Chisel set recommendation - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 03-16-2019, 11:21 PM Thread Starter
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Looking for recommendations for some chisels. Currently using some Kobalt from Lowe's.. needless to say, they aren't very dove tail friendly.

I thought about getting a Narex Set for $40 but I don't want to waste$40 if I can get a better set for $60, if it's out there. Trying to stay cheaper on this set as it will be my first "real" set of "good"chisels. If there's an option that would "last a life time" I would bet open to that too.

I do have a full sharpening set up already... Whet stones, diamond plates, and the veritas honing guide. So I'm covered in that department!

Thanks.

Last edited by Rhaugle; 03-16-2019 at 11:29 PM. Reason: More info
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post #2 of 15 Old 03-17-2019, 02:13 AM
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I'm a carver, mostly influenced by Pacific Northwest native art and carvings for a life time.
I like to do "formline" carvings which are essentially Vee-groove relief designs.
You set a stopcut with a straight knife and then come back to that from each side with a pair of skew chisels.
It takes 8 cuts to do a circle, that sort of thing.


I bought a pair of 1/2" Narex skews from Lee Valley, thought they were a bargain.
The steel was so good, I ordered another pair of them in less than a week. Same value.

I changed the bevel from 25 degrees to 20 degrees (common for wood carving edges).
They work like a hot dang to cut wood blocks for printing, too.



If I ever decided that I needed a set of reasonable chisels, I'd pick Narex first.
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post #3 of 15 Old 03-17-2019, 07:43 AM
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I have a set of Marples bench chisels and a set of Sorby mortise chisels a friend gave me. I like both sets.

My wood carving chisels are several different brands. Pfeil, Ramelson, Flexcut, and a couple others. I have heard good things about the Narex chisels.
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post #4 of 15 Old 03-17-2019, 10:03 AM
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Brand doesn't matter to me. I have a couple sets of harbor freight chisels which work as well as any. If the size and shape of the chisel for your needs that is good enough for me. The important thing is to learn to properly sharpen chisels. Sharpening regardless of the process you use is a matter of polishing an edge on the chisels. When done the cutting edge should look like polished chrome. When you put a chisel on a grinder the edge is very rough even though it may feel sharp. It has loose burrs of metal on it and if you cut with it the burrs will push into the chisel dulling it. The polishing of the edge isn't that unlike sanding wood. You start with coarse to work the grooves cut in the steel by the grinder and use finer and finer stones until you achieve a truly sharp edge. The final step is to strop the edge on a piece of leather just like the old time barbers used to do with straight razors.
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post #5 of 15 Old 03-17-2019, 10:04 AM
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My first "decent" chisels were Buck Bros. Professional from Home Depot. (Link 1) Chris Schwarz included a recommendation for them in his 2018 Anarchist's Gift Guide in one of his last articles for Popular Woodworking. (Link 2) I've not used them a ton but have been pleased with them so far.

I also bought a few really cheap chisels at a garage sale to learn and practice sharpening techniques. They sharpened up very nicely but I don't know how we'll they'll hold an edge. It was well worth the dollar or two I paid for them, though.

Link 1: https://www.homedepot.com/b/Tools-Hand-Tools-Chisels-Files-Punches-Chisels/Buck-Bros/N-5yc1vZc25rZaj/Ntk-tagger/Ntt-chisel?NCNI-5&storeSelection=4702,8944,4711,4706,4705

Link 2: https://www.popularwoodworking.com/woodworking-blogs/chris-schwarz-blog-woodworking-blogs/2018-anarchists-gift-guide-day-8-buck-bros-chisels/

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post #6 of 15 Old 03-18-2019, 08:18 AM
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Paul Sellers, a master woodworker and without the BS of most Youtube woodworking hipsters, shows how to sharpen a set of Aldi chisels.



That's right, a set of supermarkets Aldi chisels bought for about $12.00.


Don't get caught-up with "high-dollar" brand chisels. Learn to sharpen chisels - that's the key.


