A watchmaker mainly uses his chisels on his lathe. There are hand chisels with which he can work directly on his lathe by hand. There are larger chisels, which are placed on a carriage, which are then manipulated with two cranks on two axes, the carriage being fixed on the lathe bed.

An engraver also uses burins, which are hand burins with which he intervenes on an object usually placed on a ball.

The use of a chisel requires some knowledge. What requires the most is its sharpening with specific angles to respect. Once the chisel is well sharpened, its use is easier.

The most traditional chisels are made of tempered steel. To harden their chisels even more, some watchmakers quench it, that is to say cool it, in salt water instead of oil. This makes it even harder but also more brittle.

For the chisels used on the carts they are generally made of high speed steel and sometimes also of tungsten carbide also called hard metal or widia. For this last type of metal it is generally only the tip of the chisel that is in this metal.

Hardened steel and high speed steel chisels can be sharpened with india and arkansas stones, the latter being finer than the former. For hard metal it is generally diamond wheels that are used for sharpening.