Best Type of Wood Chisels for Inlay Carving

Wood chisels are used to carve wood. Woodworkers use a wide range of chisels for carving, relief art, detailing furniture and many more projects. Wood inlay carving adds variation in color and design to tables, floors and art pieces. Usually, a contrasting color of wood is laid into another piece of wood. Sometimes multiple colors are used to create detailed designs.

Types of Chisels

The initial cuts to make a cavity in the wood are sometimes done with power tools. The materials to be inlaid can also be cut by machine, but are often hand cut.  To make these details, small sharp chisels are used. A mallet is used to pound the chisel down into the wood. A variety of chisels should be in your workshop. Choose a selection of chisels from ¼ inch wide to 2 inches wide for inlay projects. The larger sizes can be used for making the cavity to receive the inlaid wood.  For the details use chip carving and traditional carving knives.


Along with the chisels you will need a couple of different mallets. A lighter mallet is best for soft wood. For a shallow or very delicate wood you may be able to use the palm of your hand instead of a mallet. A larger mallet is for deeper rough carving and is used with a wider chisel.