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Are Expensive Chisels Worth The Money? Western Bench Chisel Comparison

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Review by WoodWorkLIFE posted 04-21-2017 04:09 AM 3356 views 2 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Are Expensive Chisels Worth The Money?  Western Bench Chisel Comparison Are Expensive Chisels Worth The Money?  Western Bench Chisel Comparison Are Expensive Chisels Worth The Money?  Western Bench Chisel Comparison Click the pictures to enlarge them

A question that has plagued woodworkers for eras. In this video, I take a look at western bench chisels to understand what makes them tick. I test for ease of sharpening, ergonomics, the utility of the blade length/stays and overall feel. I took all of the chisels to a 27-degree bevel to really get a feel for sharpening them and to get rid of that first bit of possibly over hardened steel, I flattened the back, and then I just had-at-it living with them for a few months. The video is a synopsis on these impressions (pardon my sloppy clamping of the work piece)

A couple of really good standouts were the Work Zone Chisel from Aldi, for practically free, the Stanley Sweetheart, and the Veritas PMV11.


View on YouTube

In the end the key to any chisel is getting it sharp, and keeping it that way so also check out my video on sharpening if you haven’t already. https://youtu.be/uLCOjNuQwvI

But, at the end of the day, a good lifetime chisel is up to the hand of the craftsman that is using it. Henry David Thoreau said, “Men are becoming the tools of their tools.” I say, and probably somebody before me, “It’s not the tool that makes the man.” But at the end of the day, I think everyone should own one nice chisel, to at least know what they are missing. The value of these tools is entirely up to you.

Thanks for watching, please like and subscribe to my channel,


Rick
Wood.Work.LIFE

-- Rick, Keep your tools sharp and your mind sharper, www.Wood-Work-LIFE.com




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WoodWorkLIFE

57 posts in 200 days



21 comments so far

View dhazelton's profile

dhazelton

2520 posts in 1927 days


#1 posted 04-21-2017 12:39 PM

Nice video. Been to my Aldi’s a few times and never see those chisels. Gotta look again.

View gargey's profile

gargey

625 posts in 406 days


#2 posted 04-21-2017 07:40 PM

spam

View diverlloyd's profile

diverlloyd

1945 posts in 1488 days


#3 posted 04-22-2017 08:58 PM

Aldi chisel are sold around Father’s Day. I hate video reviews.

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

4073 posts in 2874 days


#4 posted 04-23-2017 12:46 AM

Steel is what makes a good chisel. A cheap chisel can be made into a good chisel as long as the steel used is good. The trouble is you don’t know what steel is used just by looking at it. By buying an expensive chisel, the guesswork as to the steel used is done for you. If you hold an unknown steel chisel against a grinding wheel, you can determine what steel alloy was used by the sparks made. Generally a name brand chisel has pretty good steel. Stanley is one such brand. I would stay away from Chinese made steel. Old files have been used to make knives, but not good for chisels. High speed steel (HSS) is best for chisels if you want to make your own. It can take a lot of heat from grinding and not lose it’s temper.

View lumbermeister's profile

lumbermeister

128 posts in 1610 days


#5 posted 04-23-2017 01:45 PM

Thanks for this very informative and well-produced video.

View jayseedub's profile

jayseedub

108 posts in 1596 days


#6 posted 04-23-2017 03:51 PM

Very nice video—I love video reviews—thanks for taking the time to compare—and the effort to share!

View WoodWorkLIFE's profile

WoodWorkLIFE

57 posts in 200 days


#7 posted 04-24-2017 08:45 PM

You got it, gotta stock up when they’re there. Mine were 5$ a set.


Aldi chisel are sold around Father s Day. I hate video reviews.

- diverlloyd


-- Rick, Keep your tools sharp and your mind sharper, www.Wood-Work-LIFE.com

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WoodWorkLIFE

57 posts in 200 days


#8 posted 04-24-2017 08:46 PM

Never tried making a chisel out of highspeed steel but I suppose there are limitations since they don’t use highspeed steel over good tool steel in top end chisels. Maybe it is a coming trend, if there is such a thing in hand tools?


