How to Sharpen Wood Chisels

Updated February 21, 2017

Chisels have been a part of human history for a very long time. The first chisels were made from flint before metal was discovered. Modern chisels are made from tempered steel. Chisels for wood are very effective and can be made in various sizes. Over time, the angle's tip can be altered and the blade may become dull. Fortunately, you can reestablish the necessary angle for the tip and sharpen the blade, making it usable again.

Find a new or sharpened tool as a control, or an example. You will use this tool as a guide for returning the tip of the altered chisel to its proper angle.

Turn the chisel until the edge of the blade faces away from direction in which the grinding wheel turns.

Set the chisel on the rest and slowly bring the blade forward until it touches the grinder's rotating wheel.

Hold the blade so that the tool is at a 30-degree angle. Dip the chisel in a bucket of water at regular intervals to prevent it from overheating. Compare the angle of the chisel to the angle of the control tool to check your progress.

Replace the grinding blade on the bench grinder with a buffing wheel.

Start the wheel and set it at 1,700 to 3,400 rotations per minute, or rpm.

Advance a block of buffing compound forward until it touches the spinning wheel. By doing this, you rub some buffing compound onto the wheel, coating it with abrasive particles.

Set the chisel on the rest at a 30-degree angle with the chisel turned in the same direction in which the blade is turning.

Sharpen both sides of the chisel's edges to make it sharp.

Things You'll Need

  • Tool, with 30-degree angle tip
  • Bench grinder
  • Abrasive wheel of aluminum oxide
  • Bucket of water
  • Buffing wheel
  • Buffing compound
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About the Author

Marjorie Gilbert is a freelance writer and published author. An avid researcher, Gilbert has created an Empire gown (circa 1795 to 1805) from scratch, including drafting the gown's patterns by hand.