How to Sharpen a Chisel

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Chisels are essential tools when it comes to working with wood. They can be used to carve small details as well as remove huge wood sections. With a variety of sizes and uses, chisels date back to prehistoric times where sharp rocks were used for carving wood.


However, an unsharpened chisel can be dangerous so make sure to sharpen your tool often for the best results. Follow these steps to ensure your chisel stays sharp and effective.

Things You'll Need

  • Chisel
  • Magnifying Glass
  • Bench Grinder
  • Light Machine Oil
  • Work Gloves
  • Magnifying Glasses
  • Bench Grinders
  • Chisels
  • Fine-grit Sharpening Stones
  • Safety Goggles
  • Check the beveled edge with a magnifying glass for burrs and nicks. Grind them off with a medium grit wheel on your bench grinder.

  • Hold the blade with the beveled side up and move it side-to-side against the wheel.

  • Be sure the cutting edge stays square with the wheel.

  • Turn the blade over (bevel-side down) and repeat the previous step, but this time hold the chisel at a 25-degree angle to match the bevel.

  • Finish the edge on a fine-grit stone. Put a few drops of light machine oil on the stone.

  • Hold the bevel flat against the stone. Pull the chisel toward you and lift at the end of the stroke.

  • Wipe the bevel clean about every third stroke with a clean rag and re-oil the stone.

  • Drag the chisel once across the stone with the bevel side up to remove any burrs that may have been created.

  • Re-examine the sharpened chisel with your magnifying glass.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep the blade from losing its temper by cooling it often. Dip it in a cup of water and return to sharpening.
  • A dull chisel is extremely dangerous and requires more force. Make sure that your tool is sharpened.

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