Sometimes power tools aren’t really suitable for making smooth and accurate holes in the middle of your wooden board and you will need a perfect set of chisels to do work more preciously.
Woodworking chisels are one of the main weapons for making joints or removing roughages in woodworking projects and different furniture.
To cut your holes more accurately and smoothly the best thing you can use is the Japanese chisels. These are best in durability also.
What are Japanese Chisels?
Japanese chisel is the same as standard chisel available in the market but with some special features and durability. Japanese chisels are mostly made of hand-forged high carbon steel which can be white or blue steel. It is a mixture of hard and soft steel to ensure capability and durability.
Most Japanese chisels are hardened to a Rockwell point to make it really sharp and edgy. For its unique qualities usually, these chisels are a bit expensive than other chisels available in the market.
Japanese chisels are way better than the standard chisels available in the market; Japanese ones are way sharper and durable and it will provide you more precision than the normal ones. Therefore do not hesitate, buy a Japanese chisel and enjoy your woodworking.
There are different types of chisels of different brands available in the market; here I will be pointing out some popular Japanese chisels from which you can use your desired one.
Reviews of the Best Japanese Chisels in 2020
We have reviewed over 22 best Japanese woodworking chisels and come to a list of top 7 products in 2020. Let’s have a look at these Japanese chisel’s reviews below.
KAKURI TOSHIGORO 3-piece Wood Chisel Set
KAKURI TOSHIGORO is a great option for woodworking enthusiasts who like to have smooth finishes, top to bottom. This is the Japanese made good quality chisel at a very affordable price.
There are different qualities of high carbon steels; the quality depends on the blacksmith and the materials. Kakuri Toshigoro wood chisel set comes with medium quality high carbon steel blade which is pretty good for light works.
The chisels are made of Oakwood and the blades are made of Japanese high carbon steel. This high carbon steel is the combination of hard and soft steel compiled together. Compared to western steel these are far better as they are supposed to hold an edge better.
Another thing we liked about these chisels is the size options and manual. Its back is hollow ground and it is one of the best chisels sets for DIY, home crafting and woodworking. With this set you will also get an instruction manual written in English; therefore, no need worries about language.
You will find 3 wooden chisels in 3 different sizes. The dimension for 9mm which is the smallest one is 3/8″; for 15mm the dimension is 5/8″ and for 24mm the dimension is 15/16″.
Yataro Authentic Japanese Chisel Set (5 pieces)
Yataro Authentic Japanese Chisel should have been in the first spot on our list if it consists of a little less price. But looking at the quality and service, these are the best Japanese wood chisels if money isn’t a big deal to you.
The best part of this set is the blade quality. With these chisels, you will be getting hand-forged laminated Japanese high carbon steel which is hardened to HRC63 and it is pretty good. This high carbon steel is the combination of hard and soft steel compiled together.
Compared to western steel these are far better as they are supposed to hold an edge better. You will also find Yataro Authentic Japanese chisel set with white steel but at a higher price. The best part of this Chisels is you do not need to sharpen the blades; simply wipe the blade with water stone and the chisels are again ready to use.
It is also one of the reputable Japanese chisel brands, so you can rely on the company for getting a better performance and durability of the item.
Another thing I liked is the handle. The handles of the chisels are made of Japanese Red Oak also called Akagashi and these chisels come with heavy-duty steel rings for extra balance. The dimension for 6mm is 1/4″, for 12mm the dimension is 1/2″, for 24mm the dimension is 1″, for 30mm the dimension is 1 1/4″ and for 36mm the dimension is 1 1/2″. The back of the chisels is a single hollow ground for which they come in less contact with the work area.
Narex Pair 1/2" and 3/4" Dovetail Japanese Style Chisels
Narex Pair 1/2″ and 3/4″ Japanese Style Chisel is a fascinating set considering the quality despite being cheap. This is actually the best value of Japanese chisels according to our woodworking expert.
This is a set of two chisels made in the Czech Republic. If you compare this set with other good quality Japanese style chisel sets; then this is one of the affordable ones. This brand is pretty famous for making good quality Japanese style chisels.
