Some experts master the art of sharpening entirely by hand. But for the rest of us, a honing guide is essential. There are basically two types of guides: Some clamp a chisel from the sides, while others clamp top to bottom.
The side-clamping guide works only with chisels whose sides taper to an edge that’s less than 1/16 in. thick. If your chisels have thicker sides, you’ll need a guide that clamps top to bottom.
The side-clamping guide shown here is made by many manufacturers and is widely available in woodworking stores and online. Inexpensive top-to-bottom clamping guides, made by General Tools and Stanley, are harder to find in stores but are also available online. Here are some terrific tips on how to sharpen a chisel.