When you're cutting wood, instruments are all you need to get the right wood carving tools available if you want to make sure the final results are as good as they can be. But whether you're only starting out or have spent a lot of time with a very particular range of tools, there are hundreds of different tools you might use, from chisels to full-size steel blades, all of which have their own functional applications and niche uses. Below are six of the best chisels for wood carving on the market at the moment.
Here are the best chisels for wood carving you can buy in 2023:
- Best Overall: PFEIL Swiss Made Intermediate Chisel
- Runner Up: REXBETI REX042 10pc Chisel
- Best Budget: Narex Steel Chisel
- Premium Choice: SCHAAF 12pc Chisel
- Best Mortise: Narex 853200 6pc Chisel
- Most Versatile: VonHaus 8 pc Chisel
|6 Best Chisels for Wood Carving|
|PFEIL Swiss Made Intermediate Chisel|
|REXBETI REX042 10pc Chisel|
|Narex Steel Chisel|
|SCHAAF 12pc Chisel|
|Narex 853200 6pc Chisel|
|VonHaus 8 pc Chisel|
Best Overall: PFEIL Swiss Made Intermediate Chisel
- Square tang for ultimate durability
- Octagonal handles for better grip
- Rockwell C hardness
The octagonal ash handles are very robust and flexible for almost any sort of grip, and a small bulge in the middle helps each tool feel rock-solid in the palm of your hand. The chrome-vanadium steel is hardened to between 59 and 61 HRC (Hardness Rockwell C), so although sharpening can take a little longer relative to mid-level or in-level equipment, the sharp edge will remain sharp for much longer.
Other items I particularly like about this Pfeil carving package are the hardwood storage stand included the sharpness of the blades upon shipment, the fact that each tool's wooden handle is made from naturally sourced forests, and a lifetime warranty for all Pfeil goods.
|PFEIL Swiss Made Intermediate Chisel Specifications|
8.5 × 2 × 2 inches
12mm #2 gouge, 12mm #5 gouge, 4mm #7 gouge, 10mm #7 bent gouge, 14mm #7 gouge, 10mm #8 gouge, and 6mm #12
Alloy CR-V Steel
Ideal for new wood carvers.
Runner Up: REXBETI REX042 10pc Chisel
- CR-V steel blade
- Strong grip handle
- Sharpening set
- Deluxe tool box
- The metal may be hard but is brittle
The REXBETI 10-piece set comes with everything you need to start chiseling. It includes six 1⁄4-inch to 11⁄2-inch chisels, a sharpening hammer, a honing guide, two carpenter pencils and a carrying case. Vanadium steel blades are manufactured sharpened and ready to use, which is a special quality not offered by any of its rivals. When you're about to sharpen them, the provided sharpening stone and honing guide will easily get you back to work.
The handles are made of reinforced plastic and have metal caps that make them much more durable to standard mallets. Even the holding case is powerful enough to drive you to the work site. Although this collection is targeted for newcomers, its innovative characteristics and an attractive price point make it the perfect overall set.
|REXBETI REX042 10pc Chisel Specifications|
13.4 × 10 × 2.6 inches
Alloy CR-V Steel
Ideal for construction site.
Best Budget: Narex Steel Chisel
- Cr-Mn steel sharpens easily
- Rockwell C hardness (59)
- Brass ferrule
- Waxed hornbeam handle
- Wide and comfortable handle shape
- Must be oiled to prevent rust
Chisels in the Narex Premium series are built with a waxed hornbeam handle, a sturdy brass ferrule and a polished steel blade with an extra slim cross-section for precise service. At any price-point, these are very fine chisels, at this price-point they are extremely useful. I would suggest these chisels to pros and amateurs alike.
|Narex Steel Chisel Specifications|
Low price but quality.
Premium Choice: SCHAAF 12pc Chisel
- Made with high-quality materials
- Specially designed handles to prevent rolling
- Protective canvas
- No chip knife included in the set
This wood carving tools use unique hardwood ash wood for handles, ensuring optimum grip and stability while also allowing you to handle all sorts of wooden material with high quality chromium-vanadium alloy steel blades. The package only has twelve different instruments inside it, giving you a selection of different chisels and gouges that can fit perfectly for both beginners and veterans. Both of them are wrapped in a special Schaaf tool roll made of protective plastic and canvas, and are built to be sharpened so that you can still get the best possible results out of them along with only a few minor changes and maintenance breaks.
|SCHAAF 12pc Chisel Specifications|
11 × 6 × 4 inches
#1 Straight Chisel 8mm, #1 Skew Chisel 8mm, #5 Gouge 8mm, #5 Gouge 20mm, #7 Gouge 6mm, #7 Gouge 14mm, #7 Heavy Bent Gouge 20mm, #8 Gouge 4mm, #8 Spoon Gouge 10mm, #9 Gouge 10mm, #11 Veiner 3mm, #12 V Parting Tool 6mm.
Alloy CR-V Steel
Ideal for carving detail sculpture.