Here you will find two 268mm chisels; the dimension for the small one is 1/2″ and the dimension of the bigger one is 3/4″. The blades are angled to 35 degrees which provides clearance into corners to both sides. The set altogether weighs 14.4 pounds.
The chisel handles are made of stained European Beechwood and the blades are made of fine-grained firmly tempered chrome manganese steel which is hardened to RC59. This makes it one of the most quality Japanese dovetail chisels in the market.
You will also find 2 antique brass ferrules attached with the handles which strengthen the chisels and provide extra balance. Before using the blade do not forget to sharpen the blade as it will ensure your work quality.
Morrita Japanese Chisel Set
This is a Japanese chisel set designed in Japan and made in China. This set contains 4 different sized chisels and altogether it weighs 1.74 pounds which makes each chisel very light. The dimension for 9mm chisel is 3/8″, for 15mm chisel the dimension is 5/8″, for 21mm it is 7/8″ and for 30mm the dimension is 1-3/16″.
The set is considered one of the best Japanese woodworking chisels in 2020 considering the durability of the double-layered steel. The back of the chisels is a single hollow ground for which they come in less contact with the work area. The blade is made of the laminated double-layered steel.
The body of the blade is made of soft steel and the tip or the edge is made of high carbon steel which is a hard coating. The edge part will protect the blade from becoming damaged and the soft steel will protect the blade from being brittle due to vibration.
If you look at the blades you will see they are all tapered and slightly angled; this is for doubling the working strength and speed with less effort.
You do not need to sharpen the blade very often but when you need to; do it with water rocks. Also, remember the blades itself are very sharp therefore handle those with care.
Marukatsu Japanese Yasuki Shirogami Steel Chisel Set
This is a Japanese made Chisel set where you will find five different sized chisels. Marukatsu is one of the best Japanese chisel brands and known for its quality hand tool items.
Why it is in the list of top 7 Japanese chisels reviews is the quality, durability, and comfort.
The blades of the chisels are made of hand-forged laminated Japanese white steel also known as Yasuki Shirogami which is hardened to HRC63+ hardness to ensure a long-resided edge. Also, the handle is made of Japanese Red Oak; known as Akagashi. With the handle, you will also find a heavy-duty steel ring which makes the balance better.
Another thing we were pretty impressed about is the back of the chisels are single hollow ground. For this, they come in less contact with the work area. For sharpening the blades use water stone or water-rock for best result and durability.
A small tip for better lifespan; do not push and pull the chisel back and forth while pulling it out of your workpiece; wiggle it gently to pull it out.
The only thing I didn’t like is the price, which is a bit high in my liking. But if you are familiar with its efficiency, then the price won’t matter much.
The dimension for 9mm chisel is 1/4″, for 12mm chisel the dimension is 1/2″, for 24mm it is 1″, for 30mm the dimension is 1 1/4″ and for 36mm the dimension is 1 1/2″. The set altogether weighs 2.55 pounds which is pretty good.
Grizzly Industrial G7102 - Japanese Wood Chisels
This chisel set is made in the USA and designed in Japan where you will find 10 different sized chisels. The dimensions for different seized chisels are 1. 1/8 inch, 2. 1/4 inch 3. 3/8 inch 4. 1/2 inch, 5. 5/8 inch, 6. 3/4 inch, 7. 7/8 inch, 8. 1 inch, 9. 1 1/4 inch and the last one is 1 1/2 inch.
Though the set is made in the USA the blades are made in Japan; these blades are made of hard high carbon alloy which is hardened to Rockwell 63° 2. You will also find a laminated steel blade hardwood socket for increasing the balance.
The set altogether weighs 2.8 pounds which is very light and which means the chisels are very light in weight. If you are planning to go for fine woodworking; you might want to choose no. 2, no. 4 and no. 6; they are the best for precise woodworking.
Remember you need to sharpen the blade before every use for better performance. And for sharpening the blades use water stone or water-rock for best result and durability.
