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Tools for Working Wood
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Up to:  Chisels
 Japanese Tools
  • Japanese Chisels

    Japanese chisels are made by hammer-welding a blade onto a wrought iron core. Because tool making in Japan is mainly a flexible, family-based industry, a huge variety of sizes, shapes and styles are available. We are fortunate to be able to offer the tools made by the Iyoroi family and by Nishiki, both of Miki City, Japan.
    All Japanese chisels are typically hardened a couple of points harder than Western chisels. We also stock one set of special alloy tools that are hardened to RC 68. This is great chisel abrasive woods. Most of our chisels are made from "White Steel," which is a superb tool steel for edge tools. We also carry some tools in "Blue Steel," which is tougher to forge and requires tremendous skill, but also improves the toughness of the edge.
    Another important difference is that Japanese chisels have hollow ground backs. This makes it easier to create and keep a flat back on the chisel. A characteristic of more expensive tools is their tendency to have multiple hollows in the wider sizes. This increases stability. In theory, if you grind the tool's edge, you may have a situation in which the back must be hammered out to fill in the hollow at the edge. But with normal usage, as long as you hone the backs when you hone the bevel, you should be fine and never have to tap out the hollow.

    Click here for a guide to the application of different types of chisels.
    Click here for a comparison chart of our chisels.
    Click here for instructions on how to set the hoops on Japanese chisels.