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Cold chisel ok?


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I was looking at getting a chisel for extracting fossils from limestone and slate.

 

I was presuming masonry chisels are "best"... however, most of the masonry chisels I have seen are quite large, and I wanted one smaller.

Are cold chisels suitable?

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I use a wide range of different sized chisels, pending matrix and circumstances. Cold chisels are meant for stone, and definitely not wood chisels. Apart from the very small ones where you gently tap apart matrix, for any serious pounding, get a chisel with a hand guard, like these:

 

\19mm%20Flat%20Slotted%20Head%20250mm%20C

 

This type (1 inch wide) gets the most use for me on hard limestone blocks, as opposed to wider end that more distributes the force laterally. For slate, you might look into the wider ends.

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Bob Saunders

masonry chisels are usually wider and it may be best if a wide piece is to be worked on. However I found the ones I have from Home Depot are to soft to crack open geodes. Nice protective hand grip thou. I have a long True Value brand cold chisel from a garage sale and it is great. Some general purpose cold chisels are to soft and short. There is carbide tipped ones for Geologists but expensive as in around $100 + USD each.  

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Bob Saunders

Kane, I see that you are in Ontario, and picture does not show makers or brand name, if available here in the states. Thanks. 

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14 minutes ago, Bob Saunders said:

Kane, I see that you are in Ontario, and picture does not show makers or brand name, if available here in the states. Thanks. 

I don't find brand makes much of a difference when it comes to a chisel. I pick mine up at Home Depot, Canadian Tire, Home Hardware, Princess Auto, or wherever is convenient. The picture I supplied was only meant to be illustrative of the type which can be found at just about any hardware or home renovation store, as all of this type do the job. I go through about two per fossil season.

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I’m with @Kane on the chisels. I highly recommend a hand guard on the larger ones, and don’t use anything labeled as a wood chisel.

 

I have used everything from expensive brand cold chisels at the big box stores, to cheap Harbor Freight versions and random ones from flea markets/yard sales.  I haven’t noticed much of a difference in quality. Not enough to justify a high price. To me it’s a throw away tool. Beat it till it’s dead, then beat it some more. If it becomes beat up beyond usefulness, or is a safety concern (After much hard use) I throw it away and grab a new (cheap) one. 


Note that I haven’t thrown away many chisels. They are, after all, made to endure hard use against masonry/stone/rock. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

I've used many different brands of cold chisels with no issues. But with a few here saying don't use wood chisels I do have an exception. I use a wide one sometimes when splitting smaller very fine shale slabs. BUT you don't hit with hammer, you tap lightly :)

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