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A chisel is a cutting tool with shaped cutting edges at its end. It is essential in various trades including woodworking, metalworking, and stone working. Chisels are often made of metal and have a handle that provide a grip for the user’s hand. 

Different Chisel Types

Chisels are useful for carving, or shaping materials such as wood, stone, metal, or plastic. They come in various shapes and sizes, each designed for specific tasks. Here are some examples:

  • Bevel Edge: Used for general woodworking tasks such as cutting, shaping, and paring.
  • Firmer: This chisel has a thicker blade and is designed for heavy-duty tasks such as mortising and chopping. 
  • Mortise: Mortise chisels have a thicker blade and stronger construction. They are specifically designed for cutting mortises (rectangular holes) in wood.
  • Carving: Chisels with specialized shapes designed for intricate carvings. This tool allows artistic woodworkers to create detailed patterns and designs. 
  • Gouge: This version has a curved or scooped cutting edges. This tool can create concave shapes in wood. 
  • Paring: Equipped with thin blades, paring chisels can perform delicate tasks that require precision, like fitting joints.
  • Corner: Corner chisels have a 90-degree angle and can square out corners in woodworking. 
  • Chisel Sets: These sets often include a variety of chisels with different sizes and types to accommodate various woodworking needs.

How to Use a Chisel

The chisel’s blades can cut materials with the application of controlled force. 

Firstly, position the blade’s cutting edge against the wood. Secondly, strike the tool with a mallet or hammer to chip away at the material. Users should always direct the force perpendicularly to the blade’s cutting edge.

Handling Safety

Proper handling is essential to preventing accidents and injuries, as well as damage to both the tool and the workpiece. Here are some safety tips to remember:

  • Inspect the tool for any signs of damage such as cracks or chips
  • Always maintain the chisel’s sharpness
  • Wear protective gear such as goggles, to prevent eyes from flying debris
  • Use a wooden or rubber mallet to strike the chisel’s handle. Avoid using a metal hammer, as it can damage the chisel’s cutting edge
  • Use controlled and precise force when striking the tool.
  • When working on surfaces such as tabletops, use a cutting mat to protect the surface and prevent the chisel from slipping
  • For woodworking newbies, seek guidance from experienced craftsmen
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John Friedenbach

My initial goal, to provide a selection of tools, education and plans to the Beginning to Advance Woodworker has not changed. I continue to search the web to find new products and services. To bring those products and services to your attention.

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