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Forum topic by missesalot posted 09-10-2015 03:02 PM 669 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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missesalot

102 posts in 1064 days


09-10-2015 03:02 PM

Have 200 to spend on tools. I’m just starting out in woodworking and have some tools so i’m trying to fill in the gaps with what i don’t have before i start upgrading. I need a few essentials in hand tools for basics like chisels and hand saws. I dont’ want to buy any junk, can only spend what i have right now so I prob won’t be able to buy sets of saws or chisels. I want to be able to do dovetails by hand, as well as mortise and tenon joinery so i’m figuring i need a few basic saws and chisels. i like the japanese saws as well.

What are the first few sizes of chisels that would be most versitile? which japanese saws are most essential? Brands also, not looking for anything flashy, but also don’t want to buy them again, ever if possible.


19 replies so far

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missesalot

102 posts in 1064 days


#1 posted 09-10-2015 03:30 PM

and for what its worth, i was looking at the gyokucho japanese saws, and the hirsch chisels from LV

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ChefHDAN

808 posts in 2315 days


#2 posted 09-10-2015 03:35 PM

I just bought an 8pc set of NAREX, and they are very good, but I’ve also got a 3pc of 30+ year old Craftsman chisels made in Italy that still work excellently, and are now relugated for the lower end tasks. I considered 2 Cherries, the new Sweet hearts and even the Marples before going with the NAREX. It was all about the money vs. how I would use them and while I think I would have been content with the Marples, I’m satisfied leaning towards very happy with the NAREX which is how I’d think I’d feel about the Swethearts, but I couldn’t justify spending twice the price.

As for pull saws, I have 4 but they were acquired at the big box store; 2 Vaughn bear saws, 1 is a 2 sided (Ryoba) straight handle med & fine and the other is 1 sided med curved handle
1 Stanley flush cut saw 2 sided
1 Irwin single sided with hand hole handle

The first 3 live in the wood shop the last is with my kitchen tools and is an excellent bone saw, that comes apart with a push button mechanism making it very easy to clean and keep sanitary. I think the flush cut gets the most use but I have cut DT’s with the fine 2 sided. The med curve handle is great for breaking slabs of 5/4 when I don’t have enough to cut to justify the circ saw. The Vaughn saws are made in japan and I have always wondered about the life of a bamboo wrapped handle, I’ve never needed to get a task done that these could accomplish, (yet…) and have recently looked at some of the ones with a back spine (Dozuki) for some finer work. JUst bought a replacement blade for the Ryoba (Amazon $20) because of a bad choice to try it on a piece of acrylic sheet

You’re on the right track to buy the best tool once and be done, but there are some Over the top quality tools that IMO would be a poor choice to buy until your skills match the finess and “fine-ness” of the tools. It’s very easy to spend GOOFY money on the tools but they have to match the skills & the user. I just saw a $3,000 10” chef’s knife the other day and still can’t for the life of me think of a single professional that would spend that kind of $$$ for a blade…. and no it wasn’t made by Festool

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

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missesalot

102 posts in 1064 days


#3 posted 09-10-2015 03:39 PM

whoops

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missesalot

102 posts in 1064 days


#4 posted 09-10-2015 03:40 PM

haha nice, no interested in goofy money AT ALL. I hear a lot about the Narex stuff. any advise on sizes?

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jdh122

879 posts in 2283 days


#5 posted 09-10-2015 03:45 PM

I have a set of the Narex that I use quite frequently. I like them OK, but I think if I were starting out again I’d pay the (not very much) extra and get Hirsch/Two Cherries (which I understand to be the same company).
In chisels you can start out with 1/4, 1/2 and 3/4 inch.
No advice here on Japanese saws. If you wanted a recommendation on a western dovetail saw I’d suggest a Veritas, but I have little experience with Japanese saws.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

