If you’re new to wood carving, you’ll quickly learn that the right carving chisels can make a huge difference in the quality of your work. But with so many different types of chisels available, it can be difficult to know where to start. That’s where we come in.
In this guide, we’ll help you choose the best wood carving chisels based on your skill level and the type of wood carving you’re interested in. Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or experienced carver, we’ll go over the different types of chisels that are most commonly used, so you can choose the right ones for your needs.
We’ve researched and analyzed the most popular wood carving chisels from reputable brands, and we’ll provide an overview of their performance, quality, and sharpness. We’ll also give you a buying guide to help you make an informed decision before purchasing your first set of wood carving chisels.
So, if you’re ready to take your wood carving to the next level, keep reading to discover our top picks for the best wood carving chisels for beginners.
The Best Chisels set for carving
The Schaaf 12-Piece Wood Carving Set is a high-quality set of carving chisels designed for intricate relief carving, Bowls and Spoons carving, and the carving of Faces, Busts, and Wood Spirits. The set includes 12 super sharp chisels made of Rockwell C60 hardened high-quality chromium-vanadium alloy steel, which offers excellent edge-holding ability and ease of re-sharpening. The chisels have comfortable European-style octagonal ash wooden handles that provide a firm grip and prevent rolling off your workspace. The set comes with a free eBook on sharpening to help beginners get started, and it also includes a money-back guarantee and a replacement for any tool that fails to meet the customer's expectations.
- Made of high-quality chromium-vanadium alloy steel for excellent edge-holding ability and ease of re-sharpening
- Comes with comfortable European-style octagonal ash wooden handles for a firm grip and prevents rolling off the workspace
- Super sharp right out of the box, allowing beginners to start carving immediately
- Comes with a free eBook on sharpening to help beginners get started
- Offers a money-back guarantee and a replacement for any tool that fails to meet the customer’s expectations
- Excellent customer service and communication
- Need to be sharpened to fit the individual’s preferences or the requirements of the project before being used
- Chromium-vanadium is less resistant to rust, corroding, and discoloration than stainless steel
- May be difficult to resharpen for beginners who are unfamiliar with sharpening woodcarving tools
Overall, the Schaaf 12-Piece Wood Carving Set is a great choice for beginners who want high-quality carving chisels at an affordable price. While the need to sharpen the tools and the lower resistance to rust and corrosion may be drawbacks, the set’s high-quality materials, excellent customer service, and money-back guarantee make it a worthwhile investment.
Best Pfeil chisel set
The Pfeil Intro Set is a high-quality set of carving chisels that includes everything you need to get started in wood carving. The set includes a 12mm #1 Double Bevel Gouge, a 10mm #7 Gouge, an 8mm #12 V-Parting Tool, and an Arkansas sharpening stone. The chisels are made of high-quality alloy steel blades that stay sharper for a longer period and allow for precise carving.
- Includes everything needed to get started in wood carving
- High-quality alloy steel blades stay sharp for a long time
- Ergonomic octagonal handles provide a comfortable grip
- Includes an Arkansas sharpening stone for fine-tuning the blade
- Sharp right out of the box
- Ideal for intricate relief carving and 3-D carvings
- Octagonal handle corners may cause soreness during extended use
- The set includes only three chisels, which may not be enough for some carving projects
The Pfeil Intro Set is an excellent choice for beginning and intermediate carvers looking for a high-quality, durable set of carving chisels. While the set only includes three chisels, they are of exceptional quality and provide a sharp edge that lasts a long time. The ergonomic octagonal handles provide a comfortable grip, although the sharp corners may cause soreness during extended use. Overall, the Pfeil Intro Set is an exceptional choice for any carver looking for high-quality carving chisels at a reasonable price.
