24 February 2016 at 9:27 pm #134979Peter GeorgeParticipant
I’ve been looking for a reasonably priced 1/8 inch chisel for a while. I was at a woodworking store today and saw an Stanley Sweetheart 1/8 inch chisel on the clearance table for half price, so I bought it on impulse.
At home, I noticed on the packaging “Made in England with Global Components”. This is a socket chisel so the only two components are the handle and the blade. So, it sounds to me like they have the blade and handle made by the cheapest source possible, have them shipped to England and then stick the handle in the blade and call it made in England.
I haven’t tried the chisel yet, so I can’t comment on the quality, but that seems like a less than honest marketing strategy.
"New York is big, but this is Biggar"25 February 2016 at 12:35 am #134982deanbeckerParticipant
I have a couple 3/8 and a 1/2 inch and have been using them for about 4.5 months ,they seem to hold up pretty good, resharpen easily and I really like the way they fit my hand. they feel to me to be made to use instead of made to sell25 February 2016 at 1:53 am #134983Peter GeorgeParticipant
I went out to the shop and flattened the back and sharpened the chisel. Fit and finish are similar to my Narex chisels and the steel seems about the same, which is fine. It takes a good edge and stood up to paring end grain and chopping a couple of mortises. With the discount, I paid about the same as for Narex, so I’m satisfied. I prefer the larger, oval handles on the Narex chisels, but this is an 1/8th inch, so it should be fine.
I’m satisfied the the quality of the chisel, and I got it at a price I was willing to pay, however I found the deceptive marketing annoying.
"New York is big, but this is Biggar"25 February 2016 at 1:56 am #134984KjordParticipant
The vintage Stanley 750 chisels were excellent chisels. The new Sweetheart chisels are Stanley beginning to listen to hand tool woodworkers who demand higher quality than the junk they have been selling in recent years, and are modeled after their vintage chisels. They are good worker chisels. Not as good quality as Lie-Nielsen, which were also modeled after the vintage Stanley’s but certainly much less expensive. I have used them for paring, dovetails, and 1/4″ morticing-they do well and resharpen easily. Another reasonable priced but high quality option are the Ashley Iles Mk II chisels, in the US available at Tools for Working Wood or The Best Things.25 February 2016 at 4:36 am #134988manicParticipant
FWIW I also use the Narex chisels (Lee Valley), but wanted an 1/8″ chisel not available in that line, so I also got the Stanley SW.
The Stanley’s are made of chrome-vanadium steel (Rc57-62), while Narex are chrome-manganese steel (Rc59). I would expect both to sharpen and hold an edge in a similar manner. Due to the almost “delicate” feel of the sweetheart, I have not ventured to smack it with a mallet yet, using it for paring in tight spaces only. In regards to the “global components”, It may be that there is no domestic source for the hornbeam used for the handles (I’m not well versed in native English wood species – aside from Oak of course)
Interestingly, the only other economically feasible option I came across was to potentially order a Japanese 1/8″ chisel from the toolsfromjapan website. Since my hand tools are a mix of western & eastern, I would not be out of my comfort zone adapting to that style of tool, but others may be more leery.
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