Wood Chisel
Guidelines shown below are for Primary Bevel Angles & Secondary bevel angles (also known as micro bevel angles).

The picture below shows an exaggerated view. Notes about Secondary Bevels are at the bottom of this page.

Chisel edge nomenclature
Primary & Secondary Bevels both ground on a wheel.
Chisel edge nomenclature
Primary Bevel ground on a wheel
Secondary Bevels ground on a flat stone


General Guidelines
Type Primary Bevel Secondary (Micro) Bevel Notes
Bench Chisels 20º
+2º to +5º
Corner Chisels 35º
A mill file (or some other form of safe edge file) is used to sharpen the inside corner of the chisel.
Firmer Chisels
    - Soft Woods
    - Hard Woods

25º
30º

+2º to +5º
+2º to +5º
Secondary bevel is wider : 0.0625 - 0.1250 in (1½ - 3 mm) wide.
Japanese Chisels 25º
+2º
Japanese chisels require a higher bevel angle to avoid chipping the hard cutting steel's edge. In general, add 5º to a similar western-style chisel, and 10º for mortise chisels.

Hollow(s) in the back face should be >⅛ inch (0.1250 in / 3 mm) from the cutting edge. If less, tap it out as necessary. (There is a great video from Andrew Hunter on the Fine Woodworking site.)
Mortise Chisels
    - Soft Woods
    - Hard Woods

25º
30º

+2º to +5º
+2º to +5º
Secondary bevel is wider : 0.0625 - 0.1250 in (1½ - 3 mm) wide.
Paring Chisels 20º
+2º
These are typically used without a mallet (i.e., using only hand pressure). It is not uncommon to sharpen at primary bevels as small as 15º.
Scraping Chisels 70º - 75º Could be as high as 90º.
Slick Chisels
(large paring chisels)
20º
+2º
When used for dovetail work, they are sharpened flat across. Otherwise, they are sharpened with a slight crown.

Do not flatten the slight belly in the back of the tool. This aids in its use.
Utility Chisels
    - Narrow
    - Standard
    - Wide

30º
25º
20º

+2º to +5º
+2º to +5º
+2º to +5º

<⅜ in. (8 mm) wide
⅜ - 1 in. (8 - 25 mm) wide
> 1 in. (25 mm) wide


Notes & Comments
Information regarding Grindstones



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