MERC Pro Insert Chisels

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Forum topic by richgreer posted 10-20-2010 04:18 PM 1756 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4541 posts in 3103 days

10-20-2010 04:18 PM

I’m not very experienced with hand tools, including chisels. I’m curious about what the experienced hand tool users think of this idea – -

It reminds me of the turning tools I have with changeable carbide tips. I like them a lot.

What are your thoughts on the viability of this idea?

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

17 replies so far

View KayBee's profile


1083 posts in 3275 days

#1 posted 10-20-2010 06:39 PM

I think it could get pretty expensive, pretty quickly. I don’t like that the tips are specialized, propriety item that you can’t get anywhere else. If they don’t sell enough, then they drop the line entirely. You’re stuck with some pricey chisels with limited resharpenings available.

-- Karen - a little bit of stupid goes a long way

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Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 2885 days

#2 posted 10-20-2010 06:50 PM

You cant hone it?
It may be for shutter/formwork or roofing applications where a smooth cut is not essential.
They would be great on timber (Oak) frame hoses.
Thanks for pointing them out.

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1286 posts in 3027 days

#3 posted 10-20-2010 11:02 PM

I am seriously considering these for using for metal scraping. They would be great. For wood? Not so much in my opinion.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

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Anthony Finelli

52 posts in 2809 days

#4 posted 10-20-2010 11:09 PM

I looks like that can get very expensive for something you are going to have to sharpen anyway. I would spend the money on a good set of chisels, good stones and a sharpening jig and you will never have to worry about dull chisels again.

-- Salem, New York "Find something you love to do and you will never have to work another day of your life"

View Woodwrecker's profile


4154 posts in 3604 days

#5 posted 10-21-2010 02:39 AM

Call me old school, but I’ll stick with my regular chisels.
(Not that I know how to use them very well..LOL)

-- Eric, central Florida / Utor praemia operibus duris

View araldite's profile


188 posts in 3433 days

#6 posted 10-21-2010 03:25 AM

If you’re on a job site with no place to sharpen your chisel, it might be good. However if your in the shop, it doesn’t take that long to touch up a chisel. I wouldn’t replace my good chisels with those.

-- Failure is the road to success if you learn to learn from your mistakes - Vince, Greenville, SC

View swirt's profile


2786 posts in 3001 days

#7 posted 10-21-2010 05:22 PM

When I look at new tools, I try to envision what they might look like in 100 years. The image in my head is of a chisel that has been sharpened but has two odd holes in the bevel. (after it changes hands a few times and the tip is long gone, some later owner will sharpen it like a normal chisel not realizing it used to have other tips.) It might end up like one of those laughing-stock tools like the Stanley fiberboard plane

-- Galootish log blog,

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Tobias Cardew

4 posts in 2804 days

#8 posted 10-21-2010 07:33 PM

I hope my comments aren’t considered “crashing” or against protocol for if they are I apologize in advance. More than anyone I’m really interested to read your comments on the MERC chisels having spent (some might say, misguidedly by the looks) the last 3 years of my life developing them.
I just wanted to assure those who were concerned that the cutters become in time unavailable, that Eagle America and other “Full Stockists” are obliged to and do carry all our tools regardless of sales volume. We’ve been making tools for over 16 years and hope to continue that way for a long time yet.
Again I hope I haven’t over stepped any mark by my comments.

-- Tobias

View Altair's profile


3 posts in 2803 days

#9 posted 10-21-2010 07:43 PM

Looks great for metal scraping, not sure about for wood.

View cmaeda's profile


205 posts in 3583 days

#10 posted 10-22-2010 08:27 AM

I haven’t tried the chisels but I think the concept is good.
The tips last longer because they are HSS although I’m not sure if they’ll chip out if you try to mortise with them.
And if the tip gets dull in use, you can have extra tips available… screw the tip off and screw the new tip on.
The one disadvantage may be the sharpening if you sharpen with jigs. There will be an extra step of replacing the tip on the chisel to sharpen the tips.
The price is the main barrier for me. As a hobbyist, I would wait to see what others think before spending that kind of money on a chisel.

