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6 Best wood chisels for woodworking and carving
Last Updated on June 12, 2020 by John
Anyone who works with wood should definitely have a good wood chisel set. Investing in the wrong set can make wood carving a tedious and time-consuming task. The best wood chisel has a sharp blade that slices effortlessly and a sturdy handle that can resist deformation for a long time. The edge should retain its sharpness for a considerable amount of time and if the set comes with a sharpening tool the better for you.
Looking to buy a high-quality chisel set? We have herein reviewed the 5 best wood chisels currently available on the market. Whether you need a chisel set of 3, 5 or 10 pieces, there’s something for you below for sure no matter your budget.
Our best pick is the Marples Irwin MS500 All-Purpose Chisels with Striking Cap with 8 pieces to tackle any size of project. They have soft touch, comfortable handles and with sharp cutting edges for quick operation.
A great alternative to this is the VonHaus 10pc Chisel Set, which is a good value for money as it comes with 8 pieces plus a honing guide and sharpening stone. The pieces have rubberized handles for comfort and metal end caps designed to withstand the impact of a hammer.
Without further ado, let’s get into the meat as follows:
Our 6 best wood chisels for woodworking we recommend are listed below:
- Marples Irwin MS500 All-Purpose Chisels – BEST PICK
- VonHaus 10pc Professional Wood Carving Chisel – Runner-up
- Stanley Tools ZSTA-1-16-503 Bailey Chisel Set of 5 in Leather Pouch
- Bahco Set of 8 – 424-P Bevel Edge Chisel Set – BAH424PS8
- Draper Expert 88605 8 Piece Wood Chisel Set
- Stanley RSLCQCFSS5L Fatmax Folding Chisel
The blades are moulded from a heat-treated chrome vanadium steel, which improves their resistance during heavy use. They are also a breeze to hone and they retain their sharpness longer. Their rubberized grips make your hands comfortable during long woodworking hours, whilst their metal caps withstand frequent striking from your hammer. Any professional or DIY woodworker would love this set.
Wood Chisel Buyers Guide
We are all accustomed to chisels either by sight or experience. They are quite simple tools and they are quintessential in some works. As a reminder of what chisels are all about, read through the guide. You will find valuable information as how to select the best wood chisels for your house/work. Take some mental notes for future purchases.
Our Best Starter Wood Chisel Set
Various uses of chisels
Before we begin let’s look at some basic procedures that chisels are involved in most of the time.
- Chisels are effective for cutting applications in wood where large chunks of wood need to be removed.
- Can perform effective chopping procedures that are needed to make joints.
- Beneficial when one needs to scrape paint or dried glue from wood surfaces.
- mail-forwardThey are used in pairing/shaving cuts of wood and other materials.
What kinds of chisels are available?
Chisels are diverse tools that tend to different industries all over the world. To clearly understand the kind of chisel you need, you have to know the various types available. The different kinds have small differences. These small differences make a world of change in different applications. Let’s look at these types and their respective functions.
- Bevel chisels – These common types of tools can be characterised by a short blade supported by a strong handle. Since they are not so large, they can sneak into tight corners like dovetail edges. They can be used for basic woodworking sessions, are inexpensive and easy to find. Look for chisels with metal caps in the case that you have to hammer in some patterns.
- Mortise chisels – As the name suggests, these kinds of chisels are used in mortise applications. The edged blade can be driven into a piece of wood and leveraged to remove chunks of woods. These chisels are characterised by thick and long blades, these chisels can handle a bit of knocking around. The stout handles to facilitate easy handling and much-needed grip.
- Firmer chisels – Characterised by a rectangular cross-section. These kinds of chisels are applicable in heavy-duty work. You will meet these kinds of chisels in the wood or carving industry. As always a metal cap will make hammering into the wood an easy process.
- Pairing chisels – These kinds of chisels are characterised by long thin blades that are sharpened to an angle. They are excellent in removing thin layers of material and for accurately cutting some materials. since they are thinner, they do not require too much force to drive them into different materials.
- Japanese chisels – These are finely grained, hollow back chisels that combine the strength of two materials. The body is made from soft steel and high carbon steel. The high carbon steel blades make them easier to sharpen and drive into wood and other materials. that are renowned for their high quality.
Our most convenient wood chisel
Socket or tang chisels
This boils down to what you will be working with. Tang chisels one root is inserted into the handles making it very stable. The limitation to tang chisels is that if strike too hard they tend to spit the handle especially it its flimsy. Tang chisels encased in metal handles are quite strong.
