Looks like I’ll be getting my carving gouge for Christmas 🙂 . And it’s either the Hirsch #7 37mm that Paul recommends, or the Ashley Iles #7 1-1/2″ one that Paul also mentions in his blog.
I was wondering if anyone has used the Ashley Iles and can compare it to the Hirsch? I have no problem going off Paul’s recommendation for the Hirsch gouge (and since I’m following Paul’s methods I suppose it’s nice to use the exact tool he does), but a part of me sort of likes the Ashley Iles gouge (the way it looks, how it’s English-made, so on).
The biggest difference I can see is that the A.I. gouge has a longer “flat spot” just in front of the ferrule. Paul mentions that a gouge is held from the blade as much as the handle, and so this flat spot might matter in terms of feel but I can’t visualize how in my head.
And then I found this pdf file that suggests the geometry of the gouges’ cutting edges may not be the same. There’s a (confusing?) chart on page 3 (Kirschen == Hirsh apparently):