A little disappointed with Lie-Nielson an update

  • Advertise with us
Review by Indiana_Parrothead posted 12-13-2011 08:19 PM 8087 views 0 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch
A little disappointed with Lie-Nielson an update No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I did receive the chisels in January and have been using them now for about a year and could not be more happy with them. When I got them they were very sharp right out of the box, but I lapped the backs and sharpened them anyway. The backs were very flat and it did not take many passes over the stones to have a mirror finish on them. The two larger chisels both had a small nick on the bevel the same distance from the edge. It took a little honing to get them out as these are very hard steel. The only thing that I could think of was that the grinding stones that Lie Nielson used has this small nick in it and once it got to the smaller size it didn’t hit where the nick was.

I started using them to clean up some mortises in some quarter sawn white oak. I had 16 mortises to cleanup and they performed great and were still sharp afterwards. I was able to use them many more times before having to touch up the edge and that only took a few passes on the 8000 grit stone. I am very happy with the chisels and probably jumped the gun a little when I wrote my earlier post about being disappointed about the delay. every tool that I have gotten from Lie Nielson has been great and I continue to do business with them having resently purchased the medium shoulder plane.

I have a set of Two Cherries bevel edge chisels that I really like but I have them sharpend at 25 degrees for pairing, this causes the edge not to last very long and they have to be resharpened after every use, sometimes in the middle of a project. I plan on returning them back to a 30 degree angle and use for “chopping” and needed a set that I can use of pairing, slicing, etc. I looking around at the options I decided on good ole’ American made Lie-Nielson 0-1 tool steel bevel edge socket chisels. I decided on them based on the quality of the tools that I already own from Lie-Nielson, (low angle block plane, large scraper plane, dovetail saw, dowel plate). I wanted the 0-1 also to be able to sharpen to the 25 degree. I ordered the 5 piece set along with the leather tool roll, a dovetail marker, two replacement plane blades for some old Stanley planes and a tee shirt on Nov 19th, the chisels were to be a Christmas present for me from my wife,(she never knows what to get so I just make it easier on her).

On Sunday Nov 20th I received an email from them stating that the chisels and the dovetail marker were on back ordered and should be sent out with in the next two weeks. I thought what good customer service to send out an email on a Sunday. I did receive everything but the chisels less than a week later. About a week later I called to give them a new credit card number to use, (my old one somehow got hacked and I had to get a new card but that is another story). When I talked to them I was told that they should be available for shipment by Dec 10th. It was a little more than the two weeks that I was told before but that was fine I would still get them before Christmas.

I kept checking my credit card statement to see if they had been charged yet and would be expecting a email with shipping information soon. I called today to check on them and was told that there was problems with manufacturing and that the next production run was not scheduled until the middle of January.

I will probably not cancel my order and wait until the end of January before I receive them. By then it will have been over two months, that is a little long to have to wait on a set of chisels that should be an off the shelf item.

I understand that Lie-Nielson is a small shop and make all of the items by hand, but needs to be a little more proactive on their website. If an item is not available they need to state that and not let you order before telling you. Also they started out good by sending the email the next day, but then never followed up any more. After the production date in December had come and gone they should have notified people that had ordered them that they would not be sent out in December.

I know that some of you will think that this is petty and others of you will understand wanting to get a new tool as soon as possible. But when you are spending $340 on a set of 5 chisels you would expect a little bit better customer service. When I receive them and give them a try I will write up a review on how they perform.

-- We are the people our parents warned us about.

View Indiana_Parrothead's profile


110 posts in 3923 days

18 comments so far

View Jorge G.'s profile

Jorge G.

1537 posts in 3243 days

#1 posted 12-13-2011 08:26 PM

I understand, I don’t know what is happening but lately they have been having some problems with suppliers. I ordered an Inlay kit, the works. It was about $600 worth of stuff and I came upon the same wall. About 6 weeks for delivery. I said thanks but no thanks, I will just make the tools myself.

-- To surrender a dream leaves life as it is — and not as it could be.

View ShaneA's profile


7085 posts in 3366 days

#2 posted 12-13-2011 09:09 PM

I also understand, once one commits to a purchase, the wait fior delivery can be painful. Hopefully when they arrive, they will be all and more you hoped for.

View Doug's profile


1152 posts in 3529 days

#3 posted 12-13-2011 11:34 PM

I feel your pain. A while back I ordered a Two Cherries dovetail saw from Popular Woodworking’s web site and waited for nearly two months. It was an agonizing two months.

-- Doug

View bluejazz's profile


56 posts in 3555 days

#4 posted 12-13-2011 11:35 PM

I completely understand too. However as someone whose worked in manufacturing and experienced what can happen, I am betting they had what they thought was a small problem that ultimately became a larger problem than they originally thought. Otherwise they likely would have both updated the website and told you the accurate score.

I (think I) know exactly what they are thinking. We have to either make this and other customers mad by pushing back a promise date, or we have to let the quality slip and ship sub-standard product.

For sure they are responsible for a missed promise date and their problem turned into yours. They should have communicated better under any circumstances. But if I’m right about how it went down and they didn’t make the quality decision they did, they would not be Lie-Nielson.

Of course all this is easy for me to say; I’m not the one waiting on the chisels.

