Tools for Working Wood
 

Chisels: A Comparison

We put put these pictures together to give you a way to compare one set of chisels with another. There is no absolutely best set of chisels. Every chisel we sell is made of good steel. Every chisel we sell will last your lifetime, and beyond. The biggest factors in your decision about what set of chisels to get are (1) what you plan to do with them and (2) your budget. I have and use multiple sets of chisels - it depends on what I am doing.

For comparison's sake, all the pictures show a 1/2" chisel. We left out mortise chisels because they truly are a different animal.

Front View
From top to bottom:
  Sorby boxwood handled chisel. Unchanged for over a century.
  Iyoroi dovetail paring chisel.
  The classic American paring chisel. Out of production since 1969 - here for comparison.
  Iyoroi heavy duty bench chisel, with White Oak handle.
  Sorby octagonal boxwood handled bench chisel.
  Sorby gilt edged bench chisel.
  Two Cherries bench chisel, with Hornbeam handle.
  The classic American bench chisel. Out of production since 1969 - here for comparison.
  Iyoroi bench chisel, with Red Oak handle.
  Special alloy bench chisel - Red Oak handle.
  Iyoroi Sandelwood handled deluxe bench chisel.
  Iyoroi Boxwood handled, blue steel, cabinetmaker's dovetail chisel.
Back View
From top to bottom:
  The classic American paring chisel. Out of production since 1969 - here for comparison. Brand new and ground straight from the factory.
  Sorby octagonal boxwood handled bench chisel. A second on the stone shows how flat these backs are coming right out of the factory.
  Special alloy bench chisel -A single hollow.
  Iyoroi Sandelwood handled deluxe bench chisel. With multiple hollows on the back - even in such a small size.
  Iyoroi Boxwood handled, blue steel, cabinetmaker's dovetail chisel. With multiple hollows on the back - even in such a small size.
  Iyoroi dovetail paring chisel. With a single copper plated hollow.
Edge View
Same order as above.
In order of thickness, the basic Japanese bench chisels have the thickest edges, followed by the Western style chisels, followed in turn by the Japanese dovetail chisel, which has the thinnest edge of all.