Last updated on September 15, 2021
What is a masonry chisel?
How to use a concrete chisel? Before we hammer in and start drilling into the procedures, let’s get to the basics.
How to use a concrete chisel? Before we start drilling into the procedures, let’s get to the basics.
Masonry chisels or cold chisels are used mainly to cut through and shape hard materials, such as various stones and masonry.
These are highly effective even on hard concrete without blunting.
Where to use masonry chisels?
What tools can chisel concrete?
Your way on how to chisel concrete will depend on the scope of your project and the tools available to you.
1. Dyna drill or rotary hammer
A Dyna drill or rotary hammer uses hydraulic drilling fluid to drive a drill bit or masonry chisel instead of a direct electric motor.
What makes the Dyna drills and other rotary hammers different from other power drills is their ability to ‘pound’ drill bits back and forth as they spin, allowing them to punch through tougher materials like concrete and stone.
And in this case, they can even be used with a masonry chisel bit in a back and forth motion without rotation.
2. Steel bar
This refers to a long steel bar that has a chisel tip on one end and a pointed tip on the other.
It can be used to break off a lot of dense material very quickly before refining with a smaller masonry chisel.
A specialized steel bar is good for breaking large bits of concrete up using only the weight of the bar and its sharp edge.
3. Kango hammer
Just like the Dyna drill, a kango hammer is a powerful tool that looks like a miniature jackhammer.
In fact, it does exactly the same thing, but on a smaller scale than a jackhammer and with more power than a Dyna drill.
It can break rock, concrete, and masonry and offers more precision and control as opposed to a regular jackhammer.
Where to use a Dyna drill (rotary hammer)?
Use a Dyna drill or any rotary hammer for breaking off medium portions of concrete such as on floors and making grooves or channels in concrete.
Set the drill to hammer mode so that it only drives the bit back and forth without any torque.
Of course, you can also drill out holes as either a guide for chiseling corners or to weaken the concrete to make it easier to break.
When to use a steel breaker bar?
Also known as a digging bar, this is a multipurpose steel bar that can be used for several applications from breaking up compact material to levering heavy objects.
It usually has a chisel tip on one end and a spike on the other.
Use these for post-hole applications or when needing to loosen or break up large slabs of masonry such as concrete pavements and asphalt road layers.
When to use a Kango hammer?
If you need a very powerful tool to break the largest and hardest concrete or masonry segments, the kango hammer is your best bet. Use this to tear down concrete and masonry walls, slabs, and rock.
Aside from being a breaker, you can also use the kango for some detail-work such as roughly shaping concrete with the help of a small chisel tip.
Manual chiseling vs hammer drilling concrete
Chiseling by hand had always been the traditional way of shaping and breaking concrete.
Despite the introduction of power tools on the market that makes the task more manageable, manual chiseling has and will not die out anytime soon.
Let’s take a look at why:
Manual hammering concrete
Hammer drilling concrete
How to pick a masonry chisels?
Take note that most of these are compatible and designed to function with rotary and similar types of power hammers not only as a hand chisel.
Chisels attached to Dynad drills are also referred to as hammer drill chisel attachments or masonry bits. And the tips are similar to manual cold chisels.
1. Moil chisels
This rotary hammer drill chisel has a sharp, tapered tip for piercing through concrete, brick, and slab.
These are great for optimum positioning of materials for easier separation. Ideal for clean-up operations and demolition work.
2. Asphalt cutters
These are specialized chisels that are mainly used for cutting and chipping away asphalt layers.
They usually have wider-than-normal blades, with some measuring up to 5”. They look like spatulas and are best used on surfaces with asphalt.
3. Carbide bushing tool
A distinct masonry chisel almost exclusively used to roughen smooth concrete surfaces.
The common flat cutting edge has been replaced with a square, toothed striking one which agitates a finished concrete surface just enough to allow for additional layers and coats for renovation/touch-up projects.
4. Clay Spade
A chisel designed to work with softer materials such as clay, dirt, and gravel. They look very much like asphalt cutters but are not intended to be used on concrete and similar surfaces.
A great option for gardening, excavation, and other lighter applications.
5. Flexible chisels
Versatile chisels are adept for medium to heavy-duty applications and can work with a range of light materials from linoleum to vinyl.
These are better at scraping and shaving off material, especially if you don’t want to damage the base material. Best used on flooring and walls.
A unique kind of ‘Chisel’ in that it doesn’t really remove material, but is mainly used to either stamp or imprint a particular pattern onto material surfaces or to compact loose material.
7. Flat chisels
As the name implies, these are chisels with flat cutting edges and are the choice masonry chisels for doing detailed work or when smoothing out and finishing surfaces.
A common SDS hammer drill chisel and best used in tandem with other chisels.
How to pick the right concrete breaker?
But before you find out how to use an SDS chisel to remove mortar from concrete, make sure you know what type of concrete breaker to use.
Rotary hammer (Dyna drill)
Go with a rotary hammer for finer control and variety.
These are subtler and more versatile than chipping hammers as they can also be used to drill into both soft and hard materials. And are available in both a corded and cordless version.
Chipping hammer (Kango hammer)
If you’re going for raw power, then a chipping hammer is the better option for chiseling off excess concrete.
Pick this for projects that require mass breaking or chiseling of portions or for demolishing walls and flooring.
What type of hammer to use for cold chisel?
For masonry chisels, a power hammer (rotary) is commonly used. A hammer’s added power has good synergy with the chisel’s natural characteristic to be able to take on harder and tougher materials.
How to chip concrete by hand?
Here’s how to break up concrete with a forged steel hammer or sledgehammer and chisel.
Here’s to more hammer types for striking jobs.
How to chisel concrete with a breaker bar?
How to chisel with concrete breaker?
Safety tips when chiseling concrete blocks
Chiseling and breaking concrete creates safety hazards such as falling debris, flying shrapnel, and lots of dust. Always remember to dress properly and wear safety goggles, work gloves, and a dust mask.
You may also want to wear hearing protection when working with concrete breakers as they tend to create noises loud enough to cause hearing damage. Make sure your tools are .
Ways to chip concrete without using chisel
An angle grinder isn’t just used to cut wood and metal. See how and where to use them.
With an appropriate concrete-cutting blade, an angle grinder can do wonders if you need to create clean and straight cuts in concrete to make breaking easier.
Also known as a concrete saw, this is a specialized tool designed solely for cutting concrete.
They can vary in size, with some even having wheels to make large cuts on concrete slabs.
The best tool for chiseling concrete depends on the scope of your project. Concrete can be found everywhere from the walls and floors of structures to the pavement and pillars that support roadways and bridges.
Knowing how to chisel concrete is essential for any DIYer and professional who works with masonry materials as refinement, repair, and restoration are not fully attainable without this knowledge and skill set. Keep your masonry tools in good condition and out of rust.
Structural integrity is important for keeping things together, but in the event that you have the sudden urge to demolish stone, brick, and mortar, then think of this guide as your pocket-manual for breaking various forms of rock-based mediums.
But if you’re into woodcrafts, here’s how you can chisel through woods.
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