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What is a Chisel?

10/31/2013 4:10:07 PM | by Anonymous


Chisel is a tool with a characteristically shaped cutting edge such that wood chisels have lent part of their name to a particular grind of blade on its end for cutting or carving a hard material such as stone, wood or metal. The blade and handle of some types of chisel are made of wood or metal with a sharp edge in it.


In the use of the chisel, it is forced into the material to cut it. The driving force can be manually applied or applied using a hammer or mallet. In the industrial use, a hydraulic ram or falling weight which is also known as trip hammer can drives the chisel into the material to be cut.


When using the chisels, the number one rule of chisel safety is to keep them sharp. Having a dull chisel can be a dangerous chisel as it will require more effort to push the chisel through the material to be cut or carve. However, if keeping the chisel sharp is safety rule number one then rule number two is to always pare away from your body and keep your hands behind the cutting edge.


Besides using the chisel with safety, it is still important to take care of the chisels too. Avoid storing the chisels loosely in the drawer where they can bang into one another thus dulling the cutting edges. A better option is to hang the chisels in a drawer or on a rack with individual dividers for each chisel where you lessen the chance of the tip getting banged up. With proper use of a chisel, it requires the cutting edge to remain sharp and to be properly sharpening a chisel when use for sharpening stones of progressive grades.


The one type of chisel is called the gouge and it is used particularly in woodworking, sculpture and woodturning to carve small pieces from the material. Gouges are mostly used in creating concave surfaces and are typically has a “U” shaped cross-section.


The most commonly used type of chisel is the bevel edged chisel. These chisels have a blade that is four to seven inches in length with about a twenty to twenty-five degree bevel on three edges but only the bottom side of the chisel is flat.


The blade of a bevel edged chisel narrow at the top to connect to the handle which is made of either plastic or hardwood. These chisel handles come in various sizes and shapes but in the case of bevel edged chisel, the choice of the handle is a matter of preference rather than function. The back end or butt of the chisel is sometimes reinforced for strength as certain circumstance call for the chisel to be tapped with a mallet to guide the blade through the material.

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