Graphical Construction Glossary >> Tools. >> Hand Tools >> Mortise Chisel

Mortise Chisel
A woodworking chisel with square sides to the blade. The blade increases in depth the closer it gets to the handle

a mortise chisel
A half inch mortise chisel

This seems to be a dying breed. I have seen heaps of tool sites on the web that are under the impression that a firmer chisel is the same thing. It is definitely not! Most manufacturers no longer make them because of the rise of cheap chisel mortisers.

The advantages of old chisels like this one above (which used to belong to my father, so at a guess it is more than70 years old), is strength. It can take hard and punishing work.

Another feature is that the thickness of the blade and the oval shaped handle stops it from twisting sideways when doing deep cuts.

If you need to do mortises by hand try to get one of these, but if you can't find one then settle for the thickest firmer chisel that you can find, but please... don't call it a mortise chisel.

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Adam Smith 1723-1790

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