Toolbox Essentials: Q1 2022 Catalog
The Best Wood Chisel Sets for Any Project

The Best Wood Chisel Sets for Any Project

Whether you’re a beginner with a DIY project, or an amateur carpenter looking to break into the world of professional woodworking, purchasing a top-quality chisel set is an investment in functionality and efficiency.

It isn’t always possible to know what type or size of wood chisel you’ll require for a job. By investing in a high-quality wood chisel set, you’ll prepare yourself for a wide range of woodworking tasks, from DIY home projects to professional carpentry jobs.

Factors to Consider in a Good Wood Chisel Set

With so much feature terminology and tool jargon, even the seemingly simple process of researching and selecting a wood chisel set can veer into stressful and time-consuming territory.

Before we reveal our top 10 list, we need to understand what factors go into making a good wood chisel set. To help you make a more informed purchase, here are four things you should look out for when shopping for wood chisel sets.

How Many Chisels Do I Get in My Set?

Broadly speaking, you can expect a basic wood chisel set to include at least one of the following 4 wood chisel sizes:

  • 1/4-inch (6mm) chisel.
  • 1/2-inch(12mm) chisel.
  • 3/4-inch(18mm) chisel.
  • 1-inch (25mm) chisel.

If you have a specific project in mind, you’ll likely need to purchase a wood chisel set with a specific selection of wood chisel types and sizes. Alternatively, if you’re a beginner looking to start your first chisel collection, you’ll likely be better served by purchasing a wood chisel set with a diverse selection of different sizes.

Types of Wood Chisels

The most important consideration to keep in mind is determining what type of chisels you need. Each type has a lot of unique aspects that make each one best-suited for certain types of projects.

Beveled Edge Bench Chisels

A beveled edge bench chisel is one of the most common types of wood chisel on the market. They are easy to sharpen and, thanks to their beveled edge design, they’re great for accessing those hard-to-reach joints and corners. Bench chisels are the closest thing to one-size-fits-all in the world of chisels, making them great for general use.

If you’re just starting out with woodworking, the VonHaus 6-piece wood chisel set is a great introductory beveled edge kit.

Mortise Chisels

Traditional bench chisels cannot withstand the heavy mallet blows needed to cut out a mortise. In comparison, a mortise chisel, with its thick blade and reinforced handle, is specifically designed for mortising.

If you’re trying to get into mortise chiseling, you can’t beat the Narex 4-Piece Mortise Chisel Set.

Registered Chisels

A registered chisel, also known as a firmer chisel, is any chisel (besides a mortise chisel) with a square edge blade. Registered chisels are much stronger than bench chisels, making them an excellent pick for heavy duty timber framing projects.

Anyone looking to start a project that requires registered chisels would be well served by the Narex 4-Piece Firmer Wood Chisel Set.

Paring Chisels

A paring chisel is a long, thin, and delicate type of chisel that is predominantly used for shaving off small amounts of wood.

While a set of paring chisels isn’t essential for basic woodworking, they’re certainly helpful for delicate tasks, such as detailing a carving or cleaning up a mortise.

Craftsmanship Quality

Quality craftsmanship will make a big difference in the lifespan of your wood chisel set. When it comes to material quality, most chisel manufacturers make their blades from 01 carbon steel, a simple alloy that improves blade durability and minimizes heat damage during sharpening. One commonly cited disadvantage to using 01 carbon steel in a chisel is that the blade will require frequent sharpening.

A2 steel is another common chisel blade material. Unlike 01 carbon steel, A2 steel contains additional elements, including chromium and molybdenum. Because of these elements, A2 steel blades can be quenched in still air, creating an extremely durable blade. Unfortunately, a strong blade comes with its own drawbacks. While an A2 blade will hold a sharp edge longer than a 01 carbon blade, they take much longer to sharpen.

If this is your first time navigating the world of wood chisels, you may find it helpful to check out the comprehensive guide to wood chisel terminology included further down in this guide, but experienced woodworkers and beginners alike should now have all the information they need to start their woodworking journey with one of the ten chisel sets below.