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Richard H

489 posts in 1146 days


#6 posted 09-10-2015 03:56 PM

1/4” or 3/8” for working in tight spaces like dovetails, 1/2” is probably my go to chisel and a 1” for pairing activies. I like a really wide 2” chisel as well for things like cleaning the cheeks of tenon’s and for its large reference area but I’m not sure it’s needed to start. If you can get the chisels local I would suggest starting with just the 1/2” and filling in as you need other sizes. If you have to pay shipping it might be cheaper to start with 2-3 common sizes and work from there. Depending on where you live there might be a healthy used tool market and if you are willing to put a little elbow grease into it you might be able to find a good fixer upper but that can be tricky on it’s own and if you are not careful you could end up spending a lot of time and money flattening the backs of the tools.

How do you plan on sharpening them? There are lots of ways and they all work to vary degrees but plan that into your cost.

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ChefHDAN

808 posts in 2315 days


#7 posted 09-10-2015 04:07 PM

My 3 pc CS set (from dad) has a 1/2”, 3/4”, and 1” and my only issue with them was the length for use/sharpening and the size limits. I am in the midst of an entertainment center and have been “Hand-cutting” dovetails with these with support from my little dewalt router for the sockets and the BS for the pins. Using the chisels to cut to the lines has been very easy, and the tight corners are very easy with the 1/8” which I always seem to be using

I bought this set 8 pc

But the 4 pc is a good deal too.
Especially if you’ve got an “okay” 3 pc bench set with 1/4”, 1/2” and 1”

Of note, the 8 pc set came in two 4pc boxes and the 4 smaller chisels have a smaller handle and the larger ones have a larger handle giving better control for the larger cuts when you’d perhaps need to pare with two hands. The set DID NOT come with a roll or case though & I bought a $20 leather roll to store them in

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

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BurlyBob

3694 posts in 1731 days


#8 posted 09-10-2015 04:21 PM

Hi, I just checked Jamestown Distributors and they have a Two Cherries 6 piece chisel set for $145. I bought that same set form them 2 years ago and love it. It comes in a wood box. They really hold their edge.

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MrFid

805 posts in 1370 days


#9 posted 09-10-2015 04:24 PM

Have you looked into any used tool stores near you, or do you have a fruitful Craigslist near you? I find a lot of my tools for way less than what they’d cost new. As an aside, be sure you think a little about your sharpening strategy before you outlay cash for tools like chisels. You won’t be having fun in a few weeks if you have chisels that don’t cut anymore because you spent all your money on them and devoted nothing to sharpening.

-- Bailey F - Eastern Mass.

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missesalot

102 posts in 1064 days


#10 posted 09-10-2015 04:32 PM

I see the Narex name constantly. Haven’t seen anything negative about them at all other than they don’t cost enough for the tool snobs:-) Wheres the best place to price the Two Cherries stuff

looking at these.
http://www.leevalley.com/US/Wood/page.aspx?p=67707&cat=1,41504
and these.
http://www.leevalley.com/US/Wood/page.aspx?p=66737&cat=1,41504

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jdh122

879 posts in 2283 days


#11 posted 09-10-2015 04:35 PM

Your second link are mortise chisels. Very handy, but way too bulky for dovetails and not what you should get for your first chisel set.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

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missesalot

102 posts in 1064 days


#12 posted 09-10-2015 04:40 PM

understood, i am looking for chisels for both dovetails and mortising, so figured i’d pick up two or three of the most common sizes of each kind

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missesalot

102 posts in 1064 days


#13 posted 09-10-2015 04:44 PM

i have the veritas sharpening jig to sharpen with, using scary sharp and an 8000 & 4000 waterstone, that’ll cover the sharpening right?

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missesalot

102 posts in 1064 days


#14 posted 09-10-2015 05:59 PM

too many choices!

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Richard H

489 posts in 1146 days


#15 posted 09-10-2015 06:15 PM

Yes that should cover your sharpening just fine.

There are a lot of choices but don’t obsess to much over it. Beyond a certain price point all the steels are excellent and the differences come down to fit and finish, how ready they are to use out of the box and how they feel in your hands.

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