How a Chisel Fits Your Hand

New_Chisel_Fit_FeaturedOne of the most-often used tools in woodworking are chisels. We pare, chop and clean with them almost daily when we’re in the shop. If you own a set, or have collected various chisels, the question is, “Does the chisel fit your hand?” And of course, I’m talking about the handle.

If you’re chisel handle doesn’t properly fit your hand, you may experience blisters in your palm after a long day of dovetailing drawers. Are your hands worn out at the end of the day? That could be from constantly adjusting your grip on the chisel as you work. Comfort is extremely important when it comes to chisels and chisel handles.

It’s so important to me that I turn my own handles, especially on tools purchased used at flea markets and garage sales – that’s most of the time because I seldom buy new chisels.

That, along with how a dowel found at a home-center store can help guide your actions, is one of the topics covered in my newest article with 360 Woodworking. Click here to read the article and watch the 20+ minute video. (You do need to be a member to read the entire article and watch the video – use the buttons below to join if you need).

Also I discuss the right woods for replacement handles. Some hardwoods work great, and some are less desirable. Plus, it’s not always about the species. The wood I do grab, however, whenever I re-handle a chisel that I intend to pound with a mallet is Osage Orange or hedge apple, depending on what part of the country you’re from.

I also talk about color-coding your chisels so you know what tools are for what job – that may be a new idea for many. For me, I have one set of chisels that have ebonized handles, and how I achieve that color is something else new to most. You’ll need to watch the video for that.

— Ron Herman

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