A woodworking project that needs a woodturning chisel

Woodturning chisels are invaluable for projects that include decorative, shaped work that is typically turned on a lathe. Such projects can include making chair legs, salt and pepper pots, pieces for a balustrade, bowls, cups and even chess pieces. A piece of timber or a partly finished object is held in place on a lathe which rotates at high speed. A woodturning chisel is held in place to create the desired shape.

Types of Woodturning Chisel

Woodturning chisels generally have longer handles and blades for versatility when working on a variety of projects. They are available with shaped ends that each produce a different effect.

  • Domed Scraper Chisel – This has a smooth angled curve to eliminate rough edges inside hollow structures such as a bowl or cup
  • Deep Bowl Gouge – The U-shaped blade is ideal for hollowing out a piece of timber to form a bowl or cup
  • Roughing Gouge – With a sharply trimmed U-shaped end, this chisel is used to begin work on a project by cutting away excess timber
  • Skew Chisel – The neat wedge shape of this chisel is perfect for finishing a piece by smoothing the surface
  • Oval Skew Chisel – This is similar to the previous chisel except the back of the blade is curved to allow it to be held in position against a rest
  • Fingernail Profile Gouge – The elongated fingernail cutting edge can be used either head on or at the side for creating flexible shapes
  • Parting and Beading Chisel – The sharp V-shaped end is ideal for cutting notches and beadwork
  • Spindle Gouge – This has a lop-sided U-shape which enables a neat finish for spindles

Woodturning Projects for a Beginner

Woodturning is a skilled task that can take some time to master but having the right tools can help. Many projects for beginners include creating a simple wooden bowl. This uses a deep bowl gouge to hollow out the central section followed by tidying to a smooth finish with the domed scraper. It can take a few attempts to achieve a bowl that is perfectly symmetrical inside and out. When making chair legs or pepper pots that need a smooth exterior a steady hand is essential to guide the chisel. An oval skew chisel produces the same fine, smooth finish as the skew chisel except that the curved back can be rested on a toolbar to help keep the tool steady. Even experienced woodturners still prefer to use the oval skew chisel that they first used as it provides improved handling.


Woodturning is a highly creative skill that produces practical, elegant objects. Fine, precision ground HSS blades enable accuracy when shaping and finishing projects to a high standard. Data Power Tools have an excellent selection of woodturning chisels for both amateur and professional use.