How to use a Chisel Correctly

The chisel. A deceptively simple tool to use. I've seen many people butcher their work as a result of not being able to use a chisel correctly, and it usually comes down to a small number of reasons. In this video I give you some very simple tips to make your chiselling cleaner, more accurate, and require less effort. If you want to know more about the chisels I am using, have a look at my chisels on kit.

This lessons objectives:

  • How to efficiently use a chisel
  • How to get the best power transfer
  • How to sight down the chisel in use
  • How to prolong edge sharpness

If you enjoyed this video and want to see more of my Back to Basics series, be sure to watch my videos on How to Plane Correctly and How to Saw Correctly.


  • I watch most everyone of your videos, you’re fun to watch and a good teacher also. I’ve always done power tool work but lately have been learning better use of planes and chisels and I’ve not been getting good results. I picked up a few tips from this video and then decided I needed to follow the link to the scary sharp video. BTW, there was some young guy with short hair that sounded very much like you teaching that one heh heh I’m sharpening on a diamond stone and then to wet dry paper, getting a mirror finish on my bevel, but still don’t seem to be getting good results. I’ve got these old man eyes, so I ordered a magnifier so maybe that will help me see what’s going on so I can tell if I’m doing something wrong. But I have a mismatched lot of chisels that I’ve had for years that I’ve tried to put a good edge on. I’m questioning about the quality of the steel. Is there a way that I can tell a good chisel from a crappy chisel? I bought a half inch mortise chisel, had something about cherries in the name, worked on the edge for quite some time and when I tried to start my mortise it literally bounced of the wood. Granted, I was trying to put a mortise into a 150 year old white oak piece of timber….. but I’m really stymied here. Any thoughts for me?

  • Brilliant. I did 7 years of Woodwork at school in the ’60s and took it at A Level. Our master always taught that your hands should always be behind the tool’s edge. But He never taught how to use a chisel like this. It’s amazing how much this video has changed how I work. Thank you.

    • Great tutorial Matt!
      Your videos are always greatly appreciated – thank you sir.


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