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A lot will depend on your budget. Narex makes some pretty good tools for a pretty good price.

Second factor is your expected 'chisel workflow'. Are you hand tools only, or just sumplimenting a power tool collection?

In my case, I find that a couple of long-bladed chisels get the most use, for light paring, often at distances from the edge that normal bench chisels can't reach. FYI, I have sets of Craftsman, Stanley, and Footprint chisels, all inherited. The longer bladed Footprints see the most action. The others are reasonable quality and hold an edge pretty well, but are short for most of the tasks I do.

I own a single Robert Sorby mortising chisel, bought for a particular project, which set me back around $65 a couple of years ago. Excellent tool, and with an even longer blade, sometimes does paring duty as well.

Unless you are jump-starting a hand tool shop, I would suggest picking up one or two quality chisels as you find the need for a particular size or style. Pre-configured sets usually have a couple of sizes you NEVER use.

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Depends on your budget. Despite a lot of people liking Narex, i find them to be an ok budget chisel. I think there are cheaper that perform better (Marples) or better but only slightly more costly (Stanley Sweetheart). If budget is no option a super high end Japanese or PMV-11 would be my go to. Lie-Nielsen would also perform well, they are based off the Stanley sweet heart design.

A lot of what makes good Japanese chisels good is their steel lamination. They laminate soft and hard steels in a manner that gives the chisel both excellent durability and excellent edge retention. Is it worth it? I don't know. Do you have $80 per chisel to burn and high quality stones to keep them in tip top shape?

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7 hours ago, wtnhighlander said:

Well, if I am totally honest, 90% of the chisel tasks in my shop wind up being accomplished with the Stanley Fat Mac butterfly chisel that I stick in my pocket....

Funny you say that. On the job this summer, I could not find my beater chisel and this went in my bag. School starts Monday so that goes in the storage bin for the next several months. I make Narex work, but am far from a chisel centered work flow. 

Morakniv Craftline Carpentry Chisel with Carbon Steel Blade, 3.0-Inch, Model Number: M-12250

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