NAREX - Bevel Edge Chisels (Rating: 4)

First off, let me qualify everything I say by mentioning that this is the only proper set of chisels I've owned, and I'm a newbie, sorta.

I picked the Narex brand because FWW liked 'em for the price. So did Wood Magazine, and a few blogs. I like them too, with a few noted shortfalls:

-The metal is definitely NOT hardened to Rc59 in mine. Moderate prying when chopping (chip removal) will bend the tip out of plane with the back on the standard 25 degree bevel. Using a 30 degree micro-bevel seems to have helped. Despite this, I chopped the mouth for a transitional plane body out of Bubinga with mine, and they held up pretty darn well. I'm actually fortunate they're soft: My 4yo snuck out into the shop while dad was out of town and several of them got dropped/smacked on the floor. I'm glad they didn't break!

-The backs take some serious work to flatten. It took me an average of 20 minutes per chisel on a 300 grit diamond whetstone to get them reasonably flat. That means I still may have a dime-size low spot at least an inch away from the tip.

Overall, I'd buy the set again. For a guy whose trying to find the 80% solution with a 1% budget, they're worth the price and the work to flatten them. I can get them sharp enough to shave with pretty quick, and now that I've built a little bit of skill with them, I find myself reaching for them to clean up slop/mistakes I've made with other tools quite often. With them and a $30 Crown Gents saw, I was finally, FINALLY able to cut a good dovetail. For $70, it's hard to go wrong with this set.