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How to Sharpen and Store Your Chisel

 

Polishing the chisel back on a sharpening stone


How Should I Prepare a New Chisel Before Using It?

All Veritas chisels are lapped flat. Before the first use, polish the back of the blade, working your way up to the finest grit of your sharpening medium. For a more comfortable grip, you can ease the side edges, except the first 1" from the cutting edge, with a fine stone as shown in the diagram below. Sharpen the cutting edge by honing a 2° micro-bevel. The 3/8" and smaller chisels have 30° primary bevels; the others are 25°. All blades are useably sharp, but we recommend a final honing before use. We suggest using a honing guide because it quickly provides accurate, repeatable results.


Honing a bench chisel on a sharpening stone




For a more comfortable grip, you can ease the side edges, except the first 1" from the cutting edge, with a fine stone.



When Should I Resharpen my Chisel?

You should hone the cutting edge before it gets completely dull, once you notice a decline in performance. “Honing often and staying sharp” will require less effort in each sharpening and will maintain the cut quality from the tool. A sharp chisel is also safer to use than a dull one because it requires less force to make a cut. To check a fresh edge for sharpness, try slicing a shaving off the end grain of a soft wood.


Testing the sharpness of a chisel by slicing a shaving off the end grain of a board

Testing the sharpness of a chisel by slicing a shaving off the end grain of a board.

How Should I Store My Chisels?

Testing the sharpness of a chisel by slicing a shaving off the end grain of a boardChisel rolls provide a safe and economical means of storing your chisels together. For just a few chisels, plastic shields or magnetic chisel guards can be used. Last, to keep rust at bay, wipe down the tool with a rust preventative or anti-corrosion oil after use.


Bench chisels in a storage rack


For a more elegant storage solution, you can build a chisel tray or cabinet.

Now that your chisel is ready to go, it’s time to learn how to use it safely and effectively.

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