Wood chisles

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Forum topic by Bryan posted 07-30-2010 08:28 PM 1102 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Bryan's profile


51 posts in 2822 days

07-30-2010 08:28 PM

Lee valley sales the following,

Narex set of 8 Bevel edge chisles for 74.50
Lee Valley set of 7 for 94.00
Hirsch Firmer set of 6 for 125.00

I am a beginner, which set would you buy and why?

6 replies so far

View Raftermonkey's profile


560 posts in 2877 days

#1 posted 07-30-2010 08:39 PM

Either the Narex set or a set of Marples, because they are reasonably priced, comfortable and they will do their work.

-- -Zeke- "I hate to rush off, but I gotta go see a man about a log"

View swirt's profile


2644 posts in 2937 days

#2 posted 07-30-2010 08:49 PM

I’d go with the Narex set from Highland for $60
They have a good reputation and come highly recommended for holding an edge.

-- Galootish log blog,

View TheWoodNerd's profile


291 posts in 3156 days

#3 posted 07-30-2010 10:03 PM

I recommend the Narex 4-chisel set from Lee Valley, I don’t see a need for you to get eight different chisel sizes at this point. The handles are ugly, but comfortable. They’re well-balanced and they hold an edge very well. I got these a couple years ago to tide me over until I could figure out which fancy ones I wanted. I still use just these.

Do, however, that that money you save and invest in a good sharpening jig. A well-sharpened cheap chisel will beat a dull expensive one any day. I love my Veritas Mk II, absolutely idiot-proof way to get perfect edges. I use mine with scary-sharp, but it would be great with any system.

Keep in mind that the difference between an decent chisel and a superb one is pretty small.

-- The Wood Nerd --

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1286 posts in 2963 days

#4 posted 07-30-2010 10:04 PM

I wouldn’t run out and buy a set at all if you don’t know what you want. I especially wouldn’t drop near $100 for a generic set. There are many styles and it depends on what kind of work you will be doing. I would get maybe three (1/4, 1/2, 1) in some bevel edged chisels to start with and fill in sizes and styles as you need. You get a full set, and you will have many that will just sit there most of the time.

Real heresy:

I would go and get a $8 set of cheap Chinese (Harbor freight or similar) and start prowling garage sales and flea markets for some really good old stuff. You can always use the cheap ones for opening paint cans and scraping glue. They are great for grinding special shapes too. They will not go to waste. You also might get lucky and get a good set. The cheap ones can be wonderful if you get a good set (lucky). The reason they have problems is not poor materials, it is poor quality control.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

View live4ever's profile


983 posts in 2975 days

#5 posted 07-30-2010 10:35 PM

I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with the Narex sets (I personally went with the 6 chisel set from Highland). For a beginner looking for a basic set of good chisels, they’re great. FWW had a review of chisels a while back and the Narex were rated as best value.

Now if you’re planning on really going the neanderthal route and becoming primarily a handtool woodworker, you might want to put more thought into the feel of different types of chisels, as they are all different.

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

View Raftermonkey's profile


560 posts in 2877 days

#6 posted 07-30-2010 10:43 PM

Get what is comfortable in your hand. An uncomfortable tool will never work properly. Just my 2 pennies worth.

-- -Zeke- "I hate to rush off, but I gotta go see a man about a log"

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