Best Japanese Chisels in 2022 (Reviews and Comparison)

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The best Japanese Chisels are incredibly sharp and strong. They stay sharp for longer, last longer, and produce incredible results.

Japanese chisels are also a joy to work with.

The superior steel and craftsmanship used in making Japanese chisels can make them more expensive than traditional western chisels. But it is well worth the investment.

We’ve pared down the chisels available to our selection of the best Japanese chisels, based on sharpness, the quality of materials, workmanship, and use.

COMPARISON CHART

IMAGE PRODUCT
KAKURI Japanese Wood Chisel Set 3 piece Professional Japanese Oire Nomi for Woodworking, Carving, Mortising, Dovetailing, Razor Japanese Carbon Steel, Red Oak Handle, Made in JAPAN 1. KAKURI 3-Piece Japanese Wood Chisel Set
  • A range of sizes for various woodwork projects
  • Easy to sharpen
  • Long lasting
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Tataki Nomi INM Japanese Chisels, 15mm 2. Tataki Nomi INM Japanese Chisels
  • Great for new chisel users
  • Budget friendly option
  • Tapered blade for deeper cutting
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KAKURI Japanese Chisel Set 6-piece, Professional Wood Chisel Nomi for Woodworking, Mortising, Carving, Forged Japanese Aogami Steel (Blue Paper #2) Damascus Pattern, Red Oak Handle, Made in JAPAN 3. KAKURI Premium Grade Japanese Chisel
  • Top Quality Steel
  • Quality Materials
  • Professional Grade
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Grizzly G7095 1/2-Inch Japanese Chise Length 4. Grizzly Industrial G7095-1/2″ Japanese Chisel
  • Very Hard Steel
  • Quality
  • Low Cost
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Fujimoto Hardened Japanese Chisel 30mm Yasushi Steel used 5. Fujimoto Hardened Japanese Chisel 30mm Yasushi Steel
  • Light
  • Compact
  • 30mm wide
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1. KAKURI 3-Piece Japanese Wood Chisel Set – Editor’s Choice

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KAKURI Japanese Wood Chisel Set 3 piece Professional Japanese Oire Nomi for Woodworking, Carving, Mortising, Dovetailing, Razor Japanese Carbon Steel, Red Oak Handle, Made in JAPAN

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KAKURI Japanese Wood Chisel Set 3 piece Professional Japanese Oire Nomi for Woodworking, Carving, Mortising, Dovetailing, Razor Japanese Carbon Steel, Red Oak Handle, Made in JAPAN

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KAKURI Japanese Wood Chisel Set 3 piece Professional Japanese Oire Nomi for Woodworking, Carving, Mortising, Dovetailing, Razor Japanese Carbon Steel, Red Oak Handle, Made in JAPAN

Specification

Brand:KAKURI
Size:9, 15, 24 mm
Item Weight:1.1 pounds
Material:Japanese high carbon steel
Handle Material:Japanese red oak

Features

  • Razor sharp and durable
  • Easy to restore sharpness with whetstone
  • Japanese red oak handle
  • 3 sizes for a range of woodwork

KAKURI Japanese chisels consist of top quality Japanese steel. It uses high quality Japanese steel, which makes sharp cuts.  

Ideal Japanese type chisel for woodworking. Each blade width size: 0.35″ / 0.59″ / 0.94″ can be widely used for various types of woodwork such as architecture, furniture, making mortises and DIY. It can be used not only for professional carpenters but also for home DIY woodworkers.

Only Japanese high-grade materials are used. The chisel blade is razor-sharp and durable, it is possible to restore the sharpness by sharpening the blade with a whetstone. Also, the whole wooden handle is heavy duty and excellent wear resistance. With a blade cover, it is easy to carry. All KAKURI brand products are manufactured in Japan and handcrafted by Japanese craftsmen.

WHAT WE LIKE

A set of 3 high quality Japanese chisels included in this set allow you to perform a variety of woodwork with ease. Blades can be resharpened and tend to get better with age. Overall great value for money. 

