In this guide we’ll look at the best wood chisels for the UK market.
We’ve compared build quality, performance, design and cost
to give you our top recommendations.
What Are The Best Wood Chisels?
More Detailed Wood Chisel Reviews
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Hultafors HULHDC4 Wood Chisels Review
The Hultafors HULHDC4 Wood Chisel Set includes 20, 25, 32 and 40 mm chisels, and is one of the best chisel sets for heavy duty work. In fact the Hultafors brand produce some of the best chisels on the UK market.
The chisels are forged from one piece for extra strength and durability. Forged steel is stronger and more durable than cast steel, so this makes these chisels really excellent quality for all types of woodworking. The blade is bevelled at 25° for the best ratio between sharpness and durability. In addition, the entire chisel including the handle can be positioned flat against a surface, so this makes them super versatile too. They also feature a Santoprene handle which is strong and comfortable to use.
The chisels come with a ventilated holster that can be attached to a belt.
These chisels are extremely strong and durable allowing you to complete tasks precisely and with the necessary force without risk of damage.
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DEWALT DWHT16063 Short Blade Wood Chisel 4 Piece Set Review
The DEWALT DWHT16063 Short Blade Wood Chisel 4 piece Set comes with chisels with blade widths of 6, 12, 18 and 25 mm, making them suitable for a wide variety of tasks.
This is another high quality chisel set. These chisels have tough tempered chrome carbon steel blades that feel really strong and durable. The blades are also lacquered for resistance to corrosion. They come ready sharpened, have a hardened strike cap for extra durability and hold their edge well.
The handles are very comfortable to use, and the chisels feel well balanced. The chisels come with a soft, plastic hangable rack and have a limited lifetime warranty.
These good quality chisels are easy to use and offer excellent value for money.
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Triton 823149 TWCS5 Wood Chisel 6/12/19/25/32 mm Set of 5 Pieces Review
The Triton 823149 TWCS5 Wood Chisel Set includes 5 chisels with blade sizes of 6, 12, 19, 25 and 32 mm. The blades are constructed from high-quality hardened chrome vanadium. They also feature a nickel-plated striking cap for added durability enabling them to hold their edge well for long periods. The chisels feel heavy yet well-balanced and the handles are comfortable to use.
These are good quality budget chisels that come in a nice nylon carry pouch and offer excellent value for money.
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NAREX Wood Chisel Set 4 Piece (8/10/16/32) Review
The NAREX Wood Chisel Set includes 4 chisels sized 8, 10, 16 and 32 mm.
The blades of these chisels are high quality and extremely hard. They are forged from chrome manganese steel that has been heat treated to provide a hardness of 59 HRC on the Rockwell Hardness Scale. They are supplied sharp, ready to use and hold their edge well. The handles are made from stained and waxed wood and feel light yet sturdy to use. They are also equipped with a steel ferrule and hoop.
The set offers great value for a wooden handled chisel set and make the ideal workshop tool.
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Excel 6 pc Wood Pro Chisel Set Review
The Excel Wood Pro Chisel Set includes six chisels in a wooden case for a very reasonable price. The sizes are 6, 10, 13, 19, 25 and 32 mm.
The chisels have blades made from heat treated chrome vanadium steel making them strong, easy to sharpen and allowing them to hold their edge well. The chisels also have strong, impact resistant polypropylene handles and steel striking caps.
The set comes in a nice wooden box and includes blade guards.
This is a great choice for an introductory cheap chisel set.
Chisels can be purchased individually or in sets and sizes tend to range from 6-8 mm up to 32 mm for heavier duty jobs. If you buy 4 or 5 across this range you will be perfectly equipped for most common carpentry jobs.
Most chisels come with blade guards and these serve two purposes. First and foremost they keep you safe and secondly they keep the blades from becoming damaged in your toolbox. The best wood chisels come in a case or wooden box and this also helps to minimise damage.
If you can afford it try and select a chisel set with good quality blades as these will be more effective for heavy duty work as well as being easier to sharpen. Good quality blades also keep their edge better so reduce the time needed for re-sharpening.
The best chisels for carpentry have blades that are made from forged or heat treated steel and this makes them strong, sharp and durable, ideal for heavy duty tasks.
The best woodworking chisels are also going to be the most comfortable to use. An ergonomic handle is a must and although wooden handles are comfortable to hold, Santoprene or polypropylene can often be easier on the hands for long term use. These types of handles are also more resistant to water damage and general wear and tear. In general Santoprene is offers the best grip and is probably the most comfortable.
Most chisels come with a ground bevel of between 25 and 35 degrees, although of course you can grind a final edge yourself. You can do this easily by following the instructions below.
What are wood chisels used for?
Wood chisels can be used for a variety of wood shaping tasks. They can be used to cut away wood from a work piece or to carve large chunks of wood when, for example, creating joints. Chisels can also be used to pare away small shavings of wood such as when creating a hole for a door hinge or carving wooden objects. You can also use a chisel to scrape off unwanted coatings such as glue or paint.
How do you use a wood chisel?
You use chisels in different ways depending on the cuts you are making.
In a chopping cut the chisel is held vertical to the work piece and struck with a mallet. You may need to strike the mallet several times to achieve the required depth.
You can use a chisel to create a shallow mortice cut, such as to fit a hinge. For this, you mark out the area to be cut away by scoring around the hinge with a knife. Next, make a vertical cut at either end of the area you want to remove. This will prevent later cuts from straying outside the marked area. You then apply the chisel bevel side down at a low angle and gently tap the end with the mallet. The blade penetrates the wood lifting a sliver of wood as it moves. For deeper cuts simply raise the angle of the blade. Continue this process until you have removed the excess wood and the hinge fits perfectly.
You can also use a chisel to make a paring cut. For this you lay the flat side of the chisel on the work piece. Then move the chisel forward and to the side in an arcing movement to remove fine slivers of wood until you achieve the required result. This type of cut should be made with the force of your hand rather than a mallet.
Of course you can use a combination of these cuts if necessary, for instance chopping out with a vertical cut and removing the remainder with a horizontal cut.
How do I sharpen my wood chisels?
Begin by holding the back of your chisel flat to a sharpening stone and working it backwards and forwards lengthwise. Start with a coarse grit stone, working your way through medium and fine grit stones. A bench grinder will save you time and effort.
To sharpen the bevel, turn over the blade and place the bevel onto a sharpening stone. Draw the blade backwards and forwards across the stone keeping it flat to the stone without tipping it. You can use a honing guide to keep the angle perfect. When you can see grit scratches on the bevel it’s time to switch to the medium stone, and then again when you see scratches, to the fine grit stone. Wipe the blade between changes.
You can finish the process by using sandpaper or stropping with a piece of leather and a polishing compound if you choose.
How do I use wood chisels for carving?
Straight-edged chisels are not always the first tool you would think of for wood carving. However, they are very useful. As well as being used to rough out general shapes, bevel edged chisels can be used for defining straight lines and border work in relief carving.