Best Bench Chisels in 2021 – Reviews & Buyers Guide

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When it comes to different types of wood chisels and woodworking needs, bench chisels are a must. While some chisel set options come with bench chisels included, it’s best that you know you will be properly prepared with a bench chisel when you need it.

There are certainly times when you can use the best wood chisel and it will suffice for your needs but there will be times that you need the best carpentry chisels or top rated bench chisels for your projects! In woodworking, you quickly learn as a beginner that the right tool on hand could be the difference in how your wood carving navigation turns out in the end.

chisel tool joinery handcraft

We’ve taken to the market in search of woodwork chisels that might meet this need for your next woodworking project and we think you will be pleased to find that we’ve found wood chisels set options plus so many more solutions that we will share with you here in a detailed bench chisels review.

From social media guidance to inspiration from the knowledgeable Chris Gochnour and Lie Nielsen, we’ve narrowed it down to some fine woodworking chisels that you absolutely must take a look at. You might decide to buy all or even none of these best wood chisels for bench chisels but we hope we can help you find some great options to consider.

Stick with us to learn about the best wood bench chisels on the market and more!

Related: Best Woodworking Bench – Reviews & Buyers Guide

The Best Wood Chisels Bench Chisels Reviews

When it comes to woodworking chisels, boy you know there is a lot to remember. From understanding the difference between mortise chisels, paring chisels, socket chisels, and bench chisels to knowing how to properly use a sharpening stone, there is just so much to know.

In this part of our guide, we will share some high quality choices, complete with pros and cons and every detail you should know before you make a selection.

Let’s get started, shall we?

1. Best Overall: Narex Czech Steel Premium Bench Chisels Set

Narex Czech Steel Premium Bench Chisels Set Check Latest Price

This first option is our best overall pick for bench chisels for the woodworker. These Narex chisels socket chisels are no Lie Nielsen but they are comparable with a high quality build in a 4 piece set. You get a variety of bevel edge measurements and superior materials from top to bottom in this chisel set.

These hand tools chisel sets don’t come with a carrying case. The blades are made with chrome manganese steel that has excellent edge retention for a variety of woodworking tasks. With this set of chisels, the wooden handles are made using hornbeam wood, one of the strongest handle chisels on the market. Make sure you check out the craftsmanship of this choice.

These are reliable Western style chisels with a socket chisel design. They are well made from the chisels Narex collection, a company known for premium wood chisel set choices that remarkably last a long time. They are well worth the cost without costing an excessive amount of money.

These chisels made in the Czech Republic won’t let you down and your Narex set comes with 4 different size selections. Each Narex chisel in the set measures a 25 degree beveled edge. The beveled edges make the smaller sizes decent paring chisel as well. If you want a solid find for bevel edged chisels, you won’t get much better than the Narex wood chisel set here.

  • Reliable brand that has been active a long time
  • Multi-set with different size options
  • Blade is high quality steel
  • The handles are made with hornbeam wood
  • This set of chisels has 25 degree side bevels
  • The shape of the chisel might cause it to roll off your bench, which is a nuisance
  • Some users mentioned that you may have to flatten the backs of your chisels

Why We Like It

What’s not to like? With Hornbeam wooden handles rather than plastic handles and carbon steel blades, you can slice through all types of wood with this set. It’s reliable and a premium choice that won’t let you down. While it’s not Lie Nielsen, we think it’s pretty close!

2. Budget Pick: Hurricane 4 Piece Bench Chisel Set

Hurricane 4 Piece Bench Chisel SetCheck Latest Price

This next set is our choice for the best value for the money. This budget friendly Hurricane brand is a composite of high impact handle chisels that have a strike cap base. This set also boasts a sturdy and reliable blade made using vanadium steel. While these don’t come with a carrying case, they do have plastic sleeves to protect the blades and yourself when you aren’t using them.

When it comes to tool steel, this company did it right. You have incredible value with multiple size solutions and an edge that you can depend on. The blades are also heat treated and can be used for all types of wood. The handles are reliable, with that high impact casing that most wooden handles simple don’t offer in a tool.

The edges each contain narrow beveled edges so you will have no issues maintaining full control of your cut, wood carving, and shaping. The smallest can be used like a paring chisel tool so you don’t have to purchase multiple sets.

Highland woodworking really has nothing on this chisel set when you consider how the steel blades are made and the versatility for any woodworker, including the beginner. These offer the best value with plastic handles that are actually PVC and more reliable than some other handle types.

  • Hand tools chisel sets are a great value for the money
  • Bevel edge gives you control and versatility
  • Perfect for any woodworker experience level
  • Quality blade materials that are drop forged
  • 4 sizes in one set
  • You may need to sharpen your chisel blades initially
  • Some users noted that their initial blade had a ding in it that had to be flattened out

Why We Like It

You simply can’t beat chisel sets that are quality and affordable all in one great package. You get versatility and reliability here and that’s is saying something. We love that these are affordable without being cheaply made.

