Different Types Of Chisels & Their Uses

Last Updated on October 12, 2021

Woodworkers who deal with carpentry or any other woodshop crafts require a set of tools to get their job done.

In this set, you have the large tools meant for chopping large wooden planks or blocks into smaller pieces; and the small tools to form the design on the piece of wood you’re working on.

One of these important tools is the chisel. There are different types of chisels of different shapes and sizes. If you’re planning to buy a chisel, then you better should know the types of chisels and where each type can be used. Let’s get right into it!

Different Types Of Chisels

The chisel is a cutting or carving tool. These tools are not generally made for large scale work since the task is mostly for shaping different kinds of materials. Wood is not the only material chisels can shape. Chisels are used to sharpen or shape stone, metal, bricks, etc. as well.

Since the chisel tool is very versatile, it has different types, and each type has its features and certain areas it can be used. We will be discussing some of these chisels below:

1.  Firmer Chisel

Firmer Chisel

These chisels are very strong. They are made of solid steel substances and have a coating of iron on top, it makes them very firm and strong. This kind of chisel can handle heavy-duty woodwork, which means they are perfect for making the small carvings on large and thick blocks of wood.

Firmer chisel has a handle made of hardwood and a blade that is meant to shape the wood. The blade looks like a square sized or rectangular sized cross-section.


  • Cutting 90-degree corners on wooden blocks
  • Sharpening edges on wooden blocks
  • For construction work
  • Works related to designing furniture

2.  Bevel Edge Chisel

Bevel Edge Chisel

These chisels are medium-sized. Sides of the chisel are beveled with straight edges. This allows them to access more dovetail joints easily, the edges are also very easy to sharpen. It helps if the backside of the bevel edge chisel is hollow when you want to sharpen it.

You may find some bevel edge chisels which have hooped designs so that they can avoid being split. This feature strengthens the handle.


  • For carpentry of furniture
  • Cutting wood
  • Sharpening wood
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3. Bench Chisel

These chisels are a little short so you will probably need to fit it with a socket or a tang. It is better if you choose sockets that have hoops on the top. The blade and the handle of the bench chisel are 5 inches each, making the whole chisel measured about only 10 inches.


  • Making various types of furniture
  • Chopping wood
  • Trimming wood

4.  Masonry Chisel

Masonry Chisel

This is a chisel mostly meant for harder material like stone, concrete, bricks, mortar, etc. It is designed with teeth so that it can cut into the stone. While using the masonry chisel for making scores on the surface of a brick or stone, you have to tap their surface with the chisel’s blade.


  • Popularly used for hard material like stone, concrete, bricks, etc.

5.  Wood Chisels

The wood chisels are very basic. They consist of a long metal blade attached to a wooden handle.


  • Used in construction worksites
  • Sharpening wood pieces
  • Tapering wood
  • Shaping or sizing wood pieces

6.  Mortising Chisels

Mortising Chisel

These chisels have bolsters made of wood from an oak or a beech tree. The blade is also very thick and wide. So, the chisel is quite thick and heavy.

Despite all that, the mortising chisel is still a chisel you get the hang of since they are easy to operate. If you need to work with a lot of mortises at the same time, you can easily subtract them all only by replacing them with just a mortising chisel. The size and strength of them vary. Usually, people prefer the ¼ inch one.


  • Sizing or shaping mortises
  • Cutting mortise joints

7.  Power Chisels

Power chisels are not manually run. They operate through a grinder motor, which makes the power chisel a kind of electrical tool. It is still like any other chisel when it comes to activities. The only difference is that it gets work done faster without you having to break a sweat.

You can change the blades to any blade size you want since the blade is not fixed on the power chisel. When you buy the power chisel, you will get a whole set of different blades to equip your chisel with.


  • For carving into a hard material
  • Works as both a hammer and a chisel
  • Can cut through hardwood

See More: How To Use A Wood Lathe(For Beginners)

8.  Lathe Chisels

Lathe Chisels

The blade of the lathe chisel comes in various sizes, ranging between 2 millimeters and 38 millimeters in width. The most popular size people go for is the 25-millimeter blade.


  • Curving V cuts on wood pieces
  • For making planes and turning the beads
  • Creating large and long caves
  • Making pummel cuts on wood

9.  Japanese Chisels

Japanese Chisels

The Japanese chisels are also known as Nomi. These are made up of two different metal materials for the blade portion.

The blade is a mixture of both carbon steel and white steel; the white steel is very soft and is mostly available in the center of the chisel blade. Whereas, the carbon steel material is forged, strong, and very hard.

Carbon steel material is featured in the surrounding areas of the white steel material on the blade. Like any other chisel handle, the handle of the Japanese chisel is made of wood.

The quality of the Japanese chisels is great. It can resist abrasion of exotic wooden material and can also prevent any softwood to crumble.


  • For cutting into wood

Final Words

Buying a chisel can be pretty tricky. There are so many types of chisels for so many specific tasks. Buying basic chisels, electrical chisels or adjustable chisels are good choices since they are the most versatile.

But if you have very specific tasks to deal with, then you better should choose the specialized chisels from nearby hardware shops.

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