative thing about wood handles:
- They’re more expensive than plastic handles.
To tell you the truth, plastic handles are not that bad. Just think about the following points:
- If you’re after simplicity, plastic handles will suit you just fine.
- As long as a chisel comes with a durable plastic handle, it will last for a long time.
- Compared to wood, models of chisels with plastic handles are more affordable.
Of course, there are some bad points in having plastic handles, too, such as:
- Plastic handles are ordinary looking and not that impressive.
- Chisels with plastic handles sometimes feel unstable.
Reviews Of The Top 6 Best Wood Chisels
- Number of Chisels – This model is a 4-piece package.
- Size – There are ¼, ½, ¾, and 1 inch sizes in this model.
- Blade System – The blades are made of high carbon steel.
- Design – This set is composed of chisels with long, thin blades.
- Handle – The handles on this model are made of hornbeam wood.
Professional furniture makers, beginner carpenters and hobbyists will find this set very useful. The Stanley 750 chisels set comes with the most basic of sizes in bench chisels.
The Stanley 16-791 Sweetheart 750 Series Chisel Set (video) is another model of bench chisels. These pieces have bevel edges and they come in socket style handles.
Stanley 16 791 Sweetheart 750 Series Socket Chisel Set Brown 4 Piece via Aaliyah Weston
- Number of Pieces – This package is a 6-piece model.
- Size – The following sizes are included in this set: 5/32, 3/16, ¼, 5/16, 3/8, and ½ inch.
- Blade System – The blades on this package are made of chrome steel tempered to RC 59.
- Handle – The handles on the chisels are made of Beechwood.
- Design – All the pieces are full tang models but they come with 2 steel ferrules each (for added protection and strength).
Narex is trusted brand and it only seems logical to trust their chisels even if these are full tang models. The manufacturer made sure that the pieces are supported by metal ferrules to withstand heavy blows necessary for making mortises.
This model from Narex is composed of a set of mortise chisels. These Narex mortise chisels (video) are tang chisels and they don’t have bevel edges.
Narex Mortise Chisels via Bill Schenher
This paring chisel set from Buck have bevel edges. If you’re looking for a good set of paring chisels, you can consider this package.
- Number of Pieces – This is a 3-piece package of paring chisels.
- Size – It comes with 3/8, ¾, and 1 inch size blades.
- Handle – This model has ash wood handles supported with metal ferrules for added strength.
- Blade System – The blades are made of carbon steel tempered to RC 58 to 59.
- Design – For paring purposes, the pieces are made to be long. With 6-inch blades and 6.25-inch handles, the total length is more than 12 inches long.
This set is a great paring chisel set and you can use it for delicate trimming and finishing touches.
If you’re only looking out to buy one piece of mortise chisel, you can consider this model. The Two Cherries 500-2012 Mortise Chisel doesn’t come with a bevel edge.
- Number of Pieces – This is a one-piece package.
- Size – It comes with a ½ inch size blade.
- Blade System – Its carbon steel blade is tempered to RC 61.
- Handle – Its handle is made of hornbeam solid wood and incorporated with a leather piece as shock absorber.
- Design – This chisel is designed to be extra-long. It has a total length of 13 inches.
Made and forged in Germany, this is a durable and long lasting mortise chisel. If you really just need one piece of this type of chisel, this size can work as your all-around mortising chisel.
Narex (Made in Czech Republic) 4 pc set 6mm (1/4"), 12 (1/2"), 20 (3/4") , 26 (1 1/16") mm Woodworking Chisels 863010
The Narex Woodworking Chisels 863010 is a set of bench chisels and the pieces come with bevel edges. These Narex wood chisels use tang style blade system.
If you’re looking for the best bench chisels, consider this model as one of your options.
- Number of chisels – The package is composed of 4 pieces of chisels.
- Size – The sizes of chisels include ¼, ½, ¾, and 1 inch. The overall length of the pieces are 11 inches.
- Blade system – The blades are made of chrome manganese steel. These are hardened to RC 59.
- Bevel Edges – The pieces come with 25-degree bevel edges.
- Handle – The brown wood handles are made from European Beechwood.
This chisel set is a great entry level selection. Narex is made in Czech Republic and their products are known to be durable. So, while the pieces are full-tang, they are supported by 2 ferrules on both ends of the handle to keep the handle from splitting and breaking. A lot of people consider this model as the best chisels for carpentry work.
This Diefenbacher Paring Chisel set is composed of chisels with bevel edges. If you only need one piece of paring wood chisel, this model is one of your best options.
- Number of Pieces – This model carries just one piece of paring chisel.
- Size – 1 inch.3. Blade System – The blade on this model is made of carbon steel tempered to RC 58.
- Handle – The handle on this chisel is made of hardwood materials.
- Design – This paring chisel is made to be long – the handle is 6.25 inches and the blade measures 6 inches. The total length of the chisel is more than 12 inches long.
This is a multi-purpose paring chisel and it can be your only go-to paring chisel when you need to finish up on a project.
Choosing The Best Wood Chisels
I have just presented you with the Top 6 best wood chisels on the market today. I also made sure that you have options for choosing bench, paring, and mortise chisels.
In the bench chisels options, you can choose between the Narex and the Stanley models. They’re very similar in design and they also come with the same set of blade sizes (1/4, ½, ¾, and 1 inch). While the Narex wood chisels cost less than the Stanley model, the latter comes with a leather pouch. Any of these 2 sets will work well for you – whether you’re a beginner or expert woodworker.
For the paring chisel options – I provided you with a 3-piece set from Buck and a 1-piece set from Diefenbacher. The Buck package comes with 3/8, ¾, and 1 inch blades – which is a good combination of sizes. However, if you only need one piece as your go-to paring chisel, you can also opt to get the Diefenbacher model. With a 1-inch size blade, it’s an all-around paring chisel anyway.?
Now, if you’re particularly looking for a mortise chisel, you have 2 options to choose from – the Narex 6-piece package (with 5/32, 3/16, ¼, 5/16, 3/8, ½ inch) or the Two Cherries 1-piece model (with ½ size blade). Of course, the 6-piece pack is more practical if you want a variety of options when creating mortises.
However, a 1-piece model can also work well if you’re always working on standard projects. And a ½ size blade in a mortise chisel can serve as a multi-purpose tool for all your woodworks.?
I provided you with a good list of the best wood chisels up there to serve as your guide before buying a piece or a set of chisels. I would appreciate it if you let me in on your choice of chisels by leaving a message in the comment section below. And I will also greatly appreciate it if you share this wood chisels review article with your friends.?