Narex 6 pc Woodworking Chisels
This is a woodworking chisel set made in the Czech Republic. The set comes with six different sized chisels. The dimension for 6mm chisel is 1/4″, for 10mm chisel the dimension is 3/8″, for 12mm it is 1/2″, for 16mm the dimension is 5/8″, for 20mm the dimension is 13/16″ and for 26mm the dimension is 1 1/32″.
The chisels come in a very nice wooden box; you can also present this set to someone as it is. The sizes and other details are nicely engraved on every chisel blade.
The chisel handles are made of black stained and lacquered European Beechwood with 2 ferrules and the blades are made of fine-grained firmly tempered chrome manganese steel which is hardened to RC59.
The blades are well attached with heavy steel tangs and these chisels are ground at a 25-degree bevel. Narex chisels are best for DIY projects or for woodworking; you cannot use them for building works.
Buying Guide for Choosing the Best Japanese Chisels
Before buying a product, you must always do some good research. Research can help you find the most suitable one for you. Like before choosing a wrench set is difficult if you don’t have knowledge of it. The same goes for a chisel.
You will find different types of chisels in the market and many of them are very good but not all good products are suitable for you. For finding the best one for you; you need to take some features in the account which will make your work smooth, precise and easy.
Purpose of Using the Chisels
This is one of the most important features of choosing a chisel. You will find both regular and standard chisels and some different sorts of specialized chisels. You will have to determine the type of work you want to do with your chisel.
With specialized chisels you can create square corners, you can also create different shapes on your wooden piece and can also make precise cuts with it. If you are not intending to do all these precise works with your chisel in that case you can simply go for the standard chisels.
If you will not consider this feature before buying a chisel then you might end up buying the wrong one which will not be able to fulfill your purpose.
Choosing the Proper Chisel Size
There are so many different sized chisels available in the market. Every size has its own responsibility and uniqueness. Small chisels give you the leverage to work on precisions whereas large chisels are for working on large projects.
You can also work on large projects with the help of smaller chisels but it will be time-consuming and hectic for you. If you are planning to work on big projects along with precision the suitable option will be buying a set of chisels where you will have both small and big chisel. Buying a set of chisels can also save you money.
Different Japanese Chisels Type and Choosing Your Preferred One
Apart from knowing your purpose and desired size you also need to be introduced with the types of chisels available in the market. There are so many different types of chisels in the market and you will also find different chisels for serving the same purpose.
If you are not familiar with their characteristics you will not be able to choose the perfect one for you.
Mortising Woodworking Chisel
Mortising chisel is for chopping mortises; it can be a replacement of mortise or drill press. Mortising is a heavy-duty chisel with which you can make square holes and can also perform heavy-duty woodworking.
This category chisel is one of the best for precisions. With this chisel you can make square corners; you can also work on dadoes, grooves, rabbets and many more. Chisels do not need any extra set up like drill machine or cutters.
Therefore, without any fuss, you can easily get your job done with a corner chisel
Crank neck Chisel
Crank neck chisel has a flat back which can easily lie on the object you are working with. This chisel comes with a bent handle which makes it useful for hitting a wood or plunging out glue from any corner.
Crank neck chisels are not for precise or heavy-duty works; it for doing the side works.
These chisels tend to sustain more than any other chisel available in the market. The blades of these chisels are made of different hand-forged steels.
Japanese chisels are very sharp by nature and for further sharpening water stone is recommended; using water stone can help to keep your blade in shape for a longer period.
The handle of these chisels is usually made of red or white oak wood which makes it very smooth and durable. You will find two types of Japanese chisels in the market; back hollow ground and flat ground.
This chisel has an angled cutting edge so that you can work into smaller areas to cut out pieces.
You can actually get left or right facing ones and for more delicate work you will definitely want both of them.
This is a very common and all-purpose chisel. It is a bit long chisel which might bother you in some areas or while doing some precise work.
