7 Best Wood Chisel Sets of 2020 – Reviews & Top Picks
Any dedicated woodworker, whether he’s a woodworker by trade or just someone who likes to spend time in his garage crafting quality pieces for his family or own enjoyment, needs a set of wooden chisels. Wood chisels are staple tools that allow you to accurately carve or shave wooden workpieces or create holes in the middle of workpieces for added complexity and design freedom.
Having a set of chisels will open up extra woodworking opportunities and let you accomplish any goal you set your mind to. But wood chisel sets come in tons of variety and with varying prices – it’s tough to know which set is really worth your time and money.
We broke down the best wood chisel sets of 2020 below so you don’t have to. Let’s get started!
A Quick Glance at our Favorites in 2020:
|Best Overall||Stanley 16-150 3-Piece Wood Chisel Set||
|Best Value||WORKPRO 3-Piece Wood Chisel||
|Premium Choice||VonHaus 10 pc Premium Chisel Set||
|Narex 863010 Woodworking Chisels||
|AmazonBasics 8-Piece Wood Carving Chisel Set||
The 7 Best Wood Chisel Sets:
1. Stanley 3-Piece Wood Chisel Set – Best Overall
This Stanley 16-150 set only includes three pieces in total – the bare minimum for it to qualify as a set – but each chisel is truly excellent. For starters, the blades are made with heat-tempered carbon steel, which is lightweight and durable. This ensures excellent longevity and sharpness. Even better, the steel blades are all coated with a special protective material that can prevent rust. Thus, the chisels should last for a long time to come even if your maintenance routines could be more frequent.
The chisels also all come with black polypropylene handles. This is a special type of plastic that may not be as aesthetically pleasing as wood, but it’s phenomenal when it comes to durability. Plus, the handles can absorb a little bit of shock – this will help keep your hands from taking during long woodworking tasks.
The chisels are each sized differently, of course, with beveled edges. Sizes included are ½ inch, ¾ inch, and 1 inch. To make things even better, the set can be purchased for an excellent asking price.
All in all, it’s a phenomenal starter or basic chisel kit that has the few core pieces you need to start woodworking before you start expanding your collection.
2. WORKPRO 3-Piece Wood Chisel – Best Value
These chisels from WORKPRO are also a great choice, featuring added value because of the type of steel the blades are made of. They’re chrome vanadium steel blades with special heat treatments, which means that these chisels should retain their edges for years to come, even with heavy use. The blades all feature beveled edges so they can be used for multiple purposes and are ideal for a variety of wood types and hardness levels.
We also like that the chisels come with steel butts on the handles. This will allow you to use a hammer or mallet without damaging the handle at all. Blade guards at the end of the handle will make it more difficult for your hand to slip down to the blade and get cut when using a mallet.
It’s easy to see from the design that these are intended to be used for more hard-core chiseling compared to the first set. Their ergonomic handles and affordable price will make them a favorite for professional woodworkers or serious hobbyists who use hammers in conjunction with their chisels more often than not. All in all, this is one of the best wood chisel sets for the money, bar none.
3. VonHaus 10 pc Premium Chisel Set – Premium Choice
Now we get into the pricier picks. This VonHaus Premium Chisel Set comes with 10 pieces in total for a much higher asking price, but it also comes with an elegant and aesthetically pleasing wooden storage case. Even better, the kit comes with a sharpening stone, so you have everything you need to keep your chisel blades sharp and functioning over the long-term.
You get all the chisels and sizes you need for a full set in the collection, ranging from ¼ inch all the way up to 2 inches. Additional accessories, like a honing guide, ensure that even beginners will be able to sharpen their own chisels without messing things up.
The blades are all made with chrome vanadium steel and feature beveled edges. They have rubberized and ergonomic grips, plus metal strike caps for use with hammers and mallets like the last set. Essentially, it’s a 10-piece version of the last chisels without accessories.
We think it’s a perfect premium choice for professional craftsmen or hobbyists who don’t want to go back to the store to pick up extra accessories as they develop their skills.