Top 10 Best Wood Chisel Sets 2023

1. Best Overall Wood Chisel Set Imotechom 12-Piece Wood Chisel Set

Imotechom 12-Piece Wood Chisel Set

Why we like it: This set really is bursting at the seams. With so many chisels and accessories on hand, you’ll have enough equipment to handle almost any amateur woodworking project.

Editor’s Rating:

Handle Configuration: Walnut handles.

Set Size: 6 chisels and 6 accessories.

Chisel Variety

This set is packed with a staggering 12 different chisels and chisel accessories. Alongside your standard straight chisels, you’ll also find a skew chisel, a paring chisel, and a wide range of gouging tools. The collection of straight chisels come in the following sizes: 1/4-inch, 1/2-inch, 5/8-inch, and 9/16-inch.

Craftsmanship Quality

Imotechom hasn’t skimped on quality with this wood chisel set. In addition to being oiled and beveled, each chisel blade in the set has been coated with chrome-vanadium (CR-V), a durable alloy that increases steel hardness and improves corrosion resistance. Finished with a rugged walnut grip, the chisel handles are not only comfortable in the hand, they’re also suitable for use with a heavy mallet.

Despite the size of this kit, the entire chisel set comes packed in a sturdy yet elegant double layer wooden case. When it comes to this set, the only downside is the fact that each chisel requires sharpening prior to first time use.


  • Comes with high-quality wooden tool case.
  • Anti-corrosion CR-V blades.
  • Sturdy walnut handles.


  • Requires out-of-the-box sharpening.

2. Best Starter Wood Chisel Set Stanley 5-Piece Bailey Wood Chisel Set

Stanley 5-Piece Bailey Wood Chisel Set

Why we like it: This simple 5-piece wood chisel set is an excellent entry point for beginners looking to improve their woodworking skills.

Editor’s Rating:

Handle Configuration: Stained beech handles.

Set Size: 5 chisels.

Chisel Variety

With five different-sized chisels, this is a great set for amateur woodworkers looking to start or build out their chisel collection. With 4 straight chisels, this set has the following sizes: 1/4-inch, 1/2-inch, 3/4-inch, and 1-inch. The fifth chisel in this set is a longer 1-1/4-inch tang style chisel.

Craftsmanship Quality

Thanks to post-cast grinding, the carbon-chrome chisels in this set come sharp and ready to use. The blades in this set are made from A2 carbon-chrome steel, an alloy well-known for its excellent edge retention and durability. To protect against rust, each chisel blade is also coated with Stanley’s proprietary anti-corrosion lacquer.

Finally, the robust beech wood handles, reinforced by both a brass ferrule and brass steel hoop, are designed to absorb heavy mallet blows with minimal stress on the chisel tang. Unfortunately, despite coming with a leather carry pouch, this set does not include any kind of hardcase or tool container.


  • No out-of-the-box sharpening required.
  • Sturdy beech handle.
  • Anti-corrosion lacquer.


  • Doesn’t come with tool case.

3. Best Premium Wood Chisel Set Kirschen 6-Piece Wood Chisel Set

Kirschen 6-Piece Wood Chisel Set

Why we like it: With their exceptional craftsmanship and outstanding material quality, Kirschen has created a wood chisel set that will stand the test of time.

Editor’s Rating:

Handle Configuration: Hornbeam handles.

Set Size: 6 chisels.

Wood Chisel Variety

Boasting 6 ultra-functional chisel varieties, the wood chisel sizes included in this set are: 1/4-inch, 3/8-inch, 1/2-inch, 5/8-inch, 11/16-inch, and 1-1/16-inch. Each chisel has a finely beveled edge, making this set perfect for everything from generic chiseling and sculpting to creating dovetails and reaching tricky corner joints.

Craftsmanship Quality

Cast from carbon steel, the wood chisels in this set are pre-tempered, pre-oiled, and pre-sharpened. This means you’re free to use your chisels straight from their hard-wearing wooden case. Finished with a tough hornbeam handle and reinforced with a steel hoop, these chisels can be used with a wooden mallet with very low risk of mushrooming or splitting.

