A Comprehensive Guide on How to Sharpen a Wood Chisel

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  March 21, 2022
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How do you get my wood chisel to go from dull to sharp in no time? This is a question that bothers many DIY users and woodwork enthusiasts that love to get their hands working within the house.

Many professionals who make use of wood chisels for commercial purposes also encounter the problem of how to get your wood chisel to be sharp enough to do the work.

This is why we have put together an easy-to-read and comprehensive guide. This article will provide you with the necessary information needed to get your chisels as sharp as new. How-to-Sharpen-a-Wood-Chisel-1

The addition of images will also provide you with an idea of what to do and how to go about it.

How to Sharpen a Wood Chisel

The first thing you need to know is that there are several methods on how to sharpen a chisel. The fact that there are so many methods makes it easy to get confused about what to use or which method to pick. Well, you don’t have to worry about getting lost in the overwhelming details. Why? You have us.

This guide will provide you only with information on how to sharpen chisels that are regarded as the best by professionals and industry experts. This will ensure that you are only provided with details that will guarantee the efficiency of your woodwork.

How to Sharpen a Wood Chisel with a Stone

Sharpening a wood chisel with a stone is perhaps the easiest choice of all. The first step, of course, would be to purchase stones that you would need for the work at hand. We recommend that you go for 1000, 2000 and 5000 grit stones. These are perfect options of stones to start with on how to sharpen a wood chisel with a stone.

Below is a step by step guide on how to sharpen your chisel with a stone.

  • Soak the stones in water. Make sure you let the stones be fully soaked before removing them. The recommended time would be anything between 5 and 10 minutes.
  • Ensure that the stones are completely flat; for this, you need a diamond stone to flatten the stones. A couple of passes at the stones and you are good to go.
  • Set the honing guide by inserting your chisel into the honing guide with the bevel facing down.
  • Start sharpening!

How to Sharpen a Wood Chisel with Sandpaper

The following are tools and materials that you will need if you decide to sharpen a wood chisel with a sandpaper.



  • Plate glass
  • Wet or dry sandpaper
  • Lubricating oil


Spray adhesive to stick your sandpaper to the glass.


Glass is used because it is a flat surface. Cut a sheet of sandpaper that fits your glass to prepare the sharpening surface.


Ensure that the sandpaper is applied to both sides of the glass to prevent the glass from sliding during the work. Start sharpening (and make sure to dunk your blade into the water after a few passes to keep it from burning).

How to Sharpen a Wood Carving Chisel

Wood carving chisel is one of the essential beginner wood carving tools. Sharpening a wood carving chisel is quite different from a chisel used by carpenters and cabinetmakers. The difference is found in the beveling of the chisel’s sides; for a wood carving chisel, it is beveled on both sides.

They are used for setting in straight lines on relief carvings as well as smoothening the surface of a rounded shape.

The three main steps on how to sharpen a wood carving chisel are sharpening, honing and stropping. You can watch this step-by-step guide for more details on how to sharpen wood carving chisels and tools.


This all-encompassing guide is exactly what woodwork enthusiasts, professionals, and DIYers need to get their chisels as sharp as possible. The truth is that it is inevitable for your wood chisel to be in poor condition. The rigors of the work that the tool does make it inevitable. That is why you need to know how to sharpen your wood chisel.

The guide has everything from how to sharpen a wood chisel with sandpaper to how to sharpen a wood carving chisel. Everything you need to know, you can find here.

I'm Joost Nusselder, the founder of Tools Doctor, content marketer, and dad. I love trying out new equipment, and together with my team I've been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with tools & crafting tips.