It’s probably safe to say that you have heard of a chisel before. But for the most part, we think of chisels being something you hit with a hammer to shape, cut, and mold materials like wood, stone, and metal.
But there are non-hammer chisels, which you can get from a vendor like RS, that achieve similar results without needing a hammer. Broaden your horizons on non-hammer chisels so that you can take on a new variety of DIY projects.
What Materials Can You Use a Chisel On?
Chisels can work with a wide array of materials but each chisel is designated by the material it is best for. For both hammer and non-hammer chisels, you can use them on stone, metal, and wood.
Stone. You’ll use stone chisels for cutting, scraping, and shaping brick and stone. There are both standard and toothed chisels, brick bolsters, spoon chisels, and masonry chisels. Typically not something for amateurs as it takes both force and a delicate hand to make sure that you don’t break or chip too much of the material in one go.
Metal. There are hot and cold chisels that can cut and shape different metals. Hot chisels soften metal while cold chisels are better used on metals that don’t need to be heated (though you’ll need a hammer).
Wood. Wood chisels are for furniture and carpentry work where greater detail is needed. Different types include corner, dovetail, mortise, framing, butt, bevel-edged, carving, flooring, and more.
One of the most common chisel types out there, paring chisels are light, featuring a thin blade and a cutting edge that has a very slight bevel to it. Even being lightweight, the blade lasts longer than most of the firm chisels you’ll see and features a different handle as well.
You will want to use a paring chisel for lighter chiseling work. Because of the design, you definitely don’t want to hit it with a hammer because there’s a good chance you will wind up breaking it.
Despite having different uses, the slick chisel is really similar to the paring chisel. The main difference between the two is that this one has a straighter and broader blade than the paring chisel. Despite the small differences, there are different applications for the slick chisel.
The slick chisel handle kind of looks like a baseball bat handle. This results in a better, more comfortable grip, especially when you need to pare off thin pieces of wood while taking on woodworking projects of all kinds.
For more skilled woodworkers, creating dovetails becomes second nature. The key is to have a chisel that can help you create a cleaner, more accurate dovetail. As you can guess, the dovetail chisel is exactly that kind of tool.
In addition to dovetails, this chisel is good for finish joints as well. The cutting edge has a beveled edge of around 20 or 30 degrees and a longer blade than other non-hammer chisels. Since they’re longer, that makes them much more ideal for sharpening joints or cleaning them out.
It kind of goes without saying but this is by far the most powerful chisel. It’s also the only one that uses electrical power to work. The motor powers up the chisel and it basically acts as the hammer would for a hammer chisel.
These aren’t as accurate as some of the other chisels you’ll find but they do get the job done far faster and more efficiently. You wouldn’t want to use one of these where detail is required.