Please note that tempered carbon steel will be more susceptible to rust if you live in a humid environment. If you want to keep your set in brand new condition, be sure to apply some kind of anti-corrosive product to the chisel blades.


  • Reinforced hornbeam handles.
  • Premium-grade carbon steel blade.
  • No out-of-the-box sharpening required.
  • Comes with tool case.


  • Carbon steel is vulnerable to rust.

4. Best Mid-Range Wood Chisel Set VonHaus 6-Piece Premium Wood Chisel Set

VonHaus 6-Piece Premium Wood Chisel Set

Why we like it: It can be frustrating to purchase a wood chisel set for a specific project, only to realize that your new tools still require sharpening. This 6-piece wood chisel set includes everything you need to finish your project and keep your chisels sharp.

Editor’s Rating:

Handle Configuration: Polypropylene handles.

Set Size: 4 chisels, 1 honing guide, and 1 sharpening stone.

Wood Chisel Variety

The main drawcard of this set is 4 tang chisels with beveled edges. The chisel sizes included in this set are: 1/4-inch, 3/4-inch, 1-inch, and 1-1/4-inch. In addition to these chisels, this set also includes a honing guide and aluminum oxide sharpening stone (120/200 grit). Conveniently stored in a compact hardcase, this set is a fantastic option for anyone looking to transport their chisels or sharpen them on the go.

Craftsmanship Quality

Boasting a polished CR-V coating, the wood chisels in this set are reasonably durable and highly resistant to corrosion. As an added bonus, each chisel is reinforced with an ultra-tough polypropylene handle and ergonomic rubber gripping. While you’ll still need to sharpen your chisels before first-time use, the inclusion of sharpening tools in the set means that you won’t have to waste any extra time or money purchasing additional tools.

It’s affordable but high-quality, making it the perfect choice for anyone looking for an upgrade from a cheap beginner’s set.


  • Comes with tool case.
  • Sharpening tools included.
  • Anti-corrosion CR-V blades.


  • Requires out-of-the-box sharpening.

5. Best Budget Wood Chisel Set WORKPRO 3-Piece Wood Chisel Set

WORKPRO 3-Piece Wood Chisel Set

Why we like it: The existence of this kit shows that you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars to own a high-quality wood chisel set.

Editor’s Rating:

Handle Configuration: Bi-material handles.

Set Size: 3 chisels.

Wood Chisel Variety

When it comes to wood chisel variety, this 3-piece mini set offers the best of the basics. Included is a 1/2-inch beveled chisel, a 3/4-inch beveled chisel, and a 1-inch beveled chisel. Unfortunately, this set does not come with a carry case, so be sure to store your chisels correctly to prevent damage while on the move.

Considering its limited variety of chisels, this set functions better as either a portable kit or as the add-on to an existing wood chisel collection. If you’re looking for a set with a more comprehensive range of chisels, check out the Imotechom 12-Piece Wood Chisel Set.

Craftsmanship Quality

Despite its budget price point, the WORKPRO 3-piece chisel set delivers on quality and dependability. Cast with a carbon steel and CR-V blend, the chisels in this set are surprisingly durable and highly resistant to rust.

Featuring bevel edged chisel blades, steel strike caps for added mallet reinforcement, and ergonomic bi-material soft grips, WORKPRO’s 3-piece wood chisel set is a great option for anyone looking to purchase a hard-wearing chisel set without compromising on comfort or affordability.


  • Set is suitable for use with a mallet.
  • Comfortable bi-material handles.
  • Anti-corrosion CR-V blades.


  • Limited chisel variety.
  • Doesn’t come with tool case.

6. Best All-in-One Wood Chisel Set VonHaus 10-Piece Wood Chisel Set

VonHaus 10-Piece Wood Chisel Set

Why we like it: This comprehensive all-in-one wood chisel set from VonHaus not only comes with a wide selection of chisel sizes, it also includes a sharpening stone and honing guide.

Editor’s Rating:

Handle Configuration: Rubberized handles.

Set Size: 8 chisels, 1 honing guide, and 1 sharpening stone.

