Artisans use metal chisels to cut and shape various types of materials such as wood, metal and stone. You can find various types of chisels, and each type is made to suit its intended use. Manufacturers typically craft chisels of steel, but some come equipped with a carbide point or blade. Knowing the right type of chisel to use can help you finish your project faster and with better quality.
Woodworkers use chisels crafted for the task. Woodworking chisels cut and shape many types of wood. Woodworking chisels generally fall three classifications: paring chisel, firmer chisel and framing chisel. Used for light fine cutting, a paring chisel has a thin-bladed cutting edge bevelled at a 15-degree angle. A firmer chisel turns out light and heavy work, and has a bigger blade (angled at 20 degrees) than a paring chisel. The framing chisel, commonly used when performing rough carpentry work, carries a thicker blade (angled at 25 degrees) than the firmer chisel or the paring chisel.
Metalworking chisels cut and shape various types of metals. These chisels, made of hardened and tempered carbon steel, are classified as either cold or hot chisels. Cold chisels, such as the flat, crosscut, round-nose, and diamond-pointed chisels are used on unheated metal. Hot chisels cut metal heated in a forge. Hot chisels are longer than cold chisels, craftsmen quench them in water after a few blows to keep them from becoming hot.
Stone chisels, such as a point chisel, a tooth chisel and a carbide-tipped chisel cut, shape and carve various types of stones. Artisans commonly use point chisels for roughing and quickly cutting stone into its basic shape or form. Tooth chisels smooth and refine uneven or rough surfaces left by a point chisel. Granite-tipped stone chisels come into play when working on harder stones like marble and granite.
Masonry chisels are used primarily as a demolition tool. Workers can mount masonry chisels on a hammer drill, or on a jackhammer. These chisels, typically designed with a dull tip, wedge in between openings to split and break the masonry upon impact. The most common types of masonry chisels are brick chisels (used for cutting bricks), brick tooth chisels (used to cut soft stone) and bull-point concrete chisels (for drilling and breaking concrete). Sculptors use masonry chisels to reduce the size of large stone blocks, and by construction workers to demolish stone structure.