|Forum topic by BubbaIBA||posted 08-27-2014 04:10 PM||2758 views||0 times favorited||25 replies|
08-27-2014 04:10 PM
There is a current thread on Narex Mortise chisels, not wanting to hijack that thread I will post this.
Let me say upfront I have not use the Narex brand but I have used similar “mortise” chisels by other makers. Most mortise chisels sold today fall into three broad categories: English “Pig Stickers”, Sash Mortise, and Heavy Duty Sash Mortise. Of the three only the English Pig Sticker is a true mortise chisel. The Sash Mortise is designed for light duty shallow mortises and will work for deeper mortises if you drill out the waste. The Narex mortise chisel appears to be a Sash Mortise chisel and for light duties it has a fair price, I’ve paid much more for Sash Mortise chisels. The Heavy Duty Sash Mortise chisel is a heavier version of the Sash Mortise chisel and will handle deeper mortises without the need to drill out the waste. They are not as comfortable nor as easy to use as a Pig Sticker but they will work, an example is the Lie Nielsen Mortise chisels.
The English Mortise chisel aka Pig Sticker, is a no compromise mortise chisel and is very highly evolved to make chopping mortises fast and accurate. If you chop mortises by hand, there is no better chisel. They are available on the used market and new from Ray Iles. I’ve both used and Ray Iles’ Pig Stickers. Of the two, new from Ray Iles is the best deal.
If you are looking for mortise chisels, pay the extra for a true mortise chisel for several reasons. The first is they simply work better, the second is you do not need a full set of mortise chisels. Two Pig Stickers a 1/4” and a 3/8” will do 95% of all your needed mortises, add a 1/2” and you have a full working set so the extra cost is minimum. Third is once bought, you have a life time tool that can not be improved on nor will it need replacing.
A Pig Sticker in action chopping a 1/2” mortise in beech, notice the size of chip: