Best Japanese Chisel – Top Rated Woodworking Chisels of 2020

There has always been a debate on whether Japanese chisels are better than the western chisels and vice versa. For some of you who might not know, a Japanese chisel is a woodworking tool just like the western one, but the former is a part of an ancient tradition. They are made using two types of steel- white and blue steel. 

If you are a woodworker, you know the hassle of selecting good chisels for your work. There are a lot many different types of chisels available in the market, and a novice would probably get confused as to which chisel to purchase. Also, remember the purpose of using the chisel to get the best one for yourself. All the chisels have a different speciality and can be used in different manners. 

Japanese V/S Western- Which chisels are better?

A major difference between the Japanese and Western chisel is the shape of the former’s blade. It has a shorter blade and comes with a cylindrical handle. The Japanese chisels are also hardened for way longer than the western ones. Although both the tools are the same and have the same functions, the only difference is in their style. Those who have worked with the western ones prefer that over Japanese chisels and vice versa. 


Best Japanese Chisel

However, if you are searching for good Japanese chisels, then this article will be a help to you. Down below is a list of 5 of the best Japanese chisels out there in the market. 

1. KAKURI Japanese Chisel


Rating: 4.5/5 stars

In 1946, Kakuri Corporation was founded in Sanjo city, Japan. They are famously known for manufacturing products with superior quality and functions. They manufacture a variety of products such as saws, chisels, carpenter tools, etc. Here’s a list of all the features of this chisel from Kakuri.

  • Due to its sturdy body and blade, powerful woodwork is possible. The blade is especially suitable for rough carving.
  • The chisel is known for its razor-sharpness and durability, and its sharpness can also be restored by sharpening it with a whetstone.  
  • Its handle is heavy duty and has excellent wear resistance.
  • It comes in a pack of 3 with different width sizes, which can be used for all sorts of woodworking, such as shallow mortise digging and finishing of rough mortise pits. 


2. Marukatsu Japanese Chisel 


Rating: 5/5 stars

This chisel is from the brand Yataro which is known for its superior quality steel used for making really good woodworking tools. It is a set of 5 pieces and is made using Japanese white steel. Read ahead to know more about its features.

  • This set of 5 chisels is hand-forged using a combination of soft iron and Japanese white steel (Yasuki Shirogami).
  • It has a hollow back which reduces friction with the workpiece.
  • Its cutting blade is tempered to HRC63+ hardness, which ensures the longevity of the edge.
  • Its handle is made using Japanese Red Oak and comes with a heavy-duty steel ring and is very well balanced.


3. Tataki Japanese Chisel


Rating: 4/5 stars

Hosco is one of the industry’s premier suppliers of high-quality parts, instruments, accessories, etc. They have been working with traditional Japanese toolmakers to develop excellent luthier tools. Hosco manufactures this Tataki chisel, and its features are listed down below.

  • It has alloy steel-lined backs and hollow ground handles, which reduces friction during cutting.
  • The tapered blades profiles allow for deeper cutting.
  • The steel-reinforced hoops prevent handles from splitting.
  • Its forged blades feature alloy steel cutting edges with soft iron fronts, which are more forgiving in use and very less likely to chip.


4. Grizzly Industrial Japanese Chisel


Rating: 3.8/5 stars

Grizzly is a very known national retail and internet company that provides its customers with a variety of high-quality woodworking and metalworking machinery, power tools, and many more. Here’s a set of 10 Japanese chisels from Grizzly, and the features are listed below.

  • These hand-finished chisels feature laminated steel blades.
  • They also feature hardwood socket type handles and solid steel ring ferrules, which provide years of reliable use.
  • The steel used for these chisel blades is made using hard high carbon alloy, so the hardness is Rockwell 63 degrees 2.


5. Yataro Japanese Chisel


Rating: 3.9/5 stars

All chisels of Yataro are hand forged and assembled in Miki City, Japan. Yataro is a good brand that uses high-quality materials for its woodworking tools. This chisel from Yataro has its features listed down below.

  • This 3 piece chisel has a blade width of 9mm, 12mm, and 15mm.
  • It is hand-forged and laminated and is made using Japanese high-carbon steel
  • This chisel has a hardness of HRC63.
  • It has a single hollow-ground back and has less contact area with the workpiece.
  • Its Japanese red oak handle with heavy-duty steel ring is very well balanced.


Which one is the best of all?

The Kakuri Toshigiro 3 piece woodwork chisel set, professional Japanese Oire Nomi for woodworking with a carving oak handle, is the best Japanese chisel for woodworking. It is perfect not only for beginners, professionals but also for DIY woodworkers. It comes in a set of 3, which gives the maximum functionality and usage for you. It is comfortable to use and is definitely a value for money product. This chisel is a highly recommended product with great customer ratings and feedback. It’ll surely enhance your woodworking experience. 

The other 4 products are also a great option as per affordability and durability. Just make sure to go through the key features of the products and differentiate your needs and wants from each one. Choose your perfect fit according to your necessity. I hope you would have found this article to be helpful in your search for top-rated Japanese chisels.

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