Which size chisels do you use the most? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 06-12-2016, 07:08 AM Thread Starter
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Which size chisels do you use the most?

I am wondering which are the most commonly used chisel sizes in woodworking. I use 1/2" and 3/8" the most for joinery work, followed by 1" and 1-1/4" for cleaning up rabbets and dados. Never needed to go beyond 1-1/2" in any case.

What are your most commonly used sizes?

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post #2 of 10 Old 06-12-2016, 07:36 AM
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I once bought an 1-1/2" chisel thinking it would be good to notch large box newels. I quickly learned the bigger size actually made it harder. So I rarely use a large chisel. I guess it depends on what I'm doing but I would say my 1/2 and 1" is used the most.
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post #3 of 10 Old 06-12-2016, 07:40 AM
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For general woodworking for me it's a toss up between 1/2" and 3/4".
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post #4 of 10 Old 06-12-2016, 07:44 AM
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Depends on the job. I use the biggest chisel that will fit, and only the correct chisel for mortises.

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post #5 of 10 Old 06-12-2016, 09:52 AM
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There are specific ways to use chisels, bench chisels are used differently than mortice chisels. Bench chisels need to be as large or larger than the typical cuts you make. Mortice chisels fit the mortice exactly. I've noticed a lot of folks don't actually know how to use a chisel. If you are "letting in" a hinge or lock, you cut leafs, so to speak, then pare. I have some pictures.
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post #6 of 10 Old 06-12-2016, 12:30 PM Thread Starter
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I cut even 1" wide mortises with a 1/2" mortising chisel. It is much easier than working with a 1" mortising chisel, which would require a much heavier mallet (and larger force) to drive.

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post #7 of 10 Old 06-12-2016, 01:23 PM Thread Starter
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Come to think of it, I have never seen a mortising chisel wider than 1/2". Have you?

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post #8 of 10 Old 06-12-2016, 05:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammer1 View Post
There are specific ways to use chisels, bench chisels are used differently than mortice chisels. Bench chisels need to be as large or larger than the typical cuts you make. Mortice chisels fit the mortice exactly. I've noticed a lot of folks don't actually know how to use a chisel. If you are "letting in" a hinge or lock, you cut leafs, so to speak, then pare. I have some pictures.
I'm almost 70, yet still remember my father showing me how to do that when I was quite little. He wasn't a woodworker, mostly a homeowner DIY-er. I still think of him every time I chisel out for a hinge, door latch striker plate, etc., especially since I'm using his old Stanley chisels.
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post #9 of 10 Old 06-12-2016, 06:54 PM
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My FIL gave me a set of Marples chisels from 1/4" to maybe 1 1/2? And I use them all.

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post #10 of 10 Old 06-13-2016, 06:05 AM Thread Starter
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My FIL gave me a set of Marples chisels from 1/4" to maybe 1 1/2? And I use them all.
But which size do you use the most?

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