Using Different Kinds of Chisels Using Different Kinds of Chisels

Chisel Safety Tips

  • Keep all chisels sharpened and in good working order. Discard any chisel with a cracked or chipped face.
  • Cold chisels should be struck only with a hand drilling, ball peen or similar heavy hammer with a face diameter approximately 3/8" larger than the struck tool head.
  • Plastic guards offer protection against mishits.
  • All steel chisels (not wood chisels having wooden or plastic handles) are subject to chipping that can cause bodily injury much the same as steel hammer faces. Therefore, applicable safety standards require the warning “Wear Safety Goggles” on each tool.
  • Never use a cold chisel for cutting concrete or stone.
  • Never place a chisel of any type in your pocket.
  • Do not use a chisel for prying and driving screws.

  • Wood Chisel

  • Comes in a variety of sizes and styles. The butt chisel has a short blade that ranges from about 2-1/2"-3" long. It is used by pattern makers, cabinetmakers, carpenters and do-it-yourselfers for carving and paring, particularly in tight spots. It can be used with hard-faced hammers.
  • A firmer chisel is square-sided, medium-duty chisel and has a longer blade, usually from 3-1/2"-6" and is used mainly for cutting deeply into wood. It should be used with soft-faced hammers.
  • Paring chisels are for light-duty, detailed work such as trimming cabinets.
  • Cold Chisel

  • Also comes in a variety of styles, including flat (the most widely used), cape, diamond-point and round-nose.
  • A cold chisel should be used only for cutting and chipping cold metal (unhardened steel, cast and wrought iron, aluminum, brass and copper), never masonry.
  • Masonry Chisel

  • Used when cutting masonry, such as concrete block and brick.
  • Some models available with teeth for cutting soft stone.
  • One variation is the star drill, used for making holes in masonry to anchor fasteners.
  • Floor Chisel

  • Designed to remove flooring material 
  • Larger head design, generally 3”, increases striking area.
  • Some models available with a target guard to protect against mishits.

  • Courtesy of NRHA.org

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