Sparky1951

Good starter set of chisels.

58 posts in this topic

Wantt to buy my first set of chisels. These will be what I learn with so there may be some newbie type abuse to them.

Recommendations appreciated.

Sparky

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Best value for the money right now are the Narex Chisels. If you hurry and order them tonight, Lee Valley has free shipping.

http://www.leevalley...707&cat=1,41504

The free shipping ends tonight.

Edited by Roger T

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i would buy two sets one for throwing around the shop, used for rough chisling and prctice sharpening on any type will do i bought some craftsmen chisles from a garage sale with one bent one turned in to a sears and got a brand new full set of chisles. they do the job for most tasks but if you are making some realy quality projects like roger said the ones from lee valley are prity decent i have a set of them for harder wood work.

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Bud has an excellent set of narex on sale in the Market Place now.

AND I know Bud well enough to believe they will come SCARY sharp!!

lighthearted likes this

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Wantt to buy my first set of chisels. These will be what I learn with so there may be some newbie type abuse to them.

Recommendations appreciated.

Sparky

My recommendation is to buy the best chisel you can afford, even if it is your "first set". If you buy a cheap set, you are going to run the risk of frustrating your self with cheap tools.

Jonathan

========================

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I've been looking at those same Narex chisels, also my first set of real chisels. They look to be a great bang for not too many bucks.

If you get them real soon, let us all know how they are. I might be getting before too long.

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Check out Bacho. I believe they are owned by Snap-on (very high end mechanic tools). I paid 100 for a set of 8. These chisels are nasty and come very highly recommended by Alan Turner and Mario Rodriguez, (the instructors at The Philadelphia Furniture.Workshop)

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There are a lot of threads on this very subject here, I'm surprised it's not a topic that is stuck to the top of the forum at this point...

Anyway, I really like my Stanley Bailey chisels. http://www.amazon.com/Stanley-16-401-Bailey-Chisel-5-Piece/dp/B003HGH3W2

Good steel, sharp out of the gate, and reasonably priced with a roll. Backs needed a flattening but other then that no issues. I am thinking about getting a couple of the Lie-Nielsen chisels for in between sizes 1/8" and 3/8" but really no complaints with them at all...

-Jim

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I have a set of Hirsch, and the new Stanley.

The Hirsch (Two Cherries) served me well for 6-7 years. I had a chance to try the Stanley socket chisels at a show, and ended up buying them because I love their balance and feel, as well as true imperial measurement. The Hirsch set is now my "about town" :D set, and still sees plenty of use.

I find that true imperial sizing works best for cleaning up joinery created to imperial measurements.

If money is tight, I'd suggest buying fewer excellent chisels over more "starter" chisels. Quite often, 3/8, 5/8, and 7/8 chisels simply serve as fast backups when your 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 sizes need to be sharpened. You can do an awful lot with 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 and 1" sizes, adding 1/8 or wide sizes as you find a use for them. A Stanley utility knife and X-Acto #11 work great as cheap skews in tight spots.

I have several home improvement store sets of paint can openers. They were not suitable for real woodworking and a waste of money.

Fprodget likes this

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If money is tight, I'd suggest buying fewer excellent chisels over more "starter" chisels. Quite often, 3/8, 5/8, and 7/8 chisels simply serve as fast backups when your 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 sizes need to be sharpened. You can do an awful lot with 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 and 1" sizes, adding 1/8 or wide sizes as you find a use for them.

Completely agree with this. You can do a lot with a 1/4" and a 3/4" chisel.

I find that true imperial sizing works best for cleaning up joinery created to imperial measurements.

Actually, I'm not sure that matching sizes is critical for cleaning up joinery. If you are paring the end walls of a mortise sized at, say, 3/8", what you want is a chisel that is a hair under 3/8". Same for paring the bottom of a dado, or paring the baseline of a dovetail — what you want is a chisel that is slightly smaller than the size of the joint. If cleaning up a tenon, a chisel that is wider than your tenon is great.

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I have a set of Pfeils that are strictly for woodworking, and a set of craftsman to be abused for everything else. I would also agree with Wilber, I don't feel the that the Pfeils are metric has a negative impact when working with imperial measurements.