Wood Chisel Variety

This jam-packed set comes with 8 heat-treated wood chisels, with one chisel for each of the following sizes: 1/4-inch, 3/8-inch, 1/2-inch, 3/4-inch, 1-inch, 1-1/4-inch, 1-1/2-inch, and 2-inch. If that wasn’t enough, this all-in-one set also includes a honing guide and aluminum oxide sharpening stone (120/200 grit), both of which will come in handy when sharpening your chisels before first-time use.

Craftsmanship Quality

The chisel blades in this set are cast from heat-treated CR-V steel. This manufacturing process creates a hardy blade with reasonable rust resistance. To prevent splitting, each handle length is also finished with a tough metal strike cap. Moreover, thanks to their rubberized grips, there’s no need to forego comfort when using these chisels. Finally, because this set comes with a secure wooden hardcase, you have no excuses when it comes to storing and maintaining your chisel collection.


  • Split-proof chisel handles.
  • Comes with tool case.
  • Sharpening tools included.


  • Chisels require out-of-the-box sharpening.

7. Best Short Blade Wood Chisel Set DEWALT 4-Piece Short Wood Chisel Set

DEWALT 4-Piece Short Wood Chisel Set

Why we like it: DEWALT delivers a convenient and compact product with this short blade wood chisel set. Perfect for odd weekend jobs, short blade chisels are a DIYer’s best friend.

Editor’s Rating:

Handle Configuration: Bi-material handles.

Set Size: 4 short blade chisels.

Wood Chisel Variety

This functional short blade wood chisel set is comprised of 4 different-sized wood chisels (1/4-inch, 1/2-inch, 3/4-inch, and 1-inch). Each chisel is finished with a beveled edge, making it a nifty little tool for reaching tricky corners.

Craftsmanship Quality

Made from tempered carbon steel, the chisels in this set possess hardy blades and terrific edge retention. As untreated carbon steel is vulnerable to rust perforation, DEWALT has coated the chisel blades in this set with an effective anti-corrosion lacquer. Similarly, each bi-material handle has also been reinforced with one or more steel strike caps.

The chisels in this set will arrive on your doorstep sharp, so you’ll be able to use them straight out of the box. This set doesn’t come with a hardcase or carry pouch, so make sure you’re carefully storing your chisels when not in use.


  • No out-of-the-box sharpening required.
  • Anti-corrosion lacquer.
  • Set is suitable for use with a mallet.


  • Doesn’t come with tool case.

8. Best Mortise Wood Chisel Set Narex 4-Piece Mortise Chisel Set

Narex 4-Piece Mortise Chisel Set

Why we like it: As you approach more complicated woodworking projects, you’ll quickly learn the value of a high-quality mortise wood chisel. The Narex 4-piece mortise chisel set offers not 1, but 4 different-sized options.

Editor’s Rating:

Handle Configuration: Beech handles.

Set Size: 4 mortise chisels.

Wood Chisel Variety

This mortise wood chisel set from Narex contains 4 different mortise chisels: a 3/16-inch chisel, a 1/4-inch chisel, a 3/8-inch chisel and a 1/2-inch chisel. Boasting a 25 degree bevel edge, the chisels in this set also have exceptionally secure tang construction.

Craftsmanship Quality

Crafted from chrome-manganese steel, these chisel blades hold a razor-sharp edge and are naturally resistant to corrosion. The chisel handles in this set are fashioned from beech and braced with at least 2 steel ferrules per chisel. Because of this reinforced design, these mortise chisels can be used with a heavy mallet.

Remember, as this set comes without a hardcase, you’ll need to store your chisels in a safe and dry location. The only other downside to this kit is that it’s not out-of-the-box ready, meaning that you’ll need to sharpen each chisel blade prior to first time use.


  • Wide variety of mortise chisels.
  • Set is suitable for use with a mallet.
  • Reinforced beech handles.


  • Chisels require out-of-the-box sharpening.
  • Doesn’t come with tool case.

