Thread: Reasonably Priced Chisels
2nd Mar 2011, 08:45 PM #1
Reasonably Priced Chisels
A while ago i decided it was time for a good set of chisels. As you do.
Although they were no. 1 on the list I didn't want to wait 18 mths for a set of H&S.
Lie-Neilsen bevel edged were next on the list so I ordered a set from LN Australia.
Well, 6 months down the track and still nothing. Now I have a project on the go and am in need of some chisels. I still want to get a quality set but the money that was set aside has been used for various other tools.
I lookled at lots of 'cheap' chisels and decided i would grab a set of these.
Narex Bench Chisel Boxed 6 Pc Set
They got FWW's best value set in a recent evaluation of 23 different brands so they shouldn't be complete rubbish.
At the price it was worth trying the mortice chisels as well so a set of these went on the order.
Narex Mortise Chisel Set of 5
They arrived within a week and i'll give Highland Woodworking in the US a wrap for their good service
Out of the box (pic 1) they look pretty good. Not the sexiest chisels ever but definately solid and serviceable looking. The beech handles are oval and comfortable in the hand.
The grinding looks good but they need a sharpen.
I'm a bit spoilt because I have a plumbed sink in the shed (pic 2) which is great for sharpening. Between the Tormek, a coarse diamond plate, some waterstones and a Veritas Mk II Honing guide it didn't take long to flatten the backs, of all 11 chisels, and form an edge. The backs were pretty good and only required the removal of grinding marks to make them flat. The bevel grind was spot on 25° and again didn't need too much work. A secondary bevel was put on all chisels. A couple of chisels had small hollows towards the edge and required a little bit more attention. All chisels are now shaving sharp as my bald left hand can attest.
The project I am currently working on is a Recycled Hardwood Workbench http://www.woodworkforums.com/f213/w...-bench-131372/ which has a few decent sized mortices so I chopped out a couple of mortices in the hardwood offcuts as a test.
This wood is old and hard and gave the chisels a good workout. My previous attempt at a mortice in this timber left my old chisels (cheap Topman brand) chipped and sad and I had to sharpen 4 times before i was finished.
I drilled one mortice with a forstner bit and the other I hogged out the old fashioned way.
I used the 12mm mortice chisel and the 20mm bevel edged. I used the same two chisels for both mortices without sharpening.
Both chisels worked well and the largish handles were comfortable for my hands.
I was pleasantly surprised at how well they retained the edge. After two mortices were complete although they were slightly dulled they were both sharp enough to pare across the grain.
It only took a few seconds on the stones to get them back to sharp.
For a total price of $178 including postage from the US I think these chisels are very good value. They will see me through the construction of the bench and beyond.
I'll add an update after I have used them a bit more.
Although I'd still like a premium set of chisels, there's now no hurry as these will do me for a while.
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2nd Mar 2011, 09:19 PM #2
Thanks for sharing.
I like the idea of the Tormek near the sink.
I have 4 stainless steel sinks/tubs stashed in a container of 'good junk'
I want to put one in each shed. (2 sheds)
One will be for potting/gardening.
The other for woodwork etc.
Now that you have me thinking, I might set up another one of the tubs with a grid insert to fit in the top of the tub just for the Tormek to sit on.
I make a mess with mine every time I use it.
Thanks for the idea.Cliff....if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail...
3rd Mar 2011, 08:40 AM #3Hewer of wood
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Thanks for the review.
IIRC FWW also gave them a good rap for value for money.Cheers, Ern
3rd Mar 2011, 10:20 AM #4
That is good value. How much was the shipping?
I should be able to find a home for some pig stickers. I am always collecting old chisels but mortice ones seldom can be found.
3rd Mar 2011, 11:06 AM #5
I was thinking the same thing but thought postage might be a bit much for one set. Maybe we could split postage on a set each? I'm in the lower mountains.
3rd Mar 2011, 11:15 AM #6
shipping was $48. I didn't weigh it but i'd guess about 3kg. Maybe a bit more.
I used to make quite a mess with the Tormek as well until I realised I was overfilling the water. Barely spill a drop now.
The sink is good for the water stones. I just slosh water all over them as I sharpen and give 'em a rinse under the tap when I've finished and flattened.
Just out of picture is an 8" dry grinder with a Tormek jig holder. I had to cut the top out of the grinder case so i can use the Tormek angle master or whatever it's called. Works a treat.
3rd Mar 2011, 11:19 AM #7
3rd Mar 2011, 04:08 PM #8
Was given 4 extra narex (on label) chisels a couple of weeks ago and they have sat on my bench ever since. Might have to give them a hone now after reading your review.
3rd Mar 2011, 08:27 PM #9
I will be geting a set of the mortice chisels either way. If you want anything from
Highland Woodworking I will share the shipping with you.
Send me a PM
I am in Springwood
8th Mar 2011, 08:44 PM #10
As I posted above I want a set of mortice chisels and am willing to share postage with anabody local to share the postage. Since the last post I have had a look around and woodwork heven in the UK have them on Ebay. I am leaning towards this as I have got tools from the UK before. I will check out the ebay buy now as compared the direct approach to the dealer. Overseas sales are exempt the VAT tax.
8th Mar 2011, 09:22 PM #11
Yep great review Tony, wish I needed some chisels
A good edge takes a little sweat!!
12th Mar 2011, 08:32 PM #12
Eventually useful statement.
12th Mar 2011, 08:42 PM #13
Well, I promised to update the review after I have used them a bit.
I chopped out some more mortises in this hardwood.
Four mortises, approx 70mm x 25mm and 45mm deep.
These chisels were a pleasure to use. It may just be because I am comparing them to rubbish because I have never owned premium chisels but they worked extremely well and retained the edge even after four mortises. I gave them a 10 sec touch up on the Tormek when I was finished but i could have cut more mortises with no problem.
After a bit of use I am even more impressed with their value for money than I was before.
I've even ordered a corner chisel and a set of skew chisels to round out the set. At a whopping additional cost of $60
26th Mar 2011, 09:02 PM #14
Well my set of Narex pig stickers arrived. Thanks to NCArcher for the heads up on these. I would not have expected to own a set of mortice chisels and there were slim pickings waiting on second hand ones. This was a case of the price being too good to pass up. I got mine from Woodwork Heaven in the UK. They are sharpish out of the box but do need the backs flattened and a propper sharpening. This did not take long on the oilstone. They arrived too late for by bed project so looking forward to a chance to give them a propper run. They even included a magnetic hanger for them.
12th Apr 2011, 04:10 PM #15
Thanks for posting this. Ive been looking for a reasonably priced set of chisels for a little while and this review just helped me make up my mind... Ill be purchasing both sets aswell
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