Socket chisel, China, ca. 1820


This cast steel socket chisel has a previously unrecorded mark on a clearly handmade tool and appears to be earlier than other tools made by the Billings clan, except possibly John Billings of Clinton, (1825-).

Size: 14 1/4" long including a 4 3/8" ferruled handle.

A chisel is a hand tool with a straight cutting edge at the end of a blade. It is used to cut, pare or separate solid material such as metal or wood. It is used by striking or by applying pressure to the end of the tool.

A socket chisel has a tapered iron socket forged solid with the blade for the reception of the handle. This style of chisel is considered more rugged and adapted for heavier tasks than the tang (or shank) type of chisel.

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