Steel is what makes a good chisel. A cheap chisel can be made into a good chisel as long as the steel used is good. The trouble is you don t know what steel is used just by looking at it. By buying an expensive chisel, the guesswork as to the steel used is done for you. If you hold an unknown steel chisel against a grinding wheel, you can determine what steel alloy was used by the sparks made. Generally a name brand chisel has pretty good steel. Stanley is one such brand. I would stay away from Chinese made steel. Old files have been used to make knives, but not good for chisels. High speed steel (HSS) is best for chisels if you want to make your own. It can take a lot of heat from grinding and not lose it s temper.

- MrRon


-- Rick, Keep your tools sharp and your mind sharper, www.Wood-Work-LIFE.com

View WoodWorkLIFE's profile

WoodWorkLIFE

57 posts in 200 days


#9 posted 04-24-2017 08:47 PM

Much appreciated, glad you liked it.


Very nice video—I love video reviews—thanks for taking the time to compare—and the effort to share!

- jayseedub


-- Rick, Keep your tools sharp and your mind sharper, www.Wood-Work-LIFE.com

View WoodWorkLIFE's profile

WoodWorkLIFE

57 posts in 200 days


#10 posted 04-24-2017 08:47 PM

Thanks, Appreciate it!


Thanks for this very informative and well-produced video.

- lumbermeister


-- Rick, Keep your tools sharp and your mind sharper, www.Wood-Work-LIFE.com

View dhazelton's profile

dhazelton

2520 posts in 1927 days


#11 posted 04-25-2017 03:51 PM

I actually went to Aldi’s the day I made my comment – a guy stocking said ‘we had those last Father’s day’ so, I’ll be looking then.

View Combo Prof's profile (online now)

Combo Prof

2720 posts in 908 days


#12 posted 04-25-2017 07:49 PM

So how can I arrange to be near an Aldi’s on Fathers day….. hmmm. Believe it or not the nearest Aldi to me is in Rhinelander Wisconsin. Only a 2.5 hour drive. It will cost about $40 (round trip) in Gas, if I drive my truck. I think I could buy one or two nice chisels instead. But don’t cry for me I already have two sets of Aldi’s anyway. LOL.

-- Don K, (Houghton, Michigan)

View WoodWorkLIFE's profile

WoodWorkLIFE

57 posts in 200 days


#13 posted 04-25-2017 07:53 PM

I live and work between many Aldi’s just let me know and I’ll help you out. I bought like 5 sets last year on fathers day. I think Grizzly sells them two, but they are a rip off at like 20 or 30$ :)


So how can I arrange to be near an Aldi s on Fathers day….. hmmm. Believe it or not the nearest Aldi to me is in Rhinelander Wisconsin. Only a 2.5 hour drive. It will cost about $40 (round trip) in Gas, if I drive my truck. I think I could buy one or two nice chisels instead. But don t cry for me I already have two sets of Aldi s anyway. LOL.

- Combo Prof


-- Rick, Keep your tools sharp and your mind sharper, www.Wood-Work-LIFE.com

View Combo Prof's profile (online now)

Combo Prof

2720 posts in 908 days


#14 posted 04-26-2017 02:12 AM

Thanks for the offer as I said I have two sets, so I am good for now. (I had thought about getting some extra sets for possible students or give aways, but I can wait.) I may re-shape some of the Aldi’s into skew chisels and dove tail chisels, in which case I may need more. Lately I’ve been using my Nooitgedagt chisels. I have 1 full set (8 chisels 1/4 to 1.5 inches) all sharpened for paring (24 degrees) and they work great for that. I have another 4 for dovetail chopping. (I may switch to Aldi’s for dovetail chopping. or 750’s.)

-- Don K, (Houghton, Michigan)

View Rick M's profile

Rick M

9222 posts in 2010 days


#15 posted 04-27-2017 05:09 AM

I’ve heard really good things about Buck Bros chisels.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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