Our Favorite Specialty Chisels
Task: Fitting dovetails
Blue Spruce dovetail chisels
1⁄2" chisel (shown below); 4-chisel set (1⁄8", 1⁄4", 3⁄8", and 1⁄2")
Out of the box, we were pleased to find the A2-steel blades flat and polished to a mirror finish, and the cutting edge honed to a sharp microbevel. Unlike a flat beveled edge, the concave edges on the 1⁄8"-thick blades helped these chisels get into tight spaces, such as when chopping dovetail sockets or bow-tie mortises. Besides the dazzling (and comfortable) figured-maple handles, you can buy these with more-affordable beech handles. Buy them individually in 11 sizes from 1⁄8" to 1-1⁄2", or in sets.
Blue Spruce Toolworks
Task: Cleaning out angled corners
Narex skew chisels
You'll love these value-priced right- and left-angled 1⁄2"-wide chisels for cleaning out half-blind dovetail sockets.
Task: Squaring router-cut corners
Robert Sorby corner chisels
3⁄8" no. 85S0701; 1" no. 85S0703
When you rout a mortise or rabbet in an assembled frame or carcase to fit a recessed lock, panel, glass, or mirror, this chisel squares up the corners cleaner and quicker than one of those stubby spring-loaded hammer-strike chisels.
Task: Flush-trimming adjoining surfaces
WoodRiver bent paring chisels
1" chisel, no. 157919; set of 4 chisels (1⁄4", 1⁄2", 3⁄4", 1"), no. 100141
Whether you're shaving a joint flush or scraping glue squeeze-out, these affordable angled chisels work well.
Task: Tight-quarters work
WoodRiver butt chisels
Set of 4 chisels (1⁄4", 1⁄2", 3⁄4", 1"), no. 152169
Inevitably, you'll need to chisel in a spot where your long-handled chisels can't fit, and the 6-1⁄2" length of these four makes that easier.