3. Two Cherries Premium Chisel Set

Two Cherries Premium Chisel SetCheck Latest Price

This next set is a premium set. It has a premium price tag but you might just decide to go for it when you see the quality and expertise packed into these Two Cherries socket chisels. These come with a custom leather roll and in total, you will have an 8 piece set that includes 6 chisels, the leather roll, and blade covers.

Two Cherries offers a gorgeous set made with custom hornbeam handles. They are absolutely stunning in craftsmanship. Each chisel has a bevel edge of approximately 25 degrees and you get 6 different sizes in all. While you can’t use any of these as a mortise chisel, you do have some versatility in paring chisels and more. You just need to add your sharpening stone to the package to be prepared for anything!

The Two Cherries brand is manufactured in Germany. These all are made with premium, sharp carbon steel that is high quality. The edge retention is unmatched with a hardened rating of 61 on the Rockwell scale. These are designed to arrive sharp and stay sharp for the long haul.

When it comes to wood chisels in a set, these are the best chisel woodworking chisels you are going to find. Quality and materials, including the leather case, are premium and reliable in comparison to so many other chisels out there. You won’t be sorry if you have the budget for this chisel set.

  • Premium bench chisel 6 piece set
  • You won’t need your sharpening stone as often
  • Made in Germany with the best materials
  • Comes in a customer leather case
  • Beveled edges and extremely sturdy handles for your wood needs
  • Verified buyer information is slightly limited for this particular wood chisel set
  • Pretty pricy overall, although the quality is there

Why We Like It

Japanese chisels have been one of the top choices for a long time but these Germany-made chisels might give them a run for their money. They are definitely of great quality with an 8 piece wood chisel set that will last for many years to come. The handles look pretty great as well.

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4. Marples M444/SB6 Blue Chip Bench Chisel Set

Marples M444/SB6 Blue Chip Bench Chisel SetCheck Latest Price

You’re in for a treat with these chisels as well. They come in a complete set of 6 that includes a wooden case as well as blade covers for each bench chisel in the set. These wood chisels are part of the Irwin brand and they are highly rated across the board. Irwin has a lot of great options out there for mortise chisels, paring chisels, and the wood chisels bench chisel like this one.

These are great for handwork as well as mallet work and the plastic handles are made with solid polypropylene materials. Each chisel blade uses high carbon steel that is forged to provide enhanced edge lifetimes. Between the chisel handles and blade, these wood chisels are reliable from a trusted brand.

This bench chisel set has all of the sizes you could possibly need, protected in a latching wooden box that makes it easy to use them and store them. Irwin offers a lifetime warranty on their wood chisels that you can rely on should you happen to have any issues with your chisels once you receive them.

You will find that these are simple but reliable. They are comfortable to work with and you can grasp them firmly thanks to the intuitive design of the handles. These are a European brand and they are heavily popular in that area, compared to a traditional western style.

  • Nearly a 10 piece solution with 6 tool steel chisels and covers plus a wooden case
  • Make sure you appreciate the reliable grip on the handles
  • Great for just about any wood and woodworking needs
  • Reliable tool from a reliable tool brand
  • Chisel blade is solid with steel materials
  • No mortise chisel solution in this set
  • This is Marples from the Irwin line, which is a bit misleading

Why We Like It

Irwin delivery quality that you can rely on, as they always have. This bench chisel set is great with a wooden case and quality materials. Your blade is steady and your handles are secure. You can get a lot of use out of them and they have a lifetime warranty.

5. Grebstk Professional Wood Chisel Set

Grebstk Professional Wood Chisel SetCheck Latest Price

This next chisel set offers you another solution for a budget-friendly option that is highly rated and reliable. These are no Japanese chisels but they are very well made with wood handles and attention to detail that every wood chisel should have. This bench chisel set has it all with 4 sleek chisels and a nice protective bag for storage and transport.

This comes with 4 different sizes as well as blade covers. The smaller sizes could easily be used as paring chisels. These are a socket style with reliable materials. When you receive these, the blade should be slightly oiled to prevent corrosion issues.

The handles are made using beech wood, which is strong and reliable while also lightweight. These wood chisel blades are made with vanadium steel (CR-V), which is a long lasting chisel blade material that is popular across the board. These can withstand some impact, with care and the right materials.

The bench chisel you will find here works very well for trimming and chiseling of all kinds. you can use each chisel for whatever purpose you may need, whether you are a seasoned professional or just a beginner getting started. This is a reliable brand with much positive information to back it up.

