How to Buy the Best Wood Carving Chisels in 2023
Everyone wants to have the best wood chisels in their toolbox, from beginner carvers to seasoned woodworkers. Of course, finding the best wood chisels on the market may seem daunting for someone, but believe us, it is not impossible.
We have tried to put together all the information that will be useful when choosing the best wood carving chisels & gouges for your budget and needs. So, read the article and learn what to look for when buying the best wood chisels 2023.
Types of Wood Carving Chisels
If you are a beginner, you can easily get confused by the diversity of chisels and wood gouges. They come in various designs, blade shapes, and sizes, and each used for a specific purpose.
Below, we’ll clarify the types of common chisels and gouges for wood carving. After all, finding the right types of chisels can make easy work out of the most challenging tasks.
Flat chisels are the most basic type of chisel. It is a tool with a handle on one side and a wide, flat cutting edge on the other side. They are ideal for making straight cuts, shaving and smoothing rough surfaces, creating details, and giving your projects a neat finish.
Wood carving gouges , also known as curved chisels, have a curved, spoon-shaped blade and are used for carving concave shapes, hollowing out wood, cutting curved lines, and shaping carvings. They come in various sweep sizes (curvature) to suit different carving needs.
Compact chisels are miniature versions of full-sized chisels designed for detailed work on small projects. They are easier to control and maneuver.
Full-size chisels feature a wider blade and a long, sturdy handle. They are larger, heavier, and more powerful chisels ideal for life-size projects or when working with thicker pieces of wood.
Palm chisels are small, compact chisels with a handle that fits in the palm of your hand for maximum control. They are ideal for precise cuts and intricate details.
Chisel kits are an excellent option for those just starting their journey in wood carving. They include various chisels to suit different carving needs and perform various techniques.
How Do I Choose a Chisel
There’s a lot to consider when buying the best wood chisels set, but comfort is key. Every chisel should act like an extension of your hand and offer superior control and comfort during your wood carving sessions. So, when choosing the best chisels for wood carving, pay attention to the following factors:
Consider the type of wood you will be carving and choose a chisel suitable for that type of wood. Harder woods require a stronger, more durable chisel.
The Chisel Handle
The handle of the chisel should be comfortable and provide a secure grip. Consider the size and shape of the handle, and choose one that feels comfortable in your hand.
Finding a chisel made from high-quality materials is important. Chisel blades are typically made from high-carbon steel or stainless steel. High-carbon steel is solid and durable but requires more maintenance than stainless steel. Stainless steel is more rust-resistant and requires less maintenance but may not be as strong as high-carbon steel.
Chisel edges come in various shapes, including straight, beveled, and V-shaped. Choose the edge shape that best suits your needs.
As we mentioned, chisel blades come in different sizes to perform different tasks. Consider the project size you will work on and choose an appropriate blade size.
Chisels can range from a few dollars up to hundreds, depending on the type of steel, the handle, the craftsmanship, and the brand’s reputation. So, make sure you invest in the best tool for your budget.
Best Wood Carving Chisels
K8/08 – Compact Straight Rounded Chisel
The K8/08 is a functional wood carving tool made of high-quality carbon steel. It means it is highly durable, wear-resistant, and stays sharper longer.
- Ideal for shaving, shaping and working over corners;
- Ergonomic handle for comfort and precision.
- It is a specialist tool that may not be suitable for heavy-duty tasks.
K8a/14 – Compact Short Bent Gouge
The K8a/14 is a handy bent gouge for scooping out wood and carving kuksas, bowls, or spoons of any design. It is lightweight, sturdy, and razor-sharp.
- High level of quality for the price;
- Thanks to a sharp blade, this chisel can carve, scoop, and shave wood with ease.
- Requires careful use when working with hard, dense wood.
K12/02 – Compact Straight V-profile Chisel
The K12/02 is a must-have tool designed for outlining, small-scale detailing, carving grooves, letter carving, and more. It is convenient to use and good for long-time carving.
- Perfect for smaller hands and detailed work;
- Ready to go right out of the box.
- You cannot use it with any mallet or hammer.
P1/01 – Palm-chisel Straight Flat
This P1/01 is a high-quality palm-size chisel to fit comfortably in the palm, providing a fine, straight cut and a neat, professional finish.
- Modern, distinctive design;
- Ergonomic to hold;
- Well-made and razor-sharp.
- It may require sharpening more often.
G7L/22 – Long Bent Gouge
If you love carving spoons and kuksas or enjoy creating various projects with concave designs, this G7L/22 is a perfect tool for tasks like these. It is an essential tool for finishing bas-reliefs and for general roughing-out tasks.
- Durable, extremely sharp blade;
- The ergonomic handle is long enough but not bulky.
- Learning how to sharpen it may take some time, which can be tricky for beginners.
There are different types of wood chisels that can cope with a variety of tasks. The set of best-quality wood chisels is a must if you want to try new carving techniques and succeed in this type of craft.
FAQ about Chisels
How to Sharpen Wood Chisels?
Sharpening your wood chisels requires a few simple tools and a bit of patience. You can use a sharpening stone, sandpaper, or a leather strop. The best way to sharpen wood chisels or gouges is to use a sharpener that matches the shape of the curve and stroke the blade gently.
How to Use Wood Chisels?
Before using the chisel, ensure the blade is sharp and the handle is secure. For careful carving, use a 2-handed grip when one hand guides the cutting edge, and the other provides driving power.