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Chisel Set!

by Beginningwoodworker
posted 08-20-2010 05:29 AM

28 replies so far

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13609 posts in 3370 days

#1 posted 08-20-2010 05:45 AM

i have a buddy with two cherries chisels ,

he loves them .

i’m assuming 1/4” , 1/2” , 3/4” , and 1” ?

how much ?

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

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13345 posts in 3702 days

#2 posted 08-20-2010 05:59 AM

Yes, thats the sizes. I think its a $124.95.

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Dan'um Style

14173 posts in 4012 days

#3 posted 08-20-2010 06:00 AM

Everything I use I bought on eBay.>grin<,,, My favorite chisel is a wooden handle 5/8ths Marples.

I also like my 1/8th inch Irwin. It has big blue handle.

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View JuniorJoiner's profile


487 posts in 3469 days

#4 posted 08-20-2010 06:04 AM

two cherries are fine chisels, just stay away from the pre polished sets. they may look pretty, but the polishing rounds over edges, as well as making it harder to flatten the flats for proper sharpening.

BTW stay away from the narex chisels, they make great scrapers, but not good chisels.

-- Junior -Quality is never an accident-it is the reward for the effort involved.

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13609 posts in 3370 days

#5 posted 08-20-2010 06:11 AM

googleing them ,

if you get that set ,
you can always get other sizes ,
as you need them up to 1 1/2” .

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View jack1's profile


2107 posts in 4056 days

#6 posted 08-20-2010 06:25 AM

Try yard sales, ebay etc. I found some great ones at an estate sale of an old shipwright. No names on any of them but they sharpen and stay sharp (high carbon and hand forged). I’m up to 2”+ with some of these great buys. The old ones have a cone shaped opening at the end so that you can replace the wood handles you pound on… Just cause they’re not shiny doesn’t mean they’re a bad chisel…
I also have a set I got from a hardware store called “Mechanics Brand”. Not bad for the $ that you can use for rough stuff. Irwin’s are also good. My point, get the best quality you can afford but don’t get blinded by the lights of advertised stuff. Just sayin’ ;0)

-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

View Chris 's profile


1879 posts in 4020 days

#7 posted 08-20-2010 06:58 AM


I know some here may disagree with this one; I went with the Marples/Irwin boxed set from Woodcraft. After flattening and sharpening they work very well. No, they are not perfect but they definitely fit my budget at the time and I still have not had a good reason to replace them.

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

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291 posts in 3221 days

#8 posted 08-20-2010 11:12 AM

stay away from the narex chisels

Oh, I totally disagree:

-- The Wood Nerd --

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 3088 days

#9 posted 08-20-2010 11:43 AM

If you want to buy new, I suggest that you take a look at Lie Nielsen. They might be a little bit more expensive, but you will have very little to do in the way of preparation for use when you receive them. I also like that they are a socket type handle design which is very durable.

That said, I own the Marples 4 pc set which has proven to be a pretty good set. It took a bit of time to flatten the backs and polish and hone them, but once that was done, they have given good service. Still my favorite chisels and the ones that I tend to reach for most often are a mismatched group of antique chisels that I have collected from various sources. I just think that they used better steel years ago than they use today. The steel is not as hard which makes them easier to sharpen. The steel is less brittle also, so less likely to break. Yet they still hold an edge nicely. The old Buck Bro chisels are good as well as the old Stanley 750 or 720 series are excellent as well.

-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View FlWoodRat's profile


732 posts in 3938 days

#10 posted 08-20-2010 12:14 PM

Narex Chisels… Great tools for the price. Although useable out of the box, I spent about an hour flattening the backs and honing the bevels for the set of 6. Yeah, the handles may look like they came out of a high school woodshop but the are comfortable in my hands and don’t roll off my bench. Their blade thickness is a bit thinner than my older chisels, but this has not been an issue. Actually, for paring DTs, the slight flexibility is a benefit.


-- I love the smell of sawdust in the morning....

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3702 days

#11 posted 08-20-2010 03:35 PM

Thanks guys for the suggests. I also been looking at the Footprint line of chisels I like there beech handle ones.

View swirt's profile


2786 posts in 3001 days

#12 posted 08-20-2010 04:28 PM

In the chisel shoot-out that FWW did in Oct2008 They liked the two cherries, but gave the recommendation for the Narex because they were better out of the box (Very Good vs Good) But they liked the ergonomics of the 2 cherries (very good vs good) The two cherries had thicker side flats which made them a little less ideal for tight dovetails. The two cherries was 3x more expensive than the Narex.

On the Footprint chisels the side flats were very thick (the thickest of the bunch) which means dovetails were more difficult. The Footprint beat out the Narex and the Two Cherries for ergonomics though.

So now that I’ve muddied the waters even more, happy shopping ;)

-- Galootish log blog,

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13345 posts in 3702 days

#13 posted 08-20-2010 04:31 PM

Ok I go something to think about.

View rwyoung's profile


409 posts in 3501 days

#14 posted 08-20-2010 04:46 PM

One thing to consider, if you don’t need all four sizes RIGHT NOW, consider looking at buying just the one or two sizes you will use most. Maybe a 1/2” chisel or 3/8” chisel first. Depends on what you have in mind to be doing.