4. Narex 863010 Woodworking Chisels
This Narex 863010 is a set of four chisel tools, each of which features blades made from chrome manganese steel. The blades are all hardened after the fact to ensure phenomenal sharpness and so that you can use them with particularly hardwood species without breaking them. Their sizes range from 1/4 inch up to 1-1/32 inch. The last chisel, sized at 13/16 inch, is a rarer type you’d normally have to buy on its own.
The handles are all made from a kind of European Beechwood, which is lacquered to prevent water damage and ensure long-term durability. They also feature phenomenal shapes so they’re comfortable to hold. Metal strike caps will allow you to use them with a hammer, and the wood even absorbs the shock from a hammer strike a little better than you would expect.
All in all, it’s a phenomenal wood chisel set that you can even get for a decent asking price. The only downside is the lack of larger chisels, which marks this as a more precision-oriented set.
5. AmazonBasics 8-Piece Wood Carving Chisel Set
AmazonBasics has brought us another reasonably affordable set with chisels ranging in size between ¼ inch and 1½ inch. Eight chisels are included in total, and each features a blade made with heat-treated, chrome vanadium steel alloy. The blades feature narrow side bevels that might be a little different from what you’re used to. But the added bevels on the sides allow you to use the blades in more than one configuration.
Furthermore, the chisels have contoured handles that are phenomenal for their ergonomic comfort. The downside is that the plastic material that the handles are made of isn’t particularly durable or shock-absorbing. The set also lacks the steel striking caps, so you may not want to use a mallet with this set.
The entire kit comes with a special storage case for easy organization. All in all, it’s a decent set that even comes with another sharpening block for added longevity if you use chisels more with your hand instead of in conjunction with hammers.
6. Hurricane 4 Pieces Wood Chisel Set
The Hurricane 4 Piece Wood Chisel Set comes with four pieces and an excellent range of sizes: ¼ inch, ½ inch, ¾ inch, and 1 inch, specifically. The blades are also made with chrome vanadium steel to improve their durability. Special heat treatments guarantee excellent edge retention over the long-term. They also come with side beveled edges for more versatility and sideways carving.
The handles are specifically designed for high impact durability, so don’t worry about breaking these if you decide to use a hammer or mallet. The actual gripping sections of the handles themselves are a little small, though, so woodworkers with larger hands might find them a bit uncomfortable. The handles do come with special guards to stop your hands from slipping onto the blades, however.
It’s also incredibly affordable. We think it’s a good starter kit if you have smaller hands and want something to use with your favorite mallet.
7. MARKETTY Professional Wood Carving Chisel Set
This last set from MARKETTY comes with a whopping 12 pieces. Although that’s a ton of chisels, we were surprised to find that each blade is made with high-quality carbon steel, which keeps the blades light but durable over the long-term. We also like that each of the chisels comes sharpened and honed upon purchasing, so you don’t have to do it yourself right off the bat.
The sheer variety of different chisels gives you plenty of woodworking tools to enjoy. There’s practically a size for every need. You also get several straight chisels that don’t feature beveled edges for more direct carving into a workpiece.
The chisels come with wooden handles for aesthetic value and user comfort, though they aren’t particularly ergonomic. There’s also a lack of a striking cap, but the handles are durable enough you shouldn’t have much trouble if you decide to use a mallet with them. The carrying case the chisels come in also serves to keep the tools organized, long after they’ve been shipped to your door.
Even after all this, the set is reasonably affordable and even cheaper than some of the other choices on this list so far. Pick it up if you want every imaginable size of chisel at your disposal in a single purchase.
To buy the right wood chisel set for your needs, you’ll want to keep this information in mind.
The Types of Wood Chisels
Some wood chisel sets come with all of the below chisel types, while others might exclude one or more types for whatever reason. Make sure you know what types of wood chisels you need so you don’t buy a set that excludes a crucial tool.
These are all-purpose and are the baseline chisels from which others diverge. It can be used for chopping and paring wooden workpieces, and they often come in several different shapes. Some have beveled edges, while others are firm or “registered”.
These chisels are ideal for heavier chopping and chiseling of workpieces. They’re sometimes spelled as “mortice” chisels.