Best Wincklesteel 12-piece chisel Set
The Wincklesteel 12-piece chisel set is a quality toolset designed for carving and sculpting. Made of vanadium steel chromium alloy with a Rockwell hardness of 56 to 62, these chisels are extremely durable, sharpenable, and have better edge retention. Each blade comes with a comfortable Ash handle with an octagonal shape to prevent the tool from rolling. The set also comes with a protective sheath to keep the chisels safe when not in use. The manufacturer offers a return policy if the tool fails to meet your expectations.
- Made of high-quality vanadium steel chromium alloy for durability and edge retention
- Comfortable Ash handles with an octagonal shape to prevent rolling
- Protective sheath included
- Responsive customer service and return policy for customer satisfaction
- Sharpenable to a razor edge
- Suitable for professionals, skilled hobbyists, and beginners
- Some first-time users and intermediate carvers were disappointed that the blade arrived blunt and had difficulty sharpening the tool themselves
- Sharpening may be necessary before the tool can be used effectively
The Wincklesteel 12-piece chisel set is a quality toolset that offers great value for money. While some customers may be disappointed with the blunt blades upon arrival, sharpening the tools is a simple process that can easily be done to restore the blades’ original sharp edge. With the manufacturer’s return policy and excellent customer service, you can be confident in your purchase of the Wincklesteel chisel set. Overall, this chisel set is an excellent investment for any carver or sculptor looking for a high-quality toolset that can carve almost anything you can think of carving
Best budget-friendly chisel set
Looking for high-quality carving tools that won't break the bank? Look no further than the BeaverCraft Carving Tools Set. This set includes four chisels specifically designed for softwood carving, but they work well with most other woods too. Each chisel is made of high-carbon steel and has an oil-treated ash hardwood handle for a comfortable grip. The set also includes a leather strop, polishing compound, and a rolling tool bag.
- High-quality tools at an affordable price.
- Ergonomically designed handles for maximum comfort and grip.
- Blades made of high carbon steel retain their edge well and are simple to sharpen.
- Includes a leather strop and polishing compound for easy blade maintenance.
- Comes with a rolling tool bag for easy storage and transport.
- Excellent customer service and a 30-day return policy.
- Blades aren’t very sharp out of the box, so you’ll need to spend time sharpening them before use.
- High carbon steel isn’t as corrosion-resistant as stainless steel, so you’ll need to take care to prevent rust.
Overall, the BeaverCraft Carving Tools Set is an excellent choice for beginners and experienced carvers alike who are looking for quality tools at an affordable price. While the blades may not be as sharp as you’d like right out of the box, a little sharpening goes a long way to achieve the desired level of sharpness. The set also comes with all the accessories you need to keep your blades in top condition, and the rolling tool bag makes it easy to keep everything organized and accessible.
Best Chisel set for beginners
The Flexcut Wood Carving Tools Starter Set is a high-quality set of chisels and gouges that is perfect for anyone looking to get started in carving hardwoods or other dense or large projects. The set includes six tools with strong and durable ash wood handles that can be driven by hand or a mallet, and brass ferrules that connect the blades and handles to increase handle durability. All of the blades are made of hard carbon steel and are usually sharp out of the factory, with good edge retention that can be easily sharpened with almost any sharpening stone or tool available today. The set comes with a sturdy wooden storage box to keep your new tools safe when not in use, and detailed instructions to help you get started right away.
- Affordable and great value for money
- Made from high-quality materials
- Durable ash wood handles that can be driven by hand or mallet
- Carbon steel blades are hardened and resist breaking or bending
- Good edge retention and easy to sharpen
- Includes a sturdy wooden storage box for safekeeping
- Comes with detailed instructions to help you get started
- Some users may prefer different types of blades or tools depending on their needs
- May not be suitable for very intricate or detailed work
- Some users reported issues with the sharpness of the blades out of the factory, although this is not a common issue.
Overall, the Flexcut Wood Carving Tools Starter Set is an excellent choice for anyone looking to get started in wood carving, providing a good selection of high-quality tools at an affordable price. The tools are well-made, durable, and easy to use, making them a great choice for beginners or more experienced woodworkers looking for a good set of basic carving tools.
