what-are-wood-chisels-made-of

What are wood chisels made of?

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wood chisels, chisel, carpenters tool, hand tool, chipping, chopping, carving, scraping, chiselling, wonkee donkee tools DIY guide, how to use a chisel Most wood chisels are made up of several parts and may be made from various materials depending on their age or purpose. Below is a guide to help you decide which material is best for you.

Blades

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Tool steel

Most wood chisel blades are made from a type of steel called tool steel (sometimes referred to as “carbon steel”). Adding carbon to steel makes it much harder than ordinary steel and there are many levels of hardness depending on what purpose the tool is going to be used for. The tool steel most commonly used for chisels is characterised by its 0.60-0.75% carbon content.

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Vanadium steel

Other wood chisel blades may be made from vanadium steel. By alloying a small amount of vanadium with steel you can considerably increase its hardness and, as such, it is often used in the manufacturing of tools required to perform precision cutting tasks. Many surgical tools, taps, dies, and chisels are made from vanadium steel with a 1-5% vanadium content.

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What is vanadium?

Vanadium is a metallic chemical element. It is hard, silver-grey metal that is often alloyed with steel to create durable tools steels such as High Speed Steel.

Handles

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Hardwood handles

Traditionally, handles were made from hardwoods such as ash, beech and boxwood. Hardwood handles are used because they are comfortable to hold, can withstand frequent mallet blows and they also absorb some of the shock imparted by hammering, which helps to protect the blade.

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Plastic handles

Many wood chisel handles are made from a plastic called polyvinyl chloride (or PVC for short). PVC is the third most widely produced plastic in the world and it is used for chisel handles because it is impact resistant and designed to withstand frequent mallet blows.

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Soft-grip handles

Soft-grip handles are made from a mixture of hard plastic and rubber. They provide the user with a comfortable, secure grip and reduce vibrations and hand fatigue.

Ferrule

wood chisels, ferrule, steel ring, hoop, tools wonkee donkee tools DIY guide The ferrule is a metal ring typically made from steel or brass that bolsters the handle. These metal rings are most often found on tang chisels as their chief purpose is to reduce the chance of the handle splitting. For more information on tangs, see the page entitled: Go to page

End cap

wood chisels, ferrule, steel ring, hoop, tools wonkee donkee tools DIY guide The end cap of a wood chisel may be made from a hard plastic such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or a metal such as steel. The end cap must be strong enough to resist repeated mallet blows without degrading.