Socket chisels basically sit on top of the handle. They are better are receiving hammering actions thus are applicable in fine joinery. If well moulded into metallic handles they can last long since they are able to handle heavy duty work.
Consider the quality of the blades
The quality of the blade is essential. If the quality of the blade is not adequate you won’t be able to produce neat work. It will look like a small mangle tool ran through it. The best chisels in the market are fashioned from high-quality ground steel or carbon steel. This gives them the strength and sharpening capacity to be used over and over again. Make sure that the tools are treated for rust to prevent damage that occurs in the long run.
The length and the width of the chisels also matters. The shorter the chisel the more control one has manoeuvring it. The longer the chisel the easier it is to hit it accurately. Chisels between the width of 3-10mm are adequate for sculpting while 10-30mm is appropriate for furniture making.
Plastic, wood or metallic handles
Comfort and grip is all you need to think about. Some of us may prefer wood handles and some metal, it all boils down to personal preference. If you are aware that they will be a lot of hammering going down, you can select metal or hardwood handles so that they can keep up with the hits. Hardened plastic can still work in some cases.
Price and accessories
You can pay different price depending on the quality and the location of purchase. The general idea is to find a model that fits what your pocket can allow. There are generous manufacturers who provide accessories such as storage boxes, sharpening stones and honing guides. These can be used to tailor make your chisel exactly as you need it. You may have a little devil whispering to get the cheapest available just remember that what you pay for is what you usually get. You can save up in order to get the best. We found that £40-£50 would be enough to pick up a good set of chisels but you can pay double this for the very best.
Top 6 Best Wood Chisel Reviews
Quality can never be forsaken in the quest for high-grade products. The following chisels are some of the models making waves in the market. For their different reasons they are able to satisfy different customer’s needs. Read through the features to gauge if they will satisfy your curiosity.
1. Marples Irwin MS500 All-Purpose Chisels with Striking Cap
The Marples Irwin MS500 All-Purpose Chisels would make a good companion for your many projects and is probably the best set overall but also one of the most expensive which is the only reason it did not win our ‘Best Pick’ spot. This brand offers 8 chisels each of varied sizes. These sizes are 1/4-inch Chisel, 3/8-inch Chisel, 1/2-inch Chisel, 3/4-inch Chisel, 1-inch Chisel, 1-1/4-inch Chisel, 38mm (1-1/2 inch) Chisel and finally a 50mm 2-inch Chisel. The chisels are fashioned after chrome vanadium steel which is resilient to damage. The material also makes it easy to re-sharpen and take impact which is what helps make them superior to most other brands.
This unit features bevelled chisels that are easy to sharpen and store. The chisels come packaged in a box for easy storage and organisation. The box offers protection from the elements especially those storing them in humid areas.
The back of the handle you will find a metal striking cup which helps protect the handles from ware when using to hammer in patterns or functional joints. The handles themselves are ergonomic and promise to offer firm grip. You will find that every chisel is sharp, horned and ready to use out the box. Weighs 989g so are light weight for easy transportation. Measures 36 x 34 x 5.5 cm so also fairy compact.
- checkOffers excellent quality chisels for professional use.
- checkThe handles are comfortable to hold and provide firm grip with striking caps.
- checkCome with a carry case for transportation and storage
- checkLightweight and easy to carry.
- May need sharpening first for delicate applications.
- Lacks a sharpening stone.
The Marples Irwin MS500 All-Purpose Chisels come well-presented and packaged. You get 6 basic chisels with two additional ones. They are well constructed and can be used right off the box.
If you feel that they are not sharp enough, you can sharpen them to your liking. The bevel feature makes this process simple. For domestic or commercial projects these chisels perfect and will offer many years service.
These are a great alternative to our ‘Best Pick’ for anyone looking for a set with striking caps.
2. VonHaus 10pc Professional Wood Carving Chisel Set with Honing Guide & Sharpening Stone
The VonHaus 10pc Professional Wood Carving Chisel Set offers options and is a great choice for both professionals and diy enthusiast. With 8 bevel chisels of different sizes, you can be able to attend to larger or smaller intricate projects. The additional pieces provided are the oil sharpening stone and the honing guide.
When it comes to chisels the tip definitely has to be sharp. This bevel chisels come sharpened and ready for use. Overtime they are bound to get blunt and a bit distorted. That is why you have a sharpening stone on site and a honing guide for those who need it.
