Chisels are excellent for cutting mortises, recessing a space for hinges, squaring up corners made by a router, and many other tasks.

They come in many shapes and sizes and vary in price from $5.00 to $90.00 and higher. You get what you pay for.

I have three chisels in my collection now. One is a Japanese bench chisel, it is individually forged of tempered steel, very sturdy and very sharp. The bottom face of the chisel shaft is slightly concave, this reduces friction when working in deep tight areas. My other two chisels are mortising chisels. These have square or rectangle heads that are tilted to a set degree. They are used to cut long and straight grooves in wood and can be used as an everyday chisel in needed.


Keeping the cutting surface sharp is very important when working with a chisel. If the surface gets bent, marred, or chipped you can loose control of the tool. It can jump out of the mortise, mar the wood, and dig in and cut too much. Grinding the edge to a good bevel will ease your work with the tools.