A very good set for the money

  • Advertise with us
Review by Ron Harper posted 02-26-2013 05:26 PM 10184 views 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
A very good set for the money No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Redoing my shop and needed a new set of bench chisels, at least I talked myself into a new set. Paul Sellers had given the Narex Bench chisels a good word, so I ordered the Imperial set from Lee Valley. They arrived almost perfectly flat, and sharp enough that only a quick hone got them ready to work. Please realize that I am not doing this for a living, so my tools do not get the hard use of a 10 hour a day cabinet maker. But, i spend at least two full days a week in the shop.

These things fit my large hands. If you do not have big hands, they may need some reducing in the handle. They take. Very good edge and retain it for a reasonable length of time. I routinely strop when I detect any sluggishness, and usually will strop twice before I rehone.

I am very happy with these chisels. I do not use them for fine paring, though I believe they would do just fine. II have a set of Chas. Buck paring chisels, which I am extremely fond of. Back to the Narex bench chisels. I am sure you can find a finer tool, but it would be very difficult to do at this price.

-- Ron in Kokomo

View Ron Harper's profile

Ron Harper

133 posts in 2762 days

8 comments so far

View Ripthorn's profile


1459 posts in 3830 days

#1 posted 02-26-2013 06:10 PM

I have these as well. My 3/4” chisel couldn’t stand up to light/moderate mortise chopping, it was folding an edge after just a couple of blows. I contacted Lee Valley and they sent me a new set, which is working just fine now. I think they are very good user chisels. Good review.

-- Brian T. - Exact science is not an exact science

View Ron Harper's profile

Ron Harper

133 posts in 2762 days

#2 posted 02-26-2013 06:50 PM

Lee Valley is not a good company. They are a GREAT company. Their customer service is wonderful. I have been dealing with them for a long time. Not one bad experience.

-- Ron in Kokomo



280 posts in 2849 days

#3 posted 02-26-2013 10:04 PM

Ron thank you for sharing this. I’ve wanted this very set for a couple months now, but have slowly but surely getting ready to pull the trigger.

View Brandon's profile


4361 posts in 3797 days

#4 posted 02-27-2013 02:02 AM

What a wonderful set of chisels these are for the price. I been using mine for a couple of years and have no complaints. The Narex mortise chisels work very well too.

I do have to say that your chisel rack looks a little scary. :-)

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3816 days

#5 posted 02-27-2013 02:35 AM

I have the mortise chisels and fully intend to get this set as soon as I can swing it.
And +1 on Lee Valley. I, too, think they are a great company.

View Ron Harper's profile

Ron Harper

133 posts in 2762 days

#6 posted 02-27-2013 02:55 AM

They hang on the wall and you have to reach up to get them. See photo

-- Ron in Kokomo

View RogerBean's profile


1605 posts in 3799 days

#7 posted 07-14-2015 05:07 PM

Narex chisels are a best buy. Edge problems are, I suspect, more a matter of the sharpening angle than the steel or the heat treatment. Mine arrived with a fairly low angle. Really heavy chopping calls for a higher angle. IMHO there’s too much hype around the steels used in woodworking tools. Increased mystery = increased price.

-- "Everybody makes mistakes. A craftsman always fixes them." (Monty Kennedy, "The Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks", 1952)

View WoodNSawdust's profile


1417 posts in 2022 days

#8 posted 07-14-2015 05:47 PM

Thanks for the review. I have their mortising chisels and was considering these.

-- "I love it when a plan comes together" John "Hannibal" Smith

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