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Posted on Chisels

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123 posts in 4049 days

#1 posted 09-07-2007 05:01 PM

If you will only do fine woodworking then I don’t think it matters which chisels you get. The less expensive ones will have softer metal which will dull faster but it will also sharpen faster. The better ones will stay sharp longer but take longer to sharpen once dull.

If, on the other hand, you do a mix of home improvement, fine wood working and other projects I would get a cheaper set of chisels first followed by a set with better steel as time and money allow. The main reason for this is if I hit a nail while working on the house I don’t feel too bad and removing the scar is a lot easier on the softer steel. I have a set of Marples Pro Touch from one of the big box stores. They dull fairly quickly but one or two minutes with a sheet of 800-1000 wet dry paper and they are sharp once again. I gave up on any kind of sharpening jig with the chisels since it can take as much time setting the jig up as touching up the chisel. I will break out the jig if I have a lot of material to remove like when I do hit that nail in the nail board in my plaster walls.

One other tip. If you ever plan on cleaning out mortises with the chisels get them in the appropriate units. (english/metric) A lot of metric chisels are sold with as the closest english size in the US. When you cut that perfect 1/4” tenon and try and slip it in the 6mm mortise it won’t quite fit.

-- Che.

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