|Review by lumberjoe||posted 06-25-2012 08:05 PM||6891 views||0 times favorited||11 comments|
This is my first set of chisels that are not meant to be smashed with a sledge hammer. I bought these for a few reasons:
1 – they were on sale from 89.99 to 53.99
2 – The Bubinga handles are REALLY well done. Both to look at and they are really comfortable to hold
3 – (According to the woodcraft guy) US Steel and assembled in the US, although the box comes from China.
4 – It had every size I needed
5 – Hardened to RC-59 (same as Narex)
I was originally going to get a set of Stanley SW’s. I even bought a worksharp in anticipation of getting them. A few other items took priority and I ended up spending the money elsewhere. I picked these up on a whim when I was in the store a few weeks ago. I wasn’t expecting them to perform miracles, let’s face it they are low end chisels, however they are nice. It took me a while on the worksharp. First I practiced on some buck brothers chisels I now use to scrape glue off my work bench. Once I got the hang of it, I went to town. I got the backs flat (that took a while) and I got the angles ground to 25 degrees on all of them. I got the worksharp on amazon and they had a deal which included the leather wheel. That did a great job at taking the burr off.
I had cut some mortises in some oak for some end tables with a router. I had not squared them off yet. My first impression was “if these are the cheapest chisels I can get, I really want to see what a good chisel can do!”. I was able to square them very easily and very accurately. The cuts were amazing clean. The handles feel really nice in your hand. The chisels are heavy and have a good heft to them. I’d be interested to see how long they keep an edge, but from my experience and what I read, read oak is tough on steel. That chisel still held it’s edge with no rolling on the 8th mortise as well as the first. That’s not much, but that enough to turn my buck brothers “chisel” into a card scraper.
My only complaints are:
1 – I don’t know how satisfied I would be if I took these to wood right out of the box. They needed a lot of work. From what I understand, most chisels do, so be prepared.
2 – The box is throw way, but looks pretty nice at least. However that is just an excuse for another project. I bought chisels, not a box. Plus now I have a template for the new one!
3 – The “wood river” logo etched into one of the chisels is really blurry. Obviously that is cosmetic, but it points to quality control (or lack there of). If I was the QC guy, that would have easily gone in the “do over” pile and not in the box.
I gave this 3 stars because everything I know about chisels comes from theory and not practice. I am by no means an expert. With that said, I almost think I should have given them 4 stars. I can’t imagine what a better cutting chisel would feel like. These do exactly what I would expect a really good chisel to do.
Edit 7/25/2012. After a significant amount of use, I had to bump this to 4 stars. These chisels still have the original edge I put on them, and still cut like champs every time I use them; and I have been using them a lot lately.