Best types of chisels chisels for lathe

Chisels are an essential tool for woodworkers, especially for those who work with a lathe. Different types of chisels are used for various woodworking projects, each serving a specific purpose. In this article, we will explore the best types of chisels for lathe work.

One of the most commonly used chisels for lathe work is the skew chisel. This chisel has a flat cutting edge that is angled to the handle, allowing the woodturner to create smooth cuts and decorative details. Skew chisels are versatile tools that can be used for both spindle and bowl turning, making them a must-have for any woodworker.

Next, we have the gouge chisel. Gouges have a curved cutting edge that is perfect for creating concave shapes and smoothing out curved surfaces. They come in various sizes, allowing woodturners to work on different scales. Gouges are especially useful for hollowing out bowls and vases on a lathe.

Another type of chisel commonly used on a lathe is the parting tool. This chisel has a narrow, pointed blade that is used for cutting off a workpiece from the lathe or creating deep grooves. Parting tools are essential for separating the finished piece from the remaining stock and can also be used for detailing and creating decorative patterns.

Lastly, the spindle gouge is a popular choice for creating intricate details and shaping spindles. This chisel has a deeper flute and a shallower bevel compared to other gouges, allowing for more control and precision. Spindle gouges are commonly used for turning chair legs, table legs, and other cylindrical shapes.

Overall, choosing the right chisel for lathe work depends on the specific project and desired outcome. By having a selection of skew chisels, gouges, parting tools, and spindle gouges in your toolkit, you will be well-equipped to tackle any woodturning project that comes your way.

Best Types of Chisels for Lathe

Chisels are essential tools for woodworking on a lathe. They come in various shapes and sizes, each serving a specific purpose in turning wood. Here are some of the best types of chisels for lathe:

  • Gouge Chisels: Gouge chisels have a curved cutting edge and are used for shaping concave surfaces such as bowls or vases on a lathe. They are available in different sizes and sweeps, allowing for versatile cuts.
  • Skew Chisels: Skew chisels have a flat cutting edge positioned at an angle. They are ideal for planing, smoothing, and creating smooth curves on the wood. Skew chisels come in different sizes, with larger ones offering more stability.
  • Parting Tools: Parting tools have a flat, pointed tip and are specially designed for cutting off or separating workpieces on a lathe. They create precise, clean cuts and are useful for creating tenons or grooves.
  • Scrapers: Scrapers have a flat cutting edge and are used for refining the surface of the wood. They can be used for leveling, smoothing, and removing imperfections. There are different types of scrapers, including round nose scrapers and square scrapers.
  • Spindle Gouges: Spindle gouges have a shallow U-shaped cutting edge and are primarily used for turning spindles. They are effective in creating beads, coves, and other decorative details on the wood.

When selecting chisels for lathe work, it is important to consider the quality of the steel, the handle design for comfort and control, and the usefulness of the specific shape and size for your intended projects. Investing in high-quality chisels will ensure better results and a longer lifespan for your tools.

Bowl Gouge Chisels

Bowl Gouge Chisels

Bowl gouge chisels are essential tools for woodturning on a lathe, especially when creating hollowed-out bowls or vessels. These chisels have a unique shape that allows for efficient and precise cutting of wood.

One of the key features of a bowl gouge chisel is its deep flute, which helps in clearing chips and prevents clogging during the cutting process. The flute also helps in controlling the amount of material being removed, allowing craftsmen to shape the bowl to their desired form.

There are different types of bowl gouge chisels available, such as spindle gouges and bowl gouges with different grind profiles. The choice of chisel depends on the woodturner’s style, preference, and the type of wood being worked on. For example, a deep-fluted bowl gouge with a fingernail grind profile is commonly used for aggressive cuts and removing large amounts of material. On the other hand, a shallower flute and a traditional grind profile are more suitable for fine detail work.

When using a bowl gouge chisel, it is important to have proper sharpening techniques to maintain a sharp cutting edge. This includes regularly honing the chisel and keeping the bevel at the correct angle. Additionally, using the proper technique of positioning the tool rest and maintaining a stable hand position allows for safe and effective woodturning.

Overall, bowl gouge chisels are versatile and effective tools for shaping bowls and other hollowed-out objects on a lathe. With the wide variety of options available and the ability to customize the grind profile, woodturners can achieve the desired results for their projects. Whether creating smooth curves or intricate details, bowl gouge chisels are a valuable addition to any woodturning toolkit.

Spindle Gouge Chisels

Spindle Gouge Chisels

A spindle gouge chisel is an essential tool for any woodturner working on a lathe. This type of chisel is specifically designed for shaping and detailing cylindrical pieces, such as spindles and legs. It features a long handle and a narrow, beveled blade that allows for precise control and accuracy.

Spindle gouge chisels come in a variety of sizes, ranging from small to large, to accommodate different projects and wood types. The size of the chisel determines the depth and width of cuts it can make. Smaller gouges are ideal for delicate work and creating intricate designs, while larger gouges are better suited for roughing out material and shaping larger pieces.