9. Best Registered Wood Chisel Set Narex 4-Piece Firmer Wood Chisel Set

Narex 4-Piece Firmer Wood Chisel Set

Why we like it: This set provides both professionals and enthusiasts with a cost-effective way of augmenting a primary wood chisel collection with a smaller set of firmer chisels.

Editor’s Rating:

Handle Configuration: Hornbeam handles.

Set Size: 4 registered chisels.

Wood Chisel Variety

This Narex 4-piece firmer chisel set contains a 1/4-inch chisel, a 1/2-inch chisel, a 13/16-inch chisel, and a longer 1-1/32-inch chisel. If you plan on working with a mallet, this selection of firmer chisels should be more than enough for most amateur woodworking projects. Unfortunately, this set does not come with a permanent storage pouch or hardcase.

Craftsmanship Quality

Like all Narex wood chisels, the firmer wood chisels in this set are made from a blend of chrome and manganese. The resulting alloy not only improves blade hardiness, it also offers excellent resistance against corrosion.

Even though these blades require sharpening before first use, this steel combination means that each chisel will have a long-lasting razor sharp edge. Sitting in a secure tang, each firmer chisel in this set is braced with a brass ferrule and strong mallet reinforced hornbeam wood.


  • Durable hornbeam handle.
  • Set is suitable for use with a mallet.
  • Rust resistant.
  • Superior edge retention.


  • Chisels require out-of-the-box sharpening.
  • Doesn’t come with tool case.

10. Best Paring Wood Chisel Set Narex 5-Piece Paring Wood Chisel Set

Narex 5-Piece Paring Wood Chisel Set

Why we like it: The Narex 5-piece paring wood chisel set takes the guesswork out of purchasing paring chisels, giving you 5 different-sized options to have on hand.

Editor’s Rating:

Handle Configuration: European hornbeam handles.

Set Size: 5 paring chisels.

Wood Chisel Variety

Featuring a diverse selection of fine-point paring chisels, this set is an excellent option for anyone interested in precise wood detailing or shaving work. Specifically, this set includes the following chisel sizes: 1/4-inch, 1/2-inch, 3/4-inch, 1-inch, and 1-1/4-inch.

Craftsmanship Quality

Cast from a blend of chrome and manganese, the chisel blades in this set are remarkably hardy and moderately rust resistant. With a brass ferrule embedded in each handle, you won’t have to worry about your chisel splitting or mushrooming during general use.

Unfortunately, given the thinness of paring chisels, using a mallet with this set will likely cause irreparable damage to your chisel blades.

Do note that you will need to find an appropriate storage solution for these chisels as this set does not come packed in a permanent hardcase.


  • Durable hornbeam handle.
  • Wide variety of paring chisels.
  • Rust resistant.


  • Doesn’t come with tool case.
  • Set is not suitable for use with a mallet.

Guide to Buying the Best Wood Chisel Set

We’ve already gone through the basics, but there’s a lot more to learn about wood chisels, from all the terminology you’ll need to know to recommendations for specific chisel types.

Breaking Down Wood Chisel Set Terminology and Accessories

Cultivating a more comprehensive understanding of wood chisel terminology and accessories will ensure that you go on to purchase the most appropriate wood chisel set for your needs. To help you become a more informed buyer, we’ve broken down the wood chisel jargon we think you’re most likely to encounter.

Cutting Edge: The cutting edge is the sharpest plane on the chisel blade. Located at the tip of the chisel, the edge is angled downward and honed until sharp.

Neck: The neck, or shaft, bridges the blade and handle of your chisel. In some cases, the chisel neck will be connected to a tang or socket at the handle.

Tang: The tang is the metal rod which connects the chisel blade with the chisel handle. Designed for hand manipulation, chisels with a tang are unsuitable for use with heavy mallets.

Socket: A socket is another type of joint between the chisel blade and handle. The handle typically slides into a round socket on the bottom of the blade. Chisels with a socket are more suitable for use with a mallet.

Bolster: Typically used in chisels with a tang, the bolster is found at the thickest section of the neck. Also called the shoulder, this feature prevents the chisel blade from penetrating the handle during use.

