Why are Chisels Beveled?


The bevel on woodworking chisels makes each one ideal for a different project. Knowing why each bevel is important to help you choose the best chisel for all of your upcoming woodworks.

Chisels are beveled to help create sharp angles and help with getting a detailed wood carving. Bevels are angles in the chisel that make a sharp and fine cut in the wood. Each chisel is used for a different project meaning the bevels are too.

Read on to determine why the bevels on chisels are essential and the advantages they help within woodworking.

What is a Beveled Chisel?

A chisel is beveled because a piece of steel is taken away from the edges and allows for a quick sharpened edge. The sharper an edge, the easier and faster it is to shape the wood.

The beveling makes it easier to adjust the cutting angle quickly as you work. Being able to shape the wood soon allows you to have complete control over the project, unlike a machine.

A beveled chisel is used in woodworking to get excellent edges and angles in your woodworking projects. The angles that are scoured into the chisel edges are called bevels and can help make unique cuts in the wood.

When doing woodworking by hand, it is essential to utilize the correct hand tools to shape and make perfect woodcuts. A bevel chisel can help achieve precise and narrow cuts that machines may not be able to do.

Most chisels are beveled to help with different projects, but a specific beveled chisel is used for most dovetailing projects. Dovetailing needs precision and the ability to rotate your chisel with care and efficiency. Beveled chisels are perfect for these tasks.

What are the Different Types of Beveled Chisels?

There are a couple of different types of beveled chisels. Each one serves another purpose when woodworking, so pay attention to your project and what you need for it.

The Strong Edged Bevel Chisel

These chisels are used for a myriad of projects. They are quite versatile and can be used by hitting a mallet on the end of the chisel.

The chisel is straight across with a beveled edge. Its edge is beneficial for creating a dovetail design and still maintain the versatile and heavy duties needed for using the chisel.

What is the Best Bevel Angle for a Chisel?

The best angle for a bevel is 25 degrees. A 25-degree angle is the most general beveled edge on a chisel. It places the edge parallel to the wood and helps there be a good and sharp cut in a woodblock.

If you want a more severe edge, you can sharpen them yourselves to have a sharp edge. You can also get them pre-made, but these tend to be smaller tools best for the finishing pieces. If you need to do a more significant project sharpening another edge on your blade can help you make sharper angles.

Assorted Size Beveled Chisels

With any hand tool, there are various sizes. A beveled chisel has multiple different sizes. The size of a chisel can be the size of ¼ inch or as large as 1 ½ inch. Each one needs to be fit to the project size. The right tool will also be right for the project. The following types of chisels come in different sizes to help you in your project.

Beveled Edge Bench Chisel

The beveled edge bench chisel is the most common and is used mainly for working on cabinetry and dovetails.

Pros:Cons:
Versatile Wide variety of sizesNot strong enough for the use of a mallet

Heavy Duty Beveled Edged Chisels

Heavy-duty beveled edged chisels are most frequently used in boat building or any large joinery project.

Pros:Cons:
Good for large projectsNot stocked often due to its few uses

Japanese Bench Chisels

They come in a wide variety of sizes with less beveling on the sides than western bench chisels. They are best for cutting soft exotic woods.

Pros:Cons:
Wide variety High qualityLess beveling on the sides for leverage

Paring Chisels

Paring chisels are very long and flexible and have the sole purpose of shaving thin pieces of wood when you are putting joints together.

Pros:Cons:
Maximum control Used to help with morticingSecondary chisel Only really needed if you do a lot of joineries.

Small chisels with bevels are best for delicate work such as small mortising projects or finishing aspects of dovetailing. But larger ones are for larger projects and detailing that need a wide edge, such as making furniture or joining two pieces of wood together.

Some chisels are hooped and beveled to help the chisel have more strength and avoid splitting and ruining the chisels. Having both hooped and beveled allows there to be more uses for them and making sure they do not break easily.

What is the Advantage of the Beveled Edges on a Chisel?

The beveled edges on a chisel allow for control over your work. When working on your woodworking project’s finishing details, using a small sharp edge can help you make intricate details perfect.

Using a beveled edge chisel also will help you to make adjustments as you go. You can adjust the angle you are working at and make sure that each cut is at the most detailed angle.

How to Use a Bevel Edged Chisel

When woodworking, you need to make sure you follow the proper steps for using a bevel-edged chisel. Each of these steps is crucial to ensuring your bevel does not become ruined or unusable.

Grip the Handle

You are using your dominant hand to grip the chisel and the second to push the blade into the wood. This will help you have control of the edge and allow you to make precise cuts.

Make sure you do not have your fingers too close to the edge; your fingers can get in the way of the blade and cause you serious harm. Also, wood chips coming away from the project can create splinters, so pay extra attention!

Use a Mallet

Sometimes your force and strength are not enough to chip the wood away. You can use a mallet to give the chisel enough power and leverage to cut through the wood.

More force will allow you to cut deeper into the wood and make sure you have the size you need.

Use the Angle to Your Advantage

Suppose you need to make a deeper cut increase the angle of the chisel. The beveled edge will help with the angle and allow you to cut quickly into the wood.

If you need a smaller cut, you can decrease the angle size. The smaller the angle and more parallel to the wood, the beveled edge makes smaller cuts and helps them be more precise.

Consider the Placement

When you are placing your chisel, make sure your chisel faces the waste; when working on small details or dovetails, place your chisel towards where the chips are coming away from the wood.

The bevel side of the chisel will help create leverage and help pare down your cuts in the wood. Your hand can then be used to smooth down the joints, and the wood will be at the right angle.

Final Thoughts

After learning the advantages and how to use a beveled chisel, your woodworking projects will become more detailed and cut to your perfect angles. Use these tips to help get the most out of your tools and create beautiful wood projects!

Recent Posts