10 Best Timber Framing Chisels of 2023

Whether you’re making a treehouse for your kids or yourself, it always cheers people around you up. Making a treehouse is not a big deal that you’ll hire people for.

So, if you’re thinking about making one or you’re doing other wooden work around your house, the first and the most crucial tool you’ll need is a chisel.

A chisel is a hand tool that’ll assist you with cutting wood panel edges.

But people always get confused about the chisel they should buy for their job as the marketplaces offer a lot of them in sizes and shapes. I will break down those for you in this article and help you find the finest.

My Top Picks

5 Best Timber Framing Chisels in 2022

I researched hours to find the best timber framing chisels for you. While making a list, I took different quality, size, shapes, and budgets into concern. Read every review and pick your perfect match.

1. Robert Sorby 285 Timber Framing Chisel

Robert Sorby #285 Timber Framing Chisel

When it comes to wooden work, no one is better than the British people. Their ships or furniture wherever you point at you’ll find the finest wooden work in the world. For centuries they mastered craftsmanship.

So, in terms of hand tools for wooden work, you can trust them blindly. Well, I did too.

Our editor’s pick is a timber framing chisel also from a renowned British company. Robert Sorby’s #285 Timber Framing chisel is probably the perfect chisel for timber framing.

People often complain about the comfort of using a chisel. Well, my research shows that the longer the chisel size, the more comfortable you’ll get while working. The overall length of Robert Sorby #285 Timber Framing Chisel is 19.5 inches, ensuring the comfort you’ll need while working for a long time.

The 9 inches wooden handle and 10.5 inches blade will provide you extra traction while cutting edges. The 1-inch blade width will provide the perfect job for timber framing.

In terms of durability, Robert Sorby has always been on the top. The sharpness of the blade and quality of steel satisfied craftsmen around the world for a long time.

Things to Appreciate

  • Comes with great sharp edges to handle your framing jobs
  • 9 inches wooden handle provides comfort and control
  • 5 inches long and 1-inch width blade is perfect to handle large timber framing
  • Quality of steel can withstand rough use
  • Easy to sharpen when it gets blunt.

Things Can be Improved

  • Comes in one size only.

2. Arno 467856 Solid Steel French Timber Framing Slick Chisel

Arno 467856 Solid Steel French Timber Framing Slick Chisel

Looking for something heavy-duty with high qualities? Well, Arno 467856 Solid Steel French Timber Framing Slick Chisel might be the product for you.

The whole monolith steel body will make sure you don’t face any problem with the broken handle or handle-blade joint quality. The quality of the steel is so good that you can use a hammer for extra force while using it for heavy work and there’ll be hardly any damage to the chisel.

It has a 1.57-inch-wide blade which is 14 inches long and weighs only a quarter ounce in size and shape. The size and lightweight of the chisel make it easy to carry around.

The word ‘Slick’ in the title is meant for the shape of the handle. The handle is a few degrees bent, making the chisel help with slick work. The blade is sharpened enough to start working right after the delivery. Who knows? You might be cutting the other delivery boxes with it.

Though the whole body is made from a single metal, it has a PVC coating over the handle area. The PVC-coated handle will provide you good friction while cutting some timber frames.

Things to Appreciate

  • 40 mm and 14″ long blade provides excellent control during framing
  • Weighs only 25 ounces reduces the fatigue while working for a long time
  • Solid forged steel construction to handle extreme abuse even with a hammer
  • Bent handles lets you use it as a slick
  • Grounded and then sharpened edge is ready to use always.

Things Can be Improved

  • Has some small slopes on the bevels.

3. Bundle Robert Sorby 285/285EG25 Timber Framing Firmer Chisel

Bundle Robert Sorby 285 285EG25 1 Inch Timber Framing Firmer Chisel

You need something wider and strong to handle large framing work. If that is the case, Bundle Robert Sorby Chisel solves the problem.

The 1 inch wide blade offers the strength you need when dealing with deep mortises for framing.

With its special Sheffield steel blade with 3/8 inches thickness, you will get enough toughness to handle any framing work. It also ensures sharpness and edge retention for a long time.

Along with the sharpness, strength, and edge retention, you will get better control thanks to its 19-/2 inches overall size. The blade is 10-1/2 inches with square sides to give you a traditional chisel feel.