Key Factors To Consider When Buying The Right Chisel-Buying Guide
Many types of wood carving chisels are available, and they come in all shapes and sizes and are of varying quality. When looking to buy chisels, there are a few important factors to keep in mind to make sure you’re choosing the best tools possible.
Some of these factors include:
Size and Weight:
When choosing a blade, consider weight, length, and width—thickness affects performance and safety. If you have any doubts about what tool would suit your needs best, ask an expert for advice before making a purchase
The size and weight of your chisel will depend on what kind of wood carving you’re doing. If you are a beginner, you will want something smaller and lighter that will not be tiresome so that it doesn’t slow down your progress.
sizes and shapes
Wood carving chisels come in various sizes and shapes, but they all serve one function: they make carving wood possible.
Smaller blades are used for delicate details, while larger blades can be used for removing large pieces of wood. The size of your project will determine which type of blade you need. Once you’ve decided on a size, it’s time to choose which shape is best for your needs.
Generally, there are three types of wood carving chisels: straight-edged, bent-edged, and gouge-edged. A straight-edged blade is good for general purposes; bent edges are better suited for fine work; gouges have an angled edge that allows users to carve concave or convex surfaces easily. Whichever style you choose, remember that quality matters more than quantity.
Wooden handle or steel
Steel handles tend to be heavier than wooden handles but also last longer. This is especially important if you plan to use your chisel for extended periods, as it can get very tiring if you have a lightweight chisel with a plastic handle. Wood is a traditional material for chisel handles, but it’s not necessarily better than other options. It’s really up to you and what feels comfortable in your hands. The most important factor in selecting a handle is ensuring it fits well with your blade and feels comfortable in your hands. If you have to work with a chisel that’s uncomfortable to use, it can make your woodworking experience less enjoyable.
It is important to know how well-made your chisel is before purchasing it. If you buy a cheap, low-quality chisel, it will break easily and won’t work properly. A chisel made from high-quality materials will help ensure your project goes smoothly without any complications. Also, keep in mind that not all woodworking tools are created equal—quality varies from brand to brand and from product to product. Make sure you buy from reputable manufacturers only! You’ll avoid wasting money on products that won’t meet your expectations.
How much money do you want to spend on your new chisel? You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars to get a great tool, but there are plenty of options if you decide that spending more money is worth it. One thing to remember when buying a chisel is that you usually get what you pay for according to your budget. So, if you are looking for an inexpensive option t, I would recommend looking at some of your local hardware stores rather than ordering online, where shipping costs might bump up the price.
Wood carving chisels may come with features such as non-slip grips, safety guards, and replaceable blades, which can increase their cost but are helpful for frequent users. It’s recommended to sharpen the blade before use with a whetstone, which can be purchased online. Non-slip grips and safety guards are optional but make carving easier and safer. If your chisel has a replaceable blade, it’s more cost-effective to replace a damaged or dulled part rather than the entire tool. Ask friends and family for recommendations and don’t skimp on quality when choosing a chisel, even if it means waiting until you have saved up enough money.
Different Types of woodcarving Chisels
The right type of woodcarving chisel can make your work easier. Let’s take a look at some of your options. There are three main types: gouges, V-tools, skewers, and parting tools.
Each has its purpose, so it’s important to know what each is used for before purchasing. Here we go!
This is one of the most common carving chisels out there. It is used mainly to cut away large chunks of material that don’t need any finish work; these generally have broadsides and pointed tips. There are two common types of carving gouges.
- U-gouges are mainly used for bowl carving projects, deep cuts, and removing the surface in a smooth round shape. The blade of this gouge is bent slightly on each side.
- V-gouges. The blade of this gouge has a rectangular shape. It is mainly used in relief carving or making fine shapes.