Handle: As the name suggests, the handle allows you to hold and use a chisel without injuring your hands. If your chisel doesn’t use a socket, it will need to be fitted with a tang. Traditionally, chisel handles were made from beech or ash wood. Nowadays, you’ll find many wood chisels have handles made from PVC plastic. While plastic handles are more impact resistant, many wood chisel purists will insist that wooden handles offer better ergonomics and superior tooling versatility.

Ferrule: This metal ring is used to seal and reinforce the attachment between the chisel blade and handle.

Steel Hoop: If a wood chisel is designed for use with a mallet, a steel hoop is placed on the end of the handle to reduce the impact of mallet blows and minimize the likelihood of mushrooming.

Protective Caps: Some wood chisels are fitted with protective strike caps. These caps sit on the cutting edge of your chisel, warding off bluntness and preventing chipping between use.

Storage Case: Most wood chisel sets come packed in a hard tool case or cloth bag. By storing your wood chisels in their protective case between use, you’ll minimize the chances of blunting, chipping, or damaging your chisels.

Faces, Shapes, and Cutting Edges

Wood chisels come in a huge variety of different faces, shapes, and edges, all of which have distinct uses for different woodworking projects.

Blade Faces

Flat Face

As the name suggests, a flat face is when the chisel blade has a smooth horizontal plane. A flat blade face is ideal for cleaning up a square edge or 90 degree corner.

Bevel Face

Not to be confused with beveled edge blades, beveled face blades meet at a peak in the middle of the chisel’s cutting edge. Beveled face chisels perform best when they’re used to cut or pare joints.

Oval Face

Oval or round faced chisel blades are not very common. When they do pop up, it’s almost always for the purpose of paring or carving.

Blade Shape

Square edge

Often called a straight or plain edge, a square edge chisel has a square blade shape and rectangular cross-section. Despite being extremely common, square edge chisels are near useless when working in tight corners or with slanted joints.

Bevel edge

The sides of a beveled edge chisel are ground down to form a trapezoidal shape. This provides the chisel user with easier access to acute-angled joints, such as dovetail or half-lap joints.

Blade Cutting Edge


You’ll generally find a beveled cutting edge on bench, bevel, and paring chisels. The cutting edge itself sits at a ground angle between 20 degrees and 30 degrees. Because bevel blades are so thin, this cutting edge is perfect for precise paring and shaving work.


For all intents and purposes, a registered (also known as a firmer) blade edge is a thicker and sturdier version of a bevel edge. A firmer cutting edge sits at a ground angle between 25 degrees and 35 degrees, increasing the cutting arc and improving the chisel’s resistance to mallet impacts.

If you’re interested in purchasing one or more registered chisels, you can’t go wrong with the Narex 4-Piece Firmer Chisel Set.


The thickest type of cutting edge, mortise chisels are typically used to leverage out large wood fibers in and around mortise joints. Because of their thicker cutting edge, mortise chisels are suitable for use with heavy mallets. If you’re looking for a set of mortise chisels, check out the Narex 4-Piece Mortise Chisel Set.

Chisel Sizes

When we’re discussing wood chisel sizes, the length always refers to the width of the cutting edge. You can purchase wood chisels in a wide variety of sizes, with measurements listed in both metric and imperial standards. Broadly speaking, sizes in a wood chisel set range from 1/4-inch to 2-inch (6mm to 50mm), with width increasing in 1/16-inch (2mm) increments.

Depending on the number of pieces in your set, you could also receive a 3/8-inch (10mm) or 1-1/4-inch (32mm) chisel. With so many different-sized wood chisels on the market, which set you purchase will ultimately depend on your woodworking requirements.

To ensure quick differentiation between tools, most wood chisels have their size imprinted on the face of the blade. Remember, chisels are not a one-size-fits-all tool. For most DIY projects, you’ll usually need at least 4 different-sized blades to satisfactorily complete your woodworking tasks.

Handle Construction: Wood or PVC?

If you talk to veteran woodworkers, they’ll probably tell you that wooden handles are the lighter, safer, and more comfortable option. If you’re shopping for a wooden handle wood chisel set, look out for handles made from ash, beech, box, or hornbeam.

