I have narex bench chisels from Lee valley. I might have been trying to take too much off. I read somewhere to always try take away half of what's left, so the first couple chunks are fairly large. I dunno, I'll try next time and see if it helps.
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Many years ago I bought a frame saw with a japanese blade..it works on the pull vs. the western push...I do believe I got it from Highland Hardware in atlanta.. I don't know if they still carry it. It cuts fast and easily, especially for the size board you are considering. I resawed many a board with it until I got electricity at my home and then got a bandsaw for my old age.
You shouldn't need mortise chisels for dovetails...at least not through dovetails in domestic species. If you're dulling your edges that quickly, you're either trying to remove too much material at once, or your chisels suck. Try removing more meat with the fret saw first before you get the chisels out. If that doesn't help, you might consider upgrading your steel.