All Replies on Chisel recommendations.. New or Old?

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Chisel recommendations.. New or Old?

by MaroonGoon
posted 02-07-2014 04:48 PM

19 replies so far

View wseand's profile


2796 posts in 3006 days

#1 posted 02-07-2014 05:15 PM

Any that cost over $5 a piece would be better right, I have the same cheep ones myself. :~0

I am looking forward to getting some ideas myself.

View waho6o9's profile (online now)


8164 posts in 2541 days

#2 posted 02-07-2014 05:16 PM

View MaroonGoon's profile


281 posts in 1923 days

#3 posted 02-07-2014 05:19 PM

Wow, that thread is a jackpot. Thanks for sharing waho6o9

-- "Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone." -- Pablo Picasso

View Armandhammer's profile


235 posts in 1590 days

#4 posted 02-07-2014 05:20 PM

Very happy with my new Narex chisels.

View waho6o9's profile (online now)


8164 posts in 2541 days

#5 posted 02-07-2014 05:41 PM

You’re welcome MaroonGoon!

View Farkled's profile


28 posts in 2280 days

#6 posted 02-07-2014 10:04 PM

I would put more emphasis on the way the chisel fits in your hand than its age. Of course, if you are dealing with socket chisels then you can turn your own handles.

In general, older steel performs on a par with O1, with some better and some worse. So if you working in abrasive woods and expect to pound the heck out of them then you will want to start investigating PM-V11, A2 and Japanese white steel to begin with. If paring is the thing then you will want bevel angles below 25° and you will want to look at O1, PM-V11 and vintage. If mortising in Ipe or Jarrah is your deal then you want to look at Japanese or PM-V11.

In the end the only difference is how often you need to hone the edge.

View pauldye's profile


68 posts in 2049 days

#7 posted 02-07-2014 10:32 PM

I like the Buck Bros. brand chisels from HD.

They are reasonably priced, and made in US. They are easy to sharpen, but don’t hold the edge for too long. That is not a problem. They sharpen to a good sharp edge in a minute or two.

I have some cheaper Sears chisels that are very hard to sharpen, and don’t take a good edge.

View Arminius's profile


304 posts in 3768 days

#8 posted 02-07-2014 11:25 PM

Really depends on how much you want to spend. The Veritas PM-V11 are superb. The Lie-Nielsen are perhaps less impressive technically, but are an extremely enjoyable tool to use. I have a couple of both.

The Narex line are excellent value, and most of my chisels are these. I have a couple of the new Stanleys, they are solidas well, but not as good as their L-N cousins. I have basically built out a core around the Narex, then added here and there from the premium line.

However, I have also picked up some very nice old iron – I have a fantastic old Witherby paring chisel that holds a remarkable edge, the only one that is close to the PM-V11. Amazing, considering it was made at least 120 years ago.

View shampeon's profile


1775 posts in 2148 days

#9 posted 02-07-2014 11:32 PM

How much is your time worth? Getting vintage chisels means spending time regrinding the bevel, flattening the back, and resharpening everything. Either that, or paying a lot for already-restored chisels. The advantage is that older chisels are inherently cooler and more stylish than almost all the other ones (not Blue Spruce or LN).

You’ll usually pay more for new chisels, and they require less time to get in working order (note “less time” not “no time”).

So if you have more time than money, go vintage. If you have more money than time, go new.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View CharlesA's profile


3312 posts in 1762 days

#10 posted 02-08-2014 12:56 AM

I’ve noticed a number of pretty major hand tool experts (including Paul Sellers) using the marples chisels. Mine work well and sharpen up just fine—although I’ve never used a premium chisel.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View robdem's profile


380 posts in 2571 days

#11 posted 02-08-2014 01:05 AM

Have the wood river chisel sharpen up nice hold a good edge handles fit well in my hands

View Tedstor's profile


1643 posts in 2597 days

#12 posted 02-08-2014 02:23 AM

I have a couple of the re-released Stanley sweetheart chisels that I like quite a bit. They cost between $20-30 each.
I also have a set of Marples that I’m fond of. If you can find the Blue or Red/yellow handled Marples that were made in Sheffield England, they are worth a look.

View MaroonGoon's profile


281 posts in 1923 days

#13 posted 02-09-2014 05:59 AM

Thanks for all the recommendations guys. I just had my birthday and my brother wants me to tell him what to get me as a present so I think I’m gonna go for a new one or two chisels. I will primarily only use them for joinery so should I be looking to get bench chisels? I’m not familiar with all the different types..

-- "Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone." -- Pablo Picasso

View DocBailey's profile


584 posts in 2324 days

#14 posted 02-09-2014 06:15 AM

Yes to the question of bench chisels—think of these as the “jack plane” of the chisel family.
Though I didn’t read all the above responses, I will suggest the Narex chisels at LeeValley as the greatest bang for your buck in currently available new chisels.

View pmayer's profile


1026 posts in 3030 days

#15 posted 02-09-2014 11:56 AM

+1 Marples. They are reasonably priced and take a great edge. They don’t hold an edge as long as some of the higher end chisels, but they are a great step up from the typical home center chisel and they get me through a couple drawers’ worth of DTs before I feel the need to hone them. Their set of 6 covers most everything I need and you can get it for about $60.

-- PaulMayer,

View waho6o9's profile (online now)


8164 posts in 2541 days

#16 posted 02-09-2014 03:07 PM

Well balanced and wicked sharp Japanese chisels are worth
your consideration as well.

I purchased a set of these off of Ebay and these are
a great purchase:

View DanielS's profile


123 posts in 1901 days

#17 posted 02-11-2014 03:23 AM

If I had to do it again, I’d probably go with a set like the Narex or something similar that has gotten good reviews. With the cold weather we’ve had recently I’m in the middle of restoring several old Pexto brand chisels. These are the same with most plane blades I’ve done, no one ever touched the backs and only did the bevels crookedly with 60 grit. It takes time to get them into working order. I like to do both tool restoration and woodwork, but its easy to fill all of your time with restoration if you’re not careful. I don’t think I could have gotten good user planes for as cheap, but I think I would have been better off with new chisels.

-- Daniel S

View mikeevens45's profile


68 posts in 1540 days

#18 posted 02-11-2014 04:40 AM

lee valley has some good sets pretty reasonable


-- as technology progresses, wood workers seem to regress...all my power tools and my favorite is a chisel and a hand plane

View TheWoodenOyster's profile


1313 posts in 1900 days

#19 posted 02-11-2014 04:57 AM

I bought a set of 6 for about $70. They are called Faithfull, and they are the ones that Paul Sellers recommends. They look exactly like Marples, but are in fact not marples. Anyway, I have enjoyed them quite a bit. pretty decent chisels, hold an edge fine and get sharp. Not really classic looking though, but still comfortable in the hand.

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

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