Which chisels and scrapers to get? Mind boggled by options - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 12-03-2017, 02:10 AM Thread Starter
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Which chisels and scrapers to get? Mind boggled by options

I'm looking for a decent set of chisels for general use. They'll get hit by a mallet for morticing (mortising?), probably to finesse joints, light paring. I was thinking of this set maybe? https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00H6RD4PI...YFDVPNZ0&psc=0

Or maybe this one?

https://www.highlandwoodworking.com/...chiselset.aspx

If I got the first set I'm sure I'd add an 1/8" chisel to round it out.

I was also thinking of either getting the card scraper set from veritas or the cabinet scraper. Eventually I'll get both, but idk which to get first.
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post #2 of 14 Old 12-03-2017, 08:12 AM
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I don't care for either of those chisels. If you intend to do mortising work you should get mortising chisels instead of general purpose chisels. Mortising chisels are longer. If you can, get some with plastic handles. Even if you use a mallet the plastic handle chisels are made for harder use and will hold up better.
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post #3 of 14 Old 12-03-2017, 08:46 AM
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I bought a set of card scrapers. They do very well, but then you need a burnishing tool to sharpen, and have to learn how to do it. But I am a novice at wood working, for what my 2 cents is worth.

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post #4 of 14 Old 12-03-2017, 08:50 AM
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Oh yeh, my wife got me an inexpensive set of chisels a few years back. Plastic handle and came with sharpening stone and angle vice. They are great to learn with, and do good, as far as I know, and if you accidentally break one it's no big loss.

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post #5 of 14 Old 12-03-2017, 09:04 AM
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You can cut shallow mortises with bench chisels, but deeper mortises are easier to cut with mortising chisels that are considerably beefier. I use the Narvex mortising chisels and they seem to work well.

An inexpensive set of bench chisels that seem to get decent reviews are the Buck Bros chisels that are sold by Home Depot. You mother-in-law could afford to buy you a starter set for Christmas.

No need to get a set of scrapers until you learn how to effectively roll up a burr for cutting. Just start with one card scrapper, a burnisher of some sort, a fine file, and a sharpening stone, preferably not a water stone since rubbing the edge of a card scraper on a soft stone will create grooves in the water stone and make it ineffective.

Learning how to roll up an effective cutting burr on scrapers is why so few woodworkers use scrapers and have difficulty scraping up anything more than sawdust. It is even more difficult then learning how to sharpen chisels or plane irons.


In woodworking there is always more then one way to accomplish something.
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post #6 of 14 Old 12-03-2017, 09:31 AM
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For bench chisels, it's hard to go wrong with Stanley Sweethearts. They are expensive though. That is why they are still on my wish list and not in my garage. I have some buck brothers ones now, from HD. They are actually not bad.

I am also hoping to get some morticing chisels, some day. I'v been looking at the Narex ones.

I don't know squat about scrapers. Never used one, but I did just get one for myself for christmas at my local hardware store (not HD).

... turning perfectly good wood into firewood every day ... :smile3:
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post #7 of 14 Old 12-03-2017, 11:16 AM Thread Starter
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I have the set of bench chisels from HD, but I was looking to upgrade. Maybe I'll just get a set of mortise chisels like Steve suggested and keep the buck bros set as beat em up chisels.

But my other question was should I get a cabinet scraper or card scraper? Eventually I'll get both as funds trickle in, but I want to pick which one first. I find myself making panels a lot and from what I understand cabinet scrapers work great for smoothing out where the boards meet so maybe get that first? I've yet to use any figured wood where a card scraper would shine vs a hand plane or sandpaper.

The thought of rolling a burr doesn't make me nervous at all as I'm already pretty comfortable sharpening chisels and plane irons. I know card scrapers or cabinet scrapers are more difficult to sharpen, but after everything I've read and watched on the matter it doesn't really cause me hesitation anymore.

I'm just not sure which of the two would find use on my projects more often.
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post #8 of 14 Old 12-03-2017, 12:18 PM
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Re chisels and stuff like planes and the like ... I go to estate sales when I can, and more often than not, I find some decent stuff, like some chisels, or a vise, an old plane, a nice saw, or maybe just some extra hose for my shopvac, at a pretty good price. I don't know if that is an option for you though. It works for me.