If you have a Butt chisel with you; then you can work properly with these two chisels. Also, bench chisels tend to be durable and very flexible and that is what makes them famous.
This is also a standard style chisel which is comparatively smaller in size. As it is smaller that is why it is recommended to pair with a bench chisel. The handle and the blade each are smaller making it easier to get into small spaces when you are working on smaller projects.
Going through all these features will help you choose the perfect one for you. Also, make sure you do not choose only one chisel for your work. It is a must to have at least a large and a small chisel for woodworking but it is better to have an extra pair with you for safety and emergency purpose.woodworking
Japanese Wood Chisel Maintenance and Care
Taking care of any object increase its lifespan and, in some cases, makes it durable. You must take good care of your chisel to increase its sustainability and hold its uniqueness.
Using the Protective Caps
protective caps are for covering the cutting edges of chisels. It also protects you from being injured by the chisel. Some companies provide a protective cap along with the chisel and some do not.
If your chisel does not have it, in that case, you must buy it separately. These caps will also protect your chisel from being dirty damaged.
Storage Case for the Chisel Sets
If you intending to buy a set of chisels then you might get a box with it. Some chisel sets do not come with boxes whereas some single chisels do come in nice wooden boxes. Boxes also help to keep them protected from the outer world and also make it convenient to store it anywhere.
Storage boxes also help to keep them organized. You will find specific storage boxes for chisels to make sure to buy those as random boxes cannot keep them organized and protected.
Honing Guide for the Perfect Chisels
it is a sharpening tool that is very handy and user-friendly. It can sharp your chisel with precision to a meticulous angle. For using this machine all you have to do is; put your dull chisel into the guide and set the accurate angle for sharpening it.
There are different types of honing guide models available in the market choose one which suits your chisels.
Using Sharpening Stone with the Japanese Hand Tools
This is another tool for sharpening chisels. You will find stones both in one-sided and double-sided. If the stone is double-sided then one side will be coarse grit side and fine grit side.
These stones are convenient for any type of chisel. You can sharpen any chisel with it but it takes a bit more time than honing guide.
Water Stone Uses
It is another sharpening tool that you can use for sharpening your dull chisel. For using a water stone 1st you need to sock it in the water for at least 10 minutes. After that place a cloth on the surface and place the stone on top of it.
Now take your Japanese chisel start the process by angling it the way you want. It is recommended to angle it to 30-35 degrees.
Honing Oil: Process and Procedures
This oil is also known as cutting oil which is used for lubricating sharpening stone before sharpening a chisel. This oil lets the chisel blade move smoothly and which is why you must buy this product.
Process of Sharpening with Stone and Storing
For the sharpening process you need sharpening stone and cutting oil, and for storing you need a box and a clean cloth.
1st take your sharpening stone and place it somewhere where it will not slip or move; you should place the stone with the coarse side up. Now it is time to lubricate the stone properly. Remember if you skip this step your sharpening process will not be smooth and fruitful.
Spread the cutting oil all over the stone before sharpening. Cutting oil will reduce the friction and heat created for rubbing the chisel blade with the stone.
Now if you want precise sharpening you can set honing guide as well. Honing guide will make your angles perfect and sharpen the blade with precision. Now it is time to start the process. Take the chisel and move the back and forth on the stone with a steady hand.
After you are done sharpening the blade turn the stone to the fine side and repeat the process in the same way. The fine side is for cleaning any ridge of metal on the blade caused by sharpening. The fine side is also for keeping the back of the chisel flat.
For storing purposes do not put the chisels open in the air; also do not rub or do anything for cleaning the chisel before storing. Simply take a piece of clean cotton cloth and wipe off any oil or residue from the blade. For storing put the protective cap on the chisel and store it in a wooden box and keep it in a dry place.
Japanese chisel is a good quality chisel for woodworking. Spending a good amount of money for buying a good one is worth every penny. Also, remember to go through all the points mentioned above for choosing the best one for you.
Considering quality, durability, ease of uses and efficiency the KAKURI TOSHIGORO is the best Japanese chisels in this list.