Reply by Kreegan

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Posted on affordable chisels

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1452 posts in 2139 days

#1 posted 10-28-2012 02:26 PM

I have 3 different sets of what you’d consider affordable chisels, and I like all 3. I have 3 of the Irwin blue chip chisels (1/2”, 3/4” and 1”). I have gotten a lot of use out of those Irwins, mostly mortise and tenon chopping, but also a lot of paring.

I also have a 4 piece set of WoodRiver butt chisels from Woodcraft (1/4”, 1/2”, 3/4”, 1”). I really like these chisels because they’re easy to control. The main thing I’ve used them for is removing the waste from dovetails. They’re short and stubby and very easy to make fine, accurate cuts with.

I recently purchased a set of Narex bench chisels, as well as 2 Narex mortise chisels. I got these from Highland Woodworking and they’re metric chisels, which isn’t a big deal. These chisels are very nice quality and really required very little in the way of tune up out of the box. I’ve mostly used the 6mm chisel and the 6mm and 3mm mortise chisels so far, but they work very nicely. Smooth, clean cuts.

I started with the Scary Sharp method, and it does work quite well, but I found messing with sandpaper and adhesive really annoying after awhile. If you do decide to go that route, I highly recommend some PSA adhesive-backed sandpaper like 3M Stik-it or the Porter Cable stuff.

I recently switched to using diamond stones and a strop, using the method taught by Paul Sellers. It’s been working really well for me. You can check out his chisel sharpening video here:

I also learned a lot about chisel prep and sharpening watching Deneb Puchalski from Lie-Nielsen on YouTube. Here’s one of his chisel videos:


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