When it comes to woodworking, a good quality mortise chisel is one of the essential tools you can have in your arsenal. With the right mortise chisel, you can make precise cuts and achieve a professional-looking finish on your projects. But with so many different mortise chisels on the market, how do you know which one is right for you? In this blog post, I'll take a closer look at some of the best mortise chisels on the market and help you choose the right one for your needs.
Related: To gain better insight into the top dovetail chisels available, you can read this article.
Table of Contents
When would you use a mortise chisel?
A mortise chisel can be used in several different ways, but it is typically used for cutting square-shaped holes (mortises) into the edge of a piece of wood. This type of chisel can also be helpful for trimming wood flush with a surface.
Related: If you are interested in cutting a square hole in wood, you might find this article helpful
How to choose the best mortise chisels for your needs?
If you're looking for mortise chisels, there are a few things you'll want to keep in mind. Here are eight factors to consider when choosing mortise chisels:
1. The size of the mortise.
You'll want to ensure you have a mortise chisel that's the right size for the mortise you're working on. If the mortise is too big, the chisel won't be able to cut through it. The chisel will be difficult to control if the mortise is too small.
2. The depth of the mortise.
You'll want to make sure the mortise chisel you choose can reach the bottom of the mortise. If it can't, you won't be able to clean out the mortise completely.
3. The width of the mortise.
You'll want to make sure the mortise chisel is wide enough to fit into the mortise without binding. If it's too narrow, it won't be easy to control. On the other hand, if it's too wide, it may not fit into the mortise at all.
4. The shape of the mortise.
You'll want to ensure the mortise chisel is shaped correctly for the mortise you're working on. If it's not, it may not cut through the mortise cleanly.
5. The size of the mortise chisel.
You'll want to ensure the mortise chisel you choose is the right size for your hand. If it's too small, you won't be able to control it. If it's too large, it won't be easy to use.
6. The type of steel used in the mortise chisel.
You'll want to ensure the mortise chisel is made from high-quality steel that will hold an edge well. If not, it will quickly become dull and difficult to use.
7. The finish on the mortise chisel.
You'll want to ensure the mortise chisel has a smooth, shiny finish that will resist rust and wear. It will quickly become dull and difficult to use if it doesn't.
8. The price of the mortise chisel.
You'll want to ensure you don't overspend on your mortise chisel. There are many high-quality mortise chisels available at reasonable prices.
Keep these eight factors in mind when choosing mortise chisels, and you'll be sure to find the perfect set for your needs.
Related: A buying guide of the top bench chisels may be helpful to you
Best rated mortise chisels: An overview
Mortise chisels are a great tool to have in your workshop. Whether a professional woodworker or an amateur DIYer, you'll want the highest-quality mortise chisels. To help you make the right choice, I've put together this overview of some of the best rated mortise chisels on the market.
1. Narex Mortise Chisels 811204-811216
If you're looking for the best mortise chisel set on the market, you can't go wrong with the Narex 8 pc set. This complete set includes chisels in sizes 4 mm, 5 mm, 6 mm, 8 mm, 10 mm, 12 mm, 14 mm and 16 mm, so you'll always have the right tool for the job. The blades are made of high-quality steel for durability and precision, and the handles are comfortable even during long projects. Best of all, the Narex set comes with a lifetime warranty, so you can be sure it's built to last. Whether you're a seasoned pro or just starting, the Narex 8 pc set is an excellent choice for all your mortise chisel needs.
2. Crown Tools 1763 Mortise Chisel
Crown Tools 1763 Mortise Chisel is the best cheap mortise chisel on the market. It's made of high-carbon steel for durability, and its 3/8-inch width is perfect for most applications. The chisel also features a comfortable wooden handle that provides a good grip. Additionally, the chisel has a protective sheath to keep it sharp and ready for use. Overall, the Crown Tools 1763 3/8 Inch Mortise Chisel is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a quality mortise chisel at a budget-friendly price.
3. MKC Professional Woodworking Cabinetmakers Mortise Chisel set
If you're looking for the best mortising chisels on the market, look no further than the MKC Professional Woodworking Cabinetmakers Mortise Chisel set. Made from high-quality chrome-vanadium steel, these chisels are designed for durability and longevity. The hornbeam handles are comfortable to hold and provide excellent grip, even when your hands are wet. In addition, the set includes three chisels - 1/4", 3/8", and 1/2" - so you can tackle any mortising job, big or small. Best of all, the MKC Professional Mortise Chisel set is backed by a lifetime warranty, so you can be confident that your purchase is protected.
What is a mortise chisel?
A mortise chisel is a woodworking chisel with a rectangular blade used to cut square or rectangular holes in wood, called mortises. The name comes from the French word for "mortise", a hole in a piece of wood that receives a tenon (a wooden peg) to form a joint.
