Lee Valley or Narex

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Forum topic by Bryan posted 09-21-2011 06:16 PM 7270 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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51 posts in 2998 days

09-21-2011 06:16 PM

There is a lot of old information on these Chisels, If you were going to buy a set of beveled edged chisels which would it be the Lee Valley Chisels that are beveled edged or the Narex bevel edged chisels?

Also what are your number 1 go to chisles if you only had two

8 replies so far

View Ripthorn's profile


1458 posts in 3126 days

#1 posted 09-21-2011 06:19 PM

I actually just purchased the Narex chisels last month and I love them. They cut very well. I used to pull out my one Marples chisel only if I had no other choice on projects, but now I have no reservations about going to chisels for more tasks. I bought the Narex from Lee Valley and think they are a great value (I got the 4 piece set). If I only had two, I would go with either the 1/2” or 3/4” and my 1/8” (it gets used a lot with my guitar building).

-- Brian T. - Exact science is not an exact science

View Bertha's profile


13550 posts in 2834 days

#2 posted 09-21-2011 06:41 PM

I’d spend a bit more and go with the Ashley Iles or Lie Nielsen myself. Out of those two, I’d go with the Narex. If I only had two sizes, for me it’d probably be 1/2 and 1/4 inch. The 1/8 and the 1/10 are really nice to have, too.

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

View mikema's profile


180 posts in 2727 days

#3 posted 09-21-2011 09:34 PM

I bought a complete set of pfeils, and have not regretted it. I have the luxury of having a Woodcraft near me (though my wife hates it!) so I took the time to go there and find the chisel that best suited me.

As for size…... That is a tough call. When I started buying the pfeils, I was only going to buy the “most used” of the set. I thought to myself, why would I ever use a 5/16” chisel or a 1.5” chisel. I have found myself grabbing the odd sized chisel as much as any of the others. If I recall correctly, the first two I purchased were the 1/2” and the 1/4” with the 3/4” as the third.

My advice, get them all, even if you have to do it over a period of time (which is what I did), you will be glad you did.

-- Mike ---- Visit my woodworking blog:

View Jeff Tobert's profile

Jeff Tobert

64 posts in 3003 days

#4 posted 09-21-2011 09:45 PM

I have full set of Lee Valley chisels and they are good chisels. The bevels on them have a fairly high side which makes it difficult to chop out dovetails. I have recently bought 2 Narex chisels to help with this because they have a much smaller side, and are tapered in much like a pure dovetail chisel. Both cut well. I’d recommend the 3/8” and 1/4” if you are using them to chop out dovetail waste. Getting the full set of Narex chisels is a good way to go for the best of all worlds.

-- All in or give in.

View Tomcat1066's profile


942 posts in 3937 days

#5 posted 09-21-2011 10:55 PM

FWIW, I’m needed to buy new chisels and I’m going with the Narex classics (I believe is what Lee Valley is selling them as). They have a lower side and seem to do well. As for size, that really depends on what you’re building. Some people find that if they only have two chisels, they work around those. Me? I want them all :)

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

View Tedstor's profile


1678 posts in 2774 days

#6 posted 09-22-2011 05:36 AM

If you’re open to other suggestions, this is a great deal on a 5 piece set of new old stock Marples (pre-irwin). I bought a similar set off this guy a few months ago.

Not to discourage you from the other products, both are rock-solid. If I had to pick between the two, I’d probably go for the Narex.

View maljr1980's profile


171 posts in 2597 days

#7 posted 09-22-2011 05:41 AM

i also bought a set of pfiels, the 6 piece limited edition cabinetmaker set from woodcraft, the ones with out the metal rings on the handles, and i think they are superb. i love them so much i use them any chance i get at work. its amazing how then of a shaving i can take off with them. it took a little work to flatten the backs, but ive used them 2 weeks and havent had to resharpen any yet. they dont shave the hair off my hand anymore but are still very sharp, and ive used them on hard wood and mdf. they sliced right through poplar. it was 200 for the set. i also spent 87 dollars on 3 150mm japanese carving files at woodcraft, the med, fine , and extra fine, and wow i never knew how quickly a good file could trim something and leave a smoother than factory finish on a board

View Arminius's profile


304 posts in 3944 days

#8 posted 09-22-2011 01:11 PM

The Lee Valley handles are a bit too short for all-around cabinet-making work. They are good quality, but not really intended for woodworking.

Note that Lee Valley/Veritas are currently developing a line of premium chisels, would not be a great shock to see those out in time for Christmas.

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