Professional woodturners know that they can only achieve the mastery of woodturning with the best woodturning tools aka wood lathe chisels.
And, choosing the best lathe chisels isn’t an easy job. Don’t worry! In this article, I am going to help you choose the best woodturning chisels for your wood lathe.
Best Wood Lathe Chisels – [Top Picks]
- Best Overall: Robert Sorby 67HS
- Runner Up: Savannah 7173
- Best Budget: YellowHammer 8-Piece
- Most Beautiful 8-Piece Set: Crown 285
- Best 5-Piece Set: Robert Sorby 52HS
- Best for Beginners: PSI Woodworing LCHSS8
- Best Carbide Set: Simple Woodturning 6-Piece
Best Woodturning Tools (Lathe Chisels) – Top Picks of 2023
Here are the best wood lathe chisels you need to know about.
1. Robert Sorby 67HS Woodturning Tools Set – Best Overall
- Wooden handles.
- Convenient set.
- Sharp and pointed.
- The skew can break if not handled with care.
As a professional, you can need specific turning tools for making unique and intricate details. But, someone who is starting with the art of woodturning will not know which equipment to get. Hence, it is always convenient to purchase a set.
Robert Sorby 67HS is a six-piece set. They manufactured it with great care, which is why it is one of our top picks. The lathe tools are easy to work with and have comfortable handles.
So, if you are starting with such tools, you will have reasonable control over the tools.
The handle will not scratch or tear the soft skin. There are various lengths of tools in this set. But, the most extended handle is 12 inches, and the shortest is 10 inches. The set includes a spindle roughing gouge, and a spindle gouge.
You will also get woodturning chisels and scraping tools. All in all, this set is fit for a beginner and professionals as well.
2. Savannah 7173 Woodturning Lathe Chisels Set – Runner Up
- Vibration absorbing handles.
- Speed oriented chisels.
- Aesthetic looking tools.
- Beautiful packaging.
- 16 inches long tools.
- More suitable for beginners.
If you always wanted a woodturning tool that was beautiful itself and capable of carving other pieces of wood, then this fantastic set is for you.
As soon as you receive Savannah 7173 set, you will be inspired to create and practice, because the packaging is so beautiful. It has a wooden box that holds all the products in place.
The length of each product is also the same, so it is easier to arrange. Moreover, you will find yourself taking less time to adjust to each tool.
These items are perfect for beginners as it has all the handy shapes. Moreover, Savannah made the chisel with high-speed steel, and a brass ring separates it from the handle.
So, the tool gains more strength. The Savannah tools have hardwood handles that are of excellent quality. It has the right width and height for a firm grip.
3. Crown 285 Lathe Tool Set – Most Beautiful 8-Piece Set
- Exceptional performance.
- Consists of 8-pieces.
- Contains different sizes of items.
- Really great when refining and restoring.
- The handles are specifically shaped to handle better.
- More suitable for apprentices and mid turners.
If you are looking for a woodturning set that covers basically all your needs, you are on the right track. Crown 285 comprises eight pieces of standard quality kit, which will not disappoint you.
Each chisel of Crown 285 toolset is made to scrape complex curves and grooves. They are perfectly ideal to utilize when working on a lathe.
The set has roughing out gouge, spindle gouges, parting tool, skew chisel, square end, and round nose scrapers.
Their beechwood handles are convenient in every way. The brass ferrule attached with handles meets steel blades that have been hardened and tempered. They are more durable than carbon blades.
Due to this balanced ratio, it gets simpler to design intricate and detailed works effortlessly. You will not need to sharpen them frequently.
Also, this is very handy for those looking to learn more precision with a lathe. The set is available in a very eye-catching display box of cardboard: elegance and effective – all in one.
4. PSI Woodworking LCHSS8 – Best Beginner Woodturning Tools Set
- Carbon steel tools.
- All-round kit.
- Perfect for beginners.
- Lasts more than a year.
- Costs more than most woodturning sets.
Are you on the hunt for the best beginner woodturning tools sets, but do not know where to find them? Well, your quest ends here as we have found a kit that has all the essential items you will need to get started on woodturning.
The PSI woodturning LCHSS8 set has eight hand-picked tools that can cover all aspects of carving a block of wood from the inside.
You will get skews, scrapers, gouges that can more or less do everything. The best part is, you also get them in various lengths. Hence, you will not have to buy a smaller one individually.
These sharp heads utilize carbon steel that will last you for more than a year. So, you can turn wood comfortably, without having to worry.