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post #7 of 15 Old 03-19-2019, 01:20 PM
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anybody here tried stanley blue handle chisels? i know these should need flattening some work for preparing it but generally what you say about it .. i've found these locally in my residence area a set of 3 for about $13-$15 - didn't find in single pieces
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post #8 of 15 Old 03-19-2019, 05:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walidantar View Post
anybody here tried stanley blue handle chisels? i know these should need flattening some work for preparing it but generally what you say about it .. i've found these locally in my residence area a set of 3 for about $13-$15 - didn't find in single pieces

For that price buy them. Go through the steps of flattening the backs, sharpening, and stropping.



Forget the jigs, chisel holders, fancy angle guides, etc. It's not magic nor does it require prayer to the great "Sharpening God."


Learn what an edge is. Learn to do it by hand. Then you can laugh at all the people who have become intimidated by fugazzi "sharpening" hucksters and machinery who couldn't sharpen a pencil with a pocket knife.


Here's another great example of someone who knows how to sharpen.




Buy good stones. Get a piece of leather. That's all you need along with the desire to practice and become adept.



Steve

Remember - You're not a "real" woodworker unless you do exactly as another woodworker says you must do to be a "real" woodworker. It's called "The True Woodworker Fallacy."

Last edited by sgcz75b; 03-19-2019 at 05:41 PM.
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post #9 of 15 Old 03-20-2019, 01:56 AM
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Wanna spend some dough?

You will treasure these and hand them down for generations:
https://www.highlandwoodworking.com/...ssetofsix.aspx

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #10 of 15 Old 03-20-2019, 11:29 AM
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A couple weeks ago lee valley had a one day special on a set of hand crafted Japanese chisels. They were $1000 off. I thought that was a misprint, but closer examination suggested the original cost for the set was well over $3000. I canít imagine they had that many takers, but who knows what wealthy people spend their money on.


In woodworking there is always more then one way to accomplish something.
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post #11 of 15 Old 03-20-2019, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry Q View Post

In woodworking there is always more then one way to accomplish something.

And some fool who believes money alone buys skills and a purist blowhard who tells you you're not a "real" woodworker unless you buy what he has.

Remember - You're not a "real" woodworker unless you do exactly as another woodworker says you must do to be a "real" woodworker. It's called "The True Woodworker Fallacy."

Last edited by sgcz75b; 03-20-2019 at 11:56 AM.
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post #12 of 15 Old 03-20-2019, 07:04 PM
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I gotta drive 800 miles round trip to try and catch a seasonal sale for some crappy chinese chisels or some guy with 5 posts judges me? Lol, I think I'll keep my mid grade Marples, Narex and Stanley. Thanks ignore list, I'm done here.
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post #13 of 15 Old 03-21-2019, 07:55 AM
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Get some Narex and not worry about another set for a very long time. Affordable and great chisels.
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post #14 of 15 Old 03-21-2019, 10:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P89DC View Post
I gotta drive 800 miles round trip to try and catch a seasonal sale for some crappy chinese chisels or some guy with 5 posts judges me? Lol, I think I'll keep my mid grade Marples, Narex and Stanley. Thanks ignore list, I'm done here.

It seems you fall into the second category.


Thanks.


The guy with 5 posts

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post #15 of 15 Old 04-03-2019, 03:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P89DC View Post
I gotta drive 800 miles round trip to try and catch a seasonal sale for some crappy chinese chisels or some guy with 5 posts judges me? Lol, I think I'll keep my mid grade Marples, Narex and Stanley. Thanks ignore list, I'm done here.
This is your first post in the thread. Nobody is judging you.

Here is my translation of your post, quoted above:

* "I live too far from an Aldi store to buy their chisels that only appear seasonally. Besides, those Chinese-made chisels are crappy anyway."

My comment: I suggest you read Aesop's fable about "sour grapes." Furthermore, at least one well-respected woodworker (Paul Sellers) likes and recommends them. Quite honestly, I was not impressed with them myself.

* "I prefer my mid-grade Marples, Narex, and Stanley chisels."

My comment: Thank you for your recommendation. I am sure that @Rhaugle appreciates your suggestion and will consider them.

* "You can ignore my mid-grade chisel list, because I am leaving WoodworkingTalk."

My comment: Sorry to see you go, but I think you misinterpreted everyone else's intent in their posts.
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