|Review by PurpLev||posted 09-29-2011 04:22 PM||5128 views||1 time favorited||12 comments|
I got these from Leevalley with the set of Narex Skewed chisels and this review is very similar to that review as my experience with both sets was almost the same , Up until now I was using bench chisels for mortising and it left a lot to be desired, when I saw that Narex had a decent set for an affordable amount, I decided to go for it and keep my bench chisels for other lighter purposes.
Taking them out of the package I was instantly surprised by the lightness of the handles. The handles are large and look massive, but are made of very light material. Not necessarily bad, just surprising at first. the cutting edges seemed sharp, but the machining on the back was lousy and required some lapping (not as lousy as the skewed chisels, but still not what I would consider smooth)
Machining and Sharpening:
While the chisels felt sharp out of the “box” (did not come in one which is good because I’m tired of having to throw away of store away unused boxes as everything goes in tool cabinets anyways) they did not feel smooth or polished. a few strokes on a diamond stone revealed a lot of low spots on the back (front 2” of the blade) and on the bevel, mostly around the edge area which is the critical area.
These chisels like the skew chisels required a good amount of lapping to get the backs truly flat and usable. What I was experiencing is because of the thickness of the material if I lapped the backs side to side it would tip the blade in either direction taking it even more out of flat. I ended up reverting to lapping the back with a back-to-front movements on the diamond stones to flatten it, and 1000,2000 sand paper to hone it. this worked much better and produced after some 2hours (for all 5 chisels) a flat and sharpened edges.
the largest 1/2” chisel had such a bad low spot on the bevel right at the edge that after some work on the diamond stones I got tired and used my wet-sharpener to reestablish the bevel with a slight hollow. there was a lot of material to take off and the low spot was just too much.
Edge Cutting Quality:
After honing all the edges it still felt like they should be sharper. it seemed I could never get to a razor sharp edge as I can with my other chisels. They can leave a nice clean surface on end grain but they don’t slice as easily as my bench chisels. However for mortising they do cut and cut a clean line. As for how long it’ll keep that edge only time will tell, maybe after I’ve used it more I’ll revisit this review and add more info about the longevity of the edge
I’ve read that some people didn’t care much for the large handles, but to me these handles are very comfortable, and the fact that they are made of light material reduces fatigue on the muscles. I would say these are quite comfortable to work with to me.
These are decent chisels at a bargain price. they are a good value set but leave some to be desired and will require some dedication in bringing them to be flat and sharp properly. There are better mortise chisels out there, but for me, my needs, and the amount of time I will use them they are more than satisfying.
Good value, expect to put in some work before you can use them.
-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.