7 Best Wood Chisel Sets of 2023 – Reviews & Top Picks
Wood chisels are staple tools that allow you to accurately carve or shave wood or create holes in the middle of workpieces for added complexity. Having a set of chisels will open up woodworking opportunities and let you accomplish any goal you set your mind to.
However, wood chisels are available in several styles and brands, and it’s challenging to determine which set is worth your time and money. We found the best wood chisel sets on the market, so you don’t have to. Below, you’ll find our reviews of the products and a helpful buyer’s guide.
A Quick Glance at our Favorites in 2023:
|Stanley 16-150 3-Piece Wood Chisel Set
|WORKPRO 3-Piece Wood Chisel
|VonHaus 10 pc Premium Chisel Set
|Narex 863010 Woodworking Chisels
|AmazonBasics 8-Piece Wood Carving Chisel Set
The 7 Best Wood Chisel Sets:
1. Stanley 3-Piece Wood Chisel Set – Best Overall
This Stanley 16-150 set only includes three pieces—the bare minimum for it to qualify as a set—but each chisel is truly excellent. The blades are made with heat-tempered carbon steel, which is lightweight and durable. This ensures excellent longevity and sharpness. Even better, the steel blades are all coated with a unique protective material that prevents rust.
The chisels also all come with black polypropylene handles. The plastic may not be as aesthetically pleasing as wood, but it’s phenomenal regarding durability. Plus, the handles can absorb a little bit of shock, which will help keep your hands comfortable during long woodworking tasks.
The chisels included are ½ inch, ¾ inch, and 1 inch long. The Stanley 16-150 is an excellent starter or basic chisel kit with the few core pieces you need to start woodworking before you expand your collection. It’s our pick as the best overall wood chisel set available this year.
2. WORKPRO 3-Piece Wood Chisel – Best Value
These chisels from WORKPRO are also a great choice. They’re chrome vanadium steel blades with special heat treatments, which should retain their edges for years, even with heavy use. The blades all feature beveled edges, so they can be used for multiple purposes and are ideal for various wood types and hardness levels.
We also like that the WORKPRO chisels come with steel butts on the handles. This will allow you to use a hammer or mallet without damaging the handle. Blade guards at the end of the handle will make it more difficult for your hand to slip down to the blade and get cut when using a mallet.
It’s easy to see from the design that these are intended to be used for more hardcore chiseling compared to the first set. Their ergonomic handles and affordable price will make them a favorite for professional woodworkers or serious hobbyists who often use hammers in conjunction with their chisels. Overall, the WORKPRO set is one of the best wood chisel packages for the money, bar none.
3. VonHaus 10 pc Premium Chisel Set – Premium Choice
Now we get into the pricier picks. This VonHaus Premium Chisel Set comes with 10 pieces for a much higher asking price, but it also comes with an elegant and aesthetically pleasing wooden storage case. Even better, the kit comes with a sharpening stone, so you have everything you need to keep your chisel blades sharp and functioning over the long term.
You get all the chisels and sizes you need for a complete set in the collection, ranging from ¼ inch up to 2 inches. Additional accessories, like a honing guide, ensure that even beginners can sharpen their chisels without messing them up.
The blades are all made with chrome vanadium steel and feature beveled edges. They have rubberized and ergonomic grips, plus metal strike caps for use with hammers and mallets like the last set. Essentially, it’s a 10-piece version of the previous chisels without accessories. We think it’s a perfect premium choice for craftsmen or hobbyists who don’t want to return to the store to pick up extra accessories as they develop their skills.
4. Narex 863010 Woodworking Chisels
This Narex 863010 is a set of four chisels featuring blades made from chrome-manganese steel. The blades are all hardened after the fact to ensure phenomenal sharpness, and you can use them with hardwood without breaking them. Their sizes range from 1/4 inch up to 1 1/32 inch. The last chisel, sized at 13/16 inch, is a rarer type you’d typically have to buy separately.
The handles, made from European Beechwood, are lacquered to prevent water damage and ensure long-term durability. They also feature smooth handles, so they’re comfortable to hold. Metal strike caps will allow you to use them with a hammer, and the wood even absorbs the shock from a hammer strike a little better than you would expect.
The Narex is a high-quality set you can get for a decent asking price. The only downside is the lack of larger chisels, which makes it a more precision-oriented set.
5. AmazonBasics 8-Piece Wood Carving Chisel Set
AmazonBasics has brought us another reasonably affordable set with chisels ranging in size between ¼ inch and 1½ inch. Eight chisels are included, and each features a blade made with heat-treated chrome vanadium steel alloy. The blades feature narrow side bevels that might differ slightly from what you’re used to. But the added bevels on the sides allow you to use the blades in multiple configurations.
Furthermore, the chisels have contoured handles that provide ergonomic comfort. The downside is that the handles’ plastic material isn’t particularly durable or shock-absorbing. The set also lacks the steel striking caps, so you may not want to use a mallet with this set.
The entire kit comes with a storage case for easy organization. It’s a decent set that comes with a sharpening block for added longevity if you use chisels more with your hand instead of in conjunction with hammers.
