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Updated on November 29, 2016
Photo by Jon Wisbey
Photo by Jon Wisbey

A chisel is a a steel tool, based on the principle of the wedge, that is used for cutting wood, metal, or stone. A chisel consists of a metal bar with one end beveled to one or more sharp edges. The other end is fitted with a handle or is made blunt so that it can be struck with a hammer.

Chisels vary in shape and size. Many are designed for specific applications. Wood chisels include the firmer chisels, with sturdy blades for making gouges; paring chisels, with thinner blades for lighter work; and butt chisels, with short wide blades for making depressions for butt door-hinges.

Cold chisels, or chipping chisels, are used with a hammer to cut cold metal. They include flat chisels, with broad edges for cutting flat surfaces, and cross-cut chisels, with sturdy narrow blades for cutting grooves.


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