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Blog entry by cke posted 09-10-2008 11:40 PM 3220 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch


9 comments so far

View bfd's profile


502 posts in 3835 days

#1 posted 09-11-2008 12:04 AM

Hi Christian,

I have Pfeil Swiss Made chisels and I love them. Check out you can order them ala cart or as sets. They hold an edge and have a great feel to them. FFW just did a chisel review in the SEPT/OCT 2008 issue and the Pfeil came in runner up (best overall was Lie-Nielsen). A set of 4 cost $110.

View lazyfiremaninTN's profile


528 posts in 3981 days

#2 posted 09-11-2008 12:24 AM

I have a set of 4 Marples Blue handles.

Cost- $30

Holds an edge well, was terribly difficult to get up to speed.

I might move up in the world, but for now they are more than I could have asked for.

-- Adrian ..... The 11th Commandment...."Thou Shalt Not Buy A Wobble Dado"

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 3913 days

#3 posted 09-11-2008 01:01 AM

I agree with laxyfiremaninTN above if you haven’t been at WW for long I’d say don’t invest mega bucks in your 1st set of chisels. I have a set and they work fine for me…....unless you try to cut a nail as I did a few minutes ago…..back to the WorkSharp for that one.

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3676 days

#4 posted 09-11-2008 01:45 AM

you can get Marples which are good, and also Amazon, and LeeValley carry Narex chisels that are very affordable (around $40 for a set of 4 I think) and got rave reviews at the latest FineWoodworking Magazine!

search around LJ, and online about sharpening chisels, and get yourself a good setup to sharpen your chisels – this part is more important than the actual chisels you buy… you can get $400 worth of chisels – but without properly sharpening them and honing them – they won’t even cut paper! but you could get a $1 chisel and sharpen/hone it properly and it’ll cut hardwood end-grain like butter – seriously!

I’d look for either the Marples or Narex set to start with, a good Sharpening/honing jig, and some sanding papers (100grit,150grit,220grit,400grit,600grit,1000grit,2500grit) OR some sharpening stones, and learn to properly sharpen your chisels

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View mjdinsmore's profile


57 posts in 3581 days

#5 posted 09-11-2008 03:12 AM

Hi Christian,

I might recommend a couple of strategies to take.

First, you might want to buy a set of inexpensive chisels—perhaps something even less than the ’$40 for 4’ deals you’ve seen posted above. This is your ‘working chisels’ that you use for rough projects or home projects (what woodworker doesn’t get involved in home stuff?). The rational for this is that you’ll always need a chisel that you need to beat on and abuse and use a hammer with. You don’t want to ever resort to your nice chisels.

Second, you might want to consider what types of projects you do—do you make small jewelry boxes or larger furniture? You can consider buying just a couple of chisels which would be more commonly used initially, and then defer the cost for the others later when you need them. There’s plenty of decent chisels out there—they just cost ya!—like Hirsch chisels, Two Cherries chisels, various Japanese dovetail chisels, etc. I agree with PurpLev that learning to sharpen them is really critical and makes the difference for many chisels.

View lclashley's profile


244 posts in 4142 days

#6 posted 09-11-2008 03:27 AM

I have a cheap Harbor Freight set and a MHG set, and I use them both for different jobs. I like the MHGs but I wouldn’t pay full price for them however. I got them 50% off at hartville tool sometime back. The backs were very flat, and nicely polished. They sharpen nicely, and cut end grain very well.

I agree with PurpLev, I would look into the Narex or the grizzly japanese style if I were buying new.

View Eric's profile


875 posts in 3811 days

#7 posted 09-11-2008 04:26 AM

I’d throw in my vote with the $30 set of Marples (Irwin) chisels. I’m skeptical that chisels which are 10 times the price do 10 times better.

-- Eric at

View DaytonB's profile


154 posts in 3894 days

#8 posted 09-11-2008 02:42 PM

I’ve been using a set of Craftsman Chisels (on sale for around $20 for 5) for the past 5 years or so and am happy with them. They seem to hold an edge well. I flattened and polished the bottoms, which took several hrs for all 5 and to sharpen them I use the Veritas jig (,43072,43078&ap=1 ) from LeeValley with diamond stones and/or water stones. This makes sharpening very fast and very accurate.
good luck buddy,


View king's profile


71 posts in 3975 days

#9 posted 09-11-2008 11:20 PM

I bought a cheap set of woodriver chisels at woodcraft about 2 months ago,I just do this as a hobby;and as much as I need to use chisels they are fine.Unless you are planing on being a cabinet maker dont spend alot untill you see how important they are going to be to you.


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