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Choosing Bench & Mortise Chisels

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Forum topic by uMinded posted 08-27-2013 09:23 PM 4171 views 1 time favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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uMinded

104 posts in 1318 days


08-27-2013 09:23 PM

Topic tags/keywords: chisel mortise bench a2

I am saving up to buy a set of chisels as I am using total crap right now and am starting to take up heirloom quality building.

Bench Chisels:
Veritas® PM-V11™ Bench Chisels
Pros: supposedly stays sharp VERY long time
Cons: Most expensive

Lie-Nielsen Bevel Edge Socket Chisels
Pros: Amazing warranty and customer service
Cons: ???

Mortise Chisels:
Sorby Registered Mortise Chisels
Pros: Good price, local
Cons: ???

Lie Nielsen Mortise Chisels
Pros:Amazing warranty and customer service
Cons: ???

—————————————————————

I work on both 3/4” and 7/8” materials so I was figuring I would get a set of 1/4”, 1/2”, 1” bench and 1/4” mortice chisels.

Which would you choose for making your highest quality pieces?


18 replies so far

View Loren's profile

Loren

8313 posts in 3114 days


#1 posted 08-27-2013 09:30 PM

Barr Quarton are the best I’ve used. They hold edges
really well and the heft and feel is satisfying. The Veritas
are dainty in comparison.

Registered chisels are actually not that useful for mortising
in furniture work. If you want to mortise by hand, get
a pig sticker or an old millwright chisel. There’s a guy
with a video on how to mortise with a millwright chisel
and it’s persuasive.

I have some Sorby registered chisels and I am not
impressed with the edge toughness in relation to
what they cost. They do have nice handles though.

View Tugboater78's profile

Tugboater78

2450 posts in 1658 days


#2 posted 08-27-2013 09:51 PM

Ive heard, but have yet to try myself, that narex chisels are excellent for thier price, planning on getting some myself soon.

-- "....put that handsaw to work and make it earn its keep. - summerfi" <==< JuStiN >==>=->

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JayT

4785 posts in 1677 days


#3 posted 08-27-2013 10:02 PM

Haven’t used any of those, so can’t comment on those particular ones.

The ones I own and would recommend in a heartbeat are Two Cherries firmer chisels. They are exactly the same as the Hirsch firmer chisels on Lee Valley’s site, just a different label.

I dream of owning a set of the Barr Quarton’s.

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

View Farkled's profile

Farkled

28 posts in 1782 days


#4 posted 08-27-2013 11:30 PM

I went with the Veritas PM-VII set as well some Blue Spruce paring chisels – A2 of course. I have four of Sorby registered. I probably buggered the edge by overheating as I was learning to sharpen with a power grinder (Worksharp 3000). Until I get back to good steel on the Sorby’s I don’t want to say much. I can say their reputation is not great.

Lee Valley stands behind their Veritas tools as well as Lie-Nielson stands behind theirs. A set from either will make you happy.

It is most important that you handle the chisels you want, as if you were doing your most common tasks, before you buy. If they do not feel right, then you won’t use them. Do not feel as though you have to buy an entire set. Just get the sizes you actually use the most. Do not ignore some of the excellent chisels from Japan. They can be good value. If you want to explore that route send an email to Stu Tierny at Tools From Japan. Right now, Japanese white steel and PM-VII appear to on top of the heap as far as edge longevity goes. Note too, that A2 steel is not happy below a 30° angle.

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5181 posts in 2660 days


#5 posted 08-27-2013 11:31 PM

+1 on the Two Cheeries….I also have the stub chisels….I also have the Marvels that were made in Sheffield, England, not those crappy ones made in China now…Stay away from those things…...junk…....

-- At my age, an "all--nighter" is not having to get up and pee...!!!

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Loren

8313 posts in 3114 days


#6 posted 08-27-2013 11:35 PM

I have Japan chisels too and I like them a lot. Mine do
not hold edges as well as the Barrs, but maybe they
are ground more acutely. Japan chisels have a
compact heft like the Barrs and I like that. I acquired
mine many years ago but these days you can buy
old ones on ebay pretty reasonably and some of them
may be really fine tools compared to most of the
Western stuff available today.

