Chisels, Skewed, Subpar machining

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Review by PurpLev posted 09-29-2011 03:57 PM 5736 views 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Chisels, Skewed, Subpar machining Chisels, Skewed, Subpar machining Chisels, Skewed, Subpar machining Click the pictures to enlarge them

With the introductory price from LV and the free shipping, I decided to get this pair of skewed chisels to have something to reach into edges and corners better. I have read another review here stating that these were far from being flat out of the box, and for their price and knowing I can handle unflat metal I figured I’d give it a shot.

First Impression:
Taking them out of the package I was instantly surprised by the lightness of the handles. The handles are large and look massive, but are made of very light material. Not necessarily bad, just surprising at first. the cutting edges seemed sharp, but the machining on the back was lousy and required some lapping

Machining and Sharpening:
The other review was dead on – these are as far from being flat as possible. Unlike some other brands that only require honing, this one required some serious lapping and flattening to both the back and the bevel. I have never seen chisels/planes blades that were so roughly machined. it’s as if the machining process was rushed and the machining cuts were made too deep to save on number of passes. there are very rough ridges on the blade (see picture 2) that took more than the usual amount of time and effort to level out to make the back flat. Not undoable, but definitely noticeable of the extra work it required. Even after some time on the roughest diamond stone you can still see on top of the machining lines the low spots that these blades have (this is true both to the back and to the beveled edge) (see picture 3). But they can be brought (just like everything else) to a mirror finish:

Edge Cutting Quality:
After flattening and cleaning the edge and honing the blade It felt like it should be able to take a keener edge. working with the chisel felt like it should slice a bit easier but it cuts just fine and leaves clean lines. As for how long it’ll keep that edge only time will tell, maybe after I’ve used it more I’ll revisit this review and add more info about the longevity of the edge

I’ve read that some people didn’t care much for the large handles, but to me these handles are very comfortable, and the fact that they are made of light material reduces fatigue on the muscles. I would say these are quite comfortable to work with to me.

All in all it’s a decent set at an affordable price. nothing spectacular about it but it does what it’s supposed to – reach in tight spots that regular bench chisels have a hard time with. I remember reading reviews on Narex bench chisels when they were first introduced in the market which were favored by many. I am not sure if something happened over time and Narex production lines have changed, of if it’s just these (and the mortise chisels) but these definitely require a good amount of work to get them flat and properly sharpened/honed more so than I’ve experienced with any other blade.

And so, these are a great value if you are ok with putting some work to get them properly setup. I have not used other skew chisels to compare these to anything else, but I think these will do just fine for my needs.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View PurpLev's profile


8572 posts in 4419 days

7 comments so far

View Cory's profile


760 posts in 4190 days

#1 posted 09-29-2011 04:01 PM

I couldn’t agree more with this review. I spent about 30 minutes on each chisel flattening and sharpening them. That having been said, for less than $20 I’ve now got a pair of very usable skew chisels. These won’t compete with a set of Lie Nielsons, but for the amount of use they’ll see in my shop, they are well worth the money.

-- The secret to getting ahead is getting started.

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6869 posts in 4750 days

#2 posted 09-29-2011 04:06 PM

Nice write up Sharon.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Rick Boyett's profile

Rick Boyett

167 posts in 3983 days

#3 posted 09-29-2011 05:23 PM

Like I said in the last review on these.

Dirt Cheap + a little elbow grease = 5 stars

View PurpLev's profile


8572 posts in 4419 days

#4 posted 09-29-2011 05:29 PM

Cory – yes, for what they cost they are worth the money, but still I wouldn’t say that ”+ a little elbow grease = 5 start” more like 4 stars if it didn’t require so much elbow grease Rick

Lee – thanks, I figured this can be helpful to someone that doesn’t have the ability to hold the chisels in their hand and assess it

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View ellen35's profile


2747 posts in 4203 days

#5 posted 09-29-2011 08:32 PM

Great price for a little elbow grease.
Nice review, Sharon.

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View Richforever's profile


757 posts in 4491 days

#6 posted 09-30-2011 09:14 PM

Thanks for the review. I’ve noticed these, and I need chisels.

-- Rich, Seattle, WA

View Tomcat1066's profile


942 posts in 4566 days

#7 posted 10-01-2011 01:29 AM

I’ve got a set en route right now, along with the bench chisels. So far, I see nothing in your review that would make me regret my decision. Lapping, while a pain, is generally a one time affair. I’d rather them as a bit higher based on what I’m reading, but this is your review, not mine ;)

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

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