Chisel comparison, my observation

Depending upon the content of the steel blade is how long it will hold an edge, and as well, how easy or hard it is to sharpen. Example, Sweden is famous for it's tool steel, Austria is not. So, I have one Sandvick chisel I bought at OSH and a set of Stubai chisels. The Sandvick (Sweden, also Bahco) is very hard to sharpen and leaves gummy black streaks in the abrasive paper (glued to glass, using a honing guide), the Stubai's (Austria) are super easy to sharpen and leave a lighter color of gray dust, supposedly this is much better and it's the type off steel that will hold an edge longer, as with Japanese laminated chisels and plane blades.
Any thoughts on this, opinions, serious knowledge, Interjections, or corrections to my possible dellusions?
Alex
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Country of origin matters not in the quality of a product that is manufactured there. Quality is dictated by the customer placing the order.
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Use 'em. Evaluate them that way. Anything else is meaningless.
Patriarch
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AAvK wrote:

Generally there's a tradeoff between ease of sharpening and time between sharpenings. However that doesn't mean that harder is always better.
Even if you sharpened every five minutes some hardness is indispensable because the tool has to be able to form a good edge. OTOH a tool that is too hard seldom gets sharpened properly, save in special situations. (I'm thinking of things like microtome knives here.)
In my kitchen I have a chef's knife I bought many years ago because the steel was so hard. (The guy running the knife shop was an engineer and he had a Rockwell tester sitting on the counter.) In fact it's one of the least-used knives in my kitchen because it is so hard to sharpen.
However traditional Chinese cleavers, which are wonderful at slicing paper thin are made of soft steel. You touch them up constantly, but it's only the work of a couple of minutes.
With chisels, I look for reasonable edge holding ability combined with ease of sharpening. I accept that I'm going to have to sharpen tools and, as I've indicated, I tend to hone/strop as a work. That's a legacy from carving, but it works for chisels and things like that as well.
--RC
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[snip]

Interjection: I am very confused by the plethora of chisel choices. I hear on this news group "to buy quality" and I've been taught that "you get what you pay for."
Yet, tool reviews fequently give cheaper chisels their "first choice." For example, the FWW issue #139 reviews bench chisels and the results seemed uncorrelated with costs. What's up with that? It breaks my model of the world.
I'm wantng to buy mortising chisels and the prices vary from the teens to $70-90$ apiece.
My decision is evolving into one of the middle road -- say $30 Robert Sorby or MGH's.
Japanese chisels seem overpriced and finicky -- from what I've read.....I certainly don't know from first hand experience.
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NO! R. Sorby uses a silicon loaded steel that "absorbs shock", therefore it frequently needs resharpening. And are way overpriced for wearing down so fast. R. Sorby is all about marketing and profits, seriously... (zero info besides "they're good", on the MHG's).
But I'll tell you, the deal of the century is the Henry Taylor set here, four for $109.95 http://www.traditionalwoodworker.com/ awesome deal. http://www.traditionalwoodworker.com/product_info.php?products_idY3&osCsid 479744d92db50c34bfeb521ba7d348
But you also have to think about "how" you will be chopping mortices, as well.
I will be using the drill press, and in that you can see that you can use much cheaper Stanley 200 series chisels. They are as thick as English morticing chisels and made of hard ball bearing grade steel, shatterproof handles without steel caps so they are good with a wooden mallet. And MUCH cheaper. It all depends on how you feel about it. Every angle exists.
Alex
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Thanks Alex! I'll definitely check out the Henry Taylors.
[snip]

http://www.traditionalwoodworker.com/product_info.php?products_idY3&osCsid 479744d92db50c34bfeb521ba7d348
[snip]
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Never Enough Money wrote:

Overpriced -- no, not for what you get. Finicky, definitely. In my experience a Japanese handmade laminated steel chisel will repay someone who's a careful worker and willing to spend a lot of time fooling with his/her tools. Under those circumstances Japanese chisels will do amazing work. But for more people are they better than good Western chisels? I doubt it.
--RC
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On Mon, 11 Oct 2004 07:28:50 GMT, Rick Cook

Japanese chisels aren't that expensive. Go with something like the Iyoroi oak-handled sets and they're not subtantially different to high-end Western chisels like Two Cherries. OTOH, I think the ebony handled ones are a waste of money - you're putting the extra money into the handle, which isn't really the most useful part !
Japanese chisels are good bench chisels, but they really don't care for on-site or toolbox use ! I wouldn't say they're "fragile", but they don't take to anything that isn;t a straight cut in the direction they're intended for.

IMHO, handmade Japanese chisels are over-the-top for most people, for most uses. They get to be _very_ expensive. I have a couple - each one cost me the same as a set of the Iyorois that I actually use as my regular bench chisels.
I bought them because I like the smithing, secondly because I wanted a really wide (42mm) chisel, and thirdly because they might work better than the others I had.
The biggest difference that I can _feel_ between my good chisels and my best chisels is in the hoop on the handle ! A hand-forged hoop seats better that the drop-forged ones and stays in place. They're also a bit different in how they sharpen - but when you're actually using them, you'd be really hard-pushed to tell which ones.
--
Smert' spamionam

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Never Enough Money wrote:

Quality is only directly correlated with price in a stable market with well informed buyers.
Or (more simply) there's nothing to stop anyone putting garbage onto the market at a high price.
BugBear
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Never Enough Money) wrote in message
...

... I use and like the Hirsch mortising chisels. I have the 6mm and 10mm. They run $34-$40, available at www.highlandhardware.com or at Lee Valley.
Cheers, Nate
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Hi Alex,
I wouldn't guess that the color of the dust is indicative of how the chisel will perform. Neither (IMHO) is the Rockwell grade. The best chisels will have a hard phase embedded in a ductile matrix. The composite is usually designed to give the best possible tradeoff between hardness and durability. Usually, there's a tradeoff such that increasing hardness leads to decreased ductility and vice versa. The RC number may indicate an extremely hard material but it says nothing about its durability -- in fact it's possible to make a high RC chisel that would perform terrribly for practical use (hard to sharpen, with a brittle edge).
I don't know if my knowledge qualifies as "serious." I am a materials scientist, but it's been 12 years since I did much with metallurgy.
Cheers, Nate
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