Paring Chisels – Best in 2020

The Paring chisel do not get the recognition they deserve. Its true usefulness is not always appreciated as woodworkers blind devotion to the bevel edge chisel has blinkered some. But these long thin chisels can outperform the common bevel-edged chisel. 

What is a ‘Paring Chisel’ used for?

The paring chisel is used to peel away thin shavings across the grain especially when fitting joints. The paring chisel is very good at reaching over wide workpieces. The paring chisel is longer than standard bevel edge chisels

Typical ‘Paring Chisel’ tasks

The paring chisel is a great tool to own although an essential addition to the woodworker’s tool kit. I own several paring chisels which i use on a daily basis. Some of the tasks I use my paring chisels for could be performed with a bench chisel.

  • Trimming the shoulders around a tenon
  • Paring the components of a dovetail joint
  • Levelling a bridle joint

How long are ‘Paring Chisels’?

The length of the paring chisel varies from 9″ to as long as 14″ 

Do you Strike a ‘Paring Chisel’ with a hammer or mallet

The longer length of a paring chisel provides control and grip during the paring action. You should not hit a paring chisel with a hammer or mallet but use your own force and control to take thin shivers of wood. A good stance is imperative for steady control. Prevent leaning past your centre of gravity as control can be superseded by your desire to balance.

Paring Chisel Vs Bevel Edged Chisel

The paring chisel is used for the paring of wood from a workpiece. The long length and the thin blade gives good freehand control. The Bevel Edged chisel is commonly known as a bench chisel or the general-purpose chisel.  

Paring Chisel Bevel Angle vs Bevel Edged Angle

  • Paring Chisel Angle: 20°
  • Bevel Edged Chisel: 25°

My Suggested ‘Best Buys’ Paring Chisels

I own a set of Robert Sorby paring chisels and so i am happy to recommend them here. Robert Sorby is a old name in woodworking making all sorts of chisels from bench tools to wood turning.

Narex Premium 5 Piece Set Paring Chisels w/ Hornbeam Handles 1/4″. 1/2″ 3/4″, 1″, 1

Czech tool maker Narex has gained a lot of popularity in the world of chisels. Many woodworkers have chosen Narex for their quality and value. 

A typical format for a paring chisel is that it needs to be long and thin, these Narex paring chisels are long at 15 inches but I would like to see them a little thinner. Don’t get me wrong these paring chisels are superb.

  • 9-5/8″ blade length, 13-3/8″ overall length (245mm, 390mm)
  • High-quality ground chrome-magnesium steel hardened to Rc59 hardened steel 
  • Chrome magnesium
  • Stained and waxed hornbeam handle prevents sweaty hands
  • brass ferrule construction reinforces the handle around the tang

Robert Sorby Paring Chisels

Robert Sorby is an old-time toolmaker which I am a fan. My first Robert Sorby was a turning chisel that I still own today. 

Robert Sorby heritage dates back to over 200 years. Based in Sheffield a city that has a long history in tool making and fine steels. 

‘Robert Sorby and Sons was first registered in Union Street, Sheffield in 1828 as a manufacturer of edge tools, saws, scythes and hay knives’

1/2″ Robert Sorby #241 Paring Chisel

3/4″ Robert Sorby #241 Paring Chisel

1″ Robert Sorby #241 Paring Chisel

1-1/4″ Robert Sorby #241 Paring Chisel

1-1/2″ Robert Sorby #241 Paring Chisel

By Marcus Kett, Woodworking since 1989

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Malcolm the Boat ‘RIP’

Woodworking for me is in my blood as a son of a traditional boatbuilder. My Father Malcolm Kett was highly skilled and inventive individual often referred to as ‘Malcolm The Boat’.

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Marcus Kett and my Mortar!

Although I have spent a considerable portion of my life seeking further education and gaining qualifications in woodworking, electrical installations, bricklaying and to top it a degree in photography.

Yes, it is a medley of possible career choices but the one that I felt truly at home with was Woodworking. Woodworking has been my staple career choice that has given my family stability.

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Well that’s Me

We started to write these guides to help our customers. The idea was to provide the information needed to install our made to measure wooden products that we sell on this website and directly to our local customers.

We soon received feedback from people abroad and interested readers not local to us. I like to help people and I am excited that fellow woodworkers or keen DIYers found guidance in my articles. I intend to carry on writing and producing youtube videos for the purpose of providing useful content. Please share our blog with your friends and anyone that could find interest in the magic of working with wood.


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About Wallybois

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Wally is the middle one

We have lived and worked here in the Limousin Nouvelle Aquitaine since 2010, building window shutters and external doors. Our Volet manufacturing business is based at our home property as a ‘Cottage Industry’. We are a small business operating partly (60%) off the grid and try our best to practice our woodworking ethically.

How did we come up with the trading name ‘Wallybois’? Well, it is simple really, my best buddy ‘Wally’ and the fact that ‘Bois’ is French for wood and we live in France.

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By Marcus Kett, Woodworking since 1989

Based in the Nouvelle Aquitaine of France