Posted: Sat 7th Oct 2023

The Different Types of Chisels for Woodworking

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Saturday, Oct 7th, 2023

Woodworking takes precision and care. While some brute force is required, skilled woodworkers need to have the right tools on hand to get the best results. That is why having a litany of chisels can be the best choice.

If you don’t know much about chisels, there is a lot more to know than you realize. There are several different types of chisels to use when it comes to woodworking, and you can get familiar with each of them.

Beveled Edged Bench Chisels

The beveled edged bench chisel is the perfect option if you are looking for something that isn’t too long or short. This is one of the most common chisels out there, making it the perfect option for working in a workshop on your property or in a professional shop.

These are also very easy to sharpen and offer superior grip. The beveled sides are great for creating dovetails and come in a huge array of sizes. You might even find beveled edged bench chisels that have hooped handles in order to make them strong enough to hold up to malleting.

Registered Chisels

A registered chisel is any type of chisel that has a square instead of a beveled size (other than a mortise chisel). For the most part, registered chisels have hooped handles so that they have the strength to hold up when used with a mallet.

For the most part, registered chisels are used for timber framing. They don’t have much use when it comes to general woodworking. They are also fairly low in demand, which makes it tougher to find them unless you find a niche woodworking shop or site.

Mortise Chisels

The mortise chisel is often used with a mallet. The chisel gets hit with the mallet and is then levered so that it can remove excess waste. Most bench chisels don’t have the required thickness in order to withstand the levering process. It also doesn’t have the length for proper leveraging nor a stout enough blade angle to hold up against regular abuse.

There is a wide array of mortise chisels that go back half a century in their make. Thicker, heavier handles provide a better grip so that greater accuracy and precision can be achieved. It is a good idea to have a wide range of chisel sizes available in your repertoire.

Japanese Bench Chisels

These are quite similar in all aspects to the Western bench chisel. The main difference is that the Japanese bench chisel is a bit thicker and is made of stronger laminated steel. The other major difference is that they also have less of a beveling, especially when it comes to the narrower sizes.

These are some of the most high quality chisels you will find, especially the ones with hooped handles. The edge is quite hard as well, which makes it perfect for regular use. The narrow edge also allows for more precise work, particularly with dovetails.

Paring Chisels

When you need a chisel that is a bit lighter, thinner, and more flexible, the paring chisel is the right choice. Just keep in mind that these are not meant to be used with a mallet, so avoid using one to prevent damage from happening to your paring chisel.

The length provides greater control and precision. Even better, these can be held with one hand, providing better stability and the ability to guide the cutting action with better accuracy. These are used to dress a mortise after roughly chopping it square and can be great for those who do a lot of joinery.



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