The chisels are encompassed by a wooden box that has slotted sections for each item. The box is lockable and can be stored easily. The entire set weighs in at 3.63 Kg measuring 41.9 x 39.1 x 7.6 cm. This set is adaptable to both professional and domestic use.
The varied sizes of chisels are the ¼” chisel, 3/8″ chisel, ½” chisel, ¾” chisel, 1″ chisel, 1 ¼” chisel, 38mm (1 ½”) chisel, and 50mm (2″) chisel. The rubber handles will keep your hands from getting annoying calluses. All these features are accompanied by a 2-year warranty.
- checkGood enough for professional use and affordable enough for DIY enthusiast.
- checkFeatures an aluminium oxide sharpening stone and honing guide for sharpening and reshaping applications.
- checkThe box that holds the high-quality chisels is durable and lockable for convenience.
- checkErgonomic handles for grip and comfort.
- checkVery affordable pricing for quality goods.
- check2 years warranty for full peace of mind.
- The chisels may shows signs of rust if not taken care of.
The VonHaus 10pc Professional Wood Carving Chisel can serve you in domestic and professional terms making it a great all rounder and helping it win our ”Best Pick’ spot. It comes with tang chisels with rubber handles to make leverage easy when working with difficult materials.
The packaging is fairly impressive making storage is easy. The wooden box is not vulnerable to easy damage thus you are assured of longevity. This product is affordable and will cater to all your basic needs. Take care so as not to leave the tools exposed to the elements as rust is a risk.
If your looking for a better set, maybe for more demanding use then our next recommended set by Bahco may be a better choice.
3. Stanley Tools ZSTA-1-16-503 Bailey Chisel Set of 5 in Leather Pouch
The Stanley Tools ZSTA-1-16-503 Bailey Chisel Set of 5 in Leather Pouch comprises 5 tools in the sizes 6mm, 12mm, 18mm, 25mm and 32mm, perfect for full-time tradesmen. The blades are micro-precision ground for superior sharpness right out of the box. They have also been lacquered to prevent rust and corrosion. Another thing with these chisels is that they are made of high-quality carbon-chrome steel to ensure edge retention.
Outfitted with European beech hardwood handles, they feel comfortable when held and can resist impact to a great degree. The chisels come in a quality leather roll bag which has five slots for better organization. Last but not least, Stanley offers a lifetime limited warranty for this product against deficiencies in material and workmanship.
- Micro-precision ground blades for superior sharpness.
- Made of high-quality carbon-chrome steel for edge retention.
- Lacquered blade for high resistance to corrosion.
- Fitted with a hardwood handle for comfort and impact resistance.
- A bit more expensive than other sets.
Thoughts and recommendations
This Stanley Tools ZSTA-1-16-503 Bailey Chisel Set of 5 is definitely a great buy for carpenters who need a variety of blades for precise cutting. They are sharp, well balanced and durable, and come in a handy leather pouch for easy storage.
4. Bahco 424-P Set of 8 Bevel Edge Chisel Set In Wood Box
The Bahco Bevel Edge Chisel Set comes well packaged in a wooden box and is what we would consider to be professional grade. The box is partitioned in order to provide each chisel size with adequate room for storage and the setup is really impressive. The box is made constructed from strong wood and thus will able to store the chisels for a long period.
Speaking of the chisel tip, they are made from ground steel. The steel is treated so as to facilitate sharpness and durability. Weaker models tend to snap or bend easily when too much pressure is applied.
This box comes carrying 8 chisels of different sizes that can be used for different project sizes. The chisel sizes include 6, 10, 12, 16, 18, 25, 32 and finally 36mm so you have plenty of choice. These various chisels have bi-material handles that provide comfort and grip while working. The whole set weighs around 2.2kg so not to heavy and measures 31.5 x 28.5 x 4cm which makes it easy to carry around and store.
- checkWell-constructed from durable material to provide long service.
- checkOffers a wide range of sizes so that the user has options.
- checkProvided in a strong wooden box for storage and transport.
- checkChisel tips come sharpened for immediate use if the owner prefers so.
- Some users have commented that the chisel backs have to be flattened before proper use.
- The box could be more impact resistant so as to avoid breaking off easily.
- exclamation-triangleDoes not include sharpening stone or honing guide.
The Bahco 424-P Bevel Edge Chisel Set offers you durability and value for money while still being manufactured to the highest quality to ensure professional use for years to come.
