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Thinking of buying a set of Narex chisels

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Forum topic by HarveyDunn posted 01-13-2014 12:02 AM 2638 views 0 times favorited 43 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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HarveyDunn

328 posts in 1194 days


01-13-2014 12:02 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I tend to believe everything I read in Fine Woodworking magazine. In the Sept/Oct 2008 issue the reviewed chisels and rated the Narex brand as “best value”. Highland Woodworking offers a set of 6 for $60.
http://www.highlandwoodworking.com/narexboxed6-piecebenchchiselset.aspx

I’m thinking of buying a set. Anyone have any thoughts they’d like to offer?

I don’t do any big mortises so I don’t be whacking them into oblivion.

I would be interested in knowing if they are suitable for cleaning out dovetails. Or should I think of getting a second set (or maybe just one specialty chisel) for that use?


43 replies so far

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Armandhammer

235 posts in 1089 days


#1 posted 01-13-2014 12:10 AM

Just FYI…according to Highland Woodworking, the set with the magnetic strip are the same chisels as the set you linked to…but $10 cheaper. I thought the box would be nice to have but I figured I’d end up either building a chest or cabinet at some point and a chisel holder to go along with it as one of my first projects or I’d make a new box for them (good reason to practice dovetails…lol) so for me…the box wasn’t a selling point at $10 more.

http://www.highlandwoodworking.com/narex-chisels.aspx

As far as Narex….last week I spent literally hours on here and other sites including youtube and from what I found, for the price, the Narex are going to be extremely hard to beat. In fact, my set will be here on Tuesday. I opted for the 10 chisel classic set from Lee Valley. For some reason…they just spoke to me a little more than the set you are looking at.

http://www.leevalley.com/US/Wood/page.aspx?p=67707&cat=1,41504

If I didn’t get the Narex it probably would have been a set of Ashley Iles.

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HarveyDunn

328 posts in 1194 days


#2 posted 01-13-2014 12:16 AM

Thanks! If you think of it, please come back on Tuesday after you’ve opened your box and let me know what you think.

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HerbC

1592 posts in 2322 days


#3 posted 01-13-2014 12:20 AM

Note that the Lee Valley Narex chisels are dimensioned in true Imperial sizes (1/4” for instance) while the ones sold at Highland are metric (6 mm which is approximately 1/4 inch). It’s a small difference but significant in my opinion.

Herb

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!" http://lumberjocks.com/HerbC/blog/17090

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HarveyDunn

328 posts in 1194 days


#4 posted 01-13-2014 12:21 AM

Thanks Herb, and I agree.

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Josh122

13 posts in 1068 days


#5 posted 01-13-2014 12:22 AM

the Narex chisels are pretty nice. I ordered one of the sets for my brother and was able to play with them a little before I sent them off for Christmas. Fit and finish overall were good. the weight was decent and the backs were pretty square. They didn’t take much to get nice and sharp. I cant tell you how well they keep an edge, but after a week of use he mentioned they were holding up well. I don’t think you can really go wrong with them. I’ve thought about getting a set for myself, or at least the mortise chisels, but my antiques are holding up well, so I don’t actually have a need right now.

-- Josh Yuma, AZ wannawoodwork.blogspot.com

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nwbusa

1017 posts in 1749 days


#6 posted 01-13-2014 12:28 AM

I own a few Narex chisels :) they are good quality tools at a very reasonable price.

-- John, BC, Canada

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Ripthorn

1406 posts in 2448 days


#7 posted 01-13-2014 12:31 AM

Both my brother and myself have the narex chisels, his from highland mine from lee valley. His have worked really well, but mine have had edge issues. I sharpen a 25 primary and 30 microbevel, but for some reason whenever I do mortises the edges fail on the chisels. It looks a little like chipping, but it isn’t chipping. I sent one set backmwhich they replaced, but the second set does the same thing. I’m not certain that it isn’t me, but I’ve never had issues like this with any other edges that I sharpen the same way. I think I’m going to go all Paul Sellers on them with the convex bevel.

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

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HarveyDunn

328 posts in 1194 days


#8 posted 01-13-2014 12:31 AM

That’s awesome. They look like they’ve found a forever home where they will loved and cherished.

Are the dark handled ones the same ones that Lee Valley sells? What are the five light handled ones?

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nwbusa

1017 posts in 1749 days


#9 posted 01-13-2014 12:36 AM

I bought all mine from LV. The light handled ones are their new paring chisels, using a hornbeam handle.

I use the mortising chisels a lot, and have had good edge retention. 25 deg primary bevel is pretty shallow for heavy chopping IMO, even though that’s the factory grind on the Narex mortise chisels. Might try increasing to 30 deg or a bit more with an additional micro-bevel and see if that helps.

-- John, BC, Canada

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Armandhammer

235 posts in 1089 days


#10 posted 01-13-2014 12:41 AM

Dark ones look like the classics like Lee Valley sells. The others maybe the ones that Highland has.

*Edit…I was posting same time as nwbusa so I was wrong on the light colored handles. Nice looking set though and love the cabinet setup.

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HarveyDunn

328 posts in 1194 days


#11 posted 01-13-2014 12:49 AM

nwbusa, can you tell me when and where you use the paring chisels vs the bench chisels?

Ripthorn, sounds concerning.

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Armandhammer

235 posts in 1089 days


#12 posted 01-13-2014 01:08 AM

Paring chisels are for shaving thin amounts of wood and they are long to give you more reach without the handle getting in the way. It allows for the back of the blade to be used for reference so you get really nice straight cutting.

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waho6o9

7172 posts in 2040 days


#13 posted 01-13-2014 01:13 AM

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JohnMcD348

50 posts in 1060 days


#14 posted 01-13-2014 01:20 AM

I’m waiting on my set to come in. I bought the 10 chisel set the other day while they still had free shipping.

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Tim

3113 posts in 1424 days


#15 posted 01-13-2014 02:25 AM

If you end up with the Highland Woodworking ones, go for the premium chisels since you want to do dovetails with them. They have the narrower lands (edges) like the Lee Valley Narex chisels so they can get into the corners better. Not quite like a dovetailing specific chisel of course. Or you could grind yours down. Looks like Highland doesn’t have the sets of the premium ones anymore so Lee Valley is a better deal.

Oh and since you use paring chisels for a little lighter work they are often used with a lower bevel angle.

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