Balance, precision, handling, control... Sounds like a sports car? It's a chisel!

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Review by Tom Adamski posted 02-28-2008 01:05 AM 8915 views 1 time favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Balance, precision, handling, control...  Sounds like a sports car? It's a chisel! Balance, precision, handling, control...  Sounds like a sports car? It's a chisel! No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Well, not just any chisel, a Lie-Nielson bevel edge socket chisel!
Looking through the offerings at my local Woodcraft one evening, I spotted a beautiful set of chisels in a leather roll. Asking the salesman to open the case, I had a closer inspection. The feel was perfect, no uncomfortable bandings and they balance so well. The roll had 5 chisels in the set, with the smallest being 1/8”. Considering I do a considerable about of 1/8” inlay, I really liked these. I was taken aback when the salesman mentioned the price. At $250 for the set of 5, including the leather roll, I thought it a bit high and decided to look at some of the other chisel offerings.
I looked at Japanese, Sorby, Pfiel and others, most were less expensive and most offered more chisels in their sets. Yet, the Lie-Nielson’s where in my mind and I could not see myself buying the others and be as happy. Then, the salesman said it… “Tom, buy them and use them. If you hate them, I’ll take them back”. What could I say? Now a few months later, I have used them from chopping dovetails, paring end grain, inlay work, etc… And I love them. No regrets.

Buy the way, All 5 of the chisels were dead flat and razor sharp when I brought them home. I have only had to hone once in the last few months to keep that cryogenicaly treated blade razor sharp.

Since then I have purchased a Lie-Nielsen adjustable mouth low angle block plane and have been very pleased with it too, but that will have to be another review at another time.

-- Anybody can become a woodworker, but only a Craftsman can hide his mistakes.

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Tom Adamski

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20 comments so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27249 posts in 4710 days

#1 posted 02-28-2008 02:04 AM


I am sure this is a great set of chisels. Lie-Nielsen only manufacturers and markets superior tools that are well worth every dime that they cost.

Thanks for the post.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View FrankA's profile


139 posts in 4667 days

#2 posted 02-28-2008 02:11 AM

These will have to go on my maybe someday list. The only problem that it is a long list and a big MAYBE!!

-- Frank Auge---Nichols NY----"My opinion is neither copyrighted nor trademarked, but it is price competitive."

View mjlauro's profile


244 posts in 4649 days

#3 posted 02-28-2008 03:59 AM

The LN tools are by far the nicest I have ever used. I don’t own these chisels yet and I stress yet. But I have 3 planes and a spokeshave and they are just the most enjoyable part of my shop time.

View trifern's profile


8135 posts in 4655 days

#4 posted 02-28-2008 04:06 AM

Thanks for the review Tom. These are on my list.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 4954 days

#5 posted 02-28-2008 05:15 AM

It’s a shame – the nice tools always cost the most – but generally speaking are worth it.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View ShannonRogers's profile


540 posts in 4676 days

#6 posted 02-28-2008 05:46 AM

I have these chisels as well, and I second everything Tom said. They are scary sharp right out of the box and I have had very little touch up work to do to the edges in the last few months since I bought them. The block plane is on my list next. My local Woodcraft has a March madness sale this weekend and I think that LN block plane may just be mine at 15% off!

-- The Hand Tool School is Open for Business! Check out my blog and podcast "The Renaissance Woodworker" at

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 4762 days

#7 posted 02-28-2008 12:21 PM

Thanks for the review. I have a L-N block plane that is one of my favorite tools.

View Sir_Robert's profile


51 posts in 4639 days

#8 posted 02-28-2008 09:30 PM

Nice review, Tom. You are in excellent company: I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bad review about a Lie-Nielsen tool!
By the way—I noticed a faux pas in your photo that you’ll want to correct. Take advice from an old decoy carver: Always store your chisels handle first inside the leather pouch. Otherwise, you’ll poke holes through the leather and ruin it.

-- Sir Robert

View Tom Adamski's profile

Tom Adamski

306 posts in 4659 days

#9 posted 02-29-2008 01:42 AM

Thank you all for the reply… I truly enjoy using them. These are one of my few guilty pleasures.
Sir Robert, thanks for the tip… not seen in the picture are cover tips provided by LN and with them being socket style chisels; if I put them in handle first, sometimes the handles come out inside the pocket…

-- Anybody can become a woodworker, but only a Craftsman can hide his mistakes.

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 4773 days

#10 posted 03-15-2008 03:04 PM

Thanks for the post these chisels are on my “hopefully” list now

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View Karson's profile


35227 posts in 5288 days

#11 posted 03-15-2008 04:23 PM

Great looking chisels. Thanks for the review.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View Chris 's profile


1880 posts in 4879 days

#12 posted 07-03-2008 06:52 PM


It’s been a few months since you posted this review; How are they holding up?

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

View Tom Adamski's profile

Tom Adamski

306 posts in 4659 days

#13 posted 07-04-2008 12:43 AM

They have been everything I had hoped for. With the exception of one quick honing, they kept their razor sharp edge even afer several projects with jatoba, panga panga and hard maple. Unlike some of the tools that we thought we had to have, that are now sitting on a shelf; these are earning their keep. I know the price tag is a bit steep, but they are high quality and are most likley the last set you’ll need to buy.


Buy the best tools you can afford and you’ll only cry once!

-- Anybody can become a woodworker, but only a Craftsman can hide his mistakes.

View tomakazi's profile


686 posts in 4171 days

#14 posted 05-31-2009 08:53 PM

I have these chisels and I can’t say enough about them. I was able to buy mine one at a time so it didn’t hurt too bad.

-- I didn't go to college, I was too busy learning stuff - Ted Nugent

View a1Jim's profile


118143 posts in 4465 days

#15 posted 05-31-2009 09:36 PM

Thanks for the review Tom


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