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Where to start in buying chisels?

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Forum topic by juanabee posted 1492 days ago 4296 views 0 times favorited 28 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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juanabee

104 posts in 1633 days


1492 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: chisels wood carving

Please share your opinion with me about how I should go about accumulating a set of reasonably good chisels for my woodshop. I am relatively new to woodworking, and don’t usually acquire tools until I see the need.

LOML recently gave me a Worksharp WS3000 for Father’s Day and I have enjoyed sharpening my two stanley chisels, a 1/2” and a 1” and some other sharps for Scout camp, eg. hatchet and folding knives. They are like razors now, and I can easily see how these sharp tools make some kinds of woodworking such a distinct pleasure. Next up are my three low-to-medium-grade hand planes.

This kind of hand-tooling pleasure is leading me into some woodcarving/sculpture projects. I would like to have some good chisels I can use, now that I can make them so sharp and fun to use.

What brand styles and types would you recommend? I am not into turning, so no interest there yet. Your suggestions are all appreciated.

-- "Life's nonsense pierces us with strange relation." Wallace Stevens


28 replies so far

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

3306 posts in 1819 days


#1 posted 1492 days ago

Greetings Wallace,
I have a complete set of Marples chisels that range from a 1/4” up to 1 1/2” and come in a very nice box.
These re made in Sheffield, England, and you can purchase them from Rockler Woodworking, Woodworkers Supply, and several different ww suppliers.. They are not the most expensive chisels (I think around $60.00 for the set), but once sharpened, they do the job..Actually all you have to do when you get them is put a good hone on them, and they are ready to use. I’ve had mine about 7 years drom Rockler. There are many sets and types of chisels , and you will hear from some LJs that do a lot of chisel work. They get very expensive, but I find these I have do the job for me… Many suggestions are coming your way…. You can also buy these indivudallly also if you don’t need or want a full set.

-- " I started with nothing, and I've still got most of it left".......

View spclPatrolGroup's profile

spclPatrolGroup

214 posts in 1519 days


#2 posted 1492 days ago

What kind of work do you plan to use them for? Marples are a good chisle for everyday tasks, they are not as hard as some higher end chisles, but since it sounds like you have a good sharpening system that shouldnt be a problem and they are inexpensive, I would start with those, then latter on you can decide if they are good enough or if you need to upgrade, its never a bad idea to have more than one of the same size.

-- Dave, from ND "The mind is an infinitely long workbench, and its cluttered with half-finished thoughts and ideas, sometimes we need to clear off the workbench and start again from step one."

View swirt's profile

swirt

1937 posts in 1597 days


#3 posted 1492 days ago

Given that you have a Worksharp, you have the means to restore an old tool with relative ease. If you have any experience with ebay, I’d start looking there to round out the collection of Stanley chisels you already have. (just realized I am making the assumption that the two Stanley’s you have are old … if they are the plastic handled variety, forget trying to complete the set and start looking for their grandparents. ;)

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

View b2rtch's profile

b2rtch

4309 posts in 1673 days


#4 posted 1492 days ago

” Where to start in buying chisels?”
First thing to do :Get the money

-- Bert

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2697 posts in 1911 days


#5 posted 1492 days ago

Some start out wanting a full set, which can get very expensive if you buy really good quality chisels.
I have 2 Robert Sorby chisels that I use constantly. They are 3/4” and 1/2”. Years ago I intended to add to that set later, but found I haven’t needed others since I have a very big set of Freud chisels. (1/8” to 1 1/2”)
These are good chisels, but they don’t make them anymore.

So my point is, don’t get carried away thinking you must have everything at first. I would get a few good ones and worry about more later. Your own work will dictate the sizes you need. I have a fantastic collection of chisels, but I basically use the 2 sizes for most of my work.

-- She thought I hung the moon--now she just thinks I did it wrong

View hObOmOnk's profile

hObOmOnk

1380 posts in 2752 days


#6 posted 1492 days ago

An oft overlooked size/style of utility chisels are the so called butt chisels.
I always carry my favorite sizes in my tool tote.
Butt chisels are shorter than most bench chisels, but very useful in tight quarters or for utility purposes.

Lee Valley

-- 温故知新

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112008 posts in 2202 days


#7 posted 1492 days ago

I also have a full set of Marpel chisels . There may be harder chisels but for the money I feel Marpel chisels are great. I’ve been using them for 20 plus years and I hardly ever have to sharpen them after the are properly sharpen the first time. This whole set cost less the one of the high end

http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=17195&source=googleps&utm_source=GoogleBase&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=Google

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1740 days


#8 posted 1492 days ago

Crown and 2 Cheries and kirsh is some other great options for you

Dennis

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

3306 posts in 1819 days


#9 posted 1492 days ago

Greetings Jim,

These are the same Blue Chip Marples that I have, and they have worked really good for me. I have to admit though that I don’t do a whole lot of chisel work… only when it’s called for and necessary. I saw Kent’s chisels when I went to visit him in his woodshop. I know why he has really good quality chisels…. That’s because he’s a better woodworker than I am, and a good woodworker requires the best….... He has better chisels, but I have more money…...it all evens out in the end….... lol lol….Right, Kent?????

-- " I started with nothing, and I've still got most of it left".......

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1467 posts in 2190 days


#10 posted 1492 days ago

I know Stanley hasn’t been synonymous with quality lately but it might be worth checking this out,

Supposed to be coming out in September, you read more at Popular woodworking magazine, here is a link.

http://blog.woodworking-magazine.com/blog/More+Details+On+The+New+Stanley+Chisels.aspx

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View rtb's profile

rtb

1099 posts in 2338 days


#11 posted 1492 days ago

Go to Highland woodworking.com, do whatever to look at the narex chisels and read the review of 24 chisels by Fine Woodworking. Make up your mind (don’t buy made in China )

-- RTB. stray animals are just looking for love

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112008 posts in 2202 days


#12 posted 1492 days ago

Hey Rick
I guess I’m a really bad woodworker because I have Marpels chisels LOL. If I have to compete with Kent’s woodworking I’ll through up the white flag right now.
All chisels have to do is cut wood and hold and edge , I’ll never be conviced that a $350 chisels cut any better than a marpels. sharp is shap

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

5414 posts in 2000 days


#13 posted 1492 days ago

I like my Irwins (formerly Marples) but AFAIK they’re no longer made in Sheffield, but are still decent basic chisels. The MHG and Narex chisels are also a good bang for the buck.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

3306 posts in 1819 days


#14 posted 1492 days ago

Jim, I’m with you ,bud, on the chisel thing….. The brand name means nothing to me…
Like you said, as long as they get the job done, are good and sharp, that’s all that counts…
My Irwin Marples holds a good edge, and does cut soft and hardwoods….. just ask one of my thumbs..

Knotscott:.... I didn’t know they quit making the chisels in England…. when did that happen? It’s a good thing we got ours when we did, Jim…...Are you ready to surrender to Kent now?

-- " I started with nothing, and I've still got most of it left".......

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112008 posts in 2202 days


#15 posted 1492 days ago

How can you compete with a great guy like Kent

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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