What Are the Best Chisels for Woodworking? Top Picks and Buying Guide

Chisels are essential tools in carpentry and woodworking. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a beginner, finding the perfect chisel can make your work easier and more enjoyable. But with so many options available, how do you choose the best one? From size to material to handle design, there are various factors to consider when selecting a chisel.

In this blog, we’ll explore the different types of chisels and offer tips on how to choose the best one for your needs. So, if you’re ready to take your woodworking to the next level, let’s get started!

What to Consider When Choosing Chisels

When it comes to woodworking, choosing the best chisels can make all the difference. There are a few things to consider when making your selection. Firstly, the size and shape of the chisel should be appropriate for the project you’re working on.

A wider chisel is better for removing large amounts of material, while a narrower chisel is better for precision work. Additionally, the quality of the steel is a crucial factor in the durability and longevity of the chisel. Consider investing in high-quality steel to ensure your chisels last for years to come.

Lastly, don’t forget about comfort. A well-designed handle with a comfortable grip can make a daunting task much more enjoyable. So, when shopping for chisels, don’t forget to take these factors into account to find the best tool for your needs.

Blade Material

Blade Material Choosing the right chisel is crucial to ensure that you have the right tool for the job. One of the most important factors to consider when selecting a chisel is the blade material. High-quality chisels are typically made from either carbon steel or high-speed steel.

Carbon steel is a popular choice due to its ease of sharpening and durability, while high-speed steel is chosen for its resistance to wear and tear. However, there are various types of carbon steel and high-speed steel available, each with their unique properties. For example, Japanese chisel blades are made of blue or white steel, providing exceptional sharpness and edge retention, while mortise chisels typically use a chromium-vanadium steel blend for added strength.

When choosing a chisel, it’s important to consider the hardness, toughness, and wear resistance of the blade material, ensuring that it can withstand the demands of your specific projects. In conclusion, selecting the right blade material is crucial for the longevity and effectiveness of your chisels.

what are the best chisels

Handle Design

When it comes to choosing chisels, one important factor to consider is the handle design. The handle is the part of the chisel that you will grip, so it needs to be comfortable and easy to hold, especially if you will be using the chisel for long periods of time. Look for a handle that is ergonomically designed, with a shape that fits comfortably in your hand and provides a good grip.

A handle with a non-slip surface can also be helpful, particularly if your hands tend to get sweaty. Additionally, consider the material of the handle. Wood handles are traditional, but they can be prone to cracking or breaking.

Plastic or composite handles can be more durable, but they may not provide the same level of comfort as a well-designed wooden handle. Ultimately, the most important thing is to choose a chisel with a handle that feels comfortable and secure in your hand, so you can work with precision and confidence.

Size and Shape

When it comes to choosing chisels, size and shape are two important factors to consider. The size of the chisel will affect how deep and wide the cuts you make can be. If you’re working on fine detail, a smaller chisel may be more appropriate, while a larger chisel might be better if you need to remove a lot of material quickly.

As for shape, there are several different types of chisels available, each designed for a specific purpose. Be sure to choose the right shape for the job at hand, whether that’s a gouge for carving or a mortise chisel for joinery. Ultimately, the right size and shape of chisel will vary depending on your specific needs and preferences.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different options until you find the ones that work best for you and your projects.

Top Picks for Chisels

When it comes to chisels, it can be overwhelming to know which are the best ones for your needs. However, there are a few top picks that consistently stand out among both professionals and hobbyists. The first is the Narex Richter Cryo-Treated Bevel-Edge Chisels, which boasts a comfortable handle and razor-sharp blade.

Another popular option is the Stanley Sweetheart 750 Socket Chisels, which come in a range of sizes and are made from high-carbon chrome steel for durability. The Japanese-made Fujikawa Woodworking Chisels are also top contenders due to their nearly indestructible blue paper steel blades and ergonomic handles. Overall, choosing the best chisels comes down to personal preferences, but these top picks are sure to impress.

1. Narex Richter

When it comes to chisels, the Narex Richter is a top pick for many woodworkers and carpenters. Made in the Czech Republic, these chisels are known for their excellent balance and durability. The blades are made from chrome-manganese steel, which holds a sharp edge well and is easy to sharpen.

The handles are made from hard European beech wood and have a comfortable grip. The set comes with six chisels ranging in size from 6mm to 32mm, making it a versatile set for a variety of projects. Plus, the chisels come in a handy wooden box for easy storage and organization.

Overall, the Narex Richter is a solid choice for anyone in need of high-quality chisels.

2. Stanley Bailey

When it comes to working with wood, having a good set of chisels is essential. Among the top picks for chisels are those made by Stanley Bailey. These chisels offer precision and durability, allowing you to achieve clean and accurate cuts every time.

Stanley Bailey chisels are available in a range of sizes, from small detail chisels to wider bevel-edged chisels, so you can choose the right one for your needs. The handles are made from high-quality materials and are designed for comfort and control, making them easy to grip and maneuver. Whether you’re a novice woodworker or a seasoned professional, Stanley Bailey chisels are a great investment in your toolbox.