This set also comes in a wooden box that has separate compartments for each tool. Consequently, you will not lose the items.
5. Simple Woodturning Tools 6-Piece – Best Carbide Woodturning Tools Set
- Entire carbide steel tool.
- Signature swan-shaped head.
- Easy to maintain.
- Reach narrow places.
- More suitable for professionals.
The point of woodturning tools is to help you create intricate details. However, most gear can do essential work, and most kits do not have genuinely unique tools for creating a masterpiece.
Yet, our Simple Woodturning tools have the best carbide woodturning tools (carbide lathe tools) set for you.
This brand offers its signature swan-shaped tool in the set. Since the neck has a curve to it, it can reach small places and create concave and convex shapes.
So, you do not have to buy the tool individually as you will receive it in the set at an economical price.
Also, the set has other useful tools. On top of that, Simple Woodturning tools do not have any wooden handle. The carbide steel forms the tool from head to toe.
Hence, the longevity of the tools increases. It will not snap in half either.
6. Savannah 7586 – Best Carbide Chisels Under $200
- Carbide steelhead.
- Flatback handle.
- More stability and grip.
- Easy to use.
- Not an all-round set.
Carbide wood lathe tools are recommended by most professionals as it is easier to use and maintain. So, if you are a professional looking for such tools or even an amateur wanting to start right, then the carbide lathe tools from Savannah will be a good match.
The best part about these tools of Savannah 7586 is, you will not have to sharpen them. And the rotatable cutter head system will do the job for you.
So, lay the equipment on the wood, and the rotating head will carve accordingly. Replacing the sharp heads once they are out of order is also easy.
Also, the handle’s construction uses standard wood. It is separated from the carbide steel by a steel ring. The handles also feature a flat back that provides more stability and grip to enhance the overall experience.
Consequently, the tool will not slip from your hand.
7. Hurricane Woodturning Tools Starter Set
- Better performance than carbon tools.
- Eight-piece set.
- Contains tools of diverse sizes.
- Standard handle-to-steel ratio.
- More suitable for beginner and intermediary turners.
The process of turning the woods needs skill and dedication. Along with that, you will also need a handy set of tools.
If you do not want to spend time purchasing a specific appliance, then it is better to invest in an all-round kit such as the Hurricane set.
These Hurricane Woodturning lathe chisels are much better than carbon tools, which tend to break apart. The steel is also high speed, which will allow precision with speed.
Moreover, you will get a comfortable handle on each tool.
This set contains eight different items that serve a different purpose. You will get a diamond parting tool, bowl gouge, scrapers, chisel skews.
All these tools have a standard handle-to-steel ratio, so balancing becomes easier. This enables you to create detailed designs.
8. Robert Sorby 52HS Wood Lathe Chisels Set – Best 5-Piece Set
- White ash handles.
- Five-piece set.
- Strong and long-lasting.
- Six times more durable.
- Does not induce hand cramps.
- Does not have a bowl gouge.
Another set from this brand has made our list, but this set, in particular, is popular among the novice. So, if you are a DIY woodturner or an apprentice, then the 52HS set should do you justice.
Usually, beginners get hand cramps from using small tools such as a woodturner. However, Robert Sorby made sure the handles were wide enough to avoid such issues.
Each chisel of Robert Sorby 52HS has white ash handles that look elegant. The handle separates itself from the steel with a solid brass ferrule, which also happens to be in gold. So, more beauty for the eye.
The steel on these tools is sturdy and durable. This means you can go high-speed while carving the wood.
They also need minimal sharpening, which is why they last six times longer than flimsy carbon steel tools. So, excellent choice for beginners.
9. Crown 280 HSS Wood Turning Tool Set – Most Beautiful 5-Piece Set
- Ergonomic handles allow stable hold.
- HSS made steel blades offer better longevity than other materials.
- Brilliant performance with six times more durability.
- Excellent for beginner woodturners.
- Available in an attractive display box.
- A bit overpriced for a beginner’s budget.
- They are smaller; it might be difficult for some newbies with leverage.
Crown 280 comes with five pieces of turning set. It is similar to Crown 285; however, the 280 model is far more sophisticated.
The stained beechwood handle is ergonomically designed for better hold. It has the heavy-duty brass ferrules to retain the blade and handle intact.
M2 HSS or High-Speed Steel enables the blades six times sharper with appropriate bevel angles. Crown 280 includes essential gadgets required for meticulous and outstanding clean cuts.
