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Mortise chisels are used for ‘chopping out' joints. They are useful for cutting mortise joints because they are strong enough to hold up to heavy blows with a mallet. The handle is normally made of Ash or Beech with a steel hoop at the top to stop it from splitting. It also has a strengthening piece called a ferrule, just like a paint brush, which prevents the handle from splitting at the bottom when it is hit repeatedly by a mallet. The blade is made from tool steel and the bevel is ground to an angle of 30 degrees.