So do I buy Hirsch or Narex?

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Forum topic by TaylorML posted 04-30-2014 11:57 AM 2116 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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10 posts in 1690 days

04-30-2014 11:57 AM

Topic tags/keywords: hirsch chisel narex chisel

I know that there are already a ton of forums out there about which chisels to buy, and depending on the depth of your pocket, some just don’t seem like they would be worth spending $50+ for one chisel. So I believe that I have narrowed my choices down to Hirsch and Narex because they are within my budget and I believe they can get the job done, however, I would like to ask the lumberjock community what they think of these two brands and please explain pros and cons of the chisel you would suggest. Example, one of the features of the Narex classic beveled edge chisels that I like are the sharper and narrower sides. What chisel does the lumberjock community endorse?

5 replies so far

View libraryman's profile


45 posts in 3744 days

#1 posted 04-30-2014 12:11 PM

The Oct. 2008 Issue of Fine Woodworking Magazine reviewed 23 brands of bench chisels. The Narnex was awarded the Best Value for a Western (vs. Japanese) style chisel. You can obtain them at Highland Woodworking.

View TaylorML's profile


10 posts in 1690 days

#2 posted 04-30-2014 04:13 PM

Thank you libraryman,

I guess what I should have mentioned in my original post is that I have heard the Narex were the best value, $125 for a set, compared to Hirsch $135 for a set. So with $10 being the only difference, I want to know which chisel, Narex or Hisch, is “better”, not so much the “best value”. Maybe that’s what you mean by “best value”, and that you’re saying Narex is better than Hirsch…am I correct in assuming that?

View Tim's profile


3807 posts in 1961 days

#3 posted 04-30-2014 05:27 PM

Are you comparing Lee Valley’s prices on the Narex 10 chisel set for $125 to their Hirsch 6 chisel set for $135? Narex’s 7 chisel set is $75 which is the better comparison. So are the Hirsch chisels worth almost twice as much? Could well be, maybe someone that has them can chime in.

I would say unless you really know you need all 10 of those sizes, that’s overkill. I like my Narex chisels but I don’t have anything better to compare them to. If I were to upgrade I’d assemble a vintage set by finding them for a few dollars a piece and cleaning them up.

View JayT's profile


5632 posts in 2210 days

#4 posted 04-30-2014 06:02 PM

Never used the Narex, so can’t comment on them. I have some Two Cherries chisels, which are exactly the same as Hirsch other than badging, and love them. You can read my review here.

Many times with sets you end up paying for chisels you won’t use. If you know which sizes will you use most frequently, then you could invest in good quality chisels in those sizes first and add on others later, if needed. I find that I only use two sizes a lot, two more somewhat frequently and very rarely for the rest. You may have different needs based on how you work.

-- In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

View TaylorML's profile


10 posts in 1690 days

#5 posted 04-30-2014 10:07 PM

Thanks Tim and JayT for your comments. For Tim, great point on the size of the set. It would make more sense just going with the set of 7, and like JayT mentioned, if I needed to add a “specialty” chisel here and there, that would be on a need basis. This is exactly the kind of help I appreciate and why lumberjocks is so helpful.

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