Trying to figure out which chisels sizes/types to buy

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Forum topic by Ben posted 03-08-2018 06:57 PM 219 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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372 posts in 2789 days

03-08-2018 06:57 PM

I want to invest in some Blue Spruce chisels.

I currently have a 6 pc. set of Kawasei Japanese dovetail chisels (for sale here on the trade/swap forum).
They are beautiful, but terribly uncomfortable for paring. I’ve done a lot of very nice dovetails with them, even though they have rather thick “lands” and as I understand are not actually designed for dovetails.

I find I’ve really only been grabbing one or two sizes out of those – a big one or a little one.

So I’m wondering which sizes to get of the Blue Spruce, and what type.

I’m thinking:

Bench Chisels

1 1/2”

But seems like the 1” and 1 1/2” might be unnecessary.

From there, maybe one or two paring chisels, like a 1/4” and 1”?

And one detail chisel for a specific luthier task.

Just wondering what, if any of these are redundant. Are the paring chisels redundant since I can do that with the bench chisels?

My needs:
Small furniture
Guitar building

Not really chopping any mortices. Doing mostly paring except when I cut dovetails, and I do a lot of dovetails.

I’m at the upper extreme of my budget here, so if I can simplify that’s great. Have already done extensive research on chisels and these are the ones I want.

Appreciate any feedback.

5 replies so far

View Loren's profile (online now)


10086 posts in 3579 days

#1 posted 03-08-2018 07:04 PM

In addition to 1/8” I find 3/8” useful. Wider
sizes tend to be redundant I find.

View TheFridge's profile (online now)


9078 posts in 1418 days

#2 posted 03-08-2018 07:10 PM

Ditto. I have all those including 3/8 and I use them all about evenly.

I use my 1” a lot and I’d buy an 1-1/2” if LN made one. I’d use a 1/16 if they made it as well.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View Andre's profile


1723 posts in 1738 days

#3 posted 03-08-2018 07:12 PM

I use set of 720 Stanley’s very seldom, have found Cranked Neck Paring Chisels more useful?
As far as size, 1/4” and 3/4 used 99% of the time!

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View jdmaher's profile


424 posts in 2511 days

#4 posted 03-08-2018 08:44 PM

I have plenty chisels, but I use 1/4” bench 75% (dovetailing) and a 1” planing 20% (most other general chores).

-- Jim Maher, Illinois

View Ben's profile


372 posts in 2789 days

#5 posted 03-08-2018 10:37 PM


I just ordered:

1 1/2

and a detail chisel.


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