Who said Marples chisels are any good???

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I just picked up 3 Marples protouch chisels, wasted my time to sharpen the 3/8" one and then proceeded to put chisel to wood; namely red oak. Before getting more than 4 sides of a mortise started the chisel's edge was so nicked that I could see it without my reading glasses! That's saying something. BTW, I sharpened it on 3 diamond stones and then up to around 5k+ papers. I used the Lee Valley honing guide...
I've got a Sears chisel, 3/4" that holds an edge for quite a while. What's up with these Marples?
dave
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You need to get a Marple BlueChip chisel. They are the ones we all say are good.
Myx
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I hope the steel is MUCH tougher in their other line. I can't believe that my old sears chisel goes on and on with a sharp edge and I literally wiped out the Marples edge (ground exactly the same way as the Sears) in a few moments. I ran over to Sears to see what they have but there are no 3/8" and they didn't have a separate 1/4" in stock so I'll consider a better Marples or something else at Lee Valley.
Here is what one reviewer said about the Bluechips: " Don't be fooled. This chisels are not worth their price. I was given a set two years ago. I never used them until three months ago. I was using my old reliable set. I took this chisels out of the box and went to hone them. Come to find out, the still is severly deformed. The facets are totally out of place and you can not get a smooth bevel on them---There's NO WAY you could double bevel these. I reground them myself to as square as possible. No sooner than I did that, the half inch chisel started breaking the corners! I did not blue the steel as I use a Tormek sharpening system. Plus, I was using them without a mallet---by hand! Cheap metal, cheap craftsmanship, poor quality! "
sounds like he had almost the same problem I did: the edge fell apart.
Other reviewers were more kind.
dave
dave
Myxylplyk wrote:

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It's marketing hype. The tool is so soft it is all but worthless. I have a set that I let the "grandkids" play with. The others come from Japan.
I called LN this week. Sometime this quarter they promise to have their chisels out.
RB
Bay Area Dave wrote:

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thanks for the confirmation. too bad they didn't work out for me; I liked the handles!
dave
RB wrote:

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Dave, If you want some SERIOUS chisels, drive on up to Alameda, and visit The Japan Woodworker. Make certain you bring your high limit credit card, though. They are rightly proud of their tools.
On the other hand, your grandchildren will be trying to decide who gets them when you're gone....
Patriarch
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I've been looking at just buying a couple of chisels from Japan Woodworker. My limited set of 1/4, 1/2, and 1" of cheap stanleys have seen only use of the smaller two. And they are better suited to glue line scraping than mortising.
What does one need to spend on individual chisels to get a good mortising chisel? $30 $50 $150?
Thanks for those who have used them.
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snipped-for-privacy@worldnet.att.net (Alan W) writes:

[...]
I have a 6mm mortising chisel from E.C. Emmerich (ECE) and am very plaesed with it, although before the initial honing i had to re-grind the bevel because it was slightly skewed, but 5 minutes on a coarse cheap waterstone mended that. It cost me 23.50 EUR, including 16% VAT.
For "general" use i wouyld recommend cheap chinese HSS chisels as seen here: http://www.dick-gmbh.com/shop/prodausgtabfs.asp?index=ChineseChisels or (if you want really wide ones) here: http://www.dick-gmbh.com/shop/prodausgtabfs.asp?index=ChineseBroadChisels
They take an edge very well, are very sturdy and keep their edge exceptionally well. They look a bit strange (especially the broad ones), so you are not going to impress someone by their exceptional beauty, but they are extremely useful and handy. Wish i had a complete et of them and also that smaller sizes (most narrow is 12.5mm) were available.
--
Dr. Juergen Hannappel http://lisa2.physik.uni-bonn.de/~hannappe
mailto: snipped-for-privacy@physik.uni-bonn.de Phone: +49 228 73 2447 FAX ... 7869
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While we are on the subject of Japanese chisels, has anyone tried that set offered by Grizzly? From what you can tell in a catalog they look and sound pretty good but the price seems too good to be true. Has anyone out there taken the chance?
Thanks in advance, Bill
--

"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are."
-Theodore Roosevelt
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Yes, SWMBO gave me the set of 10 last Christmas. Before using them I spent a little time sharpening them (using the scary sharp system). Once I had put an edge on the 1" chisel, I used it to shave off some end grain from a scrap of maple. Sweet! Now, I can't really compare them to the Marples since these were my first chisels, but I can say that after a year they are still a pleasure to use.
Ian

