What purpose do butt chisels serve?

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Forum topic by Tedstor posted 04-23-2011 08:55 PM 14023 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1624 posts in 1906 days

04-23-2011 08:55 PM

More specifically, what can a butt chisel do that a standard bevel chisel can’t??
I saw a 6pc set of Craftsman butt chisels at my local Sears. It was sitting in the scratch/dent rack. For $18, I was tempted to buy them. While not absolute gems, they didn’t appear to be complete junk either. I couldn’t identify any reason they’d be in the scratch/dent pile.
However, I also couldn’t see any use for them that my current chisels couldn’t handle. So I passed (after hiding the set under a couple boxes of pink pruning shears in case I changed my mind).

8 replies so far

View hObOmOnk's profile


1381 posts in 3401 days

#1 posted 04-23-2011 09:45 PM

Installing hinges, among other uses.

-- 温故知新

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10850 posts in 2389 days

#2 posted 04-23-2011 10:39 PM

if you take crowns butcheisels they are just the right size for
children and in thight space
but they do have the advange when you want to have more control over the chiesel
with precissionwork
again its all depending on what make and how you work that deside what tools you can
add to the toolbox with advantages others is just a nice to have if the day come
where it wuold be the right tool to snap out and have the job done in a minut
and if you not have it it just take longer

take care

View Loren's profile (online now)


8035 posts in 2921 days

#3 posted 04-24-2011 01:00 AM

They are sort of useful for carpentry work I find. They are shorter
and you can stick one in an apron pocket. They aren’t much use
for trimming deep but the short length makes them easy to place
accurately enough (for carpentry) with one hand while you’ve
got a hammer in the other. Thus, they’re useful for hinge mortising
a door and frame where their shortness makes them maneuverable
in the task.


View Lumber2Sawdust's profile


139 posts in 2139 days

#4 posted 04-24-2011 02:33 AM

I inlaid some walnut diamond pieces in the work bench I built(you can see it in my projects), mostly to hide some holes in the top from its previous life. The butt chisels were perfect for that. They have better control for work like that.

Much like you, I wouldn’t have paid for them, but I got them as a gift years ago. Since I don’t use them much, they always seem to be sharp so they are easy to grab for detailed work like that.

View superstretch's profile


1530 posts in 1967 days

#5 posted 04-24-2011 04:48 AM

When toilet paper just doesn’t cut it.

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

View HerbC's profile (online now)


1499 posts in 2133 days

#6 posted 04-24-2011 05:03 AM


Thinking about it, I wouldn’t ever want my toilet paper to cut it… That’s why I use Charmin…


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4198 posts in 3234 days

#7 posted 04-25-2011 04:20 PM

How else would you chisel your butt?
Sorry. Just had to.


View kowtow's profile


20 posts in 1931 days

#8 posted 06-05-2011 08:17 PM

I have a couple of butt chisels that I use on paring end grain of really nasty dense hard wood. In my job I work with a white oak and mahogany in tight spaces and sometimes your bench chisels are too cumbersome to get in and maneuver around. So the butt chisels fit. Also my hand fatigue less fast because the handles are shaped differently.

But all of that is really particular to what I’m doing (wooden boat restoration) and if you’re working on a shelving unit, or a whatever it is you do, it might not be so useful.

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