Does anyone have these? Your opinions will be much appreciated as I am
considering buying a set of these chisels for routine bench work.
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I have well over $2000 worth of their carving chisels and just ordered a set
of bevel edge chisels. You could say I like them. They're probabley not
the best on the market but the difference from the best to these is
I saw them in the pre-Rockler store at least 3 years ago, Mike.
Stop scaring the newbies, eh?
Visually, they compared to the Swiss-made Pfiel, my favorite.
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Just bought a set of their "American-pattern bench chisels" this month
actually. They're more the size of butt chisels, but have bench
chisel blades on them. Sharpening took quite a bit of effort, as the
backs on all 7 of them had been ground convex at the factory. A few
hours with Scary Sharp flattened them out and I got them honed up and
ready to use. I absolutely LOVE the bubinga handles on these
chisels....they're very nicely finished and quite comfortable.
Used them for the first time in any serious way last night, making 4
mortises for some small hinges in cherry. Having done this same
procedure before with my Marples Blue Chips, I can say that I felt
like I had more control with the Iles chisels. My mortises came out
nicer, and the edges seem to last longer. After making my mortises, I
tried shaving hair off my arm with the chisel I used (how I normally
test the edges when honing). It didn't take it off like it did when
freshly honed, but it DID take a few hairs off. The Blue Chips would
stop doing that immediately after they came into any contact with
Whether you go with the standard bench chisels or the smaller
American-pattern, I don't think you'll go wrong with 'em.....they're
Marple's USED to have a heck or a reputation; maybe it was because
Stanley had gotten so poor. Two Cherries, the Stork, others are fine
German steel and good for a lifetime. American steel either does does
not possess enough of something or the Germans work theirs more or
something. Your good German steel is -usually- WAY ahead of American
steel used in chisels.
On 27 Oct 2003 09:56:28 -0800, email@example.com (Me) wrote:
Wasn't always so, but then some of us 'Muricans started using our chisels for
opening paint cans and prying out nails, and complaining to the manufacturers
when they broke. Guess what - those manufacturers said "The customer is
always right", and changed their specs. Can't hardly blame them, can you?
We have made progress though. Those chisels now come with instructions
cautioning us against having our thumbs on top of the chisel handle when we hit
it with a hammer, in at least eight languages.
Sawblades - not sure whether you're referring to the round ones or the straight
ones. Either way, though, they don't normally get the misuse that chisels do.
Screwdrivers, in spite of the abuse they get, actually have to be harder than
they used to be. Years ago, almost no screws were hardened. Today's
sheetmetal and drywall screws are hardened, and are awfully rough on soft
Steel, even good steel, is relatively cheap. We know more about metallurgy, and
control of hardening and tempering processes is better than it ever was.
Stanley could, if they wanted, make a better chisel today than they ever have.
But they have to make ones that they can sell in blister packs in Home Depots
to satisfy the majority of buyers, which they do.
I'm not happy about it. I'd like to see them making "professional lines" of
tools to higher standards. There may even be a market for it - look what
Lie-Nielson has done. But I won't hold my breath waiting.
Lie-Nielson is an interesting case, and a real parallel to the steel issue.
Think about it. Stanley once had the greatest line of specialty planes in the
world, but they started dropping the poorer-sellers back in the '40s and '50s.
They eventually dumbed down the line to the extent that there was now a real -
albeit limited - opportunity for someone else to come in and corner that
market. Stanley already had all of the patterns and the manufacturing jigs,
fixtures and equipment. They easily could have continued to make limited
quantities of those products, but that didn't fit their marketing plan.
Off the soapbox now,
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