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Thanks for the input Ian. Just had that phrase ("if is sounds too good to be true.....") running around in my head. Better to hear of someone else's experience.
Bill
--

"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are."
-Theodore Roosevelt
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I've the chisels you mention, but have not tried them. Japanese are like any other tool when it comes to value. You usually get what you pay for. I wouldn't doubt that the chisels offered by Grizzly are okay, but they were probably made by lesser craftsmen. It takes an apprentice years to learn just how to work the metals so that the chisel has all the right working qualities. You might want to take a look at the Mastumura chisels offered by JapanWoodworker.com. You'll get a handcrafted Japanese chisel made by a bonafide master chiselmaker. They're a great value. Then you can drool over the other chisels like those made by Tasai. When you get to that level you're not just buying a tool you're buying a work of art.
Layne ps, usual disclaimers apply.
On Sun, 25 Jan 2004 16:01:13 GMT, "Wm Gardner"

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Not necessarily unless you include marketing & hype as part of what you pay for. This is a really long thread, but in one of my answers I mentioned a FWW chisel test from issue #139 Dec/99. They measured hardness and toughness of 17 chisels. A couple of comparisons that might be interesting:
The most expensive chisels ("you get what you pay for", right?) were ones from Barr Specialty Tools at about $75 per chisel. These had a Rockwell hardness of 61C and ranked 5th in toughness. Pretty disappointing for the most expensive tool tested. However, the article also pointed out the feel of it is a "delight to hold and behold".
A $20 chisel from Hirsch was even harder (59C) and ranked higher at 4th in toughness. So for $55 less per chisel you could get a harder and tougher chisel.
The least expensive chisel was from Sears at $6/chisel and ranked 9th in toughness with a hardness of 60C which wasn't too bad compared to the others.
In the test the top three spots went to Japanese chisels, but then down below the cheap Craftsman came another Japanese chisel so it wasn't a give that a Japanese chisel would outperform all others. I guess the bottom line is that you can't be sure the Grizzly chisel is good just because it's a Japanese chisel. OTOH, you can't be sure that it isn't good just because it costs less than expected.
I should point out that the article also came to the conclusion that none of the 17 chisels tested were "junk". They also came to the conclusion that it's probably more important how the chisel feels in your hand than it's toughness because the quality of the metal really just dictates how often you have to sharpen it. As the FWW article says "What's the point of buying a chisel made of super-tough steel if it feels lousy in your hand?" Seems like good advice.
--
Larry C in Auburn, WA



<Layne> wrote in message news: snipped-for-privacy@4ax.com...
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Larry C in Auburn, WA wrote...

I'm a tad confused by your numbers. A material which measures 61 on the Rockwell "C" scale is harder than one that measures HRC59. In steels, hardness and toughness tend to work against each other (though good compromises can be achieved), so it makes sense that a HRC61 blade might not be as tough as a HRC59 blade.

Yes, it does. Did they by any chance detail the metrics they used to rank the chisels? From your description above, it sounds like they ranked toughness pretty highly, but that seems contrary to this last bit of advice.
Also, did they attempt to identify the types of steel used in the tested chisels?
Thanks,
Jim
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Dang, I hate it when that happens. Yeah, I should have remembered the way the Rockwell hardness test goes. I was relying on my old memory... The numbers were all generally close though.
They tested two items; hardness and toughness. Hardness is pretty straightforward using the Rockwell hardness test so they just gave the RC number for each chisel. Toughness is a little more subjective and this is where they provided the ranking from 1 to 17. They ran the chisels through a test then measured the roughness of the edge down to approximately 1 micron (9,500 measurements across 1 inch). From this roughness data they rated the toughness of the edge.
No mention of the chisel composition.
As I mentioned in another post, this review is now 4 years old and they only tested 17 chisels out of hundreds (thousands?) available so it all has to be taken with a grain of salt. I couldn't figure out any hard-and-fast rules based on brand (e.g. Sears was tougher than many others), country of origin (e.g. not all Japanese chisels rated high), or cost (e.g. several lower cost chisels beat out higher cost chisels). Seemed to be something of a crap shoot to find the "right" chisel.
--
Larry C in Auburn, WA

"Jim Wilson" < snipped-for-privacy@paragoncode.com> pointed out Larry's confusion plus
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I remember reading this article and wondering exactly what it hoped to "prove". To me it seemed to be close to worthless unless you consider a chisel to be an implement of destruction (or you just use them to open paint cans or chop through rusty nails).
I'll leave it to the metallurgists to debate this sort of thing, but isn't the true worth of a chisel found in the fact that it can hold a decent edge but still be sharpened in a reasonable time? (Isn't it a compromise?) Doesn't this mean that the "best" chisel in that test would have a medium/high Rockwell, but a high "toughness" rating?
Chuck Vance
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Larry C in Auburn, WA wrote...

