Chisel Size, Ray Iles Mortise

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Forum topic by corpmule posted 09-27-2012 01:28 PM 1454 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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57 posts in 1270 days

09-27-2012 01:28 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question chisel traditional

I’m new to woodworking and, my inexperience leads me to ask some possibly stoopid questions.

I purchased a Ray Iles 5/16″ mortise chisel. It just arrived yesterday, I haven’t used it yet but, it looks like a really well made, awesome tool.

However …

The packaging on the chisel said it’s 5/16″, just as I had ordered. But, when I measure the blade (tip) and, measure a small indentation in a piece of wood (created with slight hand pressure), the measuring tools read 3/8″ (6/16″).

I guess that ain’t really a bad thing, I can still use it but, is that normal for a tool to be out of the advertised dimension that much? Is there a variance in the actual tool size that should be expected? Or, is it most likely just a mistake in the packaging? Maybe someone put the wrong tool in the wrong package?

Thanks for any advice offered.

5 replies so far

View crank49's profile


3900 posts in 2063 days

#1 posted 09-27-2012 05:42 PM

What did you measure it with?
Calipers or a micrometer, or with a ruler?

Even if it were metric approximation of English units 5/16” is 7.94mm so an 8mm would be the metric “equivalent”.

But 3/8” is over 9.53mm and is often equated to a 10mm chisel. That’s a whole size range off.

-- Michael: Hillary has a long list of accomplishments, though most DAs would refer to them as felonies.

View paratrooper34's profile


788 posts in 2044 days

#2 posted 09-27-2012 06:13 PM

Corpmule, you got the wrong size somehow (wrong packing, packaged on a friday?). A 5/16 mortice chisel should be 5/16. It is a whole size off, metric or standard.

-- Mike

View corpmule's profile


57 posts in 1270 days

#3 posted 09-27-2012 09:36 PM

I measured it using the US measurement system, with both a ruler and dial calipers.

I measured the tool physically at the blades edge and, by pressing an indentation into a piece of wood, then measuring the indentation.

It’s actually just a hair (1/64?) short of 3/8 (6/16). I feel kind of bad …kinda nit picky but, why is a 5/16 and a 3/8 size offered? Why is there a choice between them? If it didn’t make a difference, there wouldn’t be a choice …right? :)

I just spoke with them on the phone, they’ve offered to replace it. The problem is, they are out of stock and they don’t know when they’ll be restocked. So I guess either use this one, or do without until they’re restocked and I get the replacement. I ‘spose I could buy a “stand in” off of ebay for the mean time.

View Brett's profile


657 posts in 1775 days

#4 posted 09-28-2012 12:28 AM

These chisels have received good reviews, and they’re affordable:,41504

-- More tools, fewer machines.

View BrownDog's profile


9 posts in 1368 days

#5 posted 09-28-2012 12:50 AM

You got the wrong size somehow.

I have the complete set of Ray Iles mortise chisels and they are all the correct size.

Just send it back and get the right size sent to you.

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