I bought some chisels a few months ago:
I haven’t used them yet as I’m still building my workshop.
Thing is, I’ve been told they won’t take a pounding by a mallet. That’s ok, I’ll just use them by hand.
So which chisels would you recommend I buy that can be used with a mallet/hammer?
Well, those are nice but spendy chisels you have, designed for one specific function. You might want to consider some chisels which are more all around useful at a less dear price.
Paul recommends the Aldi chisels from the grocery store chain. I got my set of four on eBay for $20 US.
I like them, but they’re long with big handles and for some work I find the size a bit unweidly.
Stanley or Marples chisels from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s with plastic handles work well. They hold up not only to mallets, but also to hammers. The steel is good and both take and hold an edge well. Their length is more like a butt chisel with more of their weight located closer to the cutting end. As such, they seem more nimble to me. And they’re cheap from flea markets, boot sales, and eBay.
One other thing. When chopping mortises, I find having 2-3 chisels of the mortise size speeds the process. If the edge goes off on one, part way through, I just pick up it’s mate and keep going. When I’m done working, I sharpen them all and I’m ready for the next session.
If you want to stick to that seller, you could get any available set of chisels labelled “bevelled” or “cabinet maker”. If you click the links in the category “chisels”, you can read about the purpose of each type.
To me, as a newbie woodworker, quality doesn’t seem to be that important for chisels, except for very obvious defects, that would let me blame a chisel for my mistake. I have a set of chisels from a bargain shop, at 3,50 Euro, where the blades ares not in line with the ends of the metal parts that go into the handles. But I can’t tell, whether it matters or not. They seem to work fine, cut straight, keep the edge etc. I also have a large Stanley-Bailey chisel (19 Euro), and the main difference (except for the straight blade here), was the amount of work, it required to get “initialised”.
Ok, this sounds a bit like “buy anything and get started”, which is probably not the perfect idea. However, certainly much better, than delaying your woodworking career, because you can’t decide, which chisels to buy.
PS: I suppose, you could use a mallet on the chisels you bought, if you are ready to replace the handles eventually. The steel should be fine, because pairing, especially on end-grain, is a grim task for an edge. Too bad, the seller didn’t mention, why this type of chisel is supposed to be better at paring than others.
PPS: I also have quite a number of chisels from flea-markets. I learned to look for “professional footprints”, and those having some, turned out to be quite good. Eventually, I want two sets of good quality chisels with nice wooden handles, perfect blades from great steel etc. But I can wait.
- This reply was modified 7 years, 1 month ago by Hugo Notti.
Paul certainly uses a mallet with those chisels but if you want something cheaper that can take a bit of pounding then the Faithfull sets (blue handle) would fit the bill. I don’t have any but I’ve seen favourable reviews from quite a few including Paul himself. You can pick up the sets of six on eBay for £36 which is an absolute bargain if you ask me!
What about these Stanley Chisels
Or the Faithfulls
I’m not bothered whether or not the stone is any good as I plan on getting diamond stones separately.
I would go for the stanley chisels, two more chisels for the same price. And perhaps the stone is fine too. The case is ugly, but who cares? You can build your own chisel tray in no time. By the way, I have a Stanley “sharpening set”, honing guide, stone and oil for the stone. I used water instead and it still works fine. This is no recommendation, try it, if you like, but you might risk the stone. However, in most households there is an almost unlimited supply of tap water, but whenever the oil can is empty, you need to get a new one. And, no, my chisels don’t rust, I wipe them dry after sharpening. But don’t use the stone dry! It is a mess and takes a lot of work to get an abrasive surface again. As many stones come with two different sides, you only need to get one finer stone and you will have all the time in the world to look for good diamond plates.
- This reply was modified 7 years, 1 month ago by Hugo Notti.
I saw a review on you tube between these two (and those Faithfulls are the ones I was talking about, just a larger set) and the Stanleys didn’t hold up at all well. I’m in the middle of making a joiner’s toolbox for my son and I plan to put a set of the Faithfull chisels in there along with other tools I’ve restored for him.
So it’s your money and your choice but I wouldn’t buy the Stanley, not these anyway, their socket chisels are very nice but you already have some nice chisels 🙂
I think I’ll go for the Faithfulls then. Both sets are the same price, but the Stanleys give you the stone and case too. That leads me to believe perhaps the Faithfull chisels are the better quality.
Not sure I’d go too far wrong with either though
Correct me if I’m wrong but I think they are just shorter/stumpier versions of a regular bevel-edged chisel? Maybe that means that the energy transfer from the hammer to the blade is more efficient because there is less material to travel through where the energy could dissipate? On the flip side, the shorter chisel probably significantly restrains your ability to use the chisel to clear out a longer surface area in a dado or cut a deeper mortise perhaps?
Sorry but he has recommended the Aldi chisel for anyone watching their budgets.
He also uses them in a number of his videos – although less of late.
Ashley Iles chisels are pretty and work. And if you live in England they’re a home town team. They’re also on the spendy end of things, which can make it harder to grow the collection. And, at least around here, they are a bit difficult to purchase at the drop of a hat.
The fact that you seem unaware of Paul’s endorsement of the Aldi chisels isn’t an excuse for your tone. No one is suggesting that Ashley Iles chisels aren’t nice. But then the list of nice new chisels is extensive from Narex (which Paul has endorsed) to Hirsch, Veritas, Lie-Nielse, Stanley, Two Cherries and more.
The OP asked about chisels he can use without worrying about using a mallet on them. My answer was directed to offering options and increasing his knowledge of some oh the attributes to seek out.
Let’s keep the OP’s goals in mind for future posts instead of flaming.
- This reply was modified 7 years, 1 month ago by Richard Guggemos.
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