Mortise chisels are generally larger and thicker than other chisels and have more pronounced bevels. This makes them better suited for cutting into tough, hard woods. They are also commonly used with a mallet, allowing the user to apply more force when striking the chisel.
How does a mortise chisel work?
A mortise chisel is a tool used to carve out a square or rectangular hole in a piece of wood. The chisel blade is tapered so that it can fit snugly into the square or rectangular opening that has been cut out.
The chisel is inserted into the opening and then struck with a mallet to chip away at the wood until the desired shape is achieved. The advantage of using a mortise chisel instead of another type of carving tool is that it can be driven deep into the wood, allowing for more precise control over the shape and size of the hole carved out.
How do you use a mortise chisel?
Assuming you have already sharpened your chisel and have selected the appropriate size for your project, using a mortise chisel is relatively simple.
First, you must mark out the area you wish to chisel. This can be done with a pencil or other marking tool. Once the area is marked, you will need to use a hammer to strike the end of the chisel, driving it into the wood.
You will then need to apply pressure to the chisel's handle to push it further into the wood. As you do this, you will also need to angle the chisel towards the center of the marked area.
Once the chisel has reached the desired depth, you can start moving it backwards and forwards in a sawing motion to create the mortise.
Once the mortise is of the desired size, you can use the chisel to clean up any rough edges. And that's it! You've now successfully used a mortise chisel.
What are mortise chisels used for?
Mortise chisels are one of the most versatile tools in a woodworker's arsenal.
They can be used for various tasks, from creating precise mortises for joinery work to quickly roughing out large chunks of waste material.
Here I'll look at six ways you can use a mortise chisel to make your woodworking projects easier and more efficient.
1. Creating Precise Mortises
One of the most common uses for mortise chisels is creating precise mortises for joinery work.
If you need to create perfectly square and clean-edged mortises, a mortise chisel is a tool for the job.
Simply mark out your mortise with a pencil or knife, then use the chisel to remove the waste material until you're left with a clean, square hole.
2. Chiseling Out Housings and Tenons
Another common use for mortise chisels is removing waste material when creating housings and tenons.
Housings are recesses cut into a piece of wood to receive a tenon, while tenons are projections cut on the end of a piece of wood that fit into these housings.
Both are commonly used in joinery work, and mortise chisels can be used to quickly and easily create them.
To create a housing, simply mark out the desired recess with a pencil or knife, then use the chisel to remove the waste material.
For a tenon, mark out the projection on the end of the wood, then use the chisel to hollow out material from the center of the tenon until it's the right size to fit into the housing.
3. Cleaning Up Rough Cuts
Mortise chisels can also clean up rough cuts made with a saw or other cutting tool.
If you need to make a quick and dirty cut with a saw, you can use a mortise chisel afterwards to clean up the edges and create a neater, more precise cut.
4. Removing Old Glue and Mortar
Older woodworking projects often use glued-in or mortared-in joinery methods that are no longer used today.
If you come across one of these projects, you can use a mortise chisel to remove the old glue or mortar and make the project easier to disassemble.
5. Sculpting Wood
Mortise chisels can also be used for sculpting wood.
If you need to remove large chunks of material or create intricate detailing, a mortise chisel is perfect for the job.
6. Making Holes for Dowels
Another use for mortise chisels is creating holes for dowels.
Dowels are small, cylindrical rods of wood that are used to join two pieces of wood together.
To create a dowel hole, mark out the desired diameter and depth with a pencil or knife, then use the chisel to remove the waste material.
With these six uses for mortise chisels, you can see why they're such a versatile and essential tool for woodworkers of all skill levels.
Next time you're starting a woodworking project, reach for your mortise chisel and put it to good use!
What are some of the benefits of using a mortise chisel?
A mortise chisel is a specialized woodworking tool used to create precise, clean cuts in wood. While a traditional chisel can be used for this purpose, a mortise chisel is designed specifically for cutting mortises - small, rectangular cuts often used to join two pieces of wood together.
There are several benefits to using a mortise chisel over a traditional chisel, including:
1. Increased Precision
A mortise chisel is designed to create very precise, clean cuts. This is due to the sharpness of the blade and the fact that it is set at a specific angle. This makes it ideal for cutting mortises, as even the slightest mistake can ruin the entire joint.
2. Increased accuracy
When creating a mortise, it is important to have high accuracy. A mortise chisel allows for a much higher degree of accuracy than a standard chisel, as it is specifically designed for this purpose. This means that your mortises will be clean and precise and will fit together perfectly when you are ready to assemble your project.
3. Increased speed
A mortise chisel can also help you to work more quickly. This is because the beveled edge of the chisel helps to create a cleaner cut, which means that you can make your mortises faster and with less effort.
