You are here

Veritas Bench Chisels

WOOD magazine rating
Lee Valley/Veritas


These chisels are among the first edge tools milled from PM-V11 steel, an innovative proprietary alloy. This metal's micro-structure makes it extremely durable, so it can withstand the impact of heavy chopping cuts without chipping or deforming as readily as other tool steels, even at bevel angles as low as 20°. It is also highly wear-resistant, with an edge typically lasting at least twice as long in use as an A2 blade before it needs sharpening. Despite its toughness, it is as easy to sharpen as A2 steel using common abrasive media such as water stones.

Our chisel blades taper from shoulder to tip for strength and rigidity, and have parallel sides and true bevel edges for clearance and minimal friction when working into an angled corner or a tight recess. To ensure the face of the blade is both smooth and true, we lap each blade to a flatness tolerance of ±0.0005" over the entire surface.

The blade and handle are connected with a tang and a socket-like ferrule. Flats on the tang prevent the handle from rotating. Turned from solid stainless steel, the ferrule seats directly onto the shoulder of the blade. Repeated mallet blows tighten the joint through use. Each chisel is superbly balanced, with the center of gravity at or below the tang/socket connection.

The hard maple handle has been kiln-baked at a high temperature to eliminate nearly all moisture and caramelize the natural sugars in the wood. This imparts a rich, dark color to the wood, while helping to seal it against humidity changes, making it resistant to swelling and shrinkage. The contoured handle fits the hand nicely and has shallow flats parallel to the blade back for finger placement. The domed end resists chipping from glancing mallet blows.

The chisels are available in 1/4", 3/8", 1/2", 3/4" and 1" widths, with blades from 4-5/8" to 5-1/8" long. The 1/4" and 3/8" chisels have 30° primary bevels; the others are 25°. All have 2° microbevels, and require only final honing before use.

WOOD magazine review

Exceptional edge life and easy to sharpen

Review Summary

These chisel sets are identical to each other in every way except one: the blade material. We like the PM-V11 best—it gets our Top Tool award—but if the premium price proves daunting, go for the O1 blades that outlasted most other O1 blades in the test. The crisp bevel-edge profiles on both sets let you slip these chisels into the tightest places for trimming.
Veritas heat-treats the maple handles—crystallizing the sugars to make them even harder—turning them varying shades of brown, so don’t be alarmed if your chisels don’t match.

Detailed Ratings

out of 5





Ease of Use




Tip of the Day

At-a-glance grinder gauge

Here’s a simple way to reset your grinder’s tool rest to the correct angle. After adjusting the... read more