Updated August 25, 2019 by Karen Bennett

The 6 Best Paring Chisels

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This wiki has been updated 15 times since it was first published in August of 2019. Used by carpenters and weekend woodworkers alike, paring chisels are ideal for shaving off excess materials on any project. Each features a slender handle designed to be pushed (not hammered), a length that provides you with a high degree of control, a sharp blade, and a low cutting angle that allows you to advance it with minimal force. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Narex Premium Set

2. Narex Right & Left

3. Robert Sorby 241

Editor's Notes

August 23, 2019:

A reliable set of chisels is a must for any woodworker, and ones designed for paring are specially made for handling fine details like smoothing out edges and clearing out corners. They’re more delicate than standard chisels and as such, they’re not made for use with a mallet. Rather, one hand pushes it forward while the other guides the cutting action. Our selection features plenty of fine choices in different lengths and widths, some made in the U.S. and others in Europe and Japan.

Two highly reliable choices are made by Narex, a manufacturer in the Czech Republic. The Premium 5 Piece Set features five tools ranging from 1/4 to 1-1/4 inches in width. The Left & Right Skew set features two components shaped specially for cutting clean tenon shoulders and dovetails, as well as getting into corners or dressing end grain. All pieces in both sets are made from sturdy chrome manganese steel with attractive and durable brass ferrules. In eco-friendly fashion, these sets don’t come with any retail packaging.

For a paring chisel with a bent tang design, look to the Woodriver Bent, which comes in handy for cleaning out tight spaces. The 18-degrere bend helps you to keep the blade flat while you’re grasping the handle. The Kakuri Rigoro 3-Piece is a set that’s handmade in Japan that features an artistic design in red, white, and black on the handles. For a comfortable, American-made set, look to the Buck 3-Piece, which feature durable, high-carbon steel blades and smooth, lacquered hardwood ash handles.

Special Honors

Blue Spruce Toolworks Paring Chisel Designed for precision fitting of your finest joinery, this refined tool is machined from A2 steel alloy, heat treated, tempered, and finally precision ground to fine tolerances. Its long length allows for precise control and balance. Its side bevels allow it to handle the tightest of corners in your workpieces. You can choose from a range of handles (round, compact, standard, and long) and blade widths (1/8 to 1-1/2 inches). bluesprucetoolworks.com

Nishiki Kinari Extra Thin Paring Chisel Made in Japan, this tool features a hollow in its back (which is traditional in all Japanese chisels) with an attractive, striated finish, as well as a flat top designed to guide one’s fingers to hold it exactly right. It features red oak handles and white steel blades that are hand-forged over charcoal. toolsforworkingwood.com

4. Woodriver Bent

5. Kakuri Rigoro 3-Piece

6. Buck 3-Piece

Karen Bennett
Last updated on August 25, 2019 by Karen Bennett

Karen Bennett lives in Chicago with her family, and when she’s not writing, she can usually be found practicing yoga or cheering on her kids at soccer games. She holds a master’s degree in journalism and a bachelor’s in English, and her writing has been published in various local newspapers, as well as “The Cheat Sheet,” “Illinois Legal Times,” and “USA Today.” She has also written search engine news page headlines and worked as a product manager for a digital marketing company. Her expertise is in literature, nonfiction, textbooks, home products, kids' games and toys, hardware, teaching accessories, and art materials.

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