For a more in-depth look at woodcarving gouges, we wrote an article that covers everything you need to know about them. Check out our Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Woodcarving Gouges to start immediately.
are similar to gouges but are more specialized for certain tasks. They also have broader sides than gouges, but their points are narrower.
Skewers and Parting Tools –
Skew chisel tools resemble a cross between a V-tool and a gouge, with a flat side similar to a V-tool but a more rounded edge similar to a gouge. They are great for getting into tight spaces when you want something smooth on both sides of your project.
Understanding parts of Wood Carving Chisels
Before you start using your chisel, it’s important that you understand its parts and how each one works with the others. This prior knowledge will help you use your chisel safely and efficiently.
is the part that connects to either end of the blade. If you want to change blades or replace a worn-out handle, make sure you buy one with an appropriate fit for your blade.
The blade is what cuts into the wood when you use your chisel. It can be made out of different materials depending on your needs. The two most common are steel and high-carbon steel. Steel blades are softer than high-carbon steel ones, so they wear down faster and sharpen more easily. High-carbon steel blades tend to hold their edge longer but require more care when sharpening them because they can become brittle if overheated during sharpening.
In general, blades are available in three different widths: narrow (3/16 inch), medium (1/4 inch), and wide (5/16 inch). Most beginning carvers choose medium width as it provides enough room for error without being too difficult to work on your carving.
However, some people prefer wider or narrower blades based on personal preference. Regardless of your choice, remember that you may need to adjust your technique slightly when working with a new blade.
This is at one end of the blade and looks like a little triangle. You can see why it’s called a point! It helps direct where you cut so that you don’t accidentally dig into an area you didn’t mean to carve away. The other end of your blade should be rounded off; while it doesn’t serve any practical purpose, it does make gripping your chisel easier.
It’s typically made of metal. This metal piece connects both ends of your handle to either side of your blade, holding everything together. It keeps things sturdy and makes sure nothing falls apart while working. The best thing about ferrules is that they usually come pre-attached to your handle and blade, so you won’t have to worry about putting them on yourself. Ensure you inspect yours regularly for damage or wear—you wouldn’t want it to fall off while working!
This is a long, thin piece of metal running through the middle of your blade. Its main function is to connect your blade to your handle. Tangs come in all shapes and sizes but are typically flat or round and thin. Some chisels even have multiple tangs running through their handles for added stability. While there isn’t much difference between one tang type over another, having multiple ones can increase overall strength, especially if you plan to do heavy-duty work with your chisel.
This is where your ferrule meets up with your blade. The shoulder is often just a simple, smooth transition from one to the other. The shoulders on your chisel can sometimes be damaged, especially if you’ve been doing heavy-duty work with it. If you suspect your shoulder has been damaged, take it to a professional for repair or replacement.
This is a nose or point located on one end of your blade. The tip of your chisel is one of the most delicate parts, and it can be damaged if you’re not careful. It’s easy to break or chip a chisel tip while working with it, so always handle it carefully.
The chisel is a very important tool in wood carving, as you will use it more than any other tool. So it’s safe to say that you should get a decent quality one that won’t snap on you while carving through your favorite piece of timber.
Although I can’t tell you what brand or type of chisel is best for your style and skill level, I can provide three tips to help you find one without spending hours researching each model.
- Find out how much you want to spend. For beginners, I would recommend spending between $10 and $100. There are some good ones available at lower prices, but many people prefer going with an intermediate set around $100-$150
- Ask yourself how often you plan on using it. If you carve only once every few months, it might not be worth spending over $100. However, if you have a passion for wood carving and think you might take up a hobby or even start making money from it in years to come, splurging on a higher-end set could be worth your time and money.
- And finally: Look into reviews! You can never go wrong by looking at what others have said about their experience with different models. This will give you a better idea of which ones are better suited for your needs.
Good luck searching for your first chisel or adding it to your collection!