LMI - Chisel (Rating: 5)

Up for review here is a 3 mm chisel from Luthiers Mercantile (lmii.com). These chisels are priced at less than many other premium chisels I've seen and are available in seven metric sizes. The one I purchased is one of the smallest widths offered.

Made in Germany, this tool is intended for paring use only and has a handle made of tintul wood which looks a lot like Brazilian rosewood. The handle is well finished with a beefy brass ferule and is very comfortable in the palm of my hand. The blade is highly polished and rectangular in cross section with no side bevels. Final honing was easy on a diamond plate followed by Japanese water stones. Although not seeing as much use as my wider bench chisels, the LMI's edge seems to be holding up well on the likes of padauk and maple.

The only complaint I have is the round handle leads to the tool rolling around on your work surface. However, this may not be an issue with the larger widths as the added steel may weigh them down.

I am surprised more woodworkers don't seem to know about these tools. Perhaps being sold through a luthiery supply house has limited the buyers so far to makers of stringed instruments. Whatever the reason, I think these are well made paring chisels which would adequately serve any woodworker.

-J.