Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 24 total)
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  • #310616
    Clifford
    Participant

    I have used inexpensive chisels (Harbor Freight after flattening and sharpening ~$1.66 per chisel) to make a number of the projects (including the rocking chair). My question to those of you who may have used both inexpensive and expensive chisels ($50+ per chisel like Lie Nielsen, Sorby etc.) is what are the benefits of the expensive chisels in your opinion? I know that I should just buy one and try it but I am interested in those of you who have experience.

    #310628
    rodrat
    Participant

    Biggest thing: Holds an edge longer usually due to better steal. Beyond that I guess they look nicer?

    I used some cheapos from HF at a friends place and they got dull quick. The ones I have aren’t the most expensive. I have some Woodriver chisels, set of 5 that for $80US. I can use them all day easily without any need to sharpen up. Often times into the next day as well.

    That’s my experience anyway.

    #310634
    Nick Puiia
    Participant

    I have a couple of Lie-Nielsons and they really keep an edge for a long time. They came perfectly flat on the back and required minimum honing to get them ready for use. For me personally, the ergonomics are the biggest selling point for them. The handles fit in my hand perfectly. I have a preference for socket chisels so that is another thing to consider.

    #310672
    Ed
    Participant

    The sharpest edges I’ve ever gotten have been on the $6 Aldi chisels. Unfortunately, they broke under use, so I think they were too brittle, but for $6 I’d get another set.

    The Narex chisels from Lee Valley are “mid level” chisels, I suppose. They’ll do anything you like and, since they are from LV, the backs come flat. Preparation is quick. I find the handles to be heavy. This only matters when holding the chisel like a pencil, e.g., when cutting dovetails. It doesn’t prevent any work, it just makes stronger hands.

    I have a few Lie Nielsen socket chisels. I am unsure whether they get any sharper than the Narex and I am unsure whether they stay sharper longer. I won’t say they do and I won’t say they don’t. I would not pay extra for the steel. For me, the sockets were a nightmare. The handles would fall off unexpectedly, often leading to me having to jump out of the way of a falling chisel. I bonded the handles on with West epoxy, which solved the problem. What I like a great deal about these chisels is that the handles are smaller than the Narex or the Aldi, and are lighter. This is more comfortable for some kinds of work. It isn’t the cost that is giving this feature, though.

    #310679
    Peter George
    Participant

    I have the Narex chisels from Lee Valley, which I like very much. They replaced a set of Irwin chisels which I now use for all the things I shouldn’t use chisels for. 🙂 I got the Narex chisels off of the clearance shelf. Someone had returned them so I got a set of 7 for the price of one premium chisel.

    I lust after the Veritas PMV-11 chisels. I won’t buy them because of the price and my Narex work just fine, however I got to handle a set in the store and they felt perfect in my hand.

    Peter in
    Biggar SK
    "New York is big, but this is Biggar"

    #310680
    deanbecker
    Participant

    I have a set of buck plastic handles , a set of wooden handl bucks , a set of HF,and some old ridgeway marples i like my marples best they seem to sharpen finer than any of the others is it in my head? I dont think so. they pare better,period
    They are all hand sharpened and all have the same bevel.
    My daughter in law uses the HF chisels mostly became s she hasnt learned quite yet how to finess one but she sharpens up when she starts and goes til she quits. They may dull a little faster but not much. My one veritas is unused

    #310681
    David Perrott
    Participant

    Lot of it is the balance and the feel. I had the old narex ones and I didn’t like them. The steel was fine but I thought the balance was off and the handles were too thick. I moved to the ashley isles. The feel much better to me in the hand and in their balance.

    #310691
    Edmund
    Participant

    There are a number of differences, I certainly don’t claim to know them all, and whether or not they represent value is up to the individual.

    The handle of a high-end chisel will generally be of a clear, properly seasoned, durable hardwood with proper grain orientation. Significant thought and design will have been given to it’s shape.
    The tang of the chisel will be securely fitted into the handle, and properly secured with a high quality ferrule.
    The steel of the blade will be properly hardened and tempered, and of the highest quality. It will take an extremely fine edge and hold it.
    The back of the blade will already be properly flattened.
    The bevel will be properly shaped, and edge will likely be in ready-to-use condition.
    The balance in the hand will have been given significant thought and design for the commonly-used positions.
    Each component of the chisel will be replaceable so the tool itself will last generations.

    #310708
    Philipp J.
    Participant

    I started out with the Aldi chisels which work nicely once you prepare them. They habe since been retired for a set of Ashley Iles.

    The Ashleys have the massive advantage that they come nicely polished, sharp and in my case with a ever so slightly hollowground face, which is great for sharpening, ergonomics are better too.
    Their Steel has mich better Edge retention, take a great edge and sharpen nicely.

    In my opinion they are well worth the money.

    #310715
    Mike I
    Participant

    +1 For Ashley Iles bevel edge mk II as general purpose chisels. Certainly Not budget, but really not expensive considering just how good they are.

    #310717
    David Perrott
    Participant

    I also looked at the 2 cherries chisels. They were nice too. They are longer then the Isles chisels, and the edges aren’t ground as much as the isles, but they can’t be considered firmer chisels. I went with the Isles because I wanted exact imperial sizes and I already had one. In my opinion either brand would have been an improvement over my unbalanced old narex chisels. They have come out with a line with a different handle design. Those may have better balance and feel.

    #310720
    Sven-Olof Jansson
    Participant

    The price difference between Robert Sorby Gilt Edge chisels and Lie-Nielsen chisels was around £20 per item, and very justified to me. The RS are good chisels after preparation. I found the LN ones to be better straight away
    /soj

    Sven-Olof Jansson
    London, UK; Boston, MA

    #310725
    Ed
    Participant

    For the others who purchased the LN socket chisels: Did you have the same problem as I did with the handles falling off? How did you fix it? I know about the hairspray trick, but it did not work reliably.

    #310734
    Sandy
    Participant

    I don’t own any expensive chisels. The most i have ever paid for a set was $60. I have three sets of Wood River and a set of Narex. But like has been said, a little work flattening and if they hold a decent edge they work as good as the more expensive sets. I do like the Narex chisels best though just because they fit better in my hand. I paid $49 bucks for a set of 5 from Highland Hardware (On sale).

    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

    Albert Einstein

    #310735
    Sandy
    Participant

    I’m curious though about the benefits of socket chisels over others? Anyone’s thoughts?

    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

    Albert Einstein

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