Well, it's time to upgrade the cheap chisels I started out with and I'm
looking for some advice. I've gotten pretty good at sharpening and taking
care of mine, but I want some that are decent and will hold an edge longer
than 5 minutes. Whats are the best chisels for the money on the market?
I'm thinking maybe Marples but honestly have no clue.
I found chinese chisels made from HSS to be of excellent quality: The
can be sharpened to usual standard very easily and being very hard but
not noticeably brittle hold the edge well, at very low cost also.
Unless you live in China, or until the Chinese pay living wages and provide
safe working places for their employees, and have stringently-enforced,
strong environmental rules, please don't buy Chinese (or any other slave-
wage country's) products if you can avoid it. The U.S. has lost at least
three million manufacturing jobs since 1998, and a major portion have been
lost to slave-wage countries. China's production costs are so cheap that
even Mexico is losing jobs to them! A good way to stop the slide of wages
and jobs in this country is to buy at home first.
"If I knew what I was doing, I wouldn't be here"
Those would be slave wages in the U.S., but in China the wages are far above
what the factory workers' neighbors are making. Cost of living in China has
been discussed here. You might pay a bit of attention.
When it comes to environmental and safety rules, it's probably not a good idea
to single out China: most of eastern Europe is in the same boat.
"Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same
function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of
things." Sir Winston Churchill
Good luck trying to change the world...Let me know how it works out for you.
Money makes the world go round; always has, always will. The truth of the
matter is we'll all be making the same wages in another 50-100 years. Of
course that means the standard of living in the U.S. will be less, but there
ain't no stoppin' it.
Larry C in Auburn, WA
"Hitch" <js email@example.com> wrote in message
Or better still, buy British! If you want a decent quality,
serviceable chisel at a great price for a set, get the Marples Blue
Chip. I have a set of top of the line Japanese chisels which cost an
arm and a leg. They're absolutely great but I feel I might be just as
well off with the Marples for my work and the arm and leg back in the
bank!! If you can sharpen well and quickly, do the Marples. The
British don't pay slave wages either!
All the best,
I saw an expose on some t.v. news magazine that had a female producer
of Korean descent pose undercover as an immigrant worker in New York's
garment district. Immigrants would gather on the street corners and
bid for work in the sweatshops (lowest bid wins). This undercover
producer won the bid at an incredulous $1 an hour. She worked for 12+
hours with no lunch break...even bathroom breaks were severly frowned
upon with the threat of being fired. In some of the sweatshops she
worked in there were rats crawling around, had loose live electrical
wires, fire exits were blocked, and more than one stiffed her of her
hard earned wages. So before you start complaining about buying Made
in China, you might want to reconsider buying Made in America.
FWIW, I've visited sweatshops here in LA in the Fall when it's
relatively cool, but can imagine how hot it could get in the summer
with 90+ degree temps and no A/C.
Marples are a good middle-of-the-road brand. I have several that I use when
I have to go on site.
In UK you can often find deals on their splitproof range - they do a set of
6 for around 45 - 50 GBP. If you ever manage to split one of these handles,
they'll replace the chisel for free.
If you want to go upmarket, you might look at Two Cherries or Robert Sorby.
Two cherries make great carving tools, but in chisels, I like these, as
Of course, I have that set of Millers Falls phenolic handled butt chisels
for the rough work. That's the key to keeping an edge on your trim and pare
chisels, having a set to run along the glue line, hack chunks, or open paint
While I find Home depot a pain in the but, they do carry all sizes of the
Buck chisel, they are well built and fairly inexpensive and made in the USA
I do believe. At the price it's well worth trying one to check the quality,
I've had good luck with them.
Do you actually use them?
I've found Buck Bros. stuff to be of such low quality that I'd not use
the chisels to open paint cans.
What do I mean by low quality? They don't hold an edge. Maybe
they'd be fine whacking out notches in 2x4's, but I've never had
decent luck with them for woodworking.
Buck was a good name in chisels once upon a time. Then the name was
At least two companies independently manufacure (different) products
under the Buck name. The Buck Bros Turning chisels are good quality.
I dunno anything else with that name that is.
But if you can find old Buck chisels at garage sales etc, they're good.
I've been slowly building my Sorby mortise chisel collection. Definately
spendy, but worth it. Great chisel. My next endeavor is to start on the
Sorby paring chisel collection. For the rough stuff, I have the Stanley
I actually just received my new boxed set of 6 two cherries chisels. check
them out at:
(this is the special promotional boxed set)
At 15% of $99.50 that's only $84.58 for a very good set of chisels, IMO. I
had a $5 coupon, so with shipping it totaled to only $90 for me. Another
option is the set of 7 Lee Valley bevel-edge chisels for $60+shipping (w/o a
box). I think the two cherries is a better value, but the LV set does give
you the 1.5" chisel, which is pretty useful. So, for only about 2x the
price of a marples set, you can get a much better set of chisels.
There are no stupid questions.
There are a LOT of inquisitive idiots.
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