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chisels for removing lots of wood


I am relatively new to (hobby) woodcarving, I bought Mary's first set of carving chisels and I am very, very  happy with it.

I would like 'jump' to bigger projects: carve a giraffe from a 1.2m (4 foot) log, a big tray from big slide of sycamore, a (copy of) Maloof rocker in oak, ...

Can anybody please suggest a few carving chisels to remove lots of material? Both the size and the brand, please. (with material I mean hard wood like white oak - but I will also use the chisels on soft wood)

As I said, I bought Mary's first set and I am impressed with the quality of Pfeil chisels (I own also Ashley Iles, Two Cherries, Narex, some Japanese chisels, ... therefore I can compare) and the quality of the steel is phenomenal. But I am a bit concerned that the lack of a metal rings at the top and bottom of big Pfeil's handles might lead to mushrooming or splitting of the handle when one hits the chisel (to remove lots of wood) with a mallet. Am I too careful in my thinking? Maybe being the steel so good there is no need to hit hard on Pfeil's chisels? I did use Two Cherries' bench chisels (which have metal rings on the handle) to make a porch, chopping away big mortises and tenons. They were incredible: no vibrations, no handle breakage, ... I am simply afraid that the same pounding on Pfeil's chisels might split the handle, but, as I said, I might be too careful in my thinking.

Thanks in advance for your reactions.

Best regards, Pier





Hello Pier:   check out page 21 - 23 in the Pfeil catalog.     https://pfeiltools.ch/katalog/

Once over 50mm width Pfeil uses the metal ring you describe.  Check out this page:   and look at the various sweeps and click  through to the specific tools you are interested in.  If you see one or more, just email me at:  dennis@chippingaway.com  and I will check stock both at our shop and at Pfeil and let you know further details.  Stock is somewhat limited during this Covid period, but I will certainly try my best to help you.

Hope we can help.

Tim Farrell and John Edmundson have reacted to this post.
Tim FarrellJohn Edmundson

Hello Pier. Welcome! Thanks Dennis for that information.

One thing you may want to consider also is to use a wooden mallet rather than a metal mallet (which I often prefer for smaller work and light tapping). I have split a few handles wailing away with a metal mallet. It could also happen with a turned wooden one, but the wood against wood bounces more.

Have fun and I would love to see what large pieces you make.

You may also want to consider the "Wood is Good" brand mallets with urethane coating. I have both the 12 and 20 oz and find they meet most of my needs. I used to use a big honking lignum vitae mallet and I could certainly move a lot of wood with it but my shoulder felt it after a while. I find the 20oz mallet works just fine.

And course we have them all:



Hello everyone,

and thanks for you answers. Maybe I should have mentioned it earlier, but I live in The Netherlands (Europe). For some reason I did not think this bit of information was important.

Thanks Dennis for your links, but I wonder if your sale discounts would offset the shipment costs to Europe 🙂

BTW: "Once over 50mm width Pfeil uses the metal ring you describe" but the link you sent has chisels at most 40mm broad!

Back to the original question about chisels to remove lots of wood.

Any suggestion?


Best wishes,


Hello Pier,

Being in Europe, you will probably have a better chance of finding German tools like Hirsch or Two Cherry. I searched and here is a link that sells Two Cherry and I think is based in Germany. Any larger, curved gouge (#7 , 8 or 9 curvature) and above 30mm will work for large removal of wood. You may have better luck searching from Europe, and the main things that come up for me are the US based suppliers.


Good luck!

Hallo Pier,


Ik weet niet of het nog van belang is maar ik kom ook uit Nederland en heb de beste ervaring met de Hazelaar een goed gesorteerde shop in Soest.

Groet Hans Schoppers

I'm relatively new to the world of woodcarving myself, and I totally get your excitement about Mary's first set of carving chisels! It's always thrilling to dive into a new hobby. As you're aiming to try for pizza with those bigger projects like the giraffe carving or the Maloof rocker copy, you're definitely stepping up the challenge.

When it comes to chisel suggestions for removing lots of material from hard woods like white oak, I'd say you're on the right track with Pfeil chisels. Their quality and steel are indeed remarkable. You've got quite the collection with Ashley Iles, Two Cherries, Narex, and even Japanese chisels, giving you a broad perspective to compare. I understand your concern about the lack of metal rings on the larger Pfeil handles when using a mallet. Your thoughtfulness shows your dedication to preserving your tools.

Considering the exceptional quality of Pfeil's steel, you might find that you don't need to hit the chisels as hard to achieve efficient material removal. However, given your experience with Two Cherries' bench chisels and their handle design, your concern about handle durability is valid. Perhaps a middle ground approach could be to use a lighter mallet or adjust your striking technique when working with Pfeil's larger chisels. This way, you can balance your drive to "try for pizza" with the need to preserve your tools.