Marples chisels any good

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Forum topic by ClayandNancy posted 03-08-2011 04:08 PM 13428 views 0 times favorited 35 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View ClayandNancy's profile


506 posts in 2101 days

03-08-2011 04:08 PM

I’m looking at a set of Marples Pro touch chisels and the 444 set, are either of these any good? I have a couple of Stanley and their not bad, but I could use a few more.

35 replies so far

View dryhter's profile


74 posts in 2690 days

#1 posted 03-08-2011 06:22 PM

Morning Clay,

I bought a set of THESE maybe twenty or so years ago, back when they were just Marple Brand. Not top of the line then and not sure about their quality now, but they have served me well. Not a tool purist, some may say I have even abused them,if you would consider hitting them with a 24 oz. framing hammer or scraping vinyl tile off a concrete floor abuse. That being said, they sharpen easily (some may say too easy ) with my set of oil stones, usually on site and hold an edge well. It is amazing how handy that 1/8 in. chisel is.


just looked at the Pro touch chisels and it looks like just the handles are different I would have to think the actual steel is the same, unless of course two separate facilities are making each style of chisel. My review would pertain to the Marples ” Blue Chip ” series.

-- Chips and Shavings/ see you at

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

4622 posts in 2281 days

#2 posted 03-08-2011 07:07 PM

I’ve got a complete set of Marples with the “blue handles”.....Mine were made in Sheffield, England at the time, and has very good steel in them…..They are about 5-6 years old. But now, they are made in China, and aren’t worth a crap. I’ve also got a few Two Cheeries, but these are expensive chisels. They are some of the best made, though. If I were looking for a set that would last “in the long run”, I wouldn’t go for the Marples anymore…...imported… There are other really good chisels that you should look at before committing to the Marples, in my opinion…...

-- " I don't makes my coffee spill...."

View TheDane's profile


4567 posts in 2749 days

#3 posted 03-08-2011 08:38 PM

Clay—Rick is right. The Sheffield-made Marples chisels were a pretty decent product (I have a set that I bought at auction). A few years ago, they moved their production to Asia and the quality went in the tank.

If you are looking for a reasonably good quality chisel at economy prices, check out the Narex chisels ( ).


-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View helluvawreck's profile


19499 posts in 1953 days

#4 posted 03-08-2011 09:09 PM

I have some Maroles chisels that I got 40 years ago and I certainly didn’t consider them to be the best back then but they have done very well for me all of these years. Since then I have purchased some more that are about the same age and they are good chisels also. I also think they are very nice looking chisels and I like to use them because the wood handles feel very good in my hands. However, I would not consider the new ones to be any where the equivalent of the older ones. I also agree with Gerry about the Narex chisels. For what the Narex chisels cost they are not bad at all and I use them often (There not the best for sure). While there are some nicer chisels that I would love to have the ones that I have now I can get by with for a while.

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View Bertha's profile


12982 posts in 1779 days

#5 posted 03-08-2011 09:14 PM

I’ve got several sets of the English blue handles. I bang away at them all day & if I ruin one, I don’t cry about it. Can’t go wrong with these chisels for the price. I cut the handles flat so I can beat them (not my hands) into submission.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Loren's profile


7967 posts in 2734 days

#6 posted 03-08-2011 09:48 PM

Marples are decent. I wouldn’t buy them in the mail though because
sometimes one or two handles in a set is crooked.

I have a set of blue chips – best used with a mallet unless you want
ugly handles. I also have 3 yellow-handled mortising chisels. They
aren’t made anymore. I haven’t used them much so I can’t comment
on the steel, but they were made in Sheffield when the name
meant something and the balance and design of the chisels is sensible.

I bought the blue chips about 15 years ago new and have no complaints
about them. They don’t hold a killer edge for too long but they are
well-balanced and easy to sharpen. Now I keep them in my carpentry bag,
not at the workbench, but I’ve done dovetailing and fine work with them
in the past and they worked well.


View ClayandNancy's profile


506 posts in 2101 days

#7 posted 03-08-2011 10:03 PM

Thanks guys, I was looking at a set of Marples they say are built in England but ??? I’ll check out those Narex, I’m a touchy feely guy so I might have to find them at a woodworking store. If I bought Marples can you tell the English from the Asian made.

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

4622 posts in 2281 days

#8 posted 03-08-2011 10:06 PM

If they were made in Sheffeld, England, it would say so right on the wood box they come in.

Don’t know about the Chinese-made set. If it said that, then it would be false…..

-- " I don't makes my coffee spill...."

View dbray45's profile


2990 posts in 1863 days

#9 posted 03-08-2011 10:08 PM

The Traditional Woodworkers branded chisels may worth a good look. I did a review on them under the tool section. They are a lot harder steel than my Marples/Irwin chisels.

-- David in Damascus, MD

View Mike Gager's profile

Mike Gager

663 posts in 2353 days

#10 posted 03-09-2011 02:14 AM

i have a set of the irwin/marple chisels that home depot sells. they look very similar to the pro touch chisels posted above. i havent had any problems with them. they seem pretty nice to me for the price

i know marple chisels have been featured in several magazine tests throughout the years and they have always got the best bang for the buck award

View startingfromscratch's profile


67 posts in 2278 days

#11 posted 12-14-2011 12:32 AM

does anyone know if the yellow handled marples that say sheffield england are actually made in sheffield england…it doesn’t always say “made in sheffield england”?

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 2055 days

#12 posted 12-14-2011 01:12 AM

It wouldn’t surprise me if the steels are made in China, the handles in Malaysia, boxes in Pakistan, all shipped to England and assembled – or rather, ‘made’, in Sheffield. FWIW I’ve had a set of split proof Marples chisels (the yellow/red handles) for 5 years and I can’t rate them highly enough – wherever they were made.

View startingfromscratch's profile


67 posts in 2278 days

#13 posted 12-14-2011 01:29 AM

Thanks! I think I’m about to pay $90 for a set of six yellow handled marples. I thought they were old stock…but it looks like Marples still markets the yellow handled chisel sets just with “sheffield england” stamped on them.

Really not sure if I’m overpaying or not.

View helluvawreck's profile


19499 posts in 1953 days

#14 posted 12-14-2011 08:08 PM

I like the older ones from about 40 or more years ago. I have a few but none of them in sets. They were bought from Ebay 5 or 6 years ago along with various other chisels. The older ones seem to be nice tools. I don’t know anything about the new ones and I’m a soft touch for tools with wood handles. Some of the older Marples had very robust wooden handles. I also have some Marple morticing chisels that are older and I love them.


-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View TCCcabinetmaker's profile


930 posts in 1441 days

#15 posted 12-15-2011 08:42 AM

I’ve a couple sets of buck brothers, marples and some I got for 6 bucks at harbor freight, some I got from grizzley, well I’ve got alot of chisels usually less expensive ones, but they’ll all pear end grain…
As long as the steel is of decent quality, chisels with a little set up time can pretty much all be made good. It takes just a little research on how to properly tune them up, and a little bit of time. If you’re expecting them to be at their best right of the package, well you’re going to have to buy some expensive ones to start out.

Now where I get into troule with sharpening is my gouges, scoups, v grooves and so on… I’ve not quite found a place to research proper sharpening techniques for those…

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

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