- 22 January 2017 at 7:37 pm #308595
1+. I have a couple of their mortise chisels that I like a lot.
22 January 2017 at 7:50 pm #308596
- This reply was modified 3 years, 6 months ago by Richard Guggemos.
You’re basically correct. Butt chisels are a good bit shorter than a regular bench chisel. There’s also less difference (sometimes none) in the length of butt chisels based on blade width.
I find that due to less mass and the center of mass being closer to the edge makes them more nimble friendlier to small adjustments. They also fit into smaller places. Not to long ago The English Woodworker blogged about why he uses them for dovetails.
When I want to bang on a chisel, the greater mass located further from the edge seems to keep the point of contact steady so I can focus my eyes on the edge.
If you have both lengths, experiment and see if this holds up for you. Note that mortice chisels, which are often hit hard, have longer handles.
Rick G.22 January 2017 at 8:03 pm #308597
Re paring chisels, their primary distinguishing feature is a longer blade. This gives them more reach while they maintain registration on their back.
Perhaps you’ve seen Paul demonstrating how he turns his bench chisel over when it’s not long enough to finish a paring cut. This gets the handle out of the way but at the cost of registering off the bevel.
Once again, it’s what works for you. Some say you can’t hit a paring chisel, but with care this should only reduce the life of the handle. On the other hand, i would avoid hitting any type of chisel while using it to pare.
I’ve read (Robert Wearng, perhaps) that no paring chisel has a socket handle. But I have what is unquestionabley a paring chisel, and it’s a socket chisel. It’s a crazy world.
Hope all these posts help someone learn more about their chisel options.
Rick G.22 January 2017 at 8:12 pm #308600
It’s helped me
"Sawdust? I think you'll find that's man-glitter."22 January 2017 at 9:31 pm #308609Dave RingParticipant
Returning to the original question, any decent quality chisel, including all of the ones mentioned above should hold up well when driven by a mallet or soft faced hammer (like the ones that Paul recommends). However, if you want to use a steel headed hammer you should use plastic handled chisels, preferably with a steel butt cap.
BTW have the Workforce chisels shown up lately in the UK Aldi stores? If I recall correctly, they normally appear for a week or so in January. In the US they have appeared early in June for the last two years. These are decent chisels for a crazy cheap price.
Dave22 January 2017 at 9:54 pm #308611
I’m going to check Aldi tomorrow for sure.
"Sawdust? I think you'll find that's man-glitter."22 January 2017 at 9:57 pm #308612
Is this soft hammer any good:
"Sawdust? I think you'll find that's man-glitter."22 January 2017 at 11:09 pm #308613entitydigitalParticipant
It’s worth checking Lidl also as they sometimes stock the very same chisels, although under a different name.
Those Thor hammers are very good.
Rob23 January 2017 at 8:13 am #308617
Thank you Rob
"Sawdust? I think you'll find that's man-glitter."23 January 2017 at 3:51 pm #308620David PerrottParticipant
Why can’t you hit the Ashley Isles with a mallet? I have them and a friend has them and we do. Maybe an 1/8 chisel you don’t want to. In a video Paul uses them. I had the narex, and did not like the handles or balance of them at all. I got a set of Aldi’s because they were so cheap. Now I have a drawer of these chisels that I don’t care for.23 January 2017 at 4:42 pm #308621Mike IParticipant
Lots of chisel opinions here to choose from.
I just wanted to say if you bought the Ashley Iles mk2 already, you won’t regret it. Yes, they cost more than Aldi/Narex etc but they are still very good value for money considering how good they are. Even a full set costs less than one power tool.
I previously had a bog standard set of modern issue Irwin Marples bevel edged chisels for a few years. They are clunky and designed for building site work but they do hold their edge well. They worked.
A few months ago I bought the Ashley Iles Mk2 bevel edged chisels and they are totally superb. The difference is like night and day. Yes, it is possible to use cheaper chisels and get good results, but but the Ashley Iles are good steel, really well balanced, very thin and just, well, lovely.
IMO, the Ashley Iles mk2 are great general purpose chisels and will certainly stand up to moderate mallet blows. The only thing I don’t use them for is morticing. Not because the handles/cutting edges won’t take it, but more because levering out the waste *might* cause problems as they are quite thin.
I still use the Irwin marples for morticing and they work absolutely fine for that. I suspect just about any modern budget set would too.
Agree… The Thor double sided hammer is perfect. Soft side for assembly. Hard for chisel hammer.
You will also want Paul’s recommended Stanley marking knife if you don’t have it already <grin>
Mike23 January 2017 at 4:56 pm #308622David PerrottParticipant
I do agree Mike that the Isles chisels are way better than others. The fit and finish is great and for me the balance is great. I get better results with a mortice chisel then a bench chisel for mortising. I think I have the biggest vintage Sorby 3/8″ chisel known to man! I also looked at the 2 cherries. They were nice too. The side edge of the chisel is more squared, then the Isles. Its not a firmer chisel though. They come in lots of sizes “metric” and are probably more widely available then the Isles. I need a few other sizes and would consider getting a 2 cherries as well as the Isles when it comes time.
In regards to a mallet, I made on of the wooden mallets and like it way more than the thorex thing. First off I made it! I like having a larger head than the thorax. I had missed my chisel, or made a glancing blow onto my hand a few times. I actually made 2 mallets. One is pretty heavy and another is lighter.30 January 2017 at 4:25 pm #308841Mike IParticipant
If you want any backup to what I think @dperrott and I are saying, check out Paul’s Youtube video “Burger Flipper/Spatula”. It’s pretty much half an hour of Paul hitting an Ashley Iles Mk 2 with the Thorex Mallet. It gives a good impression of what I meant by “moderate” mallet blows. “Moderate” is the most needed for general work with a sharp chisel – with the exception of morticing, where some levering action is also necessary, and especially so when taking bigger “bites” with each pass. Some prefer mortice chisels for morticing, some don’t.30 January 2017 at 4:54 pm #308843
Thanks Mike, it’s on my to do list of things to watch tonight.
"Sawdust? I think you'll find that's man-glitter."12 February 2017 at 11:12 am #309151cragglerockParticipant
Just out interest I bought a set of those Faithfull chisels, the set of six. I initialised four of them yesterday and I was quite impressed. The backs needed very little work to get them flat, the most annoying thing is that they’ve ground a very steep micro bevel on the edge and it took a little while to get rid of that but I suppose they should be commended for at least making the effort!
I made a few test cuts and they seemed fine. I won’t be using them as they’re not for me but I would say they’re more than worth the £36 I paid and delivery was free too!
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