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1286 posts in 3027 days

#11 posted 10-22-2010 05:14 PM

Tobias Cardew:

I personally think it is great to have the designer chime in. I have no idea about the chisels other than seeing them on the page and on Eagle America’s page for a closer look. Sometimes it is hard to overcome the tradition of tools and look only at the function. Look at Rali planes as an example. I hear that they are really nice planes but they totally fly in the face of convention.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

View Woodwrecker's profile


4154 posts in 3604 days

#12 posted 10-22-2010 08:05 PM

Hi Tobias.
I think it’s cool that one of the designers provides information.
I like other M-Power tools but will have to wait & see on these.
Thank you though for commenting.

-- Eric, central Florida / Utor praemia operibus duris

View a1Jim's profile


117128 posts in 3606 days

#13 posted 10-22-2010 08:35 PM

I know there are lots of post on Ljs about chisels . I’m of the opinion that a chisel doesn’t have to be expensive to do a good job . I’ve been using marples chisels for years (the same set) they keep a sharp edge and although not as flashy as wood their handles are indestructible and better than wood because of their durability.
I received the flyer for the chisels you have in the link and thought interesting but not practical for sharping.
Marpels chisels usually come in sets of 4 or 6 and usually cost around $10 each in the set. I would suggest buying a set and trying them out for $40. you don’t have much to loose. I’m sure you know when you buy chisels they need to be sharped. I’ve students think the chisels they had bought were not any good because they didn’t know that.
I don’t mean to talk your design down tobias I think it might make sense if sharpening chisels were hard to sharpen but their not hard to sharpen an it is not necessary to sharpen them that often.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3103 days

#14 posted 10-22-2010 09:58 PM

Tobias – - As the one that started this topic, I thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. I also hope you gained some insight from the comments made. I think you will find us to be fair minded woodworkers who are quite honest about our opinions.

Personally, I was intrigued because the concept is so much like the concept behind the turning tools that I like so much. The real difference is that those tools use carbide tips that you do not sharpen at all. When they get a little dull you can turn them 90 degrees (or 180 degrees) and have a fresh edge. I estimate that I get about 20 hours out of an edge.

I don’t know if carbide tips would work in this application. You probably do.

As an FYI, I have been pretty happy with my moderately priced Marpels, just like a1Jim.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Tobias Cardew's profile

Tobias Cardew

4 posts in 2804 days

#15 posted 10-23-2010 04:53 AM

Guys, Thanks for your welcome. I certainly appreciate the time you’ve taken and for your considered opinions. This is the first time I’ve ever been involved in a forum like this and it’s a valuable experience. Due to patent law etc you can end up working in isolation. A couple of points I can help with. “Richgreer” you’re right we did look at Tungsten carbide tips as an option, unfortunately the properties of the material don’t readily lend themselves to bevel edged chisels, as it suffers from fracture under impact and a chisel is often hit with any number of weapons. Again “Jim” I agree Blue chip Marples are great chisels.. I’ve got some as well as my favorites a set of Rosewood handled Robert Sorby’s sadly brutalized by a nameless colleague in my old shop. Should anyone be interested, the idea behind the MERC chisel was taken from the development of the exacto knife, hybrid of the old Stanley knife which appeared to come from the old marking knife. It was having the ability to continue working with a fresh blade in a chisel regardless of location.. MERC started out for the On-site contractor/professional. Where carrying diamond stones, jigs etc in a mobile tool kit is a space and weight consuming hassle. Allied with the time saving aspect of not stopping to sharpen a chisel when you’re half way into a job. From personal experience my “on-site chisels may have started sharp at the beginning of the week but they were more screwdriver than chisel by the end of it. The solution of changeable tips, then opens up the possibility of altering the profile of the tip. Hence the Triple Edged cutter etc, which was liked by the Beta testing woodies that trialed it. My wife’s been in and pointed at the clock.. Way past my bedtime..Sorry for the ramble I’ve not had a chance like this to put thoughts on paper so thanks for the opportunity…

-- Tobias

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