... turning perfectly good wood into firewood every day ... :smile3:

Last edited by Chris Curl; 12-03-2017 at 02:39 PM.
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post #9 of 14 Old 12-03-2017, 04:03 PM
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if you're going to hammer on a chisel, designs with a "through tang" are best - plastic or wood handles - but the steel goes from the cutting edge to the impact head.

I have two sets of chisels - one beater set and one set kept razor sharp used exclusively for fine hand work.
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post #10 of 14 Old 12-09-2017, 12:46 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Curl View Post
For bench chisels, it's hard to go wrong with Stanley Sweethearts. They are expensive though. That is why they are still on my wish list and not in my garage. I have some buck brothers ones now, from HD. They are actually not bad.

I am also hoping to get some morticing chisels, some day. I'v been looking at the Narex ones.

I don't know squat about scrapers. Never used one, but I did just get one for myself for christmas at my local hardware store (not HD).
I found the Stanley 750s on Zoro and the honey app tells me there's a 20% discount code that works. I'm tempted to bite the bullet on them lol.
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post #11 of 14 Old 12-10-2017, 10:29 AM
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I use Skarsten scrapers with replaceable blades. Previously, piece of broken glass.
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post #12 of 14 Old 12-10-2017, 10:38 AM
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I vote for card scrapers before a cabinet scraper: They're more versatile, easier to sharpen, and cheaper.

As for chisels: I have a Narex mortise chisel, and I like the quality and build of the tool. It's comfortable to hold, feels solid, and seems to hold an edge. That said, I almost never use it, because I find it faster to cut mortises with a bench chisel. Part of that is my bench height: I keep my bench high, because I have some lower back problems and bending over to work can get pretty painful. I don't think that's all of it, though, and I'm not sure what the rest of it is. I will say I've only done mortises down to about 1 1/4", and it was starting to get awkward to use the bench chisel at that point.

I think the mortise vs. bench chisel thing is probably one of the ones that come down to personal preference. A lot of people clearly prefer mortise chisels, and I'm not going to argue that they're wrong. But if you don't already have a good set of bench chisels, I will argue that you should start with those and use them for everything until you get around to trying a mortise chisel.

I will, though, point to this as backup that not everyone is going to wind up with the same answer:


Edit to add: I will say, though, that I dislike his use of a thin chisel to clear the waste. I'd rather use a screwdriver, which doesn't need to be sharpened an isn't likely to cut me if it slips.

Last edited by amckenzie4; 12-10-2017 at 10:45 AM.
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post #13 of 14 Old 12-11-2017, 02:55 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amckenzie4 View Post
I vote for card scrapers before a cabinet scraper: They're more versatile, easier to sharpen, and cheaper.

As for chisels: I have a Narex mortise chisel, and I like the quality and build of the tool. It's comfortable to hold, feels solid, and seems to hold an edge. That said, I almost never use it, because I find it faster to cut mortises with a bench chisel. Part of that is my bench height: I keep my bench high, because I have some lower back problems and bending over to work can get pretty painful. I don't think that's all of it, though, and I'm not sure what the rest of it is. I will say I've only done mortises down to about 1 1/4", and it was starting to get awkward to use the bench chisel at that point.

I think the mortise vs. bench chisel thing is probably one of the ones that come down to personal preference. A lot of people clearly prefer mortise chisels, and I'm not going to argue that they're wrong. But if you don't already have a good set of bench chisels, I will argue that you should start with those and use them for everything until you get around to trying a mortise chisel.

I will, though, point to this as backup that not everyone is going to wind up with the same answer:


Edit to add: I will say, though, that I dislike his use of a thin chisel to clear the waste. I'd rather use a screwdriver, which doesn't need to be sharpened an isn't likely to cut me if it slips.
I kind of agree with his logic. I'd never use only hand tools for mortises or dados. I'd rather use a router or drill or something to get rid of the mass of a mortise, tenon, dado, whatever and just use a chisel to clean everything up and get it to my final dimensions. I found out my parents are getting a cabinet scraper and a card scraper set from veritas for me for Christmas so now I'm looking at chisels.
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post #14 of 14 Old 12-16-2017, 09:21 PM Thread Starter
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I got the 4 pack of Stanley 750 chisels for $60. Pretty excited for them.
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