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How do you hold and use builders and cold chisels?

How to use a cold chisel or builder’s chisel

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Holding a cold chisel incorrectly (left) and correctly (right) A cold chisel should be held “upside down” in your hand, with the thumb closer to the cutting edge. You should not hold the cold chisel so tightly that you end up absorbing the shock yourself once you strike it.
Holding a brick bolster correctly A brick bolster requires holding at a 90 degree angle to the brick you are working on.

Again, holding the chisel too tightly will result in the user absorbing the shock instead.

Other types of chisel may require a different technique.


A man hitting a cold chisel with a hammer to cut metal which is held by a vice A chisel is used by holding the cutting edge against the material to be cut and striking the head with a hammer.
Striking a chisel with a ball pein hammer When using a cold chisel, gently tapping the head with your hammer allows the tool to make the first cut into the metal.
A cold chisel being used on piece of metal secured in a vice You may wish to secure the object you want to cut in a vice. This may also allow you to use the vice as a guide for cutting the metal.

An anvil may also be useful when working with certain objects.

The cutting edge of a cold chisel When using the chisel it is important that, rather than keeping your eye on the hammer, you keep your eye on the chisel’s cutting edge.

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