Long run, you pay a little more (assuming new chisels) but you spread out the cost over time AND if you find that you bought a dud or don’t like the handle or whatever, you can sell that one and buy your next choice.

Also with regard to the Narex chisels, I bought their mortise chisels and the handles while a good size and shape for me had too much lacquer for my taste. A little turpentine and some scrubbing and I took them down to bare wood. To me, that feels better. Not sure if their bench chisels are the same way.

Chisel handles seem to be a very personal thing. While I have a set of the blue handle Marples now I’ve got it on my list to start replacing them with either vintage or new socket handle chisels. The plan being that if I don’t like the handle I can very easily make my own. The Marples look like socket handles but as I understand it there is a short tang inside the plastic.

-- Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.

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376 posts in 3173 days

#15 posted 08-20-2010 04:55 PM

Take my advice, buy some cheap chisels and practice your sharpening and honing skills befor you go to town on a set of Two Cherries, Narex or Hirsch chisels.

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13345 posts in 3702 days

#16 posted 08-20-2010 05:36 PM

I know how to sharpen chisels.

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1699 posts in 3815 days

#17 posted 08-20-2010 09:24 PM

Great post Charles! I learned a lot from these guys. Thanks.

-- Terry Roswell, L.A. (Lower Alabama) "Life is what happens to you when you are making other plans."

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1101 posts in 3742 days

#18 posted 08-20-2010 11:13 PM

Narex. for he money you can’t beat them. Bought the set of four and added since then all with the beach handles Make sure that you compare prices, when I bought mine Highland was considerable cheaper than others hat handled them.

-- RTB. stray animals are just looking for love

View Raftermonkey's profile


560 posts in 2942 days

#19 posted 08-20-2010 11:42 PM

Get what you want. If you’ve got in your head that you like and want the Two Cherries then get them. It doesn’t matter what all of us think. You are going to be the one using them not us. If I had the money to get any brand of chisel I wanted, I too would go for Two Cherries, but it looks like I will be stuck using my Marples for while. This is ok because they are a fine set of chisels that will do their work. The only thing I do suggest that you do before buying anything is to hold a few different brands in your hands to get the feel of them. An uncomfortable handle will make all of your chiseling a dreaded chore. My 2 pennies on it.

-- -Zeke- "I hate to rush off, but I gotta go see a man about a log"

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matt garcia

1897 posts in 3701 days

#20 posted 08-21-2010 03:24 AM

I have a Stanley set, and a Craftsman set.

-- Matt Garcia Wannabe Period Furniture Maker, Houston TX

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 3315 days

#21 posted 08-21-2010 06:33 PM

Charles, First of all, tool choices are obviously a very personal thing. We are all very opinionated as to which is better. Most of us like to feel what we chose is the best. Most decisions are based on price, sometimes to save a buck, sometimes to get the best money can buy. We want bragging rights—-”I saved more than you did”, or “my expensive tool is better than your expensive tool” I have used quality ranging from Harbor Freight to Bridge City. I still will buy according to my need of an individual tool. All my tools are not high end, even though by my posts it may sometimes sound that way. I have some very cheap chisels for certain things I do.

As others have already said, get what is right for you. Two Cherries makes some really nice products. My son has the same set you are looking at. He is pleased with them . My favorite chisels are Robert Sorby. While I love them and use them all the time, I was a little disappointed how much work I had to do to flatten the backs. Once I did, they are great, although I don’t feel I should have for what they cost. The main reason I chose them is for their handles—again a very personal thing. Sounds like you prefer the Two Cherries handle.

I would say go for it. I think that is a set you would be very pleased with.


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10880 posts in 3144 days

#22 posted 08-21-2010 07:05 PM

just to trow some more mud in your choice
then there is the famous 1031-serie from Bacho with swedish steal


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13345 posts in 3702 days

#23 posted 08-21-2010 08:33 PM

I do prefer the Two Cherries Handle.

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13345 posts in 3702 days

#24 posted 08-22-2010 04:49 AM

I change my mind about the chisel set, I have a Lee Valley 1/4’’ and 3/8’’ chisel that a woodworker gave me, So I am going to add a Two Cherries 1/2’’, 3/4’’ for chopping and 1’’ for paring. I find I need those sizes most of the time. I will check into other brands of chisels.

View Mark's profile


1807 posts in 3303 days

#25 posted 08-22-2010 04:57 AM

where abouts are you buying them from?

-- M.K.

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13345 posts in 3702 days

#26 posted 08-22-2010 04:58 AM

I am not sure yet, who ever is the cheapest!

View Don2Laughs's profile


68 posts in 3463 days

#27 posted 08-22-2010 05:34 AM

First “set” of chisels I got were marples and they were fine. I still have them but have added many to the mix. I found a set of vintage Stanley’s at a garage sale … they are really sweet … I bought a LN 3/4” and a 3/8” Mortise chisels and I most recently have purchased Japanese dovetail chisels … which are, probably, the best I have. I found a set of Jennings firmer chisels that are real workhorses and I grab them for most tasks other than specialty. I also have a set of Sorby Mortise chisels. So …. if you’re looking to buy the best chisels …. sorry … I already have them and can’t part with a one of them ….. I’m sure you will find some that you love as much as I love mine! :>)

-- Don in San Diego, Ca.

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3702 days

#28 posted 08-22-2010 05:35 AM

I will Don.

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