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Forum topic by mupperm posted 05-10-2012 11:55 PM 1034 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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10 posts in 2185 days

05-10-2012 11:55 PM

i believe i have enough bench planes to start out with, now i going to look for some chisels, so my ? is what is needed for my shop. my goal is to make something 75% without power tools if that is achievable.

-- Mike, Central Ohio.

5 replies so far

View Brandon's profile


4152 posts in 2917 days

#1 posted 05-11-2012 12:06 AM

I think the answer will depend on what type of work you plan on doing and what your budget is. If you have the funds, I’d recommend starting off with a basic set of Lie Nielsen bench chisels:

You can get a basic set of five chisels for $275. Of course that price is a bit steep for most people. For those with less money to spend on chisels, I’d recommend a basic set of Narex chisels which you can get from Lee Valley.,41504

I own the Narex chisels myself and find them perfectly adequate for all that I do. An in between suggestion in cost is the newer Stanley Sweetheart chisels—I think Amazon has them for the cheapest.

I’d also recommend getting some mortise chisels—you can get by with only 1/4” and 1/2”. Both Lie Nielsen and Narex make good mortise chisels.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View sikrap's profile


1121 posts in 3325 days

#2 posted 05-11-2012 02:49 AM

I have the Narex mortise chisels and like them a lot, but there are a lot of people that have said that they don’t hold on edge. Personally, I’d look for some older Stanleys (750s or even 60s).

-- Dave, Colonie, NY

View Loren's profile


10262 posts in 3614 days

#3 posted 05-11-2012 03:06 AM

When I was starting out I bought a set of 4 Marples
blue chip chisels. At the time they were still made in
England and were widely available.

After that I bought good Japan chisels one at a time
in sizes that sort of filled in the size gaps in the Marples

I guess I recommend getting an inexpensive basic bench
chisel set with blades and expand the chisels
one or two at a time as your skills grow and you
feel you need them.

In the flurry of building a piece you often don’t need a
specific size of chisel, you just need one that is sharp.
My most used sizes tend to get dulled so I am close
to doubled-up on those widths.

As a practical matter you can do light mortising with
firmer chisels but real mortising chisels work better.
I also pare with the firmer chisels… in fact with whatever
is handy, sharp enough and has adequate blade
length to make the cut.

I usually hit chisels with a small ball pein hammer so I
prefer a wood handle with a tough ferule. The fine
corner and dogleg paring chisels never get struck.

View mupperm's profile


10 posts in 2185 days

#4 posted 05-12-2012 11:11 PM

I was rummaging around in the tool box given to me from my Grandfather before he passed. found a set of Lathe Chisels and a mortising chisel, I do have a couple Stanley plastic grip chisels but they need some attention on the cutting edge

-- Mike, Central Ohio.

View RussellAP's profile


3103 posts in 2252 days

#5 posted 05-12-2012 11:20 PM

Chisels are made to be sharpened. I have a set of mix and match I got from my fathers hoard of ill taken care of tools. They are old and made of better steel than anything today. If you look around at estate sales you can get some really nice things for a song. I plan to try a couple of them next week. I’d never pay $275 for a set of them. That’s just ridiculous.
Plus I take pride in my restoration of tools. I’m more proud of a chisel that I’ve restored and sharpened then I am at any tool I bought.
Some of the best things come from the worst tools because it’s the person, not the tool that makes the difference.
This of course refers to hand tools, not power tools.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

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