How To Sharpen Wood Chisels

How to Sharpen Wood Chisels

If you’re a woodworker, you know how important it is to have sharp chisels. Dull chisels can make your work more difficult and can even damage your wood. In this article, we’ll go over how to sharpen wood chisels so you can keep your tools in top shape.

Why is it Important to Sharpen Wood Chisels?

Sharpening wood chisels is important for a few reasons. First, sharp chisels make your work easier and more efficient. You’ll be able to cut through wood more easily and accurately. Second, dull chisels can damage your wood. They can cause splintering and tearing, which can ruin your project. Finally, sharpening your chisels regularly will help prolong their lifespan.

What Tools Do You Need to Sharpen Wood Chisels?

To sharpen wood chisels, you’ll need a few tools:

  • A sharpening stone or diamond plate
  • A honing guide
  • A marker
  • A piece of leather or strop

How to Sharpen Wood Chisels: Step-by-Step

Now that you have your tools ready, it’s time to start sharpening your chisels. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Secure your chisel in the honing guide. Make sure it’s held firmly and at the correct angle.
  2. Use a marker to color the bevel of the chisel. This will help you see where you’re removing material.
  3. Place your sharpening stone or diamond plate on a flat surface.
  4. Apply a few drops of oil or water to the stone or plate.
  5. Start sharpening the chisel by moving it back and forth across the stone or plate. Make sure to keep the angle consistent.
  6. Check the progress by wiping away the marker. You should see a shiny bevel where you’ve removed material.
  7. Move on to a finer grit stone or plate and repeat the process.
  8. Once you’ve achieved a sharp edge, use the leather or strop to hone the edge.
  9. Test the chisel on a piece of scrap wood to make sure it’s sharp enough.

How Often Should You Sharpen Wood Chisels?

How often you should sharpen your chisels depends on how often you use them. If you’re using them frequently, you may need to sharpen them every few days. If you’re using them less often, you can probably get away with sharpening them every few weeks or months.


Q: Can you sharpen wood chisels with sandpaper?

A: Yes, you can use sandpaper to sharpen your chisels. However, it’s not the most efficient method and can be time-consuming.

Q: What angle should I sharpen my chisels?

A: The angle you should use depends on the type of chisel you have. For a bevel edge chisel, a 25-degree angle is common. For a firmer chisel, a 30-degree angle is more appropriate.

Q: How do I know when my chisel is sharp enough?

A: You can test your chisel’s sharpness by cutting through a piece of scrap wood. If it cuts through easily and cleanly, it’s sharp enough.


Sharpening your wood chisels is an important part of woodworking. It will make your work easier and more efficient, help prolong the life of your tools, and prevent damage to your wood. By following the steps outlined in this article, you’ll be able to keep your chisels in top shape.