While you can use a bench grinder or sharpening stone to sharpen a dull chisel, a piece of sandpaper on a flat surface can be used to get the job done, too.

Sandpaper Sharpening Tips

  1. Place a piece of sandpaper grit side up on a flat surface.
  2. Align the beveled edge of a chisel on the sandpaper.
  3. Keeping the bevel aligned, stroke the chisel back and forth on the sandpaper.
  4. Put the flat, back side of the chisel flat on the sandpaper.
  5. Rub the flat side of the chisel back and forth to remove any burr.

Watch the video above to find out more.


Joe Truini: Every homeowner’s toolbox should have at least a couple of chisels used for rough construction work and demolition work. The problem is, because of that kind of rough handling, the chisels dull really quickly.

Here’s a quick way to sharpen them without using a bench grinder or whetstone or anything like that. All you need is a sheet of sandpaper. This is just typical 100-grit sandpaper you can get at any home center or hardware store.

And we’re going to use it to sharpen the chisel and put an edge on it. And what the first thing you notice is that there’s a bevel on the front of the chisel, and you want to maintain that bevel.

So you just set the chisel bevel down, tip it up until you feel it’s resting flat on the bevel, then just stroke it back and forth across the sandpaper. It won’t take long just to put that edge back on there.

And then feel the back of it with your thumbnail. If you feel it’s catching on an edge, that’s a burr from metal rolling over. To eliminate that, just hold the chisel flat down with the bevel up and go back and forth a couple of times until it’s gone.

There you go. Razor sharp and as good as new.

Further Information

Editorial Contributors
avatar for Joe Truini

Joe Truini

Radio Show Co-Host

Joe Truini is a contractor, author, and the host of “Simple Solutions” on Today’s Homeowner TV and the weekly Today’s Homeowner radio show. He has worked on both large commercial projects and residential remodeling, and has written for national publications such as This Old House and Popular Mechanics. He has also written eight books, including three best-selling shed-building books. Joe lives in Connecticut with his family and enjoys hiking, traveling, and baseball in his spare time.

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