Set of 8 Benjamin's Best HSS Lathe Chisel, good chisels, great price

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Review by Chris Wright posted 05-01-2009 12:02 AM 28369 views 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Set of 8 Benjamin's Best HSS Lathe Chisel, good chisels, great price No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

With our wood turning program growing here at the shop, we were able to get new equipment, and part of that were two sets of the 8 piece Benjamin’s Best HSS lathe chisels from PSI ($69.95). I had never heard of Benjamin’s Best before I started pen turning and looking through the PSI catalog. So when I saw a 8 piece set of HSS tools for $70 I was skeptical of the quality. When they arrived I inspected them and they all needed to be re-ground, not a big deal since we also got a new slow speed grinder and a Wolverine system. The one that needed the most work was the bowl Gouge. I took the factory grind off and put a rather steep grind going up the sides. All the others, I just reground the bevels and touched then up with a diamond hone.

For a $70 set, these tools perform very well. They have solid ash handles and are made of M2 HSS, and they stay sharp for quite a while. Compared to the Crown, Sorby and Pinnacle tools I worked with recently, I’d go so far as to say these perform at the same level.

Here’s the lineup of what you get in the box:

•3/16” Parting Tool
•5/8” Spear Scraper
•5/8” Round Nose Scraper
•5/8” Skew Chisel
•1” Skew Chisel
•1/2” Bowl Gouge
•3/4” Spindle Gouge
•7/8” Roughing Gouge

If you’re on a budget and are trying to justify buying a $60, $70 or $80 Sorby gouge, I recommend getting a set of these. Like I said in the title, good chisels, great price.

-- "At its best, life is completely unpredictable." - Christopher Walken

View Chris Wright's profile

Chris Wright

541 posts in 4248 days

12 comments so far

View BillyUP's profile


20 posts in 4567 days

#1 posted 05-01-2009 12:44 AM

I have a couple “Benjamins Best” Gouges, and have used them extensivly. They perform evey bit as well as my “Big Name” tools, and would not hesitate to order again. This is a great deal that is only missing a small Bowl Guage, or two. That can be added to make a complete set for most. Later you will accumulate others, as you will not be able to resist. I have about 50 tools, but usually only use 6.

-- Imagination is more important than Knowledge

View Chris's profile


340 posts in 4124 days

#2 posted 05-01-2009 04:31 AM

Thanks for the tip, I’ve been on the fence for a set of these.

-- Chris

View MauBow's profile


55 posts in 4213 days

#3 posted 05-01-2009 09:11 PM

I also have a couple of the BB gouges…cheap but great performers!

-- If it wasn't for misplacing things, my shop would never get cleaned up.

View johnpoolesc's profile


246 posts in 4127 days

#4 posted 05-02-2009 02:18 AM

i think they changed the steel they use.. 10 years ago they were average or below.. now they can compare to any brand i’ve used.. your right, that is a deal

-- It's not a sickness, i can stop buying tools anytime.

View USCJeff's profile


1065 posts in 4835 days

#5 posted 05-16-2009 03:57 AM

Kicking myself, just bought on Wednesday three of the eight a la carte. They ranged $15-$20 each. I’ll let you all do the math. Now where’s that receipt? hmmm

The local wood store owners suggested the lower end BB as I also picked up a WorkSharp 3000. They dull faster, but the WorkSharp takes only a minute to resharpen a non-damaged tool. Will have to post back after some real trials. Just an initial impression so far. I will say, they were the first turning tools I’ve ever bought. Now need to learn how to turn.

-- Jeff, South Carolina

View WeeWilly's profile


20 posts in 4834 days

#6 posted 09-15-2009 11:51 PM

I have used the Benjamin Best wood chisels for the past four years. I now use them exclusively in my turning projects. They are of good quality, hold their sharpness well and the prices from Penn State Industries are just very low priced, as you can buy them in sets or individual lathe tools.

-- WeeWilly

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 4652 days

#7 posted 04-14-2010 06:30 PM

Good review thanks for posting. I also have several BB lathe tools.

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View dustynut's profile


22 posts in 3794 days

#8 posted 04-23-2010 02:56 AM

Does anyone know of an outlet to buy these tools in Canada. Sorry guys but shipping from USA is a killer.

-- If woodworking is a drug - I'm addicted.

View viberts's profile


2 posts in 3834 days

#9 posted 05-11-2010 12:51 PM

There at Montréal

View Greg77's profile


10 posts in 436 days

#10 posted 12-27-2019 01:53 AM

I just received a set like this for Christmas. They have a coating of some sort on the outside. I have been removing it with my wire wheel, with the plan to coat them with wax to keep the rust away. Is there a better way to remove that coating? I am very excited to try these out on my lather, this is the second review on here that I have read. Both give them great reviews.

-- When you do a half ass job, expect half ass results.

View Chris Wright's profile

Chris Wright

541 posts in 4248 days

#11 posted 12-27-2019 03:21 AM

If it’s waxy, try a torch. Don’t heat them too much, just enough to melt the wax. If it’s oily, try paint thinner or kerosene.

-- "At its best, life is completely unpredictable." - Christopher Walken

View Mike's profile


1 post in 136 days

#12 posted 02-17-2020 01:45 AM

I just got these off amazon. The coating appears to be some kind of shellac or lacquer… i just used the tools out of the box on a piece of fire wood, the coating did not hinder anything

-- “Is that new tool!? Consider that your Christmas present!” - my wife every year

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