A wood chisel is a carpenter or wood artist’s most basic and important tools. In fact, many woodworkers find it indispensible.

This tool can make a number of jobs so much easier for you, plus it allows you to exercise your artistic capabilities with each project.

Read on to find out how a chisel can help you and what types you should purchase.

Should You Buy a Chiseling Tool? What You Can Achieve with a Wood Chisel

A wood chisel can help you accomplish many things, including cutting mortises and chop corners. It can also be used to scrape away excess glue. Additionally, many woodworkers use their chisel to shave, smooth, and shape rough surfaces.

These wood tools come in just about every size imaginable. The larger ones are great for chopping away chunks of wood on those larger pieces you’re working with. So, if you’re making a large piece of furniture from a solid piece of wood, you’ll need a larger tool to cut away the excess wood.

Then, when you need to make a mortise and tenon joint, you can use a medium-sized tool. These tools will help you cut accurately, which can be difficult with certain wood tools, like saws. Every tool has their place on your bench, of course, but a chisel can be used for so many jobs that you need to make sure you invest in some.

Finally, you can use smaller, finer tools to fine tune your projects. These tools are great for adding detailed carvings to your pieces, which is ideal for art pieces or furniture that has a lot of intricate detailing. It will definitely take some time, but the finished product is so beautiful that it’s all worth it.

The smaller chisel can also help you with smoothing out surfaces. You can use sanding tools to help you do this, but for tight corners and polished joints, having a good chiseling tool is definitely helpful.

Must-Have Chisels to Add to Your Woodworking Arsenal

If you don’t have or want to use power tools, you’re going to use chiseling tools a lot. With that in mind, many people – especially those new to woodworking – think they should purchase a standard wood chisel set. The problem with these sets is that they don’t necessarily give you what you need.

The sizes that come in the kit don’t give you the ability to make certain cuts, particularly dovetails. What sizes should you get?

To start, consider making your own kit by purchasing the following sizes:

  • 1/4”
  • 3/8”
  • ½”
  • 5/8”
  • 3/16”
  • 5/16”
  • 7/16”
  • 9/16”

These chisels will help you make cuts of various sizes and fit most of your needs.

Besides the size of the chisel, though, you need to think about the shape and what you want your tool to do for you.

Bench chisels have beveled edges that fit easily into joints, particularly dovetails, and are used for paring and chopping wood.

Another type you need on your workbench is the mortise chisel, which is used to chop mortises. They’re particularly good at heavy chopping. Some types you’ll want to check out are the Sash, Pig Sticker, and Registered chisels.

Finally, you’ll need to add some paring chisels to your bench. These are used for more delicate jobs, like slicing and paring. These tools are thinner and have a low angle to make paring easier. Because they’re so delicate, you should never strike this tool with a mallet.

The More Tools You Add to Your Belt, the More Fun You Can Have

Woodworking tools aren’t necessarily cheap, and there are quite a few of them to choose from. A lot of people who work with wood – particularly beginners – like to have a few of their favorite tools on hand. They feel that these tools are enough to get the job done.

But are they really? True, having your basic wood tools will help you accomplish some of your projects. If you want to achieve great things, though, you need to extend your wood tool arsenal a bit.

You don’t need to do this all at once, but every so often add a new tool to your tool box. These tools will make your work much more enjoyable because it will be somewhat easier. Plus, they’ll give you the opportunity to exercise your artistic capabilities more often.

If you’re questioning whether you need a new woodworking tool, just remember that in many ways new tools can save you time, money, and frustration. In the long run, they’re very often worth the investment.

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