may seem like a big invesment......

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Review by Carwyn Owen posted 05-27-2011 01:23 AM 6325 views 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
may seem like a big invesment...... No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

i have three of these chisels, 2 that i inherited and one that i have just bought. i amassed every time i use them and very disappointed in my old chisels. the Japanese chisels may seem like a big investment, but trust me every time you use them you be pleased that you bought them.
the specialist metal cuts like a dream and will hold its bevel for as long as any tool i know.
i think if you can fork out the cash that they’re well worth it.
thanks forreading

-- “Woodworkers are only thieves of each other’s ideas.”

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Carwyn Owen

22 posts in 3415 days

11 comments so far

View WayneC's profile


14358 posts in 4864 days

#1 posted 05-27-2011 04:41 AM

Very nice. Thanks for the review.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View lanwater's profile


3113 posts in 3701 days

#2 posted 05-27-2011 06:16 AM

How much do they go for?

Why only 4 stars? anything you did not like?

Thanks for thr review.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View Ollie's profile


146 posts in 4041 days

#3 posted 05-27-2011 06:36 PM

I totally agree, I bought some oire nomi a few years ago, they took a lot of set up, like seating the ring and refinishing the horribly laquered handles etc.
But they are superior to any chisel I have tried. I am also a japanese saw convert.

-- Ollie, UK.

View Bertha's profile


13588 posts in 3460 days

#4 posted 05-27-2011 06:57 PM

I drool over Japanese chisels. To Lanwater, the Ice Bears aren’t terribly bad:

But the Tasai’s will set you back over $2500

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View ChrisForthofer's profile


150 posts in 3834 days

#5 posted 05-27-2011 07:39 PM

Those are glorious chisels Bertha, I might have to pick up a set or two. ;)

-- -Director of slipshod craftsmanship and attention deficit woodworking

View Bertha's profile


13588 posts in 3460 days

#6 posted 05-27-2011 07:40 PM

Hey Chris, can you spot me a couple sets while you’re placing your order? :)

There’s nothing much finer than a Japanese damascus. They’re reserved for the guy with a very large tool budget, though:)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Carwyn Owen's profile

Carwyn Owen

22 posts in 3415 days

#7 posted 05-27-2011 10:55 PM

i totally agree with Ollie, i find Japanese saws far superior.

-- “Woodworkers are only thieves of each other’s ideas.”

View yrob's profile


340 posts in 4419 days

#8 posted 05-29-2011 04:22 PM

I always wanted japanese dovetail chisels. However, there are quite a few makers on the market. Not sure exactly which ones are good without having to buy a $2500.00 set. The tasai for example come at different prices . see : I was told by a friend who is a cabinet maker specializing in antique reproduction furniture that the best ones are hand forged and can be recognized by the fact that the bigger chisels have more than one hollow in the back whereas the machine made ones have one big hollow. That may be true but I am not sure about the difference in quality between a good set of machine made japanese chisel and a set that was made by an artisan blacksmith by hand. Is it worth the extra premium price?

-- Yves

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Carwyn Owen

22 posts in 3415 days

#9 posted 05-29-2011 04:43 PM

cant tell you to be honest
i cant personally see how to improve on the ordinary ones
i know that the wood whisperer has double hollow ones , so you could try asking him??

-- “Woodworkers are only thieves of each other’s ideas.”

View bigike's profile


4057 posts in 4055 days

#10 posted 05-29-2011 05:15 PM

Hey does anyone have experience with the ones from the grizzly catalog? I would love to get some ofthe Ice Bears but the dough spent that would kill me.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop, http://[email protected]

View Sarit's profile


552 posts in 3906 days

#11 posted 06-02-2011 11:46 AM

I would be wary of anything new touted as using Damascus steel as the real technique has been lost. Modern attempts are focused on imitating the appearance as opposed to imitating the qualities that the steel is renown for. Even if it was real Damascus steel, the properties are good for making swords, but not the most ideal for making chisels (although should still be pretty good).

If you want something truly special, I would suggest you look for chisels made from tamahagane. That’s the steel used to make katana swords. Although I just said sword metals are not ideal chisel metals, let me explain that tamahagane is not a uniform block of steel. When they make it, you get various chunks with different characteristics and it is the swordsmith/tool maker’s job to identify and form these various chunks into a single edged tool. Tamahagane is produced only in Japan in extremely limited quantities that only the most skilled artisans have access to it. So essentially you have a tool made from the rarest and most desirable steel, by the most experienced and skilled artists in the world. This is the best of the best of Japanese chisels. My guess is that you won’t be able to buy this off the internet unless is on ebay.

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