bleedinblue

Japanese vs Western Chisels

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I couldn't find a similar thread, though I'm sure I missed them. 

Mid-grade Japanese chisels such as these from TFWW or Lie Nielsen?  I don't have either available locally so putting my hands on them before ordering is a no-go. 

I know the handle design may be the biggest functional difference.  I know the Japanese chisels SHOULD hold an edge better.  I think the LNs are much more attractive. 

What else am I missing?  The backs of each should be very close to flat out of the box right?  

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A couple of years ago I asked a former member the same question. He said and I quote: "(his Japanese chisels)  do not like heavy chopping (they'll chip in dense hardwoods)". But he was talking about white steel Matsumura chisels. I ended up deciding to buy my chisels from LN, but never actually ordered any (I still use my Stanley ones).

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2 hours ago, bleedinblue said:

I couldn't find a similar thread, though I'm sure I missed them. 

Mid-grade Japanese chisels such as these from TFWW or Lie Nielsen?  I don't have either available locally so putting my hands on them before ordering is a no-go. 

I know the handle design may be the biggest functional difference.  I know the Japanese chisels SHOULD hold an edge better.  I think the LNs are much more attractive. 

What else am I missing?  The backs of each should be very close to flat out of the box right?  

Are you talking about this conversation?

The information Derek provided is excellent.

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Decent (mid-price) Japanese white steel chisels, such as Koyamaichi, will last a LOT longer than the LN A2 steel bench chisels. A LOT longer!

My tests used A2 from Blue Spruce, but the Koyamaichi left them for dust. The nearest rivals were Veritas PM-V11.

Article:  http://www.inthewoodshop.com/ToolReviews/FourChiselSteelsCompared.html

I do not know the particular set of Iyoroi chisels linked to here (from TFWW). I have a number of Iyoroi and they do not match up with the Koyamaichi (available from Lee Valley and Tools from Japan). The Koyamaichi have small lands, which makes them good for chopping dovetails.

Regards from Perth

Derek

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Dont have any experience with japanese chisels, but ive always been interested. Not sure how sold i am on the hollow grind. Sure, it makes flattening easier/faster, but flattening a western chisel isnt that awful. Whats more, now you have the entire back as a flat reference surface. From a purely aesthetic standpoint, i like the idea of a set of japanese chisels. With how little hand tool work i do, the fact is 1-2 PMV11s from veritas would be the best fit. In line with Derek's review, they seem to do it all reasonably well. They pare well and can handle light/medium chopping as well. My perception of the japanese bench chisels is they arent as well rounded. If i went that route, i might skip the bench chisels and get a few paring chisels and a few mortise chisels. 

 

Has anyone ever looked at the vintage japanese chisels on ebay? Tons of lots for sale ranging from a whole roll of timber framing slicks and chisels to something more in line with what we are discussing. I dont know enough about japanese chisels to make an informed decision when buying new, let alone vintage stuff, but they sometimes catch my eye. Unlike western chisels from 50-100 years ago, the old japanese chisels should be of similar hardness and quality as their contemporary counterparts, right?

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23 hours ago, Pwk5017 said:

Has anyone ever looked at the vintage japanese chisels on ebay? Tons of lots for sale ranging from a whole roll of timber framing slicks and chisels to something more in line with what we are discussing. I dont know enough about japanese chisels to make an informed decision when buying new, let alone vintage stuff, but they sometimes catch my eye. Unlike western chisels from 50-100 years ago, the old japanese chisels should be of similar hardness and quality as their contemporary counterparts, right? 

I wonder if there is a Japanese version of HF, I mean cheap, low quality tools that they sell to us for top dollar because we can't read the Japanese forums and find out.

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I have both mid-price Japanese (had them too long to even begin to tell you who made them) and LN. I had the LN for a few years and was generally happy with them, save the odd unexpected release from the sockets. Then I started working with mesquite a good bit. Fail. Fail. The edges rolled over very quickly. I pulled out the Japanese chisels and have used them since on anything tougher than cherry. I like the feel in my hand of the LN better, but there's no comparison in the edge or endurance of the edge. 

The only knock I have on the Japanese chisels is if you do chip an edge far enough back to have to tap it out, it's a bear to repair. I've watched people tap out the hollow, but for the price of an enchilada dinner and a margarita or two for two, I'll just replace the chisel. 

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Interesting.  Maybe I'll go for Japanese after all.

Derek, it's a safe bet the ones from Lee Valley are better than the ones from TFWW?  I'm gonna set the guilt-free budget at about $300.  LV is pushing that, but not too horribly. 

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As an aside and not a hj, Mel, you still doing music? 

Blue, let us know which you opted for. 

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I got frustrated at the Japanese chisels being out of stock and ordered some Lie Nielsens.  They'll likely do just fine for me, especially considering I use cherry and walnut 90% of the time.  When I start hand cutting dovetails I'll just grab a fish tail or two.

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Boo! Good things come to those that wait.  :PYou could have ordered from that Japanese site i linked.

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21 minutes ago, Chestnut said:

Boo! Good things come to those that wait.  :PYou could have ordered from that Japanese site i linked.

Hahahahaha...well....my wife is out of town for four days next week and I am home alone with our kid.  These are a gift from her to me for not protesting this.  Thing is, she doesn't know about it and I need delivery to be between Tuesday morning and Friday night :D 

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19 hours ago, K Cooper said:

As an aside and not a hj, Mel, you still doing music? 

 

Always :) Been messing with modular synth stuff lately. 

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22 hours ago, bleedinblue said:

Hahahahaha...well....my wife is out of town for four days next week and I am home alone with our kid.  These are a gift from her to me for not protesting this.  Thing is, she doesn't know about it and I need delivery to be between Tuesday morning and Friday night :D 

You could have them sent to my house and she would never be the wiser

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