4. Greater versatility
A mortise chisel is a very versatile tool and can be used for various tasks beyond creating mortises. For example, many woodworkers use mortise chisels to create other types of joints, such as dovetails or finger joints. Additionally, the wide blade of a mortise chisel can also be used for tasks such as shaping and trimming wood.
5. Greater strength
A mortise chisel is also a powerful tool and can withstand a lot of force without breaking or bending. This makes it an ideal choice for use on tougher woods or for projects that require a lot of strength, such as when you are creating large mortises.
6. Reduced risk of kickback
When using a standard chisel to create a mortise, there is always the risk of the chisel "kicking back" at you while you are working. This can be dangerous and can cause serious injury. However, because a mortise chisel is designed specifically for this task, the risk of kickback is significantly reduced.
7. Increased safety
In general, a mortise chisel is a safer tool to use than a standard chisel. This is because the blade of a mortise chisel is much wider, which makes it less likely to slip and cut you while you are working. Additionally, the blade's bevelled edge helps prevent the chisel from "catching" on the wood and causing the blade to jump back at you.
Overall, there are many benefits to using a mortise chisel for your woodworking projects. If you are looking for a versatile and powerful tool that can help you to create clean and precise mortises, then a mortise chisel is an excellent choice.
What are some common mistakes people make when using a mortise chisel?
Mortise chisels are one of the most versatile and useful tools in a woodworker's arsenal. However, like any tool, they can be misused. Here are six common mistakes people make when using a mortise chisel:
1. Not Sharpening Regularly
Mortise chisels need to be kept sharp to work effectively. A dull chisel will not only make your job harder, but it can also damage the wood you're working on. So make sure to sharpen your mortise chisels regularly - at least once a week - with a honing stone or diamond sharpener.
2. Not Using the Right Size Chisel
Mortise chisels come in various sizes, from 1/4" to 1". It's essential to use the correct size chisel for the job at hand - using a chisel that's too small will make the job more difficult, and using one that's too large can damage the wood.
3. Not Using a Mallet
A mortise chisel is designed to be used with a mallet, not your hands. The mallet's weight and hardness help drive the chisel through the wood. Trying to use the chisel without a mallet will not only make the job harder, but it can also lead to injury.
4. Not Securing the Workpiece
When using a mortise chisel, it's vital to secure the workpiece, so it doesn't move around. This can be done with a vise, clamps, or even your hand. If the workpiece moves while you're using the chisel, it can cause the chisel to slip and lead to injury.
Related: It may be of interest to you to find good quality Right Angle Clamps
5. Not Making a Guide Line
Before using a mortise chisel, making a guide line is essential. This will help ensure that your chisel is going in straight and will not veer off course. After that, a simple pencil line will do the trick.
6. Not Wearing Safety Gear
As with any woodworking project, it's essential to wear safety gear when using a mortise chisel. This includes gloves, safety glasses, and a dust mask.
These simple tips will help you avoid common mistakes when using a mortise chisel.
What are some tips for getting the most out of your mortise chisel?
Your mortise chisel is one of the most versatile tools in your woodworking arsenal. Its sharp blade and long, slender body can be used for various tasks, from creating precise mortises to chiselling out delicate details.
However, like any tool, it's only as good as the person using it. To get the most out of your mortise chisel, you should keep a few things in mind.
1. Keep the blade sharp
A dull blade will not only make your mortise chisel less effective, but it can also be dangerous. On the other hand, a sharp blade will make clean, precise cuts and help you avoid accidents.
Related: Choose the right Chisel Honing Guide for your needs
2. Use a mallet
A wooden mallet is the best choice for striking your mortise chisel. It will absorb some impacts and prevent damage to the chisel or your workpiece.
3. Use the right size chisel
Be sure to select a mortise chisel that is the appropriate size for your project. A too-small chisel can break under the force of a mallet, while a too-large chisel will be difficult to control.
4. Mark your cut lines clearly
Before you begin cutting, take the time to mark your cut lines clearly. This will help you stay on track and make precise cuts.
5. Cut slowly and steadily
When cutting, take your time and cut slowly and steadily. Rushing will increase the likelihood of mistakes and can lead to accidents.
6. Use a guide block
If you're cutting a long or wide mortise, use a guide block to help keep your chisel cuts straight. A guide block will also prevent the chisel from slipping off the edge of your workpiece.
7. Keep your fingers safe
Keep your fingers well out of the way when using a mortise chisel. If the chisel slips, you could seriously injure yourself.
By following these tips, you'll be able to get the most out of your mortise chisel and complete your project safely and successfully.
There are a lot of factors to consider when purchasing a mortise chisel, but I hope that my list has helped narrow down your options and give you a better idea of what's out there. With so many great choices on the market, it really comes down to finding the right tool for the job – and I'm confident that one of these models will be perfect for your needs. Thanks for reading, and happy woodworking!
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