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I have a full set of Narex, Wood River,a couple of two Cherries, and some old Stanley's. They all do the job but the first two hold an edge and preform better. I truely think the Narex are just as good as the rest and a lot cheaper too. Just my two cents.

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Thanks guys. I am ordering the Narex. Good set to learn on. Not big box store quality so I won't get discouraged by quality. At the same time I can learn without putting too expensive of a set at risk.

Sparky

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I received the Narex 7 piece set for Christmas last year and while I've barely used them they seem very nice so far.

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My first set ( and only) of chisels was a set of Irwin ( Marples) 1/4 1/2 3/4 and 1". I use them alot for everything. They seem to hold an edge and have made my fingers leak on multiple occasions. I'd like to get a " nicer" set but I can't justify it to myself when they seem to do everything I need and were really inexspensive, $30 maybe?

My experience is based on never useing an actuall "good" set. I can't see how much different it could be, mine are extremely sharp and I don't have to resharpen them very often. Maybe I just got lucky or I don't know what I'm talking about, I give it 50/50 odds.

Fprodget likes this

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I havr a set of Lee Valley chisels (7). I am very happy with them.

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Wantt to buy my first set of chisels. These will be what I learn with so there may be some newbie type abuse to them.

Recommendations appreciated.

Sparky

My first question is:

What do you intend to do with those chisels?

Types, brands, costs, etc. are meaningless until a few clues are given.

I guess, like the other replies, I could assume that you are just like me and only do what I do.

You do intend on making Buddhist temple furniture from antique kiri, sugi and keyaki wood, using only Japanese hand tools and techniques, don't you? :)

Given no clues and/or skills set, I recommend buying a few common butt chisels and dedicating yourself to using and maintaining them. Spend your time wisely using the chisels rather than looking at them.

Acquire skills, not tools.

:D

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I agree with Hobo...

I purchased a set of harbor freight chisels to practice sharpening and occasional using. I've gotten a lot of practice sharpening... still haven't gotten them sharp. I purchased one Marples (1/4") and only had to sharpen it once. Not that I've done a lot of 1/4 work, but I needed something smaller than what I had in the set.

I also agree that you should only purchase the sizes you know you'd need. I wouldn't worry about being too small, merely too big. You can always use the cleaned up edge of the previous cut to guide you on the next one.

That said, based off my experience, I'd recommend getting individual chisels in a few select sizes. 1/4", 1/2", 1", and maybe (maybe.... in an extreme need) 1/8" in a basic bench chisel. I'd also recommend a pair of mortise chisels in 1/4" and 1/2" sizes.

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Friends,

Got in the chisels. Out of the box they are decent but I can see they will require some work. I have two older Arkansas stones ( medium and black/hard). I will use these to flatten the backs and get the edge razor sharp.

Will update as time goes on.

Again - thanks for the good advice.

Sparky

JohnnyNoName likes this

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I bought the 6 piece Hirsch set from LV years ago when I started, but I really only use four of them. The one regular narex chisel I own is a great tool and I have no complaints about the steel. Add one or two of their mortise chisels if chopping mortises and that's all one needs.

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The Narex Bevel Edge chisels at Lee Valley are excellent. Good steel and they hold a nice edge. The set of 7 for $69 is an excellent place to start. I do everything from dovetails to mortises and I have no complaints. Sharper than Luke Skywalker's lightsaber.

Avoid any of the Marples/Blue Chip Irwin junk from Home Depot/Lowes/Big Box Store. They're made by Rubbermaid somewhere in Asia with very poor steel. If you can find a set of the real Sheffield Marples blue-handled chisels on eBay (they'll have a silver band around the handle) that's the real-deal stuff.

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I have an old set of Sheffield Marples and they have served me well. They were also inexpensive.

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I know i am a bit late on a response to this.

I love my Stanley sweethearts. I think they are a good value for the price. I love the balance of the socket chisel. I bought the set of seven. If your budget is tighter go with the set of 4.

I used to have a set of marples but ended up cutting a couple of inches off the top of the handles for better balance and so my hand wouldn't fatigue so much when chopping out lots of dovetails.

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