You will also get a 9-inch Ash handle to provide comfort and better grip. It prevents fatigue while working for a long time.

Safety always comes first, no matter what. With its protective leather tip guard, you can ensure safety when the chisel is not in use.

Things to Appreciate

  • 10-1/2-inch blade offers better controlling
  • 9-inch ash wooden handle is comfortable to use
  • 1-inch-wide chisel makes it perfect for large framing jobs
  • Sheffield steel construction offers better sharpness and edge retention
  • Comes with a protective leather tip guard to prevent any accident when not in use.

Things Can be Improved

  • The handle should have a PVC coating for better grip.

4. Robert Sorby 287 Heavy Duty Corner Chisel

Robery Sorby 287 Heavy Duty Timber Framing Corner Chisel with Ash handle

Robert Sorby 287 is a heavy-duty timber framing chisel from a British company that topped my list. The big dissimilarity between model 285, which is my first in this list, and 287, is the difference in purposes.

Robert Sorby 287 is a corner chisel. So, what is a corner chisel, you might ask? The difference between a regular chisel and a corner one is that the blade is bent 90 degrees in the middle. As the self-explanatory name suggests that the blade looks like a corner.

A corner chisel is a must when it comes to timber framing. For a specific frame connection part, there’s no more straightforward solution than a corner chisel. The 18.5 inches long corner chisel includes a 9.125 inches wooden handle.

Everyone that works with steel knows how good Sheffield steel is! The perfect sharpness and edge retention all comes in Robert Sorby 287 heavy-duty timber framing corner chisel.

Well, ensuring a high-quality product is always a priority for Robert Sorby company. Before leaving their company perimeter, every hand tool, like a chisel, goes through a diamond hardness test.

Things to Appreciate

  • 1-inch corner chisel lets you handle large timber framing easily
  • Large 9-3/8 blade helps you clean out the mortise corners
  • 9-1/8-inch Ash wooden handle provides a good look and comfort
  • Made of Sheffield steel for better edge retention to achieve accuracy
  • Features bolster, double steel hoops, and washer for more convenience.

Things Can be Improved

  • Might take some time to re-sharpen the chisel.

5. Arno 467887 Solid Steel French Timber Framing Slick Chisel

Arno 467887 Solid Steel French Timber Framing Slick Chisel

Due to its quality product, Arno has already earned its name in the woodworking industry. This 467887 model is another top-notch item with a 25 mm wide blade.

The blade is 12″ long and made of a strong solid piece of forged steel. It can easily withstand extreme abuse; even striking with a hammer will cause no damage. That means you can create any shape you want on the wood.

The cutting edge is designed with 58-60 Rockwell, and the end is left moderately hardened. It prevents the risk of flying the steel when working. Thanks to its grounded cutting edge, you can even use it without any touch-ups.

With its 14 ounces weight, you will experience less fatigue while using it for a long time. The polyvinyl Chloride handle provides added comfort and better grip as well.

Another great thing about the handle is that they are bent up a few degrees from the back. That means you can use this chisel as slicks when needed.

Things to Appreciate

  • The blade is 1″ wide and 12″ long to ensure better timber framing
  • Can handle hammer thanks to its forged steel construction
  • The blade is left moderately hardened to reduce the risk of flying steel when struck.
  • Handles are a few degrees bent from the back to use as a slick
  • The edge is ground and sharpened to use without any further touch.

Things Can be Improved

  • Polyvinyl Chloride handle could be slippery after a long use.

Things to Consider When Choosing A Perfect Timber Framing Chisel

Using A Timber Framing Chisel

There are some things you should consider if you want to get a good timber framing chisel. Let’s check them out.

Can the Blade and Handle Withstand the Hammer?

For timber framing, you often need to use the hammer on the chisel to cut the trees. The blade and handle must withstand the pressure of the hammer. If not, you will not get the result or your chisel will get broken.

Hard forged steel construction is good enough to handle the hammer. You should also look for a durable wooden handle. Combining these two will help you succeed in making timber framing perfect.

Is the Cutting Edge Sharp Enough?

Without a sharp chisel, it is impossible to achieve good results. Make sure the cutting edge is sharp enough to handle the pressure. At the same time, check the cutting-edge retention. You do not want to sharpen the chisel every 10 minutes.

