Stanley 750 Socket Chisels vs Narex Bench Chisels


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It's time to upgrade to a big boy set of chisels versus the hodgepodge of marples and various chisels I currently have. I've read good things about both brands, while I'd love some nice Japanese chisels is just not cost effective. My chisel use consists of some mortise cleanup, shaping guitar top and back braces and some random paring here and there.

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What do you expect a set of chisels to give you that what you have now doesn't? I'd recommend one excellent chisel over a set of lesser. That said I've never seen anything bad written about the Narex. I have Blue Spruce and Lie Nielsen and really like both. I was surprised I didn't care for the Japanese chisel I got first.

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I have the Stanley set of 8, they work well. I like the O1 steel, easy to sharpen. I don't recall what the Narex are made of. My favorites that I don't own (but have used in a class) are the Ashley Iles.

 

I'd recommend one excellent chisel over a set of lesser.

 

That's what I usually recommend too... no one really ever takes that advice though   ;)

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I have the Narex chisels, they work great and have been used in pretty much every project I've made since I got them. I don't know if the Stanleys hold an edge longer, but if you're just a hobbyist then the Narex are probably best from a price point of view.

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What do you expect a set of chisels to give you that what you have now doesn't? I'd recommend one excellent chisel over a set of lesser. That said I've never seen anything bad written about the Narex. I have Blue Spruce and Lie Nielsen and really like both. I was surprised I didn't care for the Japanese chisel I got first.

The chisels i have now don't hold an edge as well as I'd like them to, I'm super anal about sharpness, so scary sharp and good edge retention are a must. Also the ones I have now don't have handles I can smack with my mallet without fear of cracking the handles. They are made in Sheffield England but somewhat soft. I'm looking at a set of 4 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, 1" and if I get adventurous I might get a 1 1/2, 2" for larger mortise work. The sizes i have currently are 1" beater chisel for doing door lock installs. A 3/16 and 1/4 for small work on guitars, a 1/2 for scalloping guitar braces, and a 3/8 that I don't think I've ever used.
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I have a set of 4 narex, and I have 1 stanley socket chisel (1/2 in).  frankly I cannot tell any difference between the two as far as holding an edge, I'm happy with both, I have a feeling that the stanley would hold up a bit better to hammering just based on the socket design, though I have yet to really abuse any of mine.  I have an old marples 1/4 inch that I use if I'm going to be whacking any harder.  but frankly, as far as I can tell, the quality between the stanleys and the narex are pretty much the same between the two, so IMO it just comes down to whether you want that socket handle or not.

 

[edit to add] there is one difference that I have noticed - the handles of the two are quite different and comfort may be an issue when you choose one or the other.  I find them both to be fine for me but the stanleys have a smaller 'rounded' handle and the narex handles are a little larger.  I'd try em out first, or at least hold one or two to see what might be more comfy

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I'm sure the Narex are a better value. I just loved the thin blades with no shoulders, much like Lie-Nielsen, and the simple bubinga handle, with little branding at all. I also like that you can get a full range of sizes from 1/8 to 2 inches.

Have never used the Narex. The Stanley sockets are a joy to sharpen, love O1 in a chisel for ease of sharpening and reasonable edge durability.

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I have a set of 8 Narex chisels and Ive never regretted the purchase for a second. They come with a slightly hollow back, they sharpen up well, and the edge retention is pretty darned good.

I also have a set of vintage Stanley 720 pairing chisels. I would say the quality is about equal. The 720s do sharpen a bit faster but I don't know what type of steel they are. A point of personal preference, I am not a huge fan of socket chisels. They seem less sturdy to me.

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