6. Hurricane 4 Pieces Wood Chisel Set
The Hurricane 4 Piece Wood Chisel Set has four pieces and an excellent range of sizes: ¼ inch, ½ inch, ¾ inch, and 1 inch. The blades are also made with chrome vanadium steel to improve their durability. Special heat treatments guarantee excellent edge retention over the long term. They also have side beveled edges for more versatility and sideways carving.
The handles are designed for high-impact durability, so don’t worry about breaking them if you use a hammer or mallet. The gripping sections of the handles are a little small, and woodworkers with larger hands might find them a bit uncomfortable. However, the handles have special guards to prevent your hands from slipping onto the blades.
The Hurricane set is also incredibly affordable. We think it’s a good starter kit if you have smaller hands and want something to use with your favorite mallet.
7. MARKETTY Professional Wood Carving Chisel Set
This last set from MARKETTY comes with a whopping 12 pieces. Although it contains several chisels, we were surprised to find that each blade is made with high-quality carbon steel, which keeps them light but durable. We also like that each chisel comes sharpened and honed upon purchase, so you don’t have to do it yourself immediately.
The sheer variety of different chisels gives you plenty of woodworking tools to enjoy. There’s practically a size for every need. You also get several straight chisels that don’t feature beveled edges for more direct carving into a workpiece. The chisels come with wooden handles for aesthetic value and user comfort, though they aren’t ergonomic.
There’s also no striking cap, but the handles are durable enough that you shouldn’t have much trouble using a mallet with them. The carrying case the chisels come in also keeps the tools organized long after they’ve been shipped to your door. The MARKETTY set is reasonably affordable and even cheaper than some of the other choices on this list. You can try it if you want every imaginable size of chisel at your disposal in a single purchase.
Buyer’s Guide – How to Choose the Best Wood Chisel Set
To buy the right wood chisel set for your needs, you’ll want to keep this information in mind.
The Types of Wood Chisels
Some wood chisel sets come with several types, while others might exclude one or more types for whatever reason. Ensure you know which chisels you need so you don’t buy a set that excludes a crucial tool.
These are all-purpose and are the baseline chisels from which others diverge. Bench chisels can be used for chopping and paring wooden workpieces, and they often come in several shapes. Some have beveled edges, while others are firm or “registered”.
Mortise chisels are ideal for heavier chopping and chiseling. They’re sometimes spelled as “mortice” chisels.
As their name suggests, paring chisels are ideal for paring wood down and are much more delicate than mortise chisels. They can carefully slice through wooden workpieces and use thinner but sharper steel. Make sure that you never strike these chisels with a mallet and only use your hands; you might break the blade otherwise.
Wooden chisel blades can be attached to their handles either at a socket near the top or through a metal tang fastened on the inside of the handle for added stability. Socket chisels are usually a little pricier and more durable since the socket design can take more of a beating.
In contrast, tang handles can compromise the integrity of the wooden handle surrounding the steel tip, which might ruin the tool preemptively if it’s hit with a mallet at the wrong angle.
You’ll also want to pay particular attention to the handle material in a wood chisel set. Wooden handles are usually ideal, as they offer better balance and a better feel to the touch. However, plastic handles are acceptable alternatives if you’re looking for budget-friendly tools. Just be aware that the plastic handles are in danger of bending or breaking under certain circumstances.
How Many Chisels Do You Need?
As many as you like!
For a more serious answer, it’s always a good idea to have one or two extra chisels in case your primary tools break or become lost and you still need to finish a project. At the same time, there’s no need to pay for chisels you’ll never use unless you buy a set to be shared between a few woodworkers.
If you’re looking for a good beginner’s set, picking up a set of three or more wood chisels is ideal. The set should have a few types of chisels with varying sizes of blades. In short, they will provide enough versatility to complete most jobs without buying another specialty chisel, or at least not right away.
A good, basic chisel set should have tools measured for 1/4 inch, 1/2 inch or 5/8 inch, 3/4 inch, and 1 inch or 1 and 1/4 inch. It’s often a good idea to look at a wood chisel set with a few staple sizes you can add to as necessary. For instance, once you have a set of all the basic sizes, you can purchase individual chisels with more exact sizes (like 7/8 inch).
Bevel or Flat Edged?
Beveled edges just mean the chisels’ blades move up at an angle. They can fit easily into joints, particularly dovetail joints. They’re crucial chisels for all kinds of woodworking beyond basic tasks. Beveled chisels are the most common type.
Flat-edged or straight-edged chisels (also called firm or registered chisels) are also used occasionally, but they aren’t as versatile. They can be good for making quick, straight cuts in wood.
Quality of Steel
One last big thing to keep in mind is the steel quality. Cheaper steel won’t last as long as higher-quality steel, and if you don’t want to buy another wood chisel set in 6 months, you’ll want to prioritize chisels made with chrome vanadium steel or high-carbon steel.
The Stanley 16-150 3-Piece Wood Chisel Set includes three high-quality chisels ideal for amateurs and professionals. The handles have comfortable, shock-absorbing handles, and they’re built to last. However, the WORKPRO 3-Piece Wood Chisel is also a good choice, especially if you’re on a budget. The chisels also have ergonomic handles and incredibly sharp blades.
Remember to consider your budget and how many pieces you want in your set before finalizing a purchase; you’ll be happiest if you grab exactly what you need. Good luck!