Wow. By that measure, a CSO (chisel-shaped-object) made of mild steel would have rated highly, as it is extremely tough, although not at all hard, being typically HRC35 or below. Of course, the edge would fail by bending despite the toughness, so I am being a little facetious.

Wow, again. Those are some mighty big microns! (G) They're even bigger than tenths! Most microns, properly "micrometers," are about 0.00003937"; 25,400 of 'em fit in an inch.

IME, that's exactly how it is "in real life." Thanks for the information on the article, Larry. I haven't seen it and wondered how they would compare the tools quantitatively. Please forgive me for picking on it a little bit. I don't mean to be giving you a hard time at all.
Cheers!
Jim
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Jim Wilson wrote...

A good quality screwdriver would have rated even better!
Jim
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I don't mind you questioning what I wrote, getting accurate info is more important. Besides, I question people all the time so it's about time I get questioned back. <g>
I don't think I said what I wanted to say very clearly. Let me try again. They didn't come up with an overall rating of the chisels. What they did was measure two things. Hardness and toughness. Hardness is an objective measurement so they just provided the RC number. Toughness is more subjective so after testing the tools they measured the roughness of the edge and then provided a ranking of the chisels by roughness (i.e. their definition of toughness). It was left to the reader to balance the two measurements (actual harness measurement and the roughness ranking). They made 9,500 (9 thousand 5 hundred, not 9 point 5) measurements across a 1/2" chisel so I think that works out to about 1.3 microns. I earlier said it was 9,500 measurements across a 1" chisel, but it was actually across a 1/2" chisel.
Most of the chisels were close in hardness so that wasn't a determining factor in my opinion. Ignoring the ergonomics of the various brands for a minute leaves us with these two measurements to evaluate. Given a particular hardness number (over 1/2 the chisels had an RC number between 59 and 61) then the FWW hardness factor would seem to be the determining measurement. I understand your point that the two factors (hardness & toughness) fight against each other. A kitchen spatula would rank very high on the FWW toughness scale, but still couldn't cut anything, OTOH a ceramic chisel might be hard but wouldn't be very tough. This is why they gave both numbers. However, since the chisels scored roughly in the same hardness band we're talking about similar materials.
As a point of interest (maybe?), the softest chisel only ranked 8th for toughness rather than 1st as might be expected and the hardest chisel scored second for toughness rather than last.
Now factor in cost, ease of sharpening and I give up, I'm just going to stic k to the coolest looking chisels... At least THAT I can figure out.
--
Larry C in Auburn, WA

"Jim Wilson" < snipped-for-privacy@paragoncode.com> wrote in message
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Why not try the chisels, and if you don't like them send them back? Remember to use your American Express if you do this... DAMHIKT
I have used my sets of Craftsman chisels for years now. The oldest set is over 20 years old! I have three sets: One I take to the job in a nylon rolling case that lives in my truck. These are pretty sharp, but are also my "beaters". I hammer, pry, dig and chop with this set. If I hit an embedded nail or hard knot (like oak), I swear a lot when I get a nick, but I don't cry.
My second set is treated better, and it goes to the job to install new door locks, cabinet pieces, and to do fitting of different hardware and lockets since I do a lot of remodeling. I do not abuse these, and they stay pretty sharp for a decent amount of time, and are really easy to put a fine edge on even in the field.
Last set I just got at a Christmas sale, and bought the set of when they had the 50% off sale with an additional 10% off if purchased before 11:00am. The set of 5 cost me something like $13.
No, they are not the same as some of really nice, expensive chisels that I have that stay in the house, in the closet, that I am afraid I might accidentally drop. In fact, I have found that I don't use my expensive chisels much at all, since they are out of sight and out of mind.
Find the chisels you like regardless of where they are made by trying them out, and sending them back if you don't like them. Inexpensive doesn't mean bad. My Sears chisels are great.
And as pointed out, they don't have a lot of advertising, promotion, or laurels to rest on at Grizzly as far as their *chisels* go so that may account for the lesser price.
Remember at Grizzly or any other big discounter/bulk seller/volume retailer, they don't care about the product as much as they do moving it out. To them, the only one that recognizes "Japanese chisels" is of significance is their ad writers. To the rest of the company, no matter their worth to you, they are just products moving through the system.
Robert
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