On the flip side, a wooden handle, in comparison to a PVC handle, is far more susceptible to splitting, especially if you plan on using a heavy mallet with your chisels.

Therefore, even though a set of plastic handle chisels may not be as comfortable as wooden handle chisels, at least you won’t need to worry about a mallet impact causing a split or mushroomed handle.

If you’d rather use a PVC handle, look out for impact resistant plastic handles over rubberized grip handles. This is because rubber gripping tends to disintegrate after long-term use.

Benefits of a High-Quality Wood Chisel Set

Though it might not seem to be the case to the untrained eye, there are actually several differences between high-quality and low-quality chisel sets that goes far beyond the types of chisels included. If you spring for a top-of-the-line wood chisel set, your equipment will last longer, be gentler on wood, and generally be more of a pleasure to use.

Long-Lasting Equipment

For the most part, the lifespan of your wood chisel set will be determined by blade material and handle construction. One of the most common causes of a broken wood chisel is splitting or mushrooming in the handle.

To address this risk and reduce strike stress on the chisel handle, high-quality wood chisel sets utilize tough PVC or reinforced hardwood construction. To further improve the lifespan of your wood chisels, make sure you are using clean mallet strikes when driving your chisels into wood.

Another benefit to purchasing a top-quality wood chisel set is improved rust resistance. Despite their blade strength, low-grade 01 carbon and A2 carbon chisels are very susceptible to rust. In a high-quality wood chisel set, 01 carbon steel and A2 carbon steel blades are almost always finished with an anti-corrosion spray or lacquer. What’s more, a top-quality wood chisel set will usually include some kind of storage case, helping you protect your chisel blades from dust, termites, and moisture.

To prevent a buildup of rust on your chisels, we recommend either wiping each unit with camellia oil or spraying them with a corrosion inhibitor. Both of these products create a moisture barrier atop your tools, preventing rust from forming and spreading on the surface. Alternatively, you can combat moisture-derived rust by placing one or more desiccant packets inside your chisel storage case.

Minimize Damage to the Wood

As long as you know what you’re doing, investing in a high-quality wood chisel set like the Kirschen 6-Piece Wood Chisel Set will ensure that your blade leaves a clean finish on your wood. Not all chisel blades hold their edge after repeated use. To maintain a clean finish and avoid a rough blade edge, we recommend pairing your chisel set with a honing guide and sharpening stone.

However, before you go ahead and begin sharpening your chisels, make sure you take the time to learn a proper sharpening method. If you skip this step and commit to a flawed sharpening technique, you could easily end up cracking your chisel face or destroying the blade’s capacity to hold an edge.

A Sturdy Case

A good quality tool case can drastically extend the lifespan of your wood chisel set. Unless you’re purchasing individual chisels, most wood chisel sets come with some kind of protective case. Traditionally, wood chisel sets came packed in leather or cloth pouches.

Nowadays, you’ll find cases made from wood, leather, metal, and plastic. The case you choose will ultimately depend on your project requirements and aesthetic preferences. For instance, a leather pouch may feel more authentic, whereas a metal box will offer significantly better protection to your tools.

Finally, be sure to consider your storage situation when deciding what type of case you need. A wood, plastic, or metal case affords better tool protection, but it will take up a lot more space in your garage or workshop.

If the chisel set you’re looking at doesn’t come with a case or you want to change things up, there are plenty of excellent roll-up tool cases that would be great for storing chisels.

Wood Chisel Identification

Each chisel in your wood chisel set should be machine stamped or laser etched with an identification print on the forward-facing surface of the chisel blade. In most cases, this print will list the chisel type and blade size (in either imperial or metric measurements).

By purchasing a chisel set with an easy-to-use identification system like the VonHaus 10-Piece Premium Wood Chisel Set, you’ll have no trouble sorting between different-sized chisels on a crowded workbench.

Frequently Asked Questions About Wood Chisels

What Are the Most Common Uses of a Wood Chisel Set?

