Best Wood Chisel Set – UK Buyer’s Guide

Best Wood Chisel Set - UK Buyer’s Guide

If you’re setting up a workshop then the chisel is one of the most important tools. Having a good quality set of chisels will allow you to create precise and accurate work with ease and since these tools have been used for thousands of years, this longevity demonstrates just how essential they are!

What Is A Chisel And What Are Its Uses?

A chisel is a type of cutting tool that features a sharp bevelled edge. It is used for a variety of cutting tasks including those performed on wood, stone and metal. There is evidence that these tools have been used as far back as 8000 BC and they’re still one of the most commonly used woodworking tools in modern times!

Chisels are usually used with a hammer or mallet which is used to tap the handle of the chisel, forcing the sharp edge into the material it is cutting.

Why Are Chisels Bevelled?

While there are different types of chisels such as the mortise chisel, a bevel edge chisel is one of the most common types. The reason that these chisels feature a bevelled edge is to allow the user to get into tighter spaces and create acute angles.

They are ideal for paring and are indispensable for light-duty tasks. Many would consider the bevel edge chisel as one of the most important types when setting up a workshop.

How Do You Use A Chisel Safely?

With sharp edges, chisels can be potentially dangerous tools that would easily cause an injury when not used correctly. Workshop safety should be at the top of your priority list so here are a few tips to get the most out of your chisel without compromising your own safety.

  • Never use a chisel for anything other than what it is designed for. Don’t be tempted to use it to open paint cans or as a screwdriver.
  • When not in use, your chisels should be placed in protective caps and stored in a case or roll.
  • Do not use a chisel that is bent, cracked or otherwise damaged.
  • Make sure that the edges of the chisel are frequently sharpened.
  • Ensure that you wear the correct protective equipment. Eye protection is particularly important to prevent flying particles from getting into the eyes.
  • Stand in such a way that you are balanced and will not falter should the tool slip.
  • Always cut with the blade pointing away from you.
  • Clamp any material you are working on.
  • Do not attempt to chisel wood that has deep knots, screws or other obstructions and imperfections.

What Should I Look For In A Chisel Set?

When choosing a chisel set, there are several things that you’ll need to look at before committing to any particular set.

Quality Of the Steel

All chisels feature a blade made from steel. This is a very resistant material that will deliver an excellent cut. However, there are many different types of steel and each type has its pros and cons. While this is an in-depth topic for another day, buyers should ensure that the quality of the steel is as high as possible for their budget.

Better quality steel will be much harder and this means that it retains its sharpness for much longer. What’s more, this makes for a much more durable tool that, when properly looked after, will stand the test of time.

Usually, chisels will be made from high-speed steel which is excellent in terms of being robust and it won’t become brittle even if it heats up when you sharpen it. However, you might also look for a chisel with a chrome vanadium alloy blade as this strong material is perfect for chisels that need to be hit with a mallet.

Handle Material

While there is a lot of focus on the blade material, it’s also worth thinking about what the handle of your chisel is made from. Typically, this will either be wood or plastic but there are pros and cons to each.

Plastic chisel handles are great if you want something that isn’t going to split or break easily. For heavy duty work, this is by far the most sensible option. But the major downside is that they don’t look overly attractive.

If you want a chisel that is going to look the part then a wooden handle certainly adds to its aesthetic appeal. What’s more, they’re usually more comfortable for the user especially if you’re going to be working with the chisel for a lengthy period of time.

It’s also important to think about the type of wood used for the construction of the handle. Hardwoods with a straight grain are best as these will ensure maximum handle strength. Look for materials like oak, ash and beech.

Does It Come With Extras?

When buying a set of chisels, you want to get the best bang for your buck so choosing a product that comes with more than just the chisels themselves is an attractive concept.

You might look for a set that comes with a sharpening stone. This will save you money down the line as it’s certainly something you will need to buy if you want to maintain your tools. Moreover, you should look for a set that comes with some kind of storage as this will keep your chisels safe and protected between uses.

How Can You Tell If A Chisel Is Sharp?

Using a dull chisel is a very dangerous mistake. It will require much more effort to push the tool through the stock which may cause it to slip or stick. It’s important to check the condition of your tools regularly but short of running your finger along the edge (which we would never suggest), you need to know how to tell if the chisel is sharp.

You can test your chisel on paper by holding a sheet of paper upright and running the chisel along it. If it’s sharp enough, it will create a smooth, clean cut. There are many suggestions around the internet about running the chisel over your nail or your arm hair to see if it produces shavings, but this is something that does come with a risk of cutting yourself.

You can check the sharpness of the chisel visually by holding it under a light. If the tool is sharp, there will be no reflection bouncing off of it.

How Do You Sharpen A Wood Chisel?

To sharpen your chisel, the easiest method is to use a sharpening stone which may or may not come with your chosen set. However, if you do not have one of these, then it is also possible to do the job using sandpaper.

It’s important to maintain a consistent angle when sharpening and this will need to be between 25º and 30º. If you’re worried about getting it right, you can use a honing guide to keep the chisel at a fixed angle. All you need to do is use even strokes.

Chisels – Our Top Picks

Best Overall – Stanley STA116793 Wood Chisels, Silver/Tan Brown, 8-Piece Set

One of the things that make the Stanley chisels stand out from the crowd is that they come in a set of eight and the range in size is impressive. This is certainly a set that is incredibly versatile and will assist you in a wide range of jobs.

If you’re looking for an attractive chisel set that also offers comfort and user-friendliness, then look no further. The smooth wooden handles are ergonomically designed to fit the curves of your hands while looking aesthetically pleasing as well!


  • Good range of sizes
  • Robust carbon chrome steel blades
  • Smooth, comfortable wooden handles
  • Excellent sharpness out of the box
  • Impact resistant


  • Users report that the bevel angle is not what you might expect

Best Mid-Priced – Narex Bevel Edge Chisel Set in Wooden Box, Set of 6 pcs

If you’re in the market for a set of chisels that looks the part then this is an excellent option. The set features ergonomically designed handles made from high-quality wood that look and feel immaculate. Moreover, they come presented in a wooden storage box that gives a more luxurious appearance to the set.

The blades on the chisels come ready sharpened and ground so you won’t need to do any honing out of the box. What’s more, they are made from incredibly high quality hardened steel that will retain its sharpness and deliver an amazing performance.


  • Very nice looking set of chisels
  • Wooden storage box
  • Fully ground and sharpened
  • Durable, heat-treated blades
  • Comfortable handle


  • Storage box lacks quality
  • No accessories

Best budget set Of Chisels – Draper Expert 88605 8 Piece Wood Chisel Set

You don’t need to spend a fortune to get a good set of chisels. These ones from Draper come with durable plastic handles so are great for heavy-duty work and with a soft grip, they won’t put a strain on the user.

You’ve got everything you’ll need including a sharpening stone, a honing guide and a handy carry case for easy storage. The blades are made from chrome vanadium steel that has been coated for added resistance. Where durability and hardness are concerned, these are second to none!


  • Comes with carry case
  • Sharpening stone included
  • Hardened steel blades
  • Comfortable handles
  • Impact resistant


  • Chisels need significant sharpening out of the box


Many people would agree that a quality set of chisels is among the most important tools in your arsenal. There are some things that you will need to look for such as a high-quality steel blade as well as choosing handle material that suits your needs.

The good news is that, whether you are looking for your first chisel set on a budget or a more high-end set to purchase as an investment, there will be something that you fall in love with!

Best Wood Chisel Set – UK Buyer’s Guide

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