As their name suggests, these are ideal for paring wood down and are much more delicate than mortise chisels. They can carefully slice through wooden workpieces and often use thinner but sharper steel. Make sure that you never strike these chisels with a mallet and only use your hands – you might break the blade otherwise.
Wooden chisels’ blades can be attached to their handles either at a socket near the top of the handle or through a metal tang fastened on the inside of the handle for added stability. But socket chisels are usually a little pricier and more durable since the socket design means that the blade can take more of a beating. In contrast, tang handles can compromise the integrity of the wooden handle surrounding the steel tip, which might ruin the tool preemptively if it’s hit with a mallet at the wrong angle.
You’ll also want to pay attention to the handle material for a given wood chisel set. Wooden handles are usually ideal, as they offer better balance and a better feel to the touch. Plastic handles are decent alternatives if you’re looking for a budget-friendly wood chisel set, however. Just be aware that the plastic handles are in danger of bending or breaking under certain circumstances.
How Many Chisels Do You Need?
As many as you like!
For a more serious answer, it’s always a good idea to have one or two extra chisels just in case your primary tools break or become lost and you still need to finish a workpiece. Nothing can ruin a day more than needing to pare down a workpiece, only for your only paring chisel to be left at a worksite 45 minutes away. Having an extra chisel on hand can be a lifesaver in this case.
At the same time, there’s no need to pay for so many chisels that you’ll never use unless you’re buying a set to be shared between a few woodworkers.
If you’re looking for a good beginner’s set, it’s never a bad idea to pick up a set of 3-10 wood chisels. The set should have a few different types of chisels with varying sizes of blades. In short, this will offer you enough versatility that you can complete most workpieces for your job or hobby without needing to buy another specialty chisel, or at least not right away.
A good, basic chisel set should have tools measured for 1/4 inch, 1/2 inch or 5/8 inch, 3/4 inch, and 1 inch or 1 and 1/4 inch. This will give you blades of variable sizes you can use for tons of chiseling tasks.
It’s often a good idea to look at a wood chisel set that has a few staple sizes that you can then add to as necessary. For instance, once you have a set of all the basic sizes, you can purchase individual chisels with more exact sizes (say, 7/8 inch). The value of having a chisel set in the first place is having all the more basic tools you need to accomplish typical chiseling tasks.
Bevel or Flat Edged?
Chisels come in both broad types. Beveled edges just mean that the chisels’ blades move up at an angle. These chisels can fit a little more easily into joints, particularly dovetail joints. They’re crucial chisels for all kinds of woodworking beyond the most basic stuff. Beveled chisels are the most common type.
Flat edged or straight-edged chisels (also called firm or registered chisels, mentioned above) are also used from time to time, but they aren’t as versatile. They can be good for making quick, straight cuts in wood, of course.
Quality of Steel
One last big thing to keep in mind is steel quality. Cheaper steel just won’t last as long as higher quality steel, and if you don’t want to be buying another wood chisel set in six months, you’ll want to make sure you prioritize chisels made with the right stuff.
The Stanley 16-150 3-Piece Wood Chisel Set will serve the majority of workers quite well, especially if they’re building up a set from scratch or if they do most of their woodworking as a hobby. It has the three main sizes you need to tackle most wood carving jobs, and each piece is made with high-quality steel and shock-absorbing handles.
But the WORKPRO 3-Piece Wood Chisel is also a good choice, especially if you’re on a budget.
All in all, each of the above reviews demonstrates a great pick for one reason or another. Remember to consider your budget and how many pieces you want in your set before finalizing a purchase – you’ll be happiest if you grab exactly what you need. Good luck!
- A Quick Glance at our Favorites in 2020:
- The 7 Best Wood Chisel Sets:
- 1. Stanley 3-Piece Wood Chisel Set – Best Overall
- 2. WORKPRO 3-Piece Wood Chisel – Best Value
- 3. VonHaus 10 pc Premium Chisel Set – Premium Choice
- 4. Narex 863010 Woodworking Chisels
- 5. AmazonBasics 8-Piece Wood Carving Chisel Set
- 6. Hurricane 4 Pieces Wood Chisel Set
- 7. MARKETTY Professional Wood Carving Chisel Set
- Buyer’s Guide