A well spent $29.00

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Review by ShipWreck posted 04-29-2012 04:12 PM 7038 views 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
A well spent $29.00 A well spent $29.00 A well spent $29.00 Click the pictures to enlarge them

If you cut as sloppy as I do, it is always nice to have a good set of paring/gouging/shaving chisels. I wanted a set butt chisels even back when I was strictly using machinery for woodworking. Butt chisels are really nice for using one handed. I have known about these WoodRiver chisels for a while, but never bothered with them due to alot of negative reviews. I stopped by my local WoodCraft yesterday looking for a piece of Beechwood for a mallet head that I want to make. I happened to see these as I was walking through the aisle, and saw that they were on sale for $29.00. Impulse got the best of me once again.

I took them home and cleaned them up. My intiial impression was that they were well made. The machining is consistent throughout the set. I did not find the uneven bevels on the backs of the blades, or that the cutting edge not squared up… as I had read about. The handles have that nice ball knob for fitting into your palm, and they fit nice and tight to the sockets. You can use a mallet with these, but they are intended more for using by hand. ( I think ) I did give the 3/4” chisel some heavy whacks on some red oak for curiosity, and they are solid.

About the only negative thing that I saw while inspecting was the very course blade grind from the factory. I ended up with running these through my full waterstone set using the MK II honing guide. I started out with the 220 and worked through the 1000, 4000, and 8000 stones. The 220 grit stone was actually smoother than the factory grind…...LOL. The steel in these chisels do seem a bit harder than my “Irwins” and took a bit longer to work them through all the grits. I did not have to flatten any of the backs. One initial rub on the 1000 stone showed a perfecty flat grind across the backs. The final 8000 honing gave them all a mirror finish.

I Played around with these all morning on some red oak and pine scraps making dovetails. They are really fun to work with, especially having a knob that you can force the blade into the wood while paring, gouging, and shaving. I had 10 times more control than using regular sized chisels and having to use 2 hands it along its length. I have double extra large hands (golf glove size), and these fit into one hand like they were made for me. Smaller hands should hold them just as well.

I cannot find anything to complain about with this set other than the initial grind from the factory. After sharpening, these chisels function as well as any I have ever used. I would absolutely recommend these to anyone who may have an interest in butt chisels.

View ShipWreck's profile


557 posts in 4556 days

13 comments so far

View rawdawgs50's profile


82 posts in 3821 days

#1 posted 04-29-2012 06:43 PM

definitely worth $30 with a little hone time. Good review.

View John's profile


341 posts in 4601 days

#2 posted 04-29-2012 09:43 PM

Good review! Are they on sale all month at all stores? That’s a nice price

-- John - Central PA -

View ShipWreck's profile


557 posts in 4556 days

#3 posted 04-29-2012 09:59 PM

Yes JC…...... all stores.

View a1Jim's profile


118080 posts in 4380 days

#4 posted 04-29-2012 10:03 PM

Hard to beat the that price .Thanks for the review.


View Dusty56's profile


11859 posts in 4491 days

#5 posted 04-30-2012 12:12 AM

I saw the sales add and the Bubinga handles were winking at me , but I resisted the temptation.
Now with your review here , I might have to make a trip tomorrow afterall : ) Thanks !

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

View NiteWalker's profile


2741 posts in 3380 days

#6 posted 04-30-2012 12:27 AM

Great review and sale heads up, thanks!

The sale is good until 6/1 so I’ll try to grab a set before then. :)

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View StumpyNubs's profile


7817 posts in 3604 days

#7 posted 04-30-2012 12:45 AM

I own these chisels and use them all the time. I love them!

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View crashn's profile


528 posts in 3269 days

#8 posted 04-30-2012 01:14 AM

I got that same set, they were on sale and needed more since the only chisel that I had was a bad, cheap 1/2 incher. After sharpening on my Worksharp 3000, I have no complaints.

-- Crashn - the only thing I make more of than sawdust is mistakes

View Dusty56's profile


11859 posts in 4491 days

#9 posted 05-03-2012 11:21 PM

Well , I went and bought a set : )
I had to pick through the last three boxes that they had there to make one good set though.
One chisel had a chip out of the cutting edge , one had a poor quality handle , and one had a defective “ferrule” on it. Another had a very loose “ferrule” on it. One wasn’t sharpened correctly. I would definitely go to the store and inspect them before purchase , rather than buying on line. Mine are basically sharpened , but certainly need to be honed before using them. Yes ,they are worth the money just on looks and ergonomics alone , but now to see how they hold up : )

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

View ShipWreck's profile


557 posts in 4556 days

#10 posted 05-04-2012 11:18 PM

Sounds like you found some crappers Dusty. I opened a few boxes and they all looked pretty consistent to me. I did the Eneeeeee Meneeeeeee Mineeeeee Moeeeeee thing when I decided on mine.

View Dusty56's profile


11859 posts in 4491 days

#11 posted 05-05-2012 05:03 PM

I was just grateful that I was able to make a complete set of four out of the twelve that were there : )
Slim pickin’s for the next two customers : (
You did a nice job making yours shine that way : ) Thanks again for the review !

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

View oldcary's profile


3 posts in 2982 days

#12 posted 06-10-2012 01:45 PM

Having seen the WoodRiver Butt Chisel Set on sale at Woodcraft recently I could not resist. The fit and finish was quite good but the sharpness out of the box was coarse and definitely needed sharpening and honing. After obtaining a scary sharp edge these butt chisels will now be my go to hand (no pounding) chisels. They produce nice shavings and seem to maintain a sharp edge. The feel of a sharp, well formed butt chisel in the palm of your hand is something all woodworkers should experience.

-- Make more wood shavings and less dust! Steve, Cary, NC

View balidoug's profile


514 posts in 3282 days

#13 posted 06-10-2012 01:55 PM

Looks like a nice set, Shipwreck. Pity my tool budget is already badly overdrawn. Glad to see you’re watching your spelling, Dusty.

-- From such crooked wood as that which man is made of, nothing straight can be fashioned. Immanuel Kant

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