Hartville Tool Mortise Chisels and Bits

  • Advertise with us
Review by Matt (Upper Cut) posted 01-12-2009 05:01 AM 7579 views 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Hartville Tool Mortise Chisels and Bits No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I recently ordered the set for my new Jet JFM-5. I am very disappointed and will be buying a higher quality bit set. I’ll keep these cheaper chisels for rough work. I’m sure they won’t last long.

You can find the link to the set here.

1. Cheap

1. This is a short set. This means that you’ll have to add your arbor extension to your mortiser.
2. Not sharp, so you’ll have to sharpen them.
3. Not ground to standard angle. I used the Lee Valley hones. And it took a lot of time (and took off a lot of iron) to for the diamond hones to change the angle.
4. They are coated in gunk (like a clear polymer)
5. They heat up and burn even with proper feeding and pressure (see images)

Overall, you get what you pay for. This was not the right set of chisels for my nice new mortiser.

I wonder if these chisels are better.


-- Matt Gradwohl, Upper Cut Woodworks,

View Matt (Upper Cut)'s profile

Matt (Upper Cut)

264 posts in 4701 days

4 comments so far

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1288 posts in 4625 days

#1 posted 01-12-2009 08:36 AM

Matt, The very best mortising chisel sets I have found are Forest But, they are expensive. They will cut perfect and clean mortises. I also have a large set of Japanese Mortising bits for a Makita portable electric beam mortiser. They also are quite good.

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View adam77's profile


39 posts in 4365 days

#2 posted 01-12-2009 03:35 PM

I have the same mortiser and I purchased two of the jet bits with machine. They are like razors. I am very happy with them. They are twice the price of the ones you are looking at though.

View jcees's profile


1079 posts in 4687 days

#3 posted 01-13-2009 08:33 AM

Caveat emptor, baby! Cheap is CHEAP and there is NEVER any way around it unless you happen upon an estate sale and get good ones on-the-cheap. But to expect to get superior performance from a set from a retailer is foolhardy. But then again, you understand that now.

A decent education is always expensive.


-- When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. -- John Muir

View Matt (Upper Cut)'s profile

Matt (Upper Cut)

264 posts in 4701 days

#4 posted 01-13-2009 08:46 AM

Yes, jcees caveat emptor.

Of course I bought the cheap bits after reading the post in this topic that recommended the chisels based on a test in Woodworking Magazine Issue #7.

From that post
”I can’t speak for them personally (I just ordered them today). But this really cheap set of chisels and bits from Hartville tool tested out very well in that article, given that you’re willing to spend some time sharpening before use. This boxed set of 4 is on sale for $25 right now.”

Beware of good deals and also beware of crappy recommendations…

Oh, and remember lots of us did get a really good (CHEAP) deal on that Jet JFM-5 ($380 delivered). That’s why I bought these chisels in the first place. So sometimes cheap isn’t foolhardy, sometimes it’s smart shopping.

-- Matt Gradwohl, Upper Cut Woodworks,

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