When using a spindle gouge chisel, it is important to hold the tool firmly but not too tightly, allowing for proper control and maneuverability. The beveled blade should make contact with the wood at a 45-degree angle, with the handle held slightly above the centerline of the lathe. This positioning ensures optimal cutting action and prevents the chisel from catching or digging into the wood.

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced woodturner, having a quality spindle gouge chisel in your arsenal is essential. It is a versatile tool that allows for endless creative possibilities and precise shaping work. Invest in a set of spindle gouge chisels of different sizes to tackle any woodturning project with ease and confidence.

Parting Chisels

Parting chisels are essential tools for woodturners and metalworkers alike. They are specifically designed to create narrow grooves and separate workpieces during turning or shaping processes. These chisels feature a narrow, pointed blade that allows for precise and controlled cuts. Parting chisels are commonly used to create decorative features, such as beads and coves, or to separate a turned piece from the waste material. They are available in various sizes to accommodate different projects and materials.

When choosing a parting chisel, it is important to consider the width and thickness of the blade. A thicker blade provides more stability and reduces the risk of the chisel bending or breaking during use. Additionally, a narrower blade allows for finer cuts and greater detail. Some parting chisels also feature a tapered blade, which allows for increased versatility and easier access to tight areas. It is also worth considering the handle of the chisel, as a comfortable and ergonomic handle can greatly improve the overall user experience.

Features of Parting Chisels:

Features of Parting Chisels:

  • Narrow, pointed blade for precise cuts and grooves
  • Available in various sizes for different projects
  • Thicker blades for stability and durability
  • Narrow blades for finer cuts and greater detail
  • Tapered blades for increased versatility
  • Comfortable and ergonomic handles for improved user experience

Overall, parting chisels are versatile and essential tools for any woodturner or metalworker. They allow for precise and controlled cuts, making them perfect for creating decorative features or separating workpieces from waste material. With the right size and features, a parting chisel can greatly enhance your turning or shaping projects.

Skew Chisels

Skew chisels are a type of chisel that have a blade with a beveled edge that is angled to one side. This angled edge allows for precise shaving and cutting motions, making skew chisels particularly useful for shaping and finishing wood on a lathe. Skew chisels can be used to create smooth and clean cuts on spindle work, bowls, and other turned wooden objects.

One of the key advantages of using skew chisels is their versatility. They can be used for a range of cutting tasks, including planing, scraping, and shaping. Skew chisels can also be used for making precise V-cuts and chamfers on wooden pieces. The beveled edge of the chisel allows for greater control and precision in shaping the wood, making it easier to achieve desired results.

When using skew chisels, it is important to maintain a sharp edge on the blade. A dull blade can cause tear-out or rough cuts, so regular sharpening is essential. Skew chisels should also be used with care, as the angled blade can catch on the wood if not used properly. With practice and the right techniques, skew chisels can be a valuable tool for woodturners, allowing them to create intricate and finely finished pieces.

5 Best types of chisels chisels for lathe

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What are skew chisels used for?

Skew chisels are woodworking tools used for making clean and precise cuts on wood. They are often used for shaping, smoothing, and finishing wood surfaces.

How does a skew chisel work?

A skew chisel has a cutting edge that is angled to the sides of the blade. This allows it to slice through wood fibers with a shearing action, resulting in a smooth and clean cut.

Are skew chisels difficult to use?

Skew chisels can be challenging to use for beginners because of their angled cutting edge, which requires careful control and precision. However, with practice and proper technique, they can become a versatile tool for woodworking.

Can skew chisels be used for both rough work and delicate detail work?

Yes, skew chisels can be used for both rough work and delicate detail work. They can be used to quickly remove large amounts of wood or to create intricate and precise details on a wood surface.

What are some safety precautions when using skew chisels?

When using skew chisels, it is important to wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from flying wood chips. It is also recommended to use a sharp chisel to reduce the risk of slipping and causing injury. Additionally, always work with the chisel in the direction of the grain to prevent the chisel from catching and causing damage.

What are skew chisels used for?

Skew chisels are commonly used in woodworking and turning to create smooth, clean cuts in materials such as wood or metal. They are particularly useful for shaping and smoothing surfaces, creating decorative details, and making angled cuts.

How are skew chisels different from other chisels?

Skew chisels have a unique angled blade that sets them apart from other chisels. This angled blade allows for more precise control and the ability to create diagonal cuts or decorative patterns. The blade is often slightly curved, which helps reduce the risk of digging into the material being worked on.


In conclusion, skew chisels are an essential tool for any woodworker, providing versatility and precision in various woodworking tasks. With their unique design and angled cutting edge, they offer the ability to make clean and smooth cuts in both end grain and long grain. Skew chisels can be used for a wide range of applications, from shaping and smoothing surfaces to creating intricate details and decorative elements. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced woodworker, adding skew chisels to your tool collection will undoubtedly enhance your woodworking skills and allow you to achieve professional-grade results. So, don’t hesitate to invest in a high-quality skew chisel and unlock the endless possibilities it offers in the world of woodworking.

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Harrison Clayton

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