Tools for Shaping Wood

Updated February 21, 2017

Woodworking projects sometimes require more than just straight edges and flat surfaces. There are times when the components in a wood working project need additional shaping. Through the use of certain wood shaping tools, woodworkers can alter the shape of a piece of wood, adding a touch of artistic style to a project.

Drawing Knife

Drawing knives are used to remove large chunks of wood and take off fine shavings. Drawing knives have a handle on each end of a long sharp blade. In woodworking projects, the drawing knife is drawn across a piece of wood held in a vice or a similar instrument.


Rasps are used in woodworking to remove wood as the tool is drawn repeatedly over the piece of wood. Rasps consist of a handle and a metal section with sharp ridges in a grid formation. When drawn across wood, the sharp ridges shave off layers of wood. One types of rasp is the Shinto rasp, a tool that has little hacksaw-like blades and is shaped like a boat with two handles. Another rasp is a Microplaner interchangeable kit that uses interchangeable inserts and a cabinet rasp.


Files are used in woodworking projects for tuning wood shaping. Wood files often consist of a handle and a long piece of metal with thin ridges for taking off thin layers of wood. Files are used much like rasps, but take off less wood at a time. Types of files used in wood shaping include the flat bastard file, which an elongated, somewhat flat piece of metal with small ridges on each side for filing down wood; and the round rat tail file that has a handle and a small, round, elongated piece of metal with small ridges for filing.


Wood chisels are wood shaping tools that consist of a metal chisel blade that ranges from 1/4 to 2 inches wide and a wooden or a plastic handle. The wood chisel is used to remove small pieces of wood in a concentrated area. A wood chisel can be used either by gripping the handle and forcing the chisel across the wood or by striking the end of the chisel with a mallet.

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About the Author

Paul Young started writing professionally in 2008. His writings have been published on various websites, including U.K. van insurance site, The Van Insurer, and its sister site, The Bike Insurer. Young focuses his writing on news articles about the motorcycle and commercial vehicle industries, environmental projects, information technology and money and finance. Young is involved in ministry.