Does it pay to buy premium mortise chisels

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Forum topic by Chipy posted 02-16-2012 09:09 PM 1061 views 1 time favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Chipy's profile


374 posts in 2616 days

02-16-2012 09:09 PM

Topic tags/keywords: resource tip question

I just recently picked up a Grizzly Tenon jig on CL for $30 and bought a Shop Fox Mortiser.My question to the exsperienced mortise cutters is, does it pay to buy premium mortise chisels? I have seen the 3 and 4 piece sets for as little as 30 to 40 dollars and “Premium” bits as much as 26 to 40 a piece.Are the premium bits that much better or should save my money and buy the economy sets? Thanks for your info Chipy.

3 replies so far

View Scot's profile


344 posts in 3419 days

#1 posted 02-16-2012 09:30 PM

The premium do hold an edge longer. That said, the set that came with my Shop Fox mortiser are still good after five years but I only use them on soft woods. I have a premium set that I use on hard woods.
Either way you will have to sharpen them, so I recommend you get a mortise chisel sharpening stone. Unless you can afford to buy a new set every time they get dull.

-- If the old masters had power tools, they would have used them. So get off your damn High Horse.

View Bertha's profile


13529 posts in 2716 days

#2 posted 02-16-2012 09:34 PM

I’m not sure I know. I bought a JET mortiser and although I knew it came with bits, I ended up buying a set of “nice” bits at the same time. The nicer ones are a little bit nicer looking but I really can’t say that they work any better. Maybe time will tell but I’d wait to upgrade if you’re happy with the cut. Good luck!

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

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 3767 days

#3 posted 02-17-2012 12:59 AM

I do a lot of mortising with the cheap chisels. I’ve had the same three chisels for about 10 years. I do own a sharpening stone for them, and use it regularly. Like any other tool, if you keep it sharp, it works better. So before I start a new project I sharpen the chisel that I’m going to use and have no problems. Like already mentioned, the high dollar ones may keep an edge longer.

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