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Cutting tool with a sharpened edge at the end of a metal blade, used (often by driving with a mallet or hammer) in dressing, shaping, or working a solid material such as wood, stone, or metal. Flint ancestors of the chisel existed by 8000 BC; the ancient Egyptians used copper and later bronze chisels to work both wood and soft stone. Chisels today are made of steel, in various sizes and degrees of hardness, depending on use.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on chisel, visit Britannica.com.