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Need a GOOD set of Chisels

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  • Need a GOOD set of Chisels

    What is your opinion of a good set of chisels? I am looking at Two Cheeries and Blue Marples as two of the choices. I think I want a set as that reduces the cost per chisel a little. I don't mind paying $100+ as long as I get quality chisels that will hold an edge. I will be using them to clean up dovetails and edges. Thanks for your comments.
    RAGS
    Raggy and Me in San Felipe
    sigpic

  • #2
    I currently have a set of (pre-Irwin; see below) Blue Marples, and so far have resisted the urge to get a set of Two Cherries. I really do think the Marples will continue to serve my needs very well, so it's mostly a matter of want. But there's no doubt that the Two Cherries are very good chisels.

    I think I bought the 4-pc set for ~$30 a few years back, compared to a 6pc. set of Two Cherries at a very good recent special price of $100. If I didn't already have the Marples, or if the Two Cherries set included an 1/8" chisel, I'd have snatched up the Two Cherries. [Added later: I think the Two Cherries are every bit worth the difference -- it's a question of how good a chisel you want.]

    In your research, you may encounter the issue of pre-Irwin vs. post-Irwin Blue Marples. Supposedly, the quality has slipped post-Irwin, but this slip may very well have happened during pre-Irwin times. I haven't heard/read anything definitive about this; either timing-wise, or actual data on material quality.

    Regards,
    Tom
    Last edited by Tom Miller; 03-12-2007, 05:46 PM.

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    • #3
      I got a good deal on Hirsch bevel edge chisels from Highland Hardware a while back. The Hirsch chisels are made in the same factory as the Two Cherries. After a little flattening and honing, they were good to go. They really hold an edge compared to some of the others I've used, including the blue handled Marples chisels.

      The Irwin Marples chisels seem pretty good to me, but don't match up well against the Hirsch chisels for holding an edge.

      I have some old Stanley chisels and, of course, some Craftsman chisels, The old Stanleys are pretty nice, the Craftsman are beaters for rough work only. Neither of them are as good as the Hirsch.

      I believe Holbren caries Two Cherries and will give a discount to forum members. I hear nothing but good things about them. I also hear the Lie Nielsen are the best, but they are just too pricey for me.

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      • #4
        My wife and son chipped in at Christmas and bought me these;

        http://www.lie-nielsen.com/catalog.php?sku=bescset#

        Ken

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        • #5
          Make sure you know what you are getting as far as size. A lot of places will list a 8mm chisel as 3/8". While it is close, it is not 3/8". This could result in wonderment of why your M&T aren't fitting tightly.

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          • #6
            Holbren now has a decent selection of good chisels. Between his great service, low prices, free shipping, and 10% BT3 discount, that'd be one of the first places I'd look.

            http://www.holbren.com/home.php?cat=621
            Happiness is sort of like wetting your pants....everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth.

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            • #7
              Hey Ken,

              Can I come and live with you. You got some nifty toys.

              Bruce
              "Western civilization didn't make all men equal,
              Samuel Colt did"

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              • #8
                Fine Woodworking Test

                I just read a review of chisels in a 6 or 7 year old issue of FWW. Marples were rated poorly. Three Japanese chisels such as Ioryi (sp) did best. Hirsch was rated fairly well as were Two Cherries.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by bthere View Post
                  I also hear the Lie Nielsen are the best, but they are just too pricey for me.
                  I don't own any Lie-Nielsen, and can't say that they are the best or not. I own pre Irwin days Marple chisels, with blue handles, and I also own Japanese Iyori chisels. They are for different tasks.

                  The chisel debate reminds me of my high school days, when Ford vs. Chevy talk went on. To my knowledge this has never been decided. I'm sure those who own Lie-Nielsen love them to death, and wouldn't be without.

                  Whichever chisel sets you own or may own in the future, the same for chisels as it is with clamps, you'll never have enough. Good Luck with your choice.
                  The Two Cherries, are highly recommended as noted by the others.
                  No good deed goes unpunished

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by kwgeorge View Post
                    My wife and son chipped in at Christmas and bought me these;

                    http://www.lie-nielsen.com/catalog.php?sku=bescset#

                    Ken
                    My wife almost got me those, but she didn't.
                    You don't need a parachute to skydive, you only need a parachute to skydive twice.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Jeffrey Schronce View Post
                      Make sure you know what you are getting as far as size. A lot of places will list a 8mm chisel as 3/8". While it is close, it is not 3/8". This could result in wonderment of why your M&T aren't fitting tightly.
                      I have a 6-piece Two Cherries set that I got from Holbren for around $100 shipped with discount. It's in metric and as you said does not match exactly to the english equivalent, but I mark cuts first and cut to the line or use them for cleaning up cuts I've made with a router or table saw. Having the chisels slightly undersized I actually find a benefit.

                      Take a look at the recent FWW that did a review of a bunch of bench chisels. The rated the Lie-Nielsen and Matsumara chisels as top rated and the Narex and Grizzly as best value. I have a subscription, so not sure if everyone will be able to get to this link.

                      http://www.taunton.com/finewoodworki.../011200038.pdf

                      Michael

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                      • #12
                        I think the Narex are sold by Highland Hardware. They had a run on them after the article came out.I am not sure if you can get them right now. They were rated as one of the best and were cheapest, by a bunch.
                        spellling champion Lexington region 1982

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                        • #13
                          For a set of all around bench chisels, I like the older style of Stanley, which I scrounge up at garage sales, from 1/4" to 2".

                          For specialized procedures I have specific chisels.

                          .

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                          • #14
                            I called Highland Woodworking -- they are getting more of the Narex chisels -- they are only out of stock b/c they didn't expect the increased demand from the FWW review.

                            For those who didn't see, check out last month's Fine Woodworking - it has a pretty comprehensive review of chisels on a number of dimensions. Lie-Nielsen was the top overall, Narex was the best value for Western-style chisels. I don't remember the picks for Japanese-style chisels.

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                            • #15
                              I have and still use almost daily a set of Marples "blue beaters" I purchased in 1975 before anyone had ever heard of Irwin. About 1 1/4" shorter than when purchased from sharpenening but they have chopped thousands of dove-tails. I also have a set of Ashley Isles American butt chisels and a set of left and right skew AI DT for cleaning corners on half blinds.

                              The Ashley Isles are great and very balanced but... the "blue beaters" will go to the grave with me as my chopping chisels. I have used the two cherries.. Hirsch (which is basically the same) and even took a test run on the Narex at Highland. If someone gave me set of any of those... I would use them as they all worked when I used them.

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