|Review by funchuck||posted 08-02-2011 01:52 PM||6255 views||0 times favorited||9 comments|
I ordered these chisels from The Best Things and to be honest, I wasn’t that excited about them. I was buying them because my old chisels (Pinnacle brand from Woodcraft) really sucked. The edge would roll over after 5 paring strokes on poplar end grain. I used a strop to unroll the edge, but that didn’t work too well, so I went looking for better chisels. I can’t believe I dealt with these chisels for ~6 years, but most of those years, I didn’t really use them.
I did not want to flatten any chisel backs, so my one criteria was that they should be easy to flatten. I came across the Ashley Iles chisels, which advertised the hollow backs. I ended up buying the 6 chisel set for ~$150.
When the chisels came, I opened the box and looked at the chisels. They didn’t look special or anything. In fact, they looked quite ordinary. The handles were simple looking too. But, when I held the chisel, it just felt “right”. It’s difficult to explain, but it felt like they were made for my hands. The length of the chisel felt perfect too. Not too long, not too short.
After holding the chisel for a while, I felt really good about them. They felt so good to hold.
I looked at each one and noticed that the ferrules on some of them are very loose and actually slide off when I held the chisel vertical (see photo). I was disappointed about that, and knocked off 1 star for this. I put some tape underneath the ferrule and slid it back. Hopefully, that’ll hold.
So… the question I now have is, how flat are their backs? How easy will it be to hone them? I got out my oilstones and went at it.
The backs on all of them were very flat. It didn’t take long to get the mill marks out of the back.
On to the bevel… this was strange. The bevel angles on the chisels were different. Some were at around ~27 degrees, others at ~35. Some of the edges were not square to the sides too. But, these were not too bad.
In total, I probably spent about 45 minutes flattening the backs and honing the bevels on all 6 chisels. I think that is very reasonable, especially considering that I was using oilstones, which are slower.
I started paring some end grain poplar, just to see how it does compared to my old chisels, and yup, the keep on cutting without any roll overs or anything. I am a happy man!
The chisels also came with a denim tool roll, but I did not like it. It seemed like the chisels will slide out of it. Instead, I made a simple chisel holder for them (see photo).
-- Charles from California