Has anyone used these? I was looking at carving tools at Rockler yesterday.
They had Flexicut, Crown and a brand that I had never heard of. The one that
I had never heard of was droped from consideration as soon as I saw the work
done on them with a soft buffing wheel. That just screams "cheap". The only
edged tool I have owned from Crown was a marking knife and it's edge holding
ability was right up there with a Chinese butter knife. I ended up with
Flexicut (quality, no doubt) but were the Crown worth consideration? Was my
marking knife an anomaly or representative of the brand? There is so much
junk on the market in edged tools, it's almost a crap shoot trying to get
something that does more than just look like cutting tool.
Hmmm. You'd really hate my carving tools. The backs of them are irregular
even after the forging. Of course, it's meaningless, because the edge is
between the milled and polished interior and the bevel.
It's the edge that counts, but you have to put that on. I can't see the
utility in flexible tools, but it may be because I'm so used to leveraging
my way around to clean after mallet work.
Crown are rubbish. Really low-grade junk, tarted up with a rosewood
Flexcut are odd. They look nasty in some ways, but they seem to do the
job. I don't understand their magic geometry and flexiness, yet I can
clearly carve much better with a friend's flexcuts than I can with
good quality traditional carvers. I am however a rubbish carver -
maybe Flexcut are just more approachable ?
I believe that the Flexcut tools were an experiment in economy more than
anything. It is far cheaper to turn these tools out on a punch pres than it
is to forge them. Just turned out that they worked well. Mine are the palm
tools so the flexibility is not a factor. Thanks for the info on Crown. The
one Crown tool I had was junk and I was afraid that it was representative of
I've got the short bladed awl, a perfect size, but I have to be careful when
marking to not bend the thing.
Waste of money. I don't know anything about the rest of the line, but after
this one, I'll never find out.
"The test and the use of man's education is that he finds pleasure in the
exercise of his mind." Jacques Barzun
I'm perfectly happy with my crwon burnisher, but apart from that I
don't own any of their tools. Just recently i bought a set of 18
chinese carving tools for 58EURO plus taxes, which seem to be very
nice. They come unsharpened and without handles, just forged, roughly
ground to shape and hardened, so it's quite a bit of work to get them
operational, but they seem to take thir edge well and probably also to
hold it (not yet tested that part), but so did my white paper steel
self-forged gouge, too.
Turning tools are easier to make (in a metallurgical sense). Any
modern HSS is adequate for the job, as turners can manage at poor
levels of sharpness that would be obviously bad for carving.
Robustness and edge _holding_ is quite easy to achieve for any maker
now, it's the steelworks doing the clever bit. Grinding and heat
treatment of HSS is much easier than that of a temperature-sensitive
high carbon steel.
OTOH, I wasn't impressed with Crown's turning tools either. The shape
of the grind was particularly bad, especially the fingernail (sic)
gouges. However this is typical of almost all turning tools below the
very first rank.
I use Axminster's "Perform" turning tools, plus a few extra Sorbys of
particular shapes. They were nasty grinds out of the box, but an
afternoon with the angle grinder sorted that. Now they're OK, and the
steel seems to do the job well enough.
Andy, pardon me for interupting off-topic, have you ever tried Footprint bevel
edged bench chisels? Do you have an opinion on them?
Great price for a starting point is the reason I ask. And I found that Footprint
is selling through Amazon.com in the U.S. too.
On Tue, 8 Jun 2004 00:56:18 -0700, AArDvarK wrote:
Excuse me for interrupting but I've got a set of Footprint's bench
chisels. They're OK but not in the same league as something like
They take and hold an edge reasonably well. I managed to loosen one
from it's handle doing mortices though - fair enough since they're not
morticing chisels. Mine came with blue plastic handles. I've found the
handles to be comfortable enough.
As a first set of chisels, I think they are perfectly adequate. I've
got some posher chisels now but I still on occasion use the
I've got a Marples chisel and it's crap in comparison - their steel
doesn't seem right: brittle but not hard or tough...again IMHO.
BTW, I agree with Andy's estimation of Crown tools: garbage. I've got
some of their cabinetmaker's screwdrivers with beech handles that need
re-grinding if they are going to be used effectively. I believe Lie
Nielsen are going to bring out some screwdrivers, so I might treat
myself to some of them.
BTW, Footprint make some really nice grips; a 6" pair come in handy
around the shop for unseizing the tops of cans etc.
Hey man... it is too-cool if you "interrupt". I need the advice so you
are more than excused. And thank you exceedingly for interrupting!
I think I will get the red acetate handled Footprints from Amazon:
(Amazon.com product link shortened)86593192/sr=1-13/ref=sr_1_13/002-4932766-0472056?v=glance&s=hi
to see them:
(Amazon.com product link shortened)86585462/sr=-4/ref=sr__4_etk-tools_all/002-4932766-0472056
I suppose if you can carve really well you could use a piece of
flintrock. But the rest of us want a tool that makes life easier
rather than one that we can manage to struggle by with.
While I don't have any of the Crown carving tools, I've got their
marking knife and awl and they are not worth a damn. Like another
poster said, they're just crap that's "tarted up" with redwood
IMHO, of course.
The Crown marking knife is the tool that made me pass on the carving tools.
Wasn't sure if I got a bad one or bad ones are all they make. Wasn't willing
to risk it. Looks like I was right and I sure appreciate the input from
They can make their tools out of the finest steel available but if the don't
heat treat it correctly, it might just as well be 1018. I was thinking about
annealing and reheat treating the marking knife blade just to see of it was
lousy steel or lousy heat treat but never got around to it. Finally, just
threw it away.
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