View LRR's profile

LRR

25 posts in 1289 days


#7 posted 08-28-2013 06:09 AM

I really like my LN chisels both mortise and bevel edge. What can I say, I like socket chisels and LN makes excellent chisels that are very comfortable to my hands. The PM-V11 chisels have the new steel that is supposedly the best thing since sliced bread and a japanese style tang handle. Barr chisels have great steel, but the handles don’t look comfortable for hand work. Narex are supposedly quite good and very inexpensive. Which is more comfortable to your style of working and your pocketbook? (I like my 3/4” more than previous 1” chisels.)

View waho6o9's profile (online now)

waho6o9

7178 posts in 2043 days


#8 posted 08-28-2013 01:20 PM

Any thoughts on Ulmia mortising chisels?

I received an email from them and the new ones are chrome
vanadium.

Any one dislike chrome vanadium?

View Loren's profile

Loren

8313 posts in 3114 days


#9 posted 08-28-2013 04:14 PM

Chrome vanadium is used because it is easy to sharpen
and resists rust. It is the steel used in the OEM irons
for basic hand planes and in basic starter chisels. I have
not been that impressed with its ability to hold edges,
but some people think the Marples Blue Chip is a great
chisel and they are chrome vanadium.

That said, Ulmia stuff is always top quality from what
I’ve seen.

Look at the Ray Iles mortising chisels. People who
try them really like them.

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5181 posts in 2660 days


#10 posted 08-28-2013 04:32 PM

Honestly, I’m not a hand tool person…I don’t own but 2 planes, and they were given to me by my son as Christmas gifts years ago…...so I’m not into those…..back a few years ago, I purchased the Marple set of chisels when they were really made good…..But…..I only use them to clean out mortises, and square edges…I’m not good at sharpening chisels and planes, and don’t care about them so much….I’m a power tool guy, and with a very bad back (and even a very high work bench), it just plain kills me to do that “half stoop” to do hand work…..So I avoid it as much as possible…..I find that I can get the job done using other equipment in the shop…...I’ve always said that I think a woodworker should own the tools he/she is most comfortable using, and hand tools is not my style…..But….every ww should own a good set of chisels…...

-- At my age, an "all--nighter" is not having to get up and pee...!!!

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Richforever

755 posts in 3186 days


#11 posted 08-28-2013 05:33 PM

I like the Ray Iles mortising chisels that I got thru Toolsforworkingwood. They are hand forged, and have the leverage to clean out large mortises in hard wood. Just used them in making a swing, and they are wonderful!

-- Rich, Seattle, WA

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Mosquito

8124 posts in 1758 days


#12 posted 08-28-2013 05:57 PM

Speaking of Ray Iles mortisers, I saw that they finally had the 1/4” in stock at TFWW and picked one up. If I like it, I’ll continue on my plan to slowly add a chisel to the set from time to time. They aren’t all that cheap.

I have a set of Narex mortise chisels, and they’re ok. They get the job done, but I really don’t like the end of the handle. It seems too small at the top to me. Maybe I just need a bigger mallet… lol

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - http://www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods - http://www.TheModsquito.com

View uMinded's profile

uMinded

104 posts in 1318 days


#13 posted 08-28-2013 09:03 PM

Hmm the Ray lles mortiser looks like a beefy tool but at $85 its quite pricey. It does look like it would hold up longer than the Lie-Nielson socketed mortiser though.

I have a feeling I will be going with the Veritas PM-V11 chisels and the Ray lles mortiser. What are the most common chisel sizes? I was thinking of getting 1/4”, 1/2” and 1”

View JayT's profile

JayT

4785 posts in 1677 days


#14 posted 08-28-2013 09:06 PM

I use a 3/4 a lot more than 1in for bevel edge chisels, YMMV.

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

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Richforever

755 posts in 3186 days


#15 posted 08-29-2013 07:52 PM

I found that the 1/4” and 1/2” mortise chisels were all I needed. I use a 1” paring chisel to clean the insides of big mortises. It’s the strength of the mortise chisels that is important to leverage out most of the waist.

-- Rich, Seattle, WA

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