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Are Skew & Fishtail Chisels Needed?

Cutting a Half Blind Dovetail

The half blind dovetail is a perfect example of an action where skew or fishtail chisels can be useful.  Maybe.  In cutting this joint I do illustrate where and how these different chisels can be helpful but I also show how to accomplish the same this with a regular old bench chisel.  Moreover with a half blind dovetail, half of the joint is hidden right so undercutting is possible to avoid having to clean out the inside corners completely.

In the end, having a fishtail chisel or a skew chisel around isn't terrible.  Its better to have the time saving tool than not when the situation arises.  But like all specialized tools, I would NEVER let its absence hold you back from something and I would definitely not put it on your buying list for a while.  At least not until you have all the other common use tools in hand.

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We have a "tool library" in The Hand Tool School that describes just about all the tools you can find and how to use them. If you want to up your hand tool game, this is the place to be.

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