  • Vanadium steel chisel blade for durability and sharpness
  • Can be used for all chisel purposes, except mortise chisel needs
  • Lightweight build that is long lasting and reliable
  • Comfortable handle made with beech wood
  • 4 sizes in a nice carrying bag
  • Some users mention you may have to sharpen when you receive them
  • These tend to be inconsistent and may need to be squared

Why We Like It

We like this bench chisel option because it’s another reliable set that can handle just about all of your needs without breaking the bank. You get a full 4-piece set for a budget friendly price and these look great and work great overall.

6. Stanley Bailey Bench Chisel Set, 5-Piece 16-401

Stanley Bailey Bench Chisel SetCheck Latest Price

Finally, we leave you with a classic. This chisel set from Stanley is an ideal solution from a company that has been creating all sorts of tools since 1843. They have a renowned history of quality pieces and these bench chisels are just one of them. These are sleek and beautifully made with dark wood handles and sharp edges.

The listing tells us that these chisels are micro-precision ground so they are extra sharp right out of the box when there are so many that you have to sharpen before you get to use them. Each chisel has different sizes, from 1/4 of an inch to 1 1/4. These are a socket chisel style tool in a 5-piece set. You can easily purchase two if you prefer a 10 piece set.

These are perfect for all woodworking and even come with a durable leather pouch that is durable and keeps your blades safe. The handles are made with hardwood so it is comfortable but it can also handle impact as well during your woodworking.

The blades are carbon chrome steel and are designed for a lasting edge. These woodworking chisel materials are of the best quality and are made to last for whatever wood use you may require. You can’t beat the steel and the handle combination to meet all of your woodworking needs.

  • 5 sizes in a leather pouch
  • From a reliable brand since 1843
  • Wood chisel blade is high quality steel
  • Great for all types of woodworking
  • Sleek and long-lasting design
  • The chisel is sharp out of the box but may need to be sharpened regularly
  • The handles may be harder to grasp with delicate or fine work

Why We Like It

You can’t beat a trusted wood chisel brand like Stanley. The only thing that would make this better is if it were truly a 10 piece set! These chisels work well for many woodworking needs and they look great as well!

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Buyer’s Guide

bench chisel

Not all wood chisel and bench chisel options are created equally. This is why we provided an all inclusive guide with reviews to share the best chisels on the market with you. Now, we have a quick buyer’s guide to share with you some basic details that could be vital for choosing the right bench chisels for your needs.

Types of Chisels

There is a multitude of chisels out there but there are 3 main types that really categorize them all. You will see various terminology so we thought it might be helpful to share a slight breakdown with you.

Here are the 3 primary types, without breaking into specialty types that could fall into these categories as well.

  • Bench chisels
  • Mortise chisels
  • Paring chisels

Now, let’s look at a brief overview of each of these as well.

Bench Chisels

Bench chisels are a standard chisel. If you hear the term wood chisel or standard chisel, it most likely is referring to some sort of bench chisel. These are multi-purpose tools made with a variety of steel blades and wood handles or maybe even PVC and plastic handles as well.

They are often referred to as bench chisels because they are used regularly in woodworking and often left to sit on the work bench for easy access. These can often be beveled, shaped, and sharpened for whatever your needs may be.

In addition, these chisels can often be used for things even like paring, depending on the chisels that you end up with.

Mortise Chisels

Mortise chisels are indeed a specialty quality. You might be able to use some standard chisels for mortise work but if you have mortise work to do, you probably will need a specialty mortise chisel for the task.

These chisels are made specifically for heavy-duty work like chopping. They typically are made with firm handles that you can get a tight grasp on and steel blades that look more like a knife for mortise chopping purposes.

You might hear other terms in this category like sash, pig sticker, or registered. These are just types of mortise chisels on the market, and they have slightly different characteristics.

Paring Chisels

Paring chisels are made for delicate work. With these chisels, you are often slicing or paring the wood you are working with and doing it carefully. Most of the time, these chisels are defined by a thin build and the bevel is a very low angle.

Remember that some traditional chisels can be used for paring but it depends on how they are sharpened and beveled and just what type of paring work you might be doing. The steel and the handles are almost identical otherwise to the traditional chisels on the market.

These chisels are not made for resistance as they probably will never be used with a mallet or hammer but rather with the gentle ease of movement with your hands.

Things to Consider

Now, let’s talk about a few minor details that you may want to consider as you are choosing the chisels that could be right for you.

Handles

First things first, you need good handles. You are probably going to spend long hours working with your chisels. Your hands will be wrapped around those handles and you have to be able to tolerate it!