So, why settle for less when you can have the best? Try out Stanley Bailey chisels today and see the difference for yourself!

3. Irwin Marples

Irwin Marples is a brand that is synonymous with high-quality, durable chisels. Their chisels are designed with the professional woodworker in mind and are made to withstand heavy use. What sets Irwin Marples chisels apart from the rest is their high carbon steel blade that is both sharp and tough.

The blade is designed to hold an edge for a long time and can be easily sharpened when needed. Another great feature of Irwin Marples chisels is their ergonomic handle that is made of a durable material that is comfortable to hold and provides a secure grip. These chisels come in a variety of sizes making them ideal for a range of woodworking tasks.

Whether you are a professional woodworker or a DIY enthusiast, Irwin Marples chisels are an excellent choice for your chiseling needs.

Care and Maintenance of Chisels

If you are passionate about woodworking, chisels are an essential tool that needs proper care and maintenance. The longevity and effectiveness of chisels depend on how well they are maintained. Finding the best chisels can be challenging, but some are preferred over others due to their strength, sharpness, and durability.

Among the top-rated chisels in the market are Narex Chisels, Stanley 16-150 Chisels, and Lie-Nielsen Chisels, which are widely preferred for their quality and ability to hold an edge for a long time. Keeping your chisels clean and free from rust is crucial, and proper storage in a dry and safe place ensures their longevity. Sharpening your chisels regularly with a sharpening stone is essential to keep them sharp and eliminate the risk of working with a blunt edge.

Proper care and maintenance of chisels not only prolongs their lifespan but also ensures optimal performance in your woodworking projects.

Storing Your Chisels

Storing your chisels properly is an essential aspect of caring for them. Keeping them organized and protected will ensure they last for years to come. When storing your chisels, be sure to keep them in a designated space, such as a tool cabinet or drawer, to prevent damage or lost pieces.

Avoid storing them with other tools or materials that could scratch or damage them. A great way to organize your chisels is to use a tool roll or a magnetic strip. This will keep them easily accessible while also protecting them from accidental impacts.

Make sure to always store your chisels clean and dry to prevent rust or corrosion and remember to sharpen them regularly to maintain their performance. By following these simple tips, you can keep your chisels in top condition and enjoy the benefits of quality craftsmanship for years to come.

Sharpening Your Chisels

Chisels are essential woodworking tools that require careful maintenance to maintain their sharpness and efficiency. Proper care and maintenance of chisels involve several steps. First, always store your chisels in a dry and cool place to prevent rust and damage.

Always clean your chisels after use, wiping them with a soft cloth to remove any dirt, grime, or wood shavings. Regular sharpening of your chisels using a sharpening stone or honing guide is also essential to keep them in top condition. A dull chisel not only slows down your work but can also be dangerous to use.

When sharpening your chisels, start with a coarse grit stone and then progressively move to a finer grit stone to achieve a razor-sharp edge. Finally, don’t forget to lubricate your chisels with a little oil or wax to protect against rust. With proper care and maintenance, your chisels will last for many years, serving you well throughout your woodworking journey.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to choosing the best chisels, there are a number of factors to consider. First and foremost, you need to determine what kind of woodworking projects you’ll be working on and what type of wood you’ll be working with. From there, you can determine what size and shape of chisel you need.

Additionally, you’ll want to consider the quality of the steel used in the chisel’s blade, as well as the handle material and overall construction. In terms of top brands, there are many excellent options on the market, including Stanley, Narex, and Two Cherries. Ultimately, the best chisels for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences as a woodworker.


In conclusion, the best chisels are like good friends – dependable, versatile, and always up for a challenge. Whether you’re carving intricate designs or hacking away at tough materials, a quality set of chisels is worth its weight in gold. So don’t settle for cheap imitations – invest in the best and enjoy the satisfaction of a job well done.

After all, as they say in the world of woodworking, a craftsman is only as good as his tools.”


What are the different types of chisels available in the market?
There are several types of chisels available including bench chisels, mortise chisels, paring chisels, and butt chisels.

What is the best material for chisel blades?
The best material for chisel blades is high-carbon steel as it is hard enough to hold a sharp edge and is durable.

How do I maintain my chisels for longer use?
To maintain your chisels for longer use, you should regularly sharpen the blades, clean them after use, and store them in a dry place.

Can I use a chisel on metal surfaces?
Yes, you can use a chisel on metal surfaces but make sure to choose a chisel with a hardened steel blade.

What is the ideal size of a chisel for woodworking?
The ideal size of a chisel for woodworking depends on the job at hand, but a 1/4 inch chisel is a good all-purpose option.

How do I choose the right chisel for my project?
To choose the right chisel for your project, consider the type of wood you are working with, the size of the project, and the amount of detail required.

What safety precautions should I take when using a chisel?
When using a chisel, always wear eye protection, keep your hands away from the blade, and never strike the chisel with a metal object.

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