The chisels are sharp right off the box and the handles are pretty comfortable. For the professional or DIY enthusiast, the wide range of sizes will be convenient. The price that you pay for the set is worth the quality that you will experience. Although it has a few minor flaws, this set would be a good addition to anyone’s toolbox and a great alternative to our ‘Best Pick’ for anyone looking for something a little better and a slightly larger budget. Overall a great set of chisels you won’t be disappointed with.
5. Draper Expert 88605 8 Piece Wood Chisel Set
The Draper Expert 88605 8 Piece Wood Chisel Set offers quality chrome vanadium steel chisels but at a very affordable price making them perfect for anyone just starting our on there word carving journey. One is able to trust the strength of the material in order to cope with constant stress as they are designed to be used with a chisel hammer but they do lack striking caps to reduce wear. As they are clear lacquer coated, rust should not a factor, unlike other cheaper set we have seen in the past.
In the case that the blades start to wear out, there is a sharpening stone and guide in the case. The case has compartments to fit each individual piece. The moulded box can be locked when you need to put the case away. Weighing in at 998g the set is fairly light weight. The full set measures 29.2 x 24 x 7.3cm.
The bevel 6 chisels provided range from 6, 12, 20, 26, 32 to 38mm which gives you plenty of choice and enough sizes to tackle most jobs. The handles are comfortable and impact resistant which is a bonus as they are made from polypropylene and incorporate soft touch handles. When trying to make a deep indentation, a hammer can be taken to it without crumbling the material around the handle. The polypropylene handles are guaranteed to last longer than cheaper plastic handles found on most cheaper models.
- A lightweight unit that is easy to carry and store.
- Provides a sharpening stone and guide for sharpening when needed.
- The chisels are of high quality and rust-free thus durable.
- Can be purchased at affordable prices thus attainable for anyone just starting our on looking for an affordable set.
- Need sharpening before use.
- No instructions provided for easy interaction with the sharpening stone.
The Draper Expert 8 Piece Wood Chisel Set is a great buy if you need a simple to use chisel at a bargain price. The set comes in a moulded case that is not very high impact resistant. The only real flaw is that the chisels may need to be sharpened before use. There are no viable instructions thus you will have to find other resources online.
Other than a few bumps, this set would do well for the domestic user. Professional sets would need stronger materials. Overall a great set at an even better price.
6. Stanley RSLCQCFSS5L Fatmax Folding Chisel
The Stanley RSLCQCFSS5L FatMax Folding Chisel is one agile chisel and one that is great for carrying around or keeping in the tool box just in case you need a chisel. The single 25mm chisel is made from carbon steel making it stronger than normal steel chisels. Lightweight and easy to store, this makes it a good pocket tool. The unit weighs 288 grams and measures 2.7 x 12.4 x 30.5 cm.
A noticeable feature on this chisel is its ability to fold into the handle creating a compact size. This feature will be especially crucial for the user on the go who doesn’t want to be laden with a whole set. The handle is made of bi-material to make sure that you work in comfort.
A striking cap is also present for any hammering applications that you may try. Whenever the chisel goes blunt, you will have to do it yourself or get it professionally done. All in all, it is a tool that can be used on the go or in the workshop.
- Can be folded thus making it easily portable and storable.
- The handles are comfortable and easy to use.
- Steel striking cap so can be used with chisel.
- Can be purchased at affordable prices .
- Our research found comments of rusting over time.
- The chisel may need to be sharpened before use.
The Stanley RSLCQCFSS5L FatMax Folding Chisel is a good companion if you are looking for a solitary chisel. It is light to carry and foldable to save space.
Although you may have to sharpen the chisel regularly, it will none the less be of service. The price that you fetch it for is worth the while. If you are a travelling workman, or DIY enthusiast then this 25mm chisel will be of great use. If you need a larger set you can try the VonHaus 10pc Professional Wood Carving Chisel is still one of the best choices.
A wood chisel is an essential tool for most woodworking tasks such as carving and sculpting. Notwithstanding the benefits, many people, especially those who are purchasing for the first time end up buying an inadequate wood chisel set. Thanks to our buyer’s guide, such mistakes might never happen as we’ve well explained the key factors to consider when buying a set for either big or small projects.
We also reviewed some of the high-quality models that you may consider purchasing for your tasks. If your job demands that you do carvings of varying sizes, the Marples Irwin MS500 All-Purpose Chisels with Striking Cap or the VonHaus 10pc Chisel Set are excellent choices all day long. The 3 and 5 set models are good too, but just a bit limiting.
So what’s it going to be for you?
Other reviews you may be interested in:
Last update on 2020-10-28 at 09:52 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API