Reply by OSU55

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Posted on Beginner chisel set recommendation

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2404 posts in 2497 days

#1 posted 06-30-2019 06:20 PM

The edge sharpness of new lathe chisels is pretty irrelevant. It is somewhat representative of the overall quality of the tool – thing is you should already have some idea whether you are shopping the low end (HF), a little higher ( psi ben’s best, hurricane), maybe a little higher store brands from craft supplies or packard, then into name brand stuff.

But, any hss chisel will need resharpening and possibly reshaping, so a dull edge is a minor inconvenience. The most important aspect of the tool is the type of steel, and for bowl gouges the flute shape. Anything else is pretty easy to change. The HF tool set 35444 (old # may be different) with wine colored handles is decent and good to get started, take any others back if possible.

For beginners I recommend low cost hi value tools like the HF set, or Hurricane, or PSI Benjamin’s Best (a slight advantage overall). Why? You dont know what you dont know, and there are opinions all over the map as to which brand, what tools and sizes should you use, etc. I recommend hi value tools so you can try more sizes, and regrind to different shapes or bevel angles, so you can figure out how something you heard or read works for you, and grind up a $25 tool learning how to sharpen and try out different things vs not wanting to chew up a $100 tool.

Down the road, possibly years, when ready to replace a too short tool, and knowing specifically what you want, buy the $100+ tool made of unobtainium.

As for what tool shapes/sizes, what size lathe and what are you thinking of turning? What is your sharpening method/system?

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