The Different Types of Chisels and Their Uses

The word chisel is derived from a Latin Castellum, and an old-french word, cisel, meaning a tool used for cutting and scraping. A century ago, tool catalogs carried pages and pages of chisels- different sizes, different shapes, different styles, an amazing array. There are so many styles and designs that were popular before but disappeared to this day. However, the basic criteria for choosing a chisel stayed the same.

It’s kind of a major tool, especially for woodworkers. But the thing is, there are many types of chisels and we have classified the types of chisels here so you’ll know what is the best one to use:

  1. Bevel-Edged Chisels- A strong chisel, with beveled edges, is a good combination. They help you to get into corners more easily, and more surprisingly, they’re easier to sharpen. They are beveled on the sides, which allows maximum access to dovetails.
  1. Bench Chisel- It is short, which enables the maximum amount of energy to reach the cutting edge when they’re stuck with a mallet. It also makes it easy to handle.
  1. Mortise Chisel- Are used for chopping out joints (chiseling away the waste wood). They are particularly useful for cutting mortise joints as they are strong enough to withstand heavy blows with a mallet.
  1. Paring Chisel- Are light, long, thin, almost flexible chisels that are never malleted. They are used primarily for carefully shaving off thin amounts of wood when fitting joints. 
  1. Butt Chisel- It is designed for use in hard-to-reach or cramped applications. It is essentially a shorter version of the firmer chisel.
  1. Japanese Chisel- The tradition of Japanese chisels began more than 1000 years ago. They come with a ferrule used to center and support the handle. There are different kinds of this chisel that you can compare and choose from.
  1. Framing Chisel- Are used to gouge wood, make notches, and fashion mortise and tenon joints. It is essential for timber construction and is also useful in conventional wood frame construction.
  1. Concrete Chisel- Is designed to break up concrete floors, sidewalks, and paving slabs when an air hammer would be impractical. It features a large striking area and a head design that reduces mushrooming.
  1. Bolster Chisel- Is used to help break through hard materials by hands such as stone, brick, and metal. It has a handle and a strong beveled edge blade that will cut through material with the help of a hammer or mallet.
  1. Cold Chisel- It’s called cold because it comes from its use by blacksmiths to cut metal while it was cold as compared to other tools they used to cut hot metal. They are also used to cut through hard materials like metal or masonry.


These chisels are beautiful to use and admire. Some use chisels that have good edge retention properties, and it is easier to sharpen. A good set of a chisel is essential to every woodshop. We carry a fairly wide variety of chisels, different brands, and more importantly, different styles to suit many purposes.
Now that you know what chisels to need. Check out this blog on the other essential tools when woodworking.

R Dawg

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