We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Chisel?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A chisel is a type of metal tool which has a sharp beveled edge designed for cutting, gouging, and shaping. Chisels are used in woodworking, stone working, and metalworking, and there are a wide range of styles and designs available for specific tasks. Specialty stores which cater to all of these fields typically carry a wide array of chisels, sometimes in starter sets for people who are just learning their craft. Some artisans view chisels as their most important tools, and they take excellent care of them as a result.

The earliest form of the chisel began to appear around 8,000 BCE, and it was made out of flint, rather than metal. Archaeological sites have uncovered numerous examples of early chisels, along with evidence of their use. Much like modern chisels, ancient chisels could be used independently or in combination with a hammer or mallet which drives the chisel into the material being worked.

Steel is one of the most common construction materials for chisels, since it is is durable, corrosion resistant, and very strong. Other metals may be employed for specific types of chisels. Typically, the metal is cast into a bar with a sharp beveled edge on one side. The bar can be attached to a handle made from metal, wood, or plastic, and in some cases the handle is cast as part of the chisel to make the tool stronger.

A wide range of sizes and styles of chisels are available, from very small chisels designed for the fine details of woodworking to heavy chisels designed for working cold metals. Learning to select the right chisel for a task can take years of experience. Stone masons in particular may struggle in their early years of training with chisels, as the wrong chisel can cause a piece of stone to crack or break, making it unusable.

In woodworking, chisels are used extensively for everything from carving fine details to roughing out slots in pieces of wood which will be fit together. Because chisels are such critical tools, some woodworkers build specialized cabinets for them which are designed to keep the chisels organized and safe; chisels can also be wrapped in insulating material and stored in toolboxes. Woodworkers are also familiar with the consequences of using the wrong chisel, as wood can split or be heavily gouged by a poorly chosen chisel.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGeek researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By TurtleeyMC — On Mar 23, 2014

A skilled sculptor or woodworker will most likely have a very delicate touch and a sixth sense, so to speak, on how best to chisel stone or wood to avoid breaking and splitting.

Also, it probably doesn't take an artist long to know what type of chisel they prefer.

Of course, mistakes are made even by the best artists, but it is amazing to watch those who have honed their craft for a long time.

While sculpting or working with the wood, they seem to be able to block out everything around them for hours on end, focusing just on the very intricate work they are doing.

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.