Best Mortise: Narex 853200 6pc Chisel
- Cr-Mn steel sharpens easily
- The handle has 2 steel ferrules and stained beech
- Author Choice for “Best Value”
- Must be sharpened 1-3 times before full benefit
These four Narex mortise chisels are only tools for the job. The 4 mm, 6 mm, 10 mm and 12 mm blades are made of chrome-manganese steel with just the right thickness, taper and 25-degree bevel to make ideal mortises. The handles are made of elegant stained beech wood with two steel ferrules, which provide extra reinforcement against frequently prying and malleating.
|Narex 853200 6pc Chisel Specifications|
13.39 × 6.3 × 157 inches
4 mm, 6 mm 10 mm and 12 mm
Steel ferrules and stained Beech
Ideal for carving mortise.
Most Versatile: VonHaus 8 pc Chisel
- CR-V steel blades with narrow side bevels
- Ergonomic design
- Heat treated
- Storage case
- Require frequent sharpening
VonHaus's 10-piece kit is a perfect base range for woodworkers at all levels of skill. It contains an extended range of chisel sizes, from 1⁄4 inch all the way up to 2 inches, all housed in a stunning wooden carrying case that is as durable as it is elegant. Ergonomically shaped rubberized plastic handles provide support and control for extended mallet operations, and metal protective caps keep the handles secure.
The hardness of the handles is accompanied by heat-treated vanadium steel, which is designed to hold up against the most rigid material. When they are about to be sharpened, the 120 and 200 grit aluminum oxide sharpening stone would easily bring the edge back on the blades.
|VonHaus 8 pc Chisel Specifications|
12.3 × 10.5 × 3.8 inches
6mm, 13mm, 19mm, 25mm, 32mm, 38mm & 1x sharpening stone
CR-V steel alloy
Ideal for home woodworking and pro-craftsman
How To Choose The Best Chisel for Wood Carving?
Types of wood chisels
There are several various types of wood chisels, but only three types of woodworkers are called items: bench chisel, mortise chisel and paring chisel.
Bench chisels are the most widely used types of wood chisels because of their multipurpose features. They are built with flexibility in mind and can do everything from carving wood joints in cabinets to shaving wood in rugged frames. In fact, the term "bench chisel" derives from the belief that they often sit permanently on a woodworker's bench ready for immediate use.
The mortise and tenon joint are a common carpentry technique in cabinets, and the mortise chisel is explicitly crafted with these in mind. While the bench chisel is technically capable of creating these joints, it cannot survive the grinding and prying demands of daily mortising. By comparison, using a bench chisel, the handle would easily chip the blade or mushroom, which is why the mortise chisel was first invented.
Paring chisels produce smaller and more complex joints in finishing carpentry. They've got long and thin blades built to access small spaces. Since they make such painstaking slices, you can just use the force of your hand to generate the cutting strength. Using it would ensure that you can not add too much pressure to delete an undue volume of material.
Firstly, you need to determine how to use your chisel. This one step is enough to stop you from spending time and resources on chisels that you don't need. For example, if you know that your next job would involve a lot of mortise and tenon joints, purchasing a set of bench chisels is likely to result in broken handles and damaged blades. However, if you only need a decent all-around chisel for any unexpected need your project throws at you a set of multi-size bench chisels might be ideal.
Wood-handled chisels are elegant, well-balanced and durable. As a result, they seem to be favored by skilled craftsmen willing to pay a little more for the look and sound of a wooden handle. The biggest downside is that they are typically the costliest and comparatively less durable than plastic options.
Plastic handles are either hard-or soft-grip plastic. Hard plastics are made of PVC, which is inexpensive and extremely impact-resistant. They tend to be heavier than soft-grip handles made of rubber and hard plastic mixtures, but soft-grip handles are usually more convenient to use.
Many chisel blades are made of either carbon or vanadium alloy. Carbon steel has applied carbon to the iron to make it tougher than regular steel.
Vanadium steel has a slight amount of vanadium applied to the material to make it stronger and more durable than carbon steel.
The size of the chisel you use depends mainly on the kind of chisel you choose and its function. Depending on the form of chisel, it is available in sizes as small as 1/16 inch up to 3 inches. More thorough work would need a smaller chisel, whereas larger projects will need bigger (11⁄2-to 3-inch) chisels.
Which Brands Make The Best Chisel for Wood Carving?
REXBETI-Technology is changing life. At REXBETI, they aspire to create the best goods that empower consumers to live a more comfortable, safe lifestyle. They have a knowledgeable quality monitoring team to concentrate on any aspect that matters to you and to produce well-made, compact, beautiful products.
Pfeil Woodcarving Tools are manufactured in Switzerland. The blades are made of unique high alloy steel and are honed ready for use. Pfeil was founded in 1902 and is now a family-owned company now run by the third generation. The business has a world-wide reputation for excellence among experienced and amateur carvers. In addition, arrows render drawers, mallets, backdrop punches, adzes and a wide variety of sharpening equipment and accessories.
There are all great labels and great tools, definitely some of the best, but wood carving is an artistic effort any step of the way—including the method of selecting your carving tools. My tip for tool shopping as a beginner is to start tiny, start with quality tools like the one in this guide, and branch out in the direction you find the most convincing. Lastly, the right tools are those you enjoy using.