WHAT WE DONT LIKE

These chisels tend to chip easily with harder wood. These tend to be shorter than expected which may not suit everyone. 

PROS

  • A range of sizes for various woodwork projects
  • Easy to sharpen 
  • Long lasting
  • Affordable

CONS

  • Tend to chip easily 
  • Shorter than expected 
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Tataki Nomi INM Japanese Chisels, 15mm

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Tataki Nomi INM Japanese Chisels, 15mm

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Tataki Nomi INM Japanese Chisels, 15mm

Specification

Brand:HOSCO
Size:15mm
Item Weight:1 pound
Material:Alloy Steel Blade
Handle Material:Oak Wood Handle

Features

  • Can perform deep cuts
  • Alloy steel blade 
  • Oak wood handle 
  • Multiple uses

The Tataki Nomi chisels offer an excellent introduction to Japanese nomi for those woodworkers who have never used such a chisel before. With all the features expected of a Japanese chisel, these have alloy steel lined backs and hollow ground handles to reduce friction during cutting and to make flattening the back bevel easier. The profile of the chisel is tapered for better clearance when performing deep cuts.

Forged blades feature alloy steel cutting edges with soft iron fronts more forgiving in use and less likely to chip. The tapered blade profiles allow for deeper cutting. The steel reinforced hoops prevent handles from splitting.

WHAT WE LIKE

Budget option that is great for new users to Japanese chisels. This is an individual chisel but there are 7 other size options available in this brand range. 

WHAT WE DONT LIKE

Factory made so the quality and workmanship is not up to similar Japanese chisel standards. Only one chisel so no size ranges for multiple uses. 

PROS

  • Great for new chisel users
  • Budget friendly option
  • Tapered blade for deeper cutting
  • Multiple sizes available in this range 

CONS

  • Single chisel
  • Factory made lower quality
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KAKURI Japanese Chisel Set 6-piece, Professional Wood Chisel Nomi for Woodworking, Mortising, Carving, Forged Japanese Aogami Steel (Blue Paper #2) Damascus Pattern, Red Oak Handle, Made in JAPAN

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KAKURI Japanese Chisel Set 6-piece, Professional Wood Chisel Nomi for Woodworking, Mortising, Carving, Forged Japanese Aogami Steel (Blue Paper #2) Damascus Pattern, Red Oak Handle, Made in JAPAN

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KAKURI Japanese Chisel Set 6-piece, Professional Wood Chisel Nomi for Woodworking, Mortising, Carving, Forged Japanese Aogami Steel (Blue Paper #2) Damascus Pattern, Red Oak Handle, Made in JAPAN

Specification

Brand:KAKURI
Size:6mm, 12mm, 19mm, 25mm, 32mm, 38mm
Item Weight:120g-220g each chisel
Material:Japanese Blue Paper Steel #2
Handle Material:Japanese Red Oak Handle

Features

  • Razor Sharp Blue Steel #2
  • Easy Sharpening
  • Solid Wood Handle
  • 6 Various Sizes For Multiple Uses

This set of 6 Japanese chisels from renowned Japanese handtool maker Kakuri is made from Aogami Blue Paper Steel #2, the highest grade of Japanese steel.

The high-carbon Japanese steel blade with a multi-layered steel base and Damascus pattern has outstanding sharpness and durability, while still being easy to sharpen.

The solid Japanese oak handle with a metal hoop has excellent resistance to hammer blows for a longer life.

The chamfered blade has less cutting resistance than traditional Western chisels giving you superior results with less effort.

WHAT WE LIKE

This Kakuri 6-piece chisel set is a top-quality product from one of the most well-respected Japanese manufacturers and is suitable for professionals and keen woodworkers.

WHAT WE DONT LIKE

It is a lot to invest on one purchase but you do get 6 chisels for the price so not too bad per chisel.

