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Chisels: A Comparison Guide

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, how they feel in the hand to you, and (2) your budget. I have and use multiple sets of chisels - it depends on what I am doing.

For this comparison guide all the pictures show a 1/2" chisel. We left out oval handled English mortise chisels because they truly are a different animal.

Front View

Different types of chisels

From top to bottom:

Sorby boxwood handled chisel with a classic boxwood London Pattern octagonal handle.

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 Different types of chisels from the back
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.

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

View of the sides of different chisels

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.

Since this photo was taken we have added Ashley Iles Bench chisel in various styles, Blue Spruce and Narex Bench chisels to our inventory. THese are all excellent chisels and worth a look.

Click here for the entire chisel department