I'd like to kick it up a notch and get some better bench chisels to be used
mostly for hinge mortises and hand-cut dovetails. Currently using Craftsman
and some no-name chisels. What is a "good" brand name for bench chisels??
Well its a matter of how much you want to kick it up.
Blue handle Marples are always a good choice. Two Cherries got a good write
up in Fine Woodworking a couple of years ago. They have harder steel than
the Marples, which means more time between sharpening. If money is not
object, Lie Nielson is coming out with a line of chisels. I got to play with
one a while back and they are real sweet!
I think the most important thing you should consider is how they feel in
Oh, also add Ashley Isles to your consideration. I have some of their
carving gouges and I like them very much.
Bernie offered some good choices but before you give those Craftsman chisel
the old heave-ho, they just may be better than you realize if they're of the
right vintage. I have a set that is at least 20 years old along with a set
of the Marples which I like. The Craftsman chisels are a bit more stout,
shorter and heavier duty and they hold an edge better than the Marples.
It may be that you just need to flatten the backs get a good bevel (25-35
deg) on them using Scary Sharp (fine grits of sandpaper) honing. The older
chisels used some good steel.
On Thu, 08 Jan 2004 16:08:26 -0500, Woodpecker wrote:
I bought a set of Narex chisels from highland, they're pretty nice for as
inexpensive as they are. They come in metric sizes, which is a bit
annoying, but it's a set of 6 (6,10,12,16,20, and 25mm), and comes in a
nice wooden case, for $30. Can't beat that with a stick. I guess they're
not as nice as the chisels that cost $30 apiece, but then again, in my
humble opinion, 6 good quality chisels are better than 1 REALLY good
chisel, and I certainly can't afford $150 for chisels these days
Although some get better reviews my Marples chisels have performed well for
me for years. I'd try Two Cherries the next time but if you want to save a
few bucks, I hear the Hirsh chisels that Lee Valley sell are made in the
same place and they tested as well if not better than the Two Cherries in a
recent FWW article IIRC. There are always the Japanese Oire Nomi (or
however the heck you spell it) but I always preferred the regular style
Berg, Mathieson,Robt Sorby, Spear and Jackson, Wm Kent, A Fowler, E Broad,
Greenlee... Keep an eye out at garage sales, auctions, flea markets, etc.
I find smaller sizes the harder to find - under 1/2", but not impossible.
There are plenty of good old chisels out there, often much better than new
ones at a much better price. They are usually quick to clean up, might need
a new handle, and a joy to use when done.
For new chisels: Two Cherries or Ashely Iles are far and away the best. If you
are interested in Japanese chisels, be careful, as the quality varies there as
I liked the Two Cherries more because of the feel of the handle--the Iles were
to fat, although I understand they are now smaller.
Far better than the other brands out there.
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