PROS

  • Top Quality Steel
  • Quality Materials
  • Professional Grade

CONS

  • Initial Outlay
  • Same Type of Chisels
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Grizzly G7095 1/2-Inch Japanese Chise Length

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Grizzly G7095 1/2-Inch Japanese Chise Length

Specification

Brand:Grizzly Industrial
Size:½”
Item Weight:0.25 lbs
Material:High Carbon Steel
Handle Material:Hardwood

Features

  • Very Hard Blade – Rockwell Hardness 63
  • Solid Steel Ferrules
  • Hardwood Handle
  • ½” Width

Grizzly Industrial is an American tool and equipment company founded in the 80s in the corner of a laundry store in Washington state. So you might not expect to see them in a list of the best Japanese chisels.

But this chisel is made in Japan and has all the quality and features of the best Japanese chisels.

Hand-finished with a ½-inch laminated steel blade using high carbon steel with a similar hardness to traditional Japanese companies’ chisels, attached to a socket type hardwood handle with steel ferrules.

WHAT WE LIKE

This is a good, well-balanced, general-purpose chisel with a very hard blade. It comes at a great price for a Japanese chisel so is a good choice to give you your first taste of these sharp and durable tools.

WHAT WE DONT LIKE

While it does have the Japanese built quality, it doesn’t quite have the same cool factor of a traditional Japanese brand. If you can live with that it’s a quality product at a great price.

PROS

  • Very Hard Steel
  • Quality
  • Low Cost

CONS

  • Not Japanese Brand
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Fujimoto Hardened Japanese Chisel 30mm Yasushi Steel used

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Fujimoto Hardened Japanese Chisel 30mm Yasushi Steel used

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Fujimoto Hardened Japanese Chisel 30mm Yasushi Steel used

Specification

Brand:Fujimoto
Size:30mm
Item Weight:6.3 ounces
Material:Hardened Steel
Handle Material:Oak

Features

  • Lightweight
  • Compact
  • Oak Handle
  • 30mm Width

This short-bladed Fujimoto weighs in at only 6.3 oz and is just over 8 inches long.

Made from Yashusi steel and with a red oak handle for added strength.

WHAT WE LIKE

This compact chisel is suitable for a smaller tool kit.

WHAT WE DONT LIKE

Quality of steel is not the best.

PROS

  • Light
  • Compact
  • 30mm wide

CONS

  • Questionable Steel Quality

Buyer’s Guide

Japanese Chisel vs Regular Chisel

‘Nomi’ in Japanese, Japanese chisels have blades with higher carbon Japanese steel so are sharper and more durable. The blade also has a curve on the back for easier working.

Japanese chisels have a metal ring/hoop around the top of the handle and ferrule at the bottom to help keep the handle intact when hammering.

Purpose Of Using

They have the same uses as regular chisels but tend to be more like framing chisels.

Size

Japanese chisels are available in a wide variety of sizes for a full range of jobs.

Steel Quality

Traditionally use harder White Paper Steel or Blue Paper Steel.

White Paper – finer grain, sharper. Slightly softer, it will blunt more quickly.

Blue Paper – higher carbon, harder, stays sharp for longer. Harder to sharpen and more prone to chip. 

Handles

Made of solid wood.

They are strengthened with metal ferrules between handle and shank.

Socket chisel – handle fits into a socket in blade shank.

Tang chisel – tang on blade sits in the handle. 

Conclusion

Whether you are new to using Japanese chisels or a seasoned professional you can find one to suit your needs. Whatever you are looking to do some basic DIY or you need some Japanese chisels for professional use we have to recommend the KAKURI 3-Piece Japanese Wood Chisel Set.

With this set you get quality Japanese chisels made in Japan. Including 3 sizes that can be used for a variety of woodworking needs you will struggle to find a more value for money option. 

The Japanese high carbon steel blades can easily be resharpened and allow these chisels to last for years to come. The Japanese red oak handle is comfortable to use and durable. 

Overall this is our top recommendation for a Japanese wood chisel that is both well made and built to last as well as affordable. You won’t go wrong with the KAKURI 3-Piece Japanese Wood Chisel Set. 

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