Roughing gouge, spindle gouge, parting tool, round nose, and skew chisel; each holds a better edge to do the work smoothly. Much less vibration is attained to ensure thorough effort.
This set has become widely favorite to many for their efficiency, especially if you wish to approach woodturning from scratch.
10. Simple Woodturning Tools 3-Piece – Best Value Carbide Set
- Generates more creativity.
- Contains a 55 detailer.
- Requires minimal effort.
- Solid aluminum handles.
- Cannot reduce vibration as effectively as other wooden handles.
Other carbide woodturning tools reviews may fail you, but this set from Simple Woodturning will not. It is a three-piece set that can offer minimal effort to start working as a woodturner. However, do not worry that only three items will hamper your workflow.
This carbide made package is perfectly adequate to meet all your needs. With this set, you can achieve more creativity. As the tools are small and dynamic, it makes the process of carving wood as simple as it can be.
The Simple 55 detailer is excellent for making intricate indents and marks. Its precise tip enables you an easy maneuver technique.
Ultimately, the overall work becomes easy. They use premium quality aluminum for the handles, which makes the tools more lightweight. Hence you can work for a more extended period.
11. Yellowhammer Turning Tools Essentials 8-Piece Wood Lathe Chisels
- Ergo-economical handle.
- Sleek and elegant look.
- Eight pieces.
- Easy to use.
- Not recommended for professionals.
If you were on the hunt for an economical set that has all the essential elements, then the toolset from Yellowhammer can be helpful. It has eight pieces that are incredibly versatile and durable. Some items are of the same shape, but they come in different sizes.
So, if you needed a tool of similar shape, but a bit smaller, the Yellowhammer kit can cover for you. An unique aspect about this set is the ergo-economical beech handles.
They have improved grip system. So, you will have better control over your designs. The products also look more elegant as it is in black.
Also, the central part is of high-speed steel. It will not break easily and can comfortably cope with speed. However, this package is geared more towards beginners. So, the professionals might not be satisfied.
12. ImoTechom HSS Woodturning Tools Set – Best HSS Under $200
- Aesthetic appeal.
- Versatile set.
- Walnut wood handle.
- High-speed technical steel.
- Recommended for professionals.
Surely, you want a woodturning set that is as beautiful as the designs you carve. If you want an aesthetically pleasing package, then be sure to check out this set from IMOTECHOM.
The eight pieces of high-speed steel tools of ImoTechom 8-piece set come in a neatly packaged box. They each have separate slots so that you can organize them with ease. It also becomes easier to identify the tool from the container.
Its high-speed steel has a 6.3 inches length. So, you get enough space to hold the tool with proper grip. Consequently, you can carve through large pieces of wood with more ease.
Moreover, the handles on these products are also beautiful. They come in walnut wood and have a length of 10 inches.
Walnut is considered an expensive material; hence, these tools look and feel regal. You will get roughing, and spindle gouges along with chisel screws and a variety of other products.
Best Woodturning Tools – [Updated Buying Guide]
Reading some random woodturning tools reviews is not enough to decide which tools and set you will need.
Chisels, skews, gouges – all have a different purpose, and you cannot use one tool to create another’s pattern. For making a calculated decision, you need more information, which you will get from the following segment.
Essential Wooodturning Tools: Lathe Chisels
If you want to complete your woodturning project efficiently, you’ll need different kinds of turning tools. The essential woodturning tools are – Roughing Gouge, Spindle Gouge, Parting Tool, Skew Chisel, and Scraper.
So make sure the set you’re picking has each of these vital woodturning tools. Please remember all the woodturning tool sets don’t come with a bowl gouge. If you’re a bowl turner, this is the must-have tool for you – read our review on bowl gouges.
1. Roughing Gouge
The first tool you’ll require to use in every spindle turning project is the roughing gouge. It is used for turning a square wood blank into a rounded spindle. Roughing gouges are available in different sizes – 5/8″, 3/4″, 1″, and many more.
But, you don’t need to buy all the sizes. Professional woodturners mostly use a 3/4-inch or 1-inch roughing gouge for their projects. So make sure your woodturning tool set has at least a 3/4″ roughing gouge.
2. Spindle Gouge
A spindle gouge is applied for making coves in the spindle. Like the roughing gouges, spindle gouges are also available in various sizes – 3/8”, 1/2”, 5/8”, 3/4”, 1”, and more.
Smaller gouges help to make smaller coves. To make wide coves, you’ll have to apply the more significant spindle gouges. So owning more than one spindle gouges is essential.
