Luthier's chisels

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Review by Chinitorama posted 08-23-2010 08:58 PM 6976 views 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Luthier's chisels Luthier's chisels Luthier's chisels Click the pictures to enlarge them

Up for review here is a 3 mm chisel from Luthiers Mercantile ( These chisels are priced at less than many other premium chisels I’ve seen and are available in seven metric sizes. The one I purchased is one of the smallest widths offered.

Made in Germany, this tool is intended for paring use only and has a handle made of tintul wood which looks a lot like Brazilian rosewood. The handle is well finished with a beefy brass ferule and is very comfortable in the palm of my hand. The blade is highly polished and rectangular in cross section with no side bevels. Final honing was easy on a diamond plate followed by Japanese water stones. Although not seeing as much use as my wider bench chisels, the LMI’s edge seems to be holding up well on the likes of padauk and maple.

The only complaint I have is the round handle leads to the tool rolling around on your work surface. However, this may not be an issue with the larger widths as the added steel may weigh them down.

I am surprised more woodworkers don’t seem to know about these tools. Perhaps being sold through a luthiery supply house has limited the buyers so far to makers of stringed instruments. Whatever the reason, I think these are well made paring chisels which would adequately serve any woodworker.


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4 comments so far

View kcrandy's profile


285 posts in 3937 days

#1 posted 08-23-2010 11:31 PM

Very interesting web site, too.

-- Caulk and paint are a poor carpenter's best friends

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 3564 days

#2 posted 08-24-2010 07:26 AM

I love those handles. Yes they will roll around on you, but they feel so good in the hand.

-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View rdwile's profile


160 posts in 2617 days

#3 posted 08-14-2012 11:50 AM

I also have this chisel and it is the only thing small enough to get into tiny grooves or tight corners. Other manufacturers should make one this small. While it says 3 mm, it is noticeably smaller than the other 1/8” chisels I have.

-- Richard D. Wile,

View herrbutzie's profile


1 post in 1145 days

#4 posted 08-24-2016 01:38 PM

I am a luthier

I bought the entire set of chisels and carvers from Bill Lewis Music in Vancouver, BC in 1973. Still using every one , superb chisels the only others comparable are the handmade japaense blue chisels you can find @ Japanwoodworker,com
Bill Lewis was getting very ill and in 1977 he sold his luthier supply company, the buyers moved all of jis stock to Healdsburg, Ca and named it Luthiers Mercantiel LMI is one of the best companies to deal with

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