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What Are the Different Types of Wood Lathe Chisels?

Wood lathe chisels come in numerous types. However, they all serve the same purpose of defining the stock. In this work, we sub-group the types of wood lathe chisels into different parts, from chisels and gouges to parting tools and scrapers. We have also reviewed the best beginner wood lathe chisels if you are just getting into woodturning.


On woods, chisels perform the task of smoothing out rough surfaces. To achieve this, you could either use the skew chisel or square nosed chisel.

·      Skew Chisel

Skew chisels give a glassy cut on your workpiece. It has a round top and flat edge that makes your finished piece clean without sanding it. Although mastering the art of using this tool may be difficult for most beginners, this chisel serves as a versatile working tool for everyone, most especially experienced users. However, only when you understand how well it works can you properly wield this wood lathe chisel.

If you are looking to create fine details on your workpiece, this tool planes out the surfaces easily. The skew chisel comes with a cutting edge of 45 degrees and two sharp bevels that are ground between 25 and 55 degrees on each side.

When using a skew chisel, the middle parts work better than its edge. So, lay the blade flat on the wood to make a V-groove across it or plane out rough areas. Avoid hitting the end part of the skew on a moving wood as it may cause harm.

·      Square-Nosed Chisel

As the name implies, its blade has a flat square cutting edge on both sides. Unlike the skew chisel, the square-nosed type is lengthier and has one bevel that s grounded at about 40 to 60 degrees.


Gouge’s work to remove excess materials on your wood piece after cutting. There are two types of gouge for woodwork, spindle roughing gouge and shallow-fluted gouge.

·      Spindle Roughing Gouge

Unlike the square and skew chisels that give smooth finishing to your stock, the spindle roughing gouge removes excess stock quickly but does not give the best finishing touch to the workpiece. This chisel has a wide fluted blade perfect for turning and creating rough round shapes on a square and off-centered wooden spindle.

The roughing gouge comes with a bevel that is ground at about forty to forty-five degrees. It is U-shaped and tends to function with a straight grind. Apart from this, it is best to avoid using this roughing gouge on bowls as they can easily break and cause harm.

·      Shallow-Fluted Gouge

The chisel is also known as a spindle gouge or shaper. Most people confuse this type of gouge with the spindle roughing gouge because they work alike. However, they have one unique feature that different both. The shallow-fluted gouge is smaller than the roughing gouge. Notwithstanding their small look, they still come in various sizes. Moreover, its shallow flute makes it possible to reach tighter and shallower areas a roughing gouge will not reach.

It has a shallow flute perfect for shaping spindle work and creating details like beads and coves on a wood piece. With its cutting-edge ground between thirty and forty degrees, this tool can create unique curves, swells, and hallows on your stock. Far from this, it is a versatile tool that comes with a fingernail grind that works perfectly for any shape.

Parting Tools

If you are looking to make a valve for a chuck to hold onto, this tool is your best to-go chisel. A parting tool parts and scrapes unwanted particles from the center of a stock. In essence, it works as a plunge cut for your workpiece. There are four different types of parting tools for chisel work. They include:

·      Plain or Rectangle Parting Tools

This parting tool is sometimes called a knife parting tool. This is because when turning with the spindle, it helps to make clean cuts on the object. It has a relatively short blade that lays with its curved edge on the tool rest. It also has a rectangle cross-section for cutting.

·      Fluted Parting Tools

This lathe chisel is built with a unique but sharp cutting edge that can create distinctive patterns like beads of any size and carve round shapes on wood. It also works perfectly to cut partings inside the workpiece.

·      Waisted Parting Tools

This tool is sometimes called a diamond parting tool because of its sloping blade that has a sharp and pointed tip. Its waisted cross-section works to decrease friction on both sides of the tool. To use this lathe to cut and create partings on your workpiece, it is best to hold the narrow edge.

·      Square Tools

This parting tool is mostly used for spindle turning to make beadworks and cut hallowed partings on the workpiece. Unlike the blade of other parting tools, its blade is broader and has a sturdy cross-section. It comes with a double-sloped beveled cutting edge between forty-five to fifty degrees.


Instead of performing a heavy task, the scraper serves as a finishing tool and comes in different shapes and sizes. Its use includes creating the finishing touch to a cup, bowl, and any other hollow form. Scrapers include:

·      Square Nose Scarper

This scraper works exceptionally for scraping the outer part of your stock. However, to scrap, you need to use just the tip as it is perfect for removing excessive remains on the stock. To get a fine finishing, all you need to do is place the flat edge on the tool rest. It comes with a wide, thick, square blade and a single bevel between sixty to sixty-five degrees.

·      Round Nose Scrapper

If you are working on a faceplate turning, this tool will help you smoothen the surface of your items like bowls and cups. They are also useful for spindle turning to make smooth coves. It has a thick blade with a single bevel around sixty to sixty-five degrees.

·      Half-Round Scrapper

As the name suggests, it has a single flat edge and a curved side with a thick but heavy rectangular cross-section blade between sixty to sixty-five degrees. This tool works to smoothen the internal surface of a hollow piece like bowls.


Wood lathe chisels are divided into four parts, gouges, chisel, parting tools, and scrappers. They all work to make your pieces look unique, even with their different smoothen functions. However, it is best to know which chisel to use in woodturning as using the wrong tool may not give the desired outcome.