|Review by ChicoWoodnut||posted 04-01-2008 03:14 AM||20455 views||1 time favorited||11 comments|
After using a set of older Craftsman chisels for years, I decided I wanted a fine set of bench chisels. The Craftsman chisels have served me well and I will continue to use them, but they are a little short thick and unwieldy. I like fine tools so I decided to treat myself for my 50th birthday. I have been looking for a good set on e-bay but the prices the older sets of Stanley chisels fetch these days is silly. I landed on the Ashley Iles because they are known for fine edge tools.
- Vendor – TheBestThings
- Type – Bevel Edge – tanged and bolstered.
- Handles – Boxwood Hexagonal “London Pattern”
- Handle Length – ~ 6” to end of ferrule
- Blade Length – ~ 5” from end of ferrule
- Sizes – Set of 6, 1/8” 1/4”, 3/8”, 1/2”, 3/4”, 1” (I bought the set of 6, the set of 11 is overkill for me – I have never wished I had a 2” bench chisel)
The best things says that they are the only vendor selling this pattern of Chisel. It is a little different than the Ashley Iles standard set. For one, the handles are boxwood and hex. For another, they are “a little shorter than standard”. Not by much I’ll bet. I like the handles.
The chisels came nicely packaged. Each wrapped in brown paper.
Each chisel edge protected by a dip into some sort of hard plastic.
Here they are laying side by side with my 12” combo for a reference. The three smaller chisels all have the same size handle. The 3/4” and 1” are larger, especially in diameter.
Here is a macro of the back of the 1” chisel. As you can see, it will need some lapping. It is pretty smooth though so I don’t think it will take much. They are all in about the same condition; polished more toward the edge and rougher as you go back toward the handle.
Here is the bevel edge. A lot better but still needs some work.
They come with a little logo.
The 1/8” chisel has a nice grain pattern on it. The handles are very light but feel solid with a fine grain and a polished feel. They are not heavily finished and may only have been oiled.
The fit is excellent. The blades are set straight and they fit perfectly against the bolstered end. The ferrules fit nicely too. The handles are a dream.
The finish is fine with the slight exception of the chisel back.
They are perfectly balanced and feel wonderful in the hand. (I have always wanted to say that)
The chisels are not marked with graduations. I suppose I will get used to it or mark the handles with a hot iron.
I would recommend these bench chisels to anyone wanting a fine set. I would have given them 4 1/2 stars but that wasn’t a choice. (I have never found a perfect tool)
I flattened the backs of the set this evening. It took me about an hour to get them from p220 up to p1000. The 3/4” chisel had a high spot running the full ength of the blade. It took the most work. Here is a shot of the 1”.
And for Eric, the set was $185 plus $10 shipping.
Another interesting thing I found while perusing the internet is a set made by Ray Iles, Ashley Iles son It looks suspiciously like this set.
-- Scott - Chico California http://chicowoodnut.home.comcast.net