Wood chisel sets are primarily used for creating joints and shaping wood. Specifically, the most common applications are:

  • Cutting: This includes the removal of wood to create joints or manipulate shape.
  • Paring: When you lightly shave or trim an area of wood.
  • Scraping: Chisels are often used to scrape off any unwanted coatings on your wood, be it glue, resin, or paint. This technique can also be used for fine wood carving and detailing.
  • Joint work: Wood chisels can sculpt out several different joint types, including dovetail joints, mortise joints, housing joints, and butterfly joints.

What Kind of Mallet Do You Use With a Wood Chisel?

Using the wrong type of mallet is the most common cause for mushrooming or splitting in a wood chisel handle. For starters, you should never use a metal mallet on a wood chisel. More often than not, the impact of a metal mallet on a chisel will force the blade through the handle, splitting the wood in half. This is particularly common in tang chisels. If your chisels have PVC handles, you may be able to use a heavier mallet, but you should still proceed with caution.

Using a wooden mallet or plastic mallet will prevent wooden chisel handles from splitting upon impact. Finally, you should never use any kind of mallet on a paring chisel as their blades are too thin to withstand the impact.

How Do You Sharpen a Wood Chisel?

A sharp blade is the key to a safe, clean, and smooth chisel cut. As long as your blade isn’t too battered, you can sharpen your chisel with a combination of sandpaper and a honing guide. However, if your blade is dented or rounded, you’ll need some heavy duty sharpening equipment, such as a bench grinder.

If you’re looking for a chisel kit with included sharpening equipment, check out the VonHaus 10-piece set.

Please note, chisel sharpening can be dangerous, especially if you have limited experience sharpening edged tools. To protect yourself against any potential chisel sharpening injuries, please make sure you’re wearing protective clothing and enclosed footwear.

If you’re not sure how to sharpen your own wood chisel set, you can check out this video guide for more detailed instructions. Alternatively, you can always take your wood chisel set to a carpentry or home repairs store for professional sharpening.

What Is the Best Type of Steel for a Wood Chisel Blade?

Steel quality is an effective predictor of chisel toughness and edge retention. The majority of wood chisels are cast from 01 carbon steel, an alloy known for holding a keen edge and being relatively easy to sharpen. Although sufficient for general use, 01 carbon steel is a relatively soft alloy. This means 01 carbon chisel blades tend to require frequent sharpening.

If you want a more durable set of chisels, look out for blades forged from A2 steel like those contained in the Stanley 5-Piece Bailey Wood Chisel Set. As a cold work tool steel, A2 blades are tough and require less frequent sharpening. However, when the blade edge does begin to blunt, the hardness of this alloy can turn sharpening into quite a protracted or tiring process.

Some wood chisel sets are cast or coated with CR-V, an alloy of carbon steel, chrome, and vanadium. Due to the metallurgical properties of chrome and vanadium, CR-V casting or coating will produce an extra tough chisel blade. However, similar to A2 steel, CR-V wood chisels will require more intensive sharpening.

Is a Tang or Socket Chisel Better?

Unsurprisingly, the answer to this question will depend on how you intend to use your chisel. Broadly speaking, socket chisel handles are more durable than tang chisel handles.

This is because the socket design in chisels like those in our top overall pick prevents the chisel blade from splitting at the grip. If you’re using a cheap tang chisel, the impact from repeated mallet strikes will gradually drive the blade back into the chisel handle, eventually causing mushrooming and splitting.

However, if you do not intend to use your wood chisel with a mallet, a tang chisel such as the ones contained in the “>VonHaus 6-Piece Premium Wood Chisel Set is an excellent lightweight alternative to a socket chisel.

Key Takeaways

For anyone in the midst of starting or building out their tool collection, the inclusion of a high-quality wood chisel set is an absolute necessity. Even though you don’t need to splurge on an ultra-premium wood chisel set to see great results, spending a little more can be worth it if it means you’re able to secure a top-quality set.

If you’re a specialist carpenter or an enthusiastic at-home woodworker, you may want to consider investing in a professional-grade wood chisel set. A professional-grade set will not only improve the quality of your woodworking, it’ll also maximize the lifespan of your wood chiseling tool collection.