Can You Use Wood Chisels On A Lathe?

can you use wood chisels on a lathe

Can you use wood chisels on a lathe? In this article, we are going to explain why normal chisels are not the best idea and what chisels you can use on a lathe.

First things first – wood chisels are not a good replacement for lathe chisels. They lack the precision and cutting depth that lathe-turned chisels offer. They can be difficult to sharpen, can cause damage to the wood when used incorrectly, or even break. You can get injured when using wood chisels. It’s important to use the proper tools when woodturning.

Why Normal Chisels Are Not A Good Idea

Can You Use Wood Chisels on a Lathe?

Chisels are a common tool used to shape wood. However, not all chisels are created equal. Normal chisels are not the best choice to use on a wood lathe because they are smaller and thinner than wood lathe chisels.

A turning chisel that is thicker and heavier than your traditional chisel will be able to handle the turning forces of the lathe and will not break or damage the wood.

Compared with hand-held chisels, chisels and gouges on lathes are equipped with long handles that need to be operated with both hands. Because you need to exert some force on them because the lathe is a more powerful tool.

You should always use the specific type of chisels designed specifically for use on a wood lathe.

What Kind Of Chisels Do You Use On A Lathe?

woodturning chisel set

Lathes are used to create a variety of objects, from intricate objects to simple pieces like a bowl. In order to create these objects, you will need a variety of chisels.

Chisels come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can be used for a variety of tasks, from simple cuts to more complicated shaping.

Spindle Roughing Gouge

A large, versatile tool is designed to shift a substantial amount of weight. It contains a full bar and a straight edge and has curved ground, so it is typically used to change the shape of the object. This tool can be used to make the rough shape of your piece.

Spindle Gouge

This tool is also known as a shallow-fluted gouge, and it is used to create details, such as beads and coves. Experienced turners also use spindles to make detail or add holes to wood. With practice, you can create a scooping technique to enlarge the hole, but try to avoid undercutting the sides.

Woodturning tools have a number of similar functions, but certain kinds of spindle gouges could cause you serious injury if you use them as a bowl gouge, for example.

Skew Chisel

The skew chisel is mainly used for planning wood, leaving a beautiful finish without needing to sand, and it’s also used for creating fine details. Various other tasks can be performed with a skew chisel.

Parting Tool

As the name implies, this tool cuts the wood, separating shapes. The scribing tool functions for various purposes. For instance, some people use it to build a spigot, while others utilize it for scraping.

Hollowing Tool

Hollowing tools are used in woodturning to create detailed pieces by removing material from the inside of the piece. The hollowing tool is inserted into the piece and it creates a cavity in the wood.

Bowl Gouge

A bowl gouge is a tool used to cut and shape wood bowls. It is better to have an assortment of gouges of different sizes and different grinds to make wood bowl turning as efficient as possible.


Your basic chisel set may include a scraper. This flat and broad tool is primarily used when refining the surface of the wood. It is an often flat and broad tool used to refine the surface of the wood. You can use it to shape or clean up the surface signs left by every other chisel.

The above are the tools that you have to use if you want to turn wood without worrying about damaging the wood or getting injured. Using professional tools can increase your accuracy and therefore the quality of the piece you are turning. It is essential that you have all of these tools in your woodturning set to make the process easier and more efficient.

Final Thoughts

So, can you use wood chisels on a lathe? Now you know the answer!

Wood chisels cannot be used on a lathe. They are not designed to be used on a lathe and can lead to some really troublesome scenarios where you can damage the wood you are working on or you can hurt yourself.

Make sure to use proper tools for the job and you are sure to have a pleasant woodturning experience.