Your handles need to provide a strong grip. You need to have total control of the chisel while you work and this comes from a quality handle. You also need comfort. Control and comfort are probably the most important aspects of this part of the chisel so don’t forget to look for noteworthy details for each of these thoughts.

Blades

Next up is the blades! Most blades are made with some form of steel. There are several different steel types that can be used like vanadium (CR-V) or perhaps high carbon. You want to know that whatever is used is truly a high quality steel.

In addition, you want to know the steel will be sharp and will have a lasting edge so you don’t have to sharpen your steel every single time you use it!

Budget

Yep, we said it. Some people simply can’t afford to purchase the sets that cost $250+ and that’s perfectly alright! Know what your budget it before you start shopping and then stick to that range. You can find a variety of prices out there and you can find some great quality solutions even for a low budget.

While some of the more expensive options truly might be worth the cost, just know that if you have to spend less you can still get great options! Start within your budget and someday you can always upgrade if you want a premium set that costs more. Choose something that is a reliable value for the cost and that will truly deliver your needs and focus less on the price tag.

Sizes

This can be a tough one to consider but ultimately the sizes of chisels you need will heavily depend on the work that you are doing. It’s a good idea to have a variety of sizes but you don’t necessarily need 10 different sizes to get you by.

You will notice that most sets have a standard of 4 primary sizes that range from 1/4 of an inch to an inch. Sometimes, you will find larger sizes than an inch and that’s ok also. Just be sure that whatever you purchase will have sizes that work for YOU!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Freud Chisels Any Good?

These can be good chisels but they are not necessarily the best. We wouldn’t rule them out. They didn’t make our list for the top choices but they do make a good option if you prefer this style. Freud chisels tend to be best for utility use overall.

What Size Bench Chisels Do I Need?

The answer is, it depends. We recommend having at least some basic sizes on hand and maybe even multiple sizes. We shared multiple sets with you here to cover a variety of needs. It’s a good idea to have a selection with ranges anywhere from 1/4 of an inch to 1 1/2 inches. You may never need some of the smaller or larger sizes so base your decision off of your needs.

What Maintenance is Recommended for Chisels?

Chisels don’t require a ton of maintenance to take care of but there are some best practice steps you can take.

  1. When you aren’t using your chisels, place them bevel side up on the work table.
  2. Always replace protective caps when you are not using a chisel.
  3. Watch for dents and cracks and repair or replace as needed.
  4. If you have a storage case, it’s best to keep your chisels there when not in use.
  5. Be careful of sharpening and honing properly as needed.
  6. When you sharpen, use honing oil on your blades.

 

Conclusion

woodworking tools

We hope that you found our guide to chisels to be a valuable resource. We made every effort to narrow down the options and provide you with the very best to choose from, keeping in mind that not every woodworker has the same exact needs!

Which chisels do you have your eyes on?

Expert Tip

Using a honing guide when you are sharpening your chisels can help to keep your angles consistent and exact throughout the sharpening process.

Did You Know?

A traditional chisel can often be used as a paring chisel if it is beveled properly and used correctly for the process.

Amazon Recommends:

Bestseller No. 1
WoodRiver 6 Piece Bench Chisel Set
  • 6 Piece Set With Wood Storage Box
  • Set includes 1/4”, 3/8”, 1/2”, 5/8”, 3/4” and 1” chisels.
  • Blades are CRV Steel
  • RC 59-63 - Genuine Bubinga Handles
  • WoodRiver is proudly made by Woodcraft, America’s leading supplier of saws, planes, power tools, hand tools, wood stain and paint, routers, sanding, wood, kits, dust collection and more. Our award winning family of brands includes WoodRiver, Highpoint, Woodcraft and Woodcraft Magazine as well as the greatest selection of woodworking books, videos, and plans.
Bestseller No. 2
Narex Czech Steel Premium 4 pc Set True Imperial 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, 1 Inch Bench Cabinetmaker Chisels w/Hornbeam Handles 863251
  • Made to our specifications by a highly respected tool manufacturer in the Czech Republic
  • Blades are made from fine-grained, nicely tempered chrome-manganese steel and hardened to Rc 59
  • Blade sizes are true imperial 1/4", 1/2". 3/4" and 1"
  • Bevel ground at a 25 degree bevel.
  • In 2008 FWW earned Author’s Choice for “Best Value” in the western style bench chisel category
Bestseller No. 3
Marples M444/SB6 6-Piece Blue Chip Bench Chisel Set
  • 6-piece bench chisel set; best suited for hand or mallet work
  • 1/4-inch, 3/8-inch, 3/4-inch, 1-inch, and 1-1/4-inch beveled-edge chisels
  • High-carbon solid-forged steel blades for maximum edge retention; polypropylene handles; wood box
  • Includes 6 chisels and wood box; mallet not included
  • Lifetime warranty