What Is A Sash Pocket Chisel? What Is A Sash Pocket Chisel Used For?

what is sash pocket chisels
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A sash pocket chisel is a traditional chisel with a wide, short, thin blade which is usually fitted with a hardwood handle.

The blades are usually 38mm (1 1/2 inch) to 64mm (2 1/2 inch) wide with a small bevelled double-sided cutting edge.

These chisels were originally designed for sash window work. They can of course be used for other tasks.

What Material Does A Sash Pocket Chisel Cut?

A sash pocket chisel is designed to cut wood.

Things to look out for when buying a secondhand sash pocket chisel

  • Make sure the handle is not infested with woodworm - if there are worm holes in the handle, these should be treated to prevent infestation of other tools and neighbouring wood. If there are lots of worm holes, the strength and structure of the handle could be compromised which can be dangerous when using this tool.
  • Make sure the blade is fitted to the handle tightly with no movement - if it moves/wobbles you will loose some control of the tool, it will also mean there is higher risk the blade may separate from the handle while in use.
  • Ideally make sure there are no large splits in the handle - if the handle has a large split(s) there is increased chance the blade will start to moves/wobble. There is also risk the handle could break while in use. Of course a new handle can be refitted.
  • Check the cutting face for pitting and faults - if the cutting edge area is full of holes and divots, it will make sharpening the tool to a good edge much more difficult and if the pitting is really bad the tool may be unusable. The reason being, when these pitting holes correspond with the edge of the blade being sharpened it will result in the cutting edge having nibbles and not having a complete uninterrupted sharp edge. If the cutting edge has nibbles then the sash pocket chisel will not cut effectively.

There have been a few makers of sash pocket chisels in the past. Below are a list of a few well known sash pocket chisels makers:

Old Sash Pocket Chisel Makers:

  • Marples & Sons (William)
  • Optime
  • Sorby (Robert)

New Sash Pocket Chisel Makers:

  • ?


(i) This review/article may give warning(s) / advisory notes / cautions / guidelines given in good faith, any such information should not be solely relied upon and seen as the exhaustive list of warnings / advisory notes / cautions / guidelines. Refer to good safety practices for the safety of you and others. Refer to good practices for the good health of your tool and property.
(ii) The details here are given in good faith, the details are constantly growing and evolving, there is scope for error and shouldn't be fully relied upon, please confirm any details for yourself by performing additional research from reliable sources.

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