IBC Chisels reviewed by David Charlesworth

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Review by david charlesworth posted 11-06-2015 08:11 PM 13484 views 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
IBC Chisels reviewed by David Charlesworth No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

These long awaited chisels are now available.
When faced with innovative design, it is difficult to come up with a definitive opinion. Time will tell.
The connection between handle and blade is unusual. The top of the blade passes through a hardened ferrule and then threads into a hardened steel core. This extends to the top, where a solid, polished aluminium cap secures the maple handle. (American walnut is also available as an option).
In the short term I found this arrangement works perfectly well for chopping and paring cuts. The tool feels solid and the rounded aluminium cap is very comfortable. This is marked by a steel hammer so wooden mallet or nylon hammer would be preferable.
Two benefits are suggested by the manufacturer. Replacement handles, may be simply produced in any decorative or exotic wood for those wishing to customize their set. However the length and original diameters (at top and bottom) must be maintained
The second is a more unusual concept. Two complete chisels could be purchased, with four extra blades to complete the set. Blade changing only takes a few seconds. This would save a meaningful sum. This strategy will become even more attractive when subsequent blades become available. (Skew, Butt and Fishtail blades are planned. I am looking forward to some extra wide blades).
Chisels cost £59-95 inc. VAT. Blades with ferrules, start at £37-95 inc. VAT.

The appearance of these chisels is attractive. The timber handles are nicely finished and the grinding of the blades is excellent. I found that slight hollow of length in the back, which is so beneficial, when creating some polish, near to the edge. This work took about 20 minutes, which is reasonable for steel of this toughness. I worked from 800grit to 8,000grit.
IBC tell us that the steel is from AISI High Vanadium A2 tool steel. It is fully stress relieved, triple tempered, cryogenically treated and hardened to 60-62 HRC.
I decided to do a little end grain chopping test, examining the state of the edges under a 40x microscope. Three chisels (L-N, IBC & Veritas PM-V11) were prepared identically, ground at 25 degrees, wire edge produced at 28 degrees, and polished at 30 degrees. I set up a simple jig so that each cut would be 1.2mm thick. I was cutting American cherry which was 15mm thick. Each chisel was tapped 100 times, and the total thickness chopped through was 150mm.
All the chisels showed some wear, but the edges were essentially very similar. This confirmed my expectation of very good blades from IBC.
I recently suggested a long handled option to Brian and he has agreed. It is possible that these may be available very soon!

David Charlesworth 27/10/2015

-- david charlesworth

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david charlesworth

3 posts in 1779 days

6 comments so far

View rhybeka's profile


4891 posts in 3968 days

#1 posted 11-07-2015 08:00 PM

I’ll be in the market for new chisels soon so I’ll keep my eyes open for these. Thanks Mr.C!

-- Beka/Becky - aspiring jill of all trades, still learning to not read the directions.

View ColonelTravis's profile


1976 posts in 2740 days

#2 posted 11-08-2015 05:35 AM

David, that’s great you posted here. I’ve got a few of your videos, which are impeccable and have been very helpful. Saw Cosman’s video about these chisels, his idea for how you can change out handles I really like. I know in the past you’ve said LN chisels were the gold standard, would you rate these the same/better/worse (overall, not just steel)?

View david charlesworth's profile

david charlesworth

3 posts in 1779 days

#3 posted 11-08-2015 08:39 AM

The review is as objective as I can make it. The steel is equivalent, but I am not in a position to say one is “better” than another.

That sort of decision comes down to a matter of taste!

best wishes,

-- david charlesworth

View RogerBean's profile


1605 posts in 3800 days

#4 posted 11-08-2015 01:33 PM

Thanks for the review. Your opinion is always appreciated. I’m sure you’ll find many admirers here.

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

View CyberDyneSystems's profile


306 posts in 3035 days

#5 posted 11-10-2015 09:55 PM

They look a little reminiscent of the old Stanly “Everlasting” #50 chisel design, except that the Stanleys weren’t everlasting because you could not replace the wood. Nice idea here.

thanks for the review.

-- Without the wood, it's just working

View AgentWill's profile


5 posts in 1555 days

#6 posted 06-20-2016 03:06 PM

looking forward to trying these out

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