If you don’t have a roughing gouge in your woodturning chisel set, you can utilize a 3/4-inch or 1-inch spindle gouge as the alternative tool.
3. Skew Chisel
You can use the skew chisel for polishing or leveling out the surface of the wood spindle. It is also utilized to make v-cuts and beads in the wood. Make sure you’re getting a 3/4” or 1” skew chisel.
4. Parting Tool
A parting tool is used to separate a section from the piece of wood you’re working on. You can also use this tool for creating square grooves and for cutting wood at a specific diameter with the help of calipers.
Parting tools come in varying styles and sizes. Every woodturning tool set has this essential tool.
To eliminate the tool marks, and refine the surface of the spindle blank or the bowl you’re turning, the scraper is the proper tool to use.
By this tool, you’ll be able to achieve a flawless and even surface within a short time.
There are different types and sizes of woodturning scraper – Round Nose Scraper, Square Scraper, Negative Rake Scraper, and more. Make sure your set has at least one of them.
Look for the tools constructed of High-Speed Steel (HSS). They are durable, wear-resistant, and can endure corrosion.
There are several variants of HSS available, and the Cryogenic M2 HSS is the most reliable. Traditional tools that were made of High Carbon Steel were inefficient, required to sharpen frequently, and used to wear out quickly.
If you’re a professional woodturner looking for the advanced woodturning tools, you can pick the carbide tools. These tools are made of tungsten carbide, which is exceptionally long-lasting.
Unlike the HSS tools, you don’t need to sharpen carbide tools regularly.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Tools Do You Need for Woodturning?
The essential tools you need for woodturning are – Roughing Gouge, Spindle Gouge, Skew Chisel, Parting Tool, and Scraper. If you’re a bowl turner, you’ll need Bowl Gouge. All of these lathe chisels come in different sizes.
How to Sharpen Woodturning Tools?
You can use a bench grinder for sharpening woodturning tools. As a beginner, you should use a slow-speed bench grinder (1725 RPM) or a variable speed bench grinder for this purpose.
If you use a high-speed bench grinder (3450 RPM) without any experience, you could burn the tools.
There are also chisel sharpening systems available, here’s our guide.
What Size Roughing Gouges to Use?
Roughing gouge is one of the primary woodturning tools which are available in various sizes – 5/8-inch, 3/4-inch, 1-inch, and more. According to the experts, you should use a large roughing gouge, such as 3/4 or 1 inch.
What Size Spindle Gouge for Beginners?
To complete your woodturning project, you may need more than one spindle gouge. As a beginner, you should own a 3/8-inch and a 1-inch spindle gouge.
When you want to create a smaller cove, you can use the 3/8″ spindle gouge and for a larger cove use the 1″ gouge.
What Speed Grinder Do You Use for Sharpening Woodturning Tools?
As a beginner, you should use a slow-speed grinder which has 1725 RPM. You can also use a variable speed grinder at a lower speed.
But if you’re an expert looking for the premium option, you can use a high-speed industrial bench grinder (3450 RPM).
What woodturning tools should a beginner use?
A beginner should start with the traditional woodturning gouges rather than tungsten carbide tools. Spindle turning requires roughing and spindle gouges, skew chisels and parting tools.
For bowl turning projects, bowl gouges are must-have.
Is woodturning difficult?
Woodturning is not difficult, but it requires practice and confidence. First, learn the basics of woodturning tools and wood lathe.
Join your nearest woodturning guild, watch how they do it, and try to improve yourself. You’ll be able to learn this craft at any age.
What are woodturning tools called?
Each of the woodturning tools has a different name. The traditional tools are Roughing gouge, Spindle gouge, Bowl gouge, Parting tool, and Skew chisel. Carbide tools are Rougher, Detailer, Hollower, and Finisher.
What tools do I need to turn a bowl?
Bowl turning is a great hobby that requires fewer tools than spindle turning. With a few bowl gouges and scrapers (and, of course, wood lathe), you’re all set to turn your first wood bowl.
I have reviewed several sets from different brands, but the Simple Woodturning Tools 6-Piece is the best woodturning tools set. As a pro, you will not regret buying the set.
On the other hand, if you are a beginner and want to keep the cost low while purchasing a pack, then we certainly recommend the Robert Sorby 67HS 6-Piece lathe woodturning tools set. It is easy to get accustomed to and very forgiving.
We wish you a successful hunt and many amazing crafts and designs.
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