How-To:  Sharpen a Chisel (When You’re Serious About It)


“Spirit is the sword and experience the sharpening stone.” – Arab Proverb

This moment of Zen brought to you by Instructables member (and um… Autodesk CEO) carlbass. [Thanks, Carl!]

This piece runs through the basics of what you need to know to keep your shop chisels sharp and ready to go.


14 thoughts on “How-To: Sharpen a Chisel (When You’re Serious About It)

  1. Is this just a pic showing off a sharp chisel or is there more coming soon with actual instructions? Maybe there is something wrong with my browser and I can’t see the instructions? I don’t know…

  2. This is an awesome write up! Great piece of work and a great technique for sharpening a wood chisel. You can indeed but yourself easier with a dull knife, or chisel.

  3. If you’re going to play with tools, be serious about it all the time. Using a dull tool makes you work harder with greater chance for slippage and damage to your project or yourself but in exchange you get more tear our and crushing of the fibers you’re trying to cut.

    Besides, once you get it sharpened once, it’s a lot easier to keep it that way.

  4. If you can find one I would STRONGLY recommend an Eclipse No 36 honing guide.

    I was given one and was amazed at how much it improved the quality and usability of my chisels and planes. Worth its weight in Gold.

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I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

View more articles by Sean Michael Ragan