Worth every penny, i.e. Quality shines through

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Review by JayT posted 04-08-2014 04:25 PM 8746 views 0 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Worth every penny, i.e. Quality shines through Worth every penny, i.e. Quality shines through Worth every penny, i.e. Quality shines through Click the pictures to enlarge them

“It is well with me only when I have a chisel in my hand” Michelangelo

While I realize the famous artist was talking about sculpting, had he been a modern day woodworker, he may well have been referring to a Two Cherries chisel.

Having purchased and using a set of Stanley Bailey chisels that were not meeting expectations, I decided to step up and purchase a couple of individual higher quality tools in the sizes that get used the most. The company I work for stocks wooden handled Two Cherries chisels, so I bought the 12mm & 20mm, as those are closest to the commonly needed 1/2 & 3/4 inch sizes.

Initial impressions

  • Well machined and set up right from the factory. Flattening the backs and honing both chisels took about 5 minutes total. It is obvious the Germans that made these took pride in producing a quality product.
  • Great fitment and consistency. The way the hornbeam handles and rings fit is top notch. Additionally, the chisels are very well balanced and handle shape is very consistent from one to the other.
  • OK, I will admit that the logo sticker is a bit large and possibly gaudy, but so what?

In Use

  • There is an adjustment period. At first the handles felt alien and uncomfortable, simply because they were not what I was used to. This is not a negative, just an observation in favor of having a set of similarly made chisels so you don’t have to constantly be making adjustments. It didn’t take long before they felt more familiar and comfortable in use.
  • Steel quality is simply amazing. These chisels take a great edge and hold it for a very long time. In spite of quite a bit of use chopping dovetails and mortises, in addition to paring, I have only had to do a quick re-hone every few months. Even then the honing process is very fast because the steel is also nicely tempered so that there is no need to grind out chips. The steel is listed in the sales literature as being hardened to Rc 61, and I see no reason to doubt that claim.
  • Chisel balance is underrated. After using a well-balanced chisel that just seems to respond to your thoughts, I will not be going back to any that aren’t. The manufacturer obviously understands this, since they have five different handle sizes, depending on the chisel size.


I have only one regret about purchasing these chisels—that I didn’t do it sooner! In the long run, it would have been a lot better and cheaper to purchase a set of the Two Cherries instead of buying the Bailey’s first and then having to upgrade. Familiar story for many people and tool purchases.

If you are looking for a high quality all around bench chisel, then I would definitely recommend checking these out.

-- - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View JayT's profile


6402 posts in 2980 days

15 comments so far

View Andre's profile (online now)


3554 posts in 2575 days

#1 posted 04-08-2014 04:53 PM

Funny you should mention the Stanley Bailey’s I bought a set only because my dogs name is Bailey, have never even tried them out but they look real nice in there leather roll. The Two Cherries were my first choice when I was looking for some good chisels but ended up with the New Stanley Sweet hearts just felt better, and then picked up a Vintage set of 720 and 750. I seem to have a habit of buying chisels on impulse as just picked up a few Japanese chisels to try! Going to be in Germany in the next few weeks and had thought about looking at the Two Cherries if I can find them there. Does any you have any info on the Hirsch chisels that Lee Valley sells, are they a Two Cherry knock off or are they the same chisel?

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View JayT's profile


6402 posts in 2980 days

#2 posted 04-08-2014 05:02 PM

According to here the steel is the same and handle is different.

-- - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View Hammerthumb's profile


3055 posts in 2744 days

#3 posted 04-08-2014 05:06 PM

Thanks for the review JayT. I have had the Two Cherries set for about 12 years and have been very happy with them. I have also purchased the set of Stanleys in your other review and use them as my beater chisels. I have been very happy with the Two Cherries and as you, love thier balance. I also have a set of the new 720 Stanleys. Good chisels, but the small handles do not fit my hand as well as the Two Cherries. Hope these give you the performance that I have received form mine. I’m sure you will still like them in 12 years, as I do mine.

-- Paul, Duvall, WA

View BurlyBob's profile


7590 posts in 3035 days

#4 posted 04-08-2014 11:11 PM

Jay, I agree with you totally. I bought my set of 6 from Jamestown Distributing for 145 and shipping. Got them 2 weeks ago and am extremely happy with them. I’m planning a visit to Germany in a couple of years and Remschied, Germany where they are made is on my list of places to see. Hope you enjoy yours as much as I’m enjoying them.

View terryR's profile


7612 posts in 3078 days

#5 posted 04-08-2014 11:33 PM

Thanks for the review, JayT!
A man can never have enough clamps or good chisels.

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 3061 days

#6 posted 04-09-2014 12:09 AM

Couldn’t agree more—great chisels! I’ve had mine for over 15 years and don’t think they can be beat.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View shipwright's profile


8554 posts in 3567 days

#7 posted 04-09-2014 04:35 AM

About Hirsch chisels, has anyone else wondered if it may just be an anglicized version of Kirschen, the German name for the Two Cherries brand? I just received the set of six and am eagerly awaiting my return home to Canada to play with them.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View Woodknack's profile


13383 posts in 3149 days

#8 posted 04-09-2014 08:35 PM

Do they make a lower quality version under the same brand? I read up on these a couple years ago and found mixed reviews that suggested there were German and Asian versions of the same brand. Wish I could be more specific but I’m dredging this from memory.

-- Rick M,

View CarterR's profile


86 posts in 2788 days

#9 posted 04-10-2014 03:20 PM

Nice review, I bought four of the Two Cherries Beveled Edge Chisels with the red permaloid handles a few months ago and I really like them. It only took about five minutes to flatten each and I love the polished look. I have also notice the polish helps prevent rust.

My opinion is the Hirsch and Two Cherries come from the same manufacturer. If you have ever researched Bahco, Berg, and Scandvik you will see a similar scenario.


View JayT's profile


6402 posts in 2980 days

#10 posted 04-10-2014 03:55 PM

Rick, I am not aware of the chisels being different. They have several handle choices, but AFAIK all of the Two Cherries come out of the same factory with the same blades, either polished or unpolished.

Now, there are some small backsaws under the Two Cherries brand that are not up to the quality of their other products—I have one. I have no clue where those are made, but Paul Sellers, among others, has rightly criticized that particular product.

-- - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View Woodknack's profile


13383 posts in 3149 days

#11 posted 04-10-2014 04:02 PM

Maybe I have it confused with another brand. Thanks. I’m set for chisels at the moment but if that changes I will definitely look at these again.

-- Rick M,

View Dabcan's profile


255 posts in 3440 days

#12 posted 04-11-2014 05:01 PM

I’ve used these before and liked them as well. What brand/where did you find your brass hammer?

-- @craftcollectif ,,

View JayT's profile


6402 posts in 2980 days

#13 posted 04-11-2014 06:11 PM

Dabcan, the brass hammer was made by Hammerthumb and given to me as part of the plane swap last year.

-- - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View ToddJB's profile


8670 posts in 2900 days

#14 posted 04-17-2014 07:20 PM

JayT, good review. I had written Two Cherries off after I received my burnisher from them. The steel is good but the fit and finish of the handle is really pathetic. It’s a burnisher, so it’s not in your hands nearly as long as a chisel, but I was really disappointed. Maybe I just got a bad egg.

-- I came - I sawed - I over-built

View Andre's profile (online now)


3554 posts in 2575 days

#15 posted 04-21-2014 09:20 PM

Going to Lubeck tomorrow to pick up a set of 6 tomorrow yahoo! Looking forward to getting home and checking them out in the shop.

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

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