Consider the Handle Quality, Length, And Materials

Handle plays the most vital role when it comes to the comfort, control, and maneuvering of the chisel. It should be comfortable enough so you enjoy working with it. Wooden handles work better in that case. The length is also important. A 9-10 inches handle is suitable for large timber framing tasks.

What About the Safety Features?

Chisels are sharp and you do not want any accidents. Check the safety features. Does the chisel come with a safety cap? If yes, it will be safe even when not used.

Overall Flexibility and Mobility

The weight and balance are really important to make your chisel comfortable. A perfectly balanced and lightweight chisel will make your timber framing easy and flexible.

What Is A Japanese Chisel?

The short answer is ‘Nomi.’ Nomi is actually chisel in Japanese.

So, what’s all the fuss about these chisels?

Well, everyone knows about the quality of Japanese products. In terms of woodworking tools, Japan shines there too. The Japanese chisels are made from hard carbon steel and they have many types of chisels.

Japanese attention to detail while making chisels is excellent. Most Japanese timber framing chisels offer wooden handles. They use Red Oak, Ebony, and Sandalwood to ensure the handle serves for years.

And if you’re considering buying one, I am here to give you some tips too. While purchasing a Japanese chisel, look if there’s any hoop present at the end of the handle. If there’s a hoop or ring at the end of the handle, you can strike it with a mallet while using. Otherwise, don’t use a mallet or hammer; it’s not designed for that kind of force.

Woodworking Chisel vs Timber Framing Chisels

Chisels are chisels; that’s what it’s supposed to be. But the reality is even though they do similar types of woodwork, but there are a few distinctions between them. So, the first and most significant difference is the uses.

And there are many forms of chisels, which are indispensable for any woodworking project. Woodworking chisels are a broad category of chisels and it’s easier to get confused about their uses. And most often you mix them up with timber framing chisels. So, here is how you should differentiate them.

When making laces and slit in trunks, you should get the timber framing chisels over regular woodworking chisels. The reason is when you’re working with large wood blocks and timbers with large dimensions, you will need longer blades with durable steels.

The timber framing chisels offer a longer blade with longer handles which helps you get significant woodwork done efficiently.

Sharpening timber frame chisels

FAQs about Timber Framing Chisels

What is timber framing?

Timber framing is a style of construction that uses heavy timber in columns and beams. It’s pretty cheap, and anyone can do it in their spare time. Timber framing tools is often seen in tree houses or farmhouses. Mortises and tenons are the main attraction of timber framing.

What is a framing chisel?

Well, the first thing about framing chisels is their blade. A framing chisel comes with a broader blade than regular woodworking chisels and with the strike of a mallet, it works perfectly in timber construction.
Gouging wood, making notches are also the primary work of a framing chisel. The regular framing chisel’s blade sizes vary from 1.5 inches to 2 inches.

How to sharpen a chisel?

There Are multiple ways to sharpen a chisel. The first is to use sandpapers. While rolling on sandpapers, make sure to adjust the rolling angle to the blade angle.
If the chisel blade is in the worst possible worn state, I recommend you use a grinding wheel for sharpening and make sure to have proper precautions.

What are the basic safety precautions to use a chisel?

While using a chisel, always cut from your end and use a soft hammer or a mallet for extra force. A chisel is not a screwdriver, so don’t use it as one. It damages the blade edge. While carrying it in your pocket, get a safety bag. Otherwise, don’t carry it in your pocket.

What are the benefits of using a timber framing chisel?

A timber framing chisel can save time and effort when constructing a building. It can make precise cuts, allowing for joints to fit together perfectly. It is also very durable and can cut through tough wood.

How often should a timber framing chisel be sharpened?

A timber framing chisel should be sharpened every time it is used. This will help ensure it remains in good condition and can make precise cuts.

What types of woods are suitable for use with a timber framing chisel?

Timber framing chisels are designed with hardwoods like Oak, Maple, and Cherry. They can also be used with softer woods such as Pine and Fir, although these require more frequent sharpening.

Final Words

To sum up, I tried to break down everything about the market’s best timber framing chisels. Now, it’s your time to decide what size or shape you need.

It could be my top choice, Robert Sorby 285, if you need something durable and easy to handle.

Otherwise, you can take a single solid body Arno with your preferable size for heavy-duty. I wish you good luck and hope this piece has helped you find what you were looking for.

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