I looked at that. Current (starting) price is $76. Sounded great, until
I checked the shipping and handling. $53.
It still could be a good deal, considering that the same set is $234 +
shipping on the web site. But something strikes me as being a little
hinkey about it. I could be passing up a gloat, but I'll risk it.
Its true that you could recondition old chisels, and they would be at
least as good as the LN, but if your time is short and you would rather
spend it wood working instead of finding (not trivial) and restoring
tools then the LN is probably the way to go...
I enjoy finding and using the old tools myself. I always think about
who might have originally owned them and what those folks were like.
I just stumbled across a really nice batch of 9 out of the twelve
piece set of Stanley #750's that the Lie-Nielsens are based on for half
what L-N gets for it's five piece set. They go from 1/4" to 1 1/2". I will
gradually gather the remaining three, 1/8", 1 3/4" & 2" and I'll have the
whole enchilada and preserve what I think is a little piece of history to
For me they're far too expensive for what they are. I can put a razors edge
on any chisel that may not last quite as long, but long enough. And too
limited in sizes, I can only imagine what the 1" or bigger will cost. The
first time I handled the LN chisels, my first thought was how cute and
dainty - wouldn't want to find out the hard way they can't take a hit.
Their new (unreleased when I saw them) mortice chisels have the same
extremely light handle. Mentioned my concern to the LN Rep here in Canada -
he said (with an arrogant tone) I obviously didn't know how to sharpen a
chisel. He obviously doesn't know what's going on when someone drives even
a sharp mortice chisel into hard wood. I like chisels that are more robust
with handles that fit my hands better. If you want a specialized chisel for
light hand work and have lots of money to spend go for it.
Popular Woodworking called them the best chisels in the western world,
wishing to avoid an argument over the Japanese selection.
I bought a set, and love them. They are spendy, but unless my grandkids
lose them, they will get to figure out which of them gets the set when
I'm not longer on this side of the river...
Can you get good results with a less expensive tool? Yes, but my
Marples get used for rougher work these days, and had to be resharpened
much more frequently than these LN beauties. I have set of hardware
store name brand looks like Stanley carpenter's chisels for the rough
$50 per chisel seemed expensive, until I saw what the wood carvers had
invested in their sets.
Can you do well as a rust hunter and restorer? Yes, IF you learn what
you are seeking, and like the hunt. But while the saws from my
grandfather's barn were a find, the chisels were junk. I don't do flea
markets. Saturday mornings are for making things in the shop, not
finding new projects. YMMV.
trending down the galootish path...
I own them and love them. They are expensive, though. Would I do it
I also have some Lee Valley Chisels and have used (but not owned)
severl others). The LN's feel good and work good. Excellent steel and
they come fairly tuned out of the box -- I just did a tiny bit of
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