-- I'm 58. In my mind, I still feel 28. Until I do something physical; then I feel 78.

View ChuckC's profile


844 posts in 3703 days

#5 posted 12-13-2011 11:49 PM

I can sympathize with the situation but since when do we review items we don’t even have? I thought the review section was for stuff we had and wanted to actually review. I don’t want to seem petty either but I think this is better suited to be a blog.

BTW: I would love to know how they are once you receive them.

View Tennwood's profile


112 posts in 3949 days

#6 posted 12-14-2011 02:58 AM

Our local Woodcraft store is a LN dealer. The owner was telling me that they have a lot of problems getting stock in. He has a few block planes but has had trouble getting the bigger planes and other LN stock in. So, your aren’t the only one feeling the pain. If LN is like a lot of smaller companies around the country, they may be hesitant in ramping up production in this economy.

-- Jim, SE Tennessee, "Don't spare the kindling Dear, we have plenty"

View Bigrock's profile


292 posts in 3730 days

#7 posted 12-14-2011 03:17 AM

I hate to say this, but it is the FALL of the year. THE Big Selling season. I ordered a3/8’-O-1 Chisel in November and had it in a week.
Hope yours comes by Christmas, because you will like them very much. I sure do.

View Dusty56's profile


11858 posts in 4456 days

#8 posted 12-14-2011 03:52 AM

Thanks for wasting our time with this long winded non-review of tools you don’t even have yet.
Why don’t you tell us about the tools you DID receive , but not until you actually have used them for a while. That is what a “review” means.

Perhaps Martin will create a new forum for “reviews” like this , and name it ….. The “Whine Cellar.”

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View bigkev's profile


198 posts in 3396 days

#9 posted 12-14-2011 04:26 AM

I don’t feel that this was a waste of my time at all. I personally think it’s good to know these things. Customer service and product availability are very important to woodworkers and I feel that customer service in some cases is just as important as the tool itself. So I say it’s fine to review customwer service and let others know what’s going on. Now if I get ready to order a plane from Lie-Nielsen, I will make a call and ensure that it is available before placing an order.

BTW, there’s no need to act like children on this website. Why can’t folks just move on if they have nothing constructive to say?

-- Kevin, South Carolina

View Scott Oldre's profile

Scott Oldre

1126 posts in 4199 days

#10 posted 12-14-2011 04:42 AM

I agree Kevin. I saw this as a review of a woodworking source, and I am happy to see it here in the reviews. I think the issue others might have is the detail of degree of angle and other information that wasn’t really on the main topic, that of the customer service.

Ahh well, I come here for information, entertainment, discussion, ideas and other positive experiences. I don’t come here to see other’s trash other’s because they weren’t entertained correctly in the correct forum/section of a non-commercial web site. This site is very special in what it does for all professional, hobbyist, and even a few of us admitted woodworking hacks.

Merry Christmas everyone. Be of good cheer, and enjoy the time amongst fellow wood addicts.


-- Scott, Irmo SC

View eebdoow's profile


53 posts in 3428 days

#11 posted 12-14-2011 05:33 AM

I started to write a derogatory response and decided it’s the Christmas Season so lets be jolly! Having been in manufacturing/sales/order entry and management for the past 25 years these things happen. With labor and employee issues no one is immune to this sort of thing. There’s a lot of questions between the guy at the machine and the person offering the product. This time of year I would expect things like this to happen. Lie-Nielson is a small company, but one of the best in the world. They are not Walmart, Cabelas, Costco, Bass Pro or any big box store that do nothing but purchase overseas and sell low for record profits. I wish Cabelas would run out of American made shoes and make me wait for two months!

-- In an age of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act -George Orwell

View thedude50's profile


3611 posts in 3246 days

#12 posted 12-14-2011 05:38 AM

I am fine with this post. I like to know things like this and this may save someone else s Christmas. thanks for the heads up. I am actually in the market for some fine chisels the footprint chisels i have are fair and the blue marples chisels i have are fair too. I have a ton of old Stanley chisels that are a hundred years old and and i love them.I have my eyes on a set of Japanese chisels but they elude me on fleabay so I try to be on the lookout for any great deal on a chisel.

I really like the new Veritas chisels that they are about to release maybe this would be a good substitute for you I dont have a release date but you can ask lee valley Rob Lee said they are going to be special in an email to me the other day I trust he knows what they will be maybe worth a look if they will be here before January,

-- Please check out my new stores and

View Steven H's profile

Steven H

1117 posts in 3828 days

#13 posted 12-14-2011 06:12 AM

Tell them to make better handles for it

View thedude50's profile


3611 posts in 3246 days

#14 posted 12-14-2011 06:32 AM

@ steven h tell who? that was vague

-- Please check out my new stores and

View Indiana_Parrothead's profile


110 posts in 3923 days

#15 posted 12-14-2011 02:54 PM

To all thank you for the responses. I understand the issue that can come up in the manufacturing process and things getting behind. My point was that customer service should have been more proactive and let the customer know what is going on. They did a great job of letting me know about a delay right after I placed the order. But once the commited date was missed that should have been communucated.

And once I receive them and use them for awhile I will write a review on how they perform.

-- We are the people our parents warned us about.

showing 1 through 15 of 18 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics