What is an Electric Chisel?

The weld bead must cool before the slag can be removed with an electric chisel.

An electric chisel is an electrically or pneumatically driven tool designed for use with chisel tool bits. The tool is available in a wide selection of sizes and power ratings, suitable for hobby to heavy industrial use. A wide variety of chisel tools can be used on the electric chisel, from traditional flat and gouge profiles to heavy-duty bullnose tips and scale bits for industrial applications. The electric chisel can be used in all applications where hand chiseling is common, such as carpentry, woodworking and stone carving and construction.

Chisels are percussive cutting tools with a wide spectrum of domestic and industrial applications. They are generally used to remove material, cut, descale, break up concrete, remove mortar or tiles, and clean the flow of welding jobs. Portable chisels are designed to be struck with a hammer to provide percussive force and, while effective, are slow and cumbersome to use. Electric chisels fulfill the same function, but they are driven by an electric motor or compressed air, which significantly increases the work rate while considerably reducing operator effort.

The chisel bits used in an electric chisel are clamped into a chuck in the tool and feature similar cutting edges as their portable counterparts. The most commonly used portable chisel types are available as electric chisel bits and include wood, masonry and steel variants. This includes U and V profile gouging, flat scaling and cutting, and bullnose drill profiles. A full range of chisel sizes are also available and are usually presented in general purpose or application specific sets consisting of up to 12 chisels or more. Many electric chisel models include a chisel set as part of the package.

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The percussive action of the electric chisel is provided by a reciprocating mechanism that moves the chisel back and forth quickly. Typical operating speeds can range from 3,000 to 12,000 BPM (Blows Per Minute) with smaller models generally featuring higher speeds. Many models also include a speed adjustment that allows you to easily switch between different materials and chiseling styles. Most power chisels are ergonomically shaped for comfortable use and usually feature at least one detachable handle that allows for two-handed operation.

Most conventional hand chiseling operations can be performed with an electric chisel. This includes wood and stone carving, furniture making, general carpentry and woodworking. Larger chisels can be employed to remove tiles and mortar and even break lightweight concrete. They are also used to remove scale and soldering flux from metal structures.

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