How To Sharpen Chisel

Sharpening a chisel is a necessary skill for any woodworker. It ensures that the chisel can effectively cut through wood without causing any damage or splintering. In this article, we’ll go over the steps to sharpening a chisel in a relaxed and easy-to-understand language.

Step 1: Preparing Your Workspace

Before you start sharpening your chisel, make sure you have a clean and organized workspace. You’ll need a sharpening stone, oil or water, and a rag. Place the sharpening stone on a stable surface, and put a few drops of oil or water on it.

FAQ: Do I need a special sharpening stone?

There are various types of sharpening stones available in the market, such as diamond, ceramic, or natural stones. Choose the one that works best for you and your chisel.

Step 2: Checking the Chisel

Inspect your chisel to see if there are any nicks or chips in the blade. If there are, you’ll need to remove them first before sharpening. You can do this by using a coarse-grit sharpening stone and applying pressure on the damaged area until it’s flat.

FAQ: Can I sharpen a damaged chisel?

Yes, but it’s important to remove any nicks or chips first before sharpening to ensure that your chisel is properly sharpened.

Step 3: Sharpening the Chisel

Hold the chisel with one hand and place the bevel flat against the sharpening stone. Tilt the chisel slightly until the bevel is at the desired angle, usually around 25 degrees. Move the chisel back and forth across the stone, applying light pressure.

FAQ: How many times do I need to sharpen the chisel?

It depends on how dull the chisel is. You’ll know it’s sharp when you can feel a burr on the back of the blade. Once you feel the burr, flip the chisel over and repeat the process on the other side.

Step 4: Honing the Chisel

After sharpening, honing the chisel will help remove any burrs and create a sharper edge. Flip the chisel over and hold it flat against the sharpening stone, applying light pressure. Move the chisel back and forth across the stone until the burr is removed.

FAQ: What’s the difference between sharpening and honing?

Sharpening is the process of creating a sharp edge, while honing is the process of refining that edge to make it sharper.

Step 5: Stropping the Chisel

Stropping the chisel will give it a final polish and ensure that the edge is razor-sharp. Place a piece of leather or cardboard on a flat surface and apply a small amount of honing compound to it. Hold the chisel at the same angle as before and move it back and forth across the strop.

FAQ: What’s the purpose of stropping?

Stropping is the final step in sharpening a chisel, and it helps remove any remaining burrs and polish the blade for a sharper edge.


Sharpening a chisel may seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools and techniques, it’s a skill that can be easily mastered. Remember to always check your chisel for any damage before sharpening, and to hone and strop it for a sharper edge. Happy woodworking!