Chisel set

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Forum topic by AZcustomdesigns posted 10-19-2021 05:41 PM 624 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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8 posts in 90 days

10-19-2021 05:41 PM

Topic tags/keywords: chisel question tip traditional

I’m looking for a good quality, wooden handle set of chisels. I’d like to find a 5 or 6 pc set ranging from ¼” to 1” in size. Anyone have any good suggestions on a quality set for a good price? I don’t mind spending the money on quality tools but a good deal is always nice. Any advice is appreciated. Thank u

-- Handcrafted, Custom & Thorough... from A to Z

15 replies so far

View Notw's profile


1138 posts in 3035 days

#1 posted 10-19-2021 05:48 PM

Stanley sweethearts are great from what I’ve heard, but I’ve never used them, think they run about $160 for a set of 8.

I have the Narex woodline set of chisels and have had no issues with them, a set of 4 runs about $45 although i think i bought most of mine 1 at a time.

The Narex Richter line is supposed to be some of the best out there from reviews i have seen, a set of 5 of those starts at $209

View BlasterStumps's profile


2152 posts in 1722 days

#2 posted 10-19-2021 07:12 PM

Ashley Iles

-- "I build for function first, looks second. Most times I never get around to looks." MIke in CO

View SMP's profile


4950 posts in 1188 days

#3 posted 10-19-2021 07:16 PM

The Bucks that Craftsman Studios has on sale are made in USA and pretty good. For the price it’s actually a great deal:

View brtech's profile


1173 posts in 4205 days

#4 posted 10-19-2021 07:16 PM

Big fan of the Ashley Iles. A delight to hold and use. LNs and LVs are also great, but I think the AIs are a better value. One thing you really need to decide is what style of handle suits you best.

View tvrgeek's profile


2299 posts in 2931 days

#5 posted 10-19-2021 07:44 PM

I’m a cheap SOB. My old ( real Sheffield) Maples get as sharp as anything. Then I got a Narlex Richter. I am sold. No question. No sharper but holds the edge, does not chip or roll. Pay the price ONCE and you will not be disappointed.

View Drew's profile


423 posts in 4382 days

#6 posted 10-19-2021 08:18 PM

You don’t need to buy a set.
Just buy the ones you use. 80% of the time I’m using either a 3/8, 5/8, or a 1”.
I like the Lie Nielsen’s, but my 3/8 Sorby sees the bulk of my work.

People really like the Veritas PM-V11 chisels but I am not a fan.

You won’t go wrong with the LN’s!


View bigJohninvegas's profile


1120 posts in 2744 days

#7 posted 10-19-2021 11:42 PM

I like the Narex chisels, and I have this set.

Lee Valley says they are out of stock till January, But you can get all but the 1” individually.
Same story with the Narex Richter line, but the set of 4 is available individually.

Took a look at the Veritas line, and Lie Nielsen and same story there too. Out of stock on the Veritas set.
And the Lie Nielsen’s don’t offer a set. Most are in stock, but there are a couple missing there too.

The Narex set I have has held there edge very well. And for the Price why not get the set. And I bought them years ago as a new woodworker on a tight budget. But now, I have to agree. I have a few I really use. And if I were buying high end like the Lie Nielsen, or Veritas. I would only get maybe 4 individual chisels.
good luck.

-- John

View Foghorn's profile


1343 posts in 669 days

#8 posted 10-20-2021 01:03 AM

I have quite a few brands. I like the Stanley Sweethearts (the new ones). I also have some Lie Nielsen and Veritas ones which are great as well. My favourites by far are my vintage Stanley 750 and 720s followed closely by my old Marples, boxwood handled ones. There’s a lot of choices that all work just fine. Just stay away from the cheap, box store ones.

-- Darrel

View jonah's profile


2255 posts in 4581 days

#9 posted 10-20-2021 03:52 AM

I like my narex chisels. I got the 7 piece set several years ago. I have that and a set of blue handle marples that I use occasionally as beaters.

View controlfreak's profile


3050 posts in 883 days

#10 posted 10-20-2021 01:33 PM

I have Narex but can’t compare them to anything it is just what I bought when I started woodworking. For the life of me I have no idea how I ended up with a metric sized set but I did. That must be why I can’t get accurate dovetails though.

View Robert's profile


4783 posts in 2763 days

#11 posted 10-20-2021 01:57 PM

I have 4 different chisels of different brands. My rankings & impressions:

First, I have XL hands, so I’m coming from that perspective.

1. Lie Nielsen – what can I say? They feel right, fit my hand well, balanced, hold an edge well.
2. Narex (premium) – take some work to flatten, edge retention fair, not well suited for hard, hard wood. The premium line has lower side bevel height better for dovetails. If I were buying today, I would get the Richters.
3. Irwins Marples. Yes, the old blue handled. They are great to have as “thicker” chisels.
4. Stanley Sweetheart. Last on the list mainly b/c the handles are small, and they are very light. Edge retention probably less than Narex.

Sum it all up: money not a factor, I would look at Lie Nielsen and Blue Spruce (I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews about them and Steve Latta loves them).

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View WoodenDreams's profile


1448 posts in 1193 days

#12 posted 10-20-2021 09:21 PM

It doesn’t matter which brand or chisel you use if you don’t keep them sharp. How you sharpen them makes a the difference IMO. Especially when slicing through end grain (slicing like butter). Huge difference between just using a grinding wheel and using the stones through the grits and stropping them to get them to get scary sharp.

Most hobby woodworkers, a inexpensive set would last a lifetime (and they don’t sharpen them properly). Just may need to sharpen them a little more often, compared to some chisels. And do just as good of job when sharpened properly. I have a couple sets and a bunch I bought at antique stores. Those vintage chisels the sharpness seem to last longer, than my newer chisels. I seem to grab the vintage chisels before my newer chisels.

The two sets I have are Bailey and Marble. And some Narex and bunch of vintage chisels. This way I don’t have to stop to sharpen especially if I find a unexpected nail. Just grab another chisel and keep on working. Every couple of months or so, I’ll spend a couple hours to get the chisels I used back to scary sharp.

View splintergroup's profile


6015 posts in 2504 days

#13 posted 10-20-2021 10:04 PM

I bought the Narex set from Lee Valley when they had the sale a while back. Huge range of sizes up to the cleaver like 2”.

They worked fine for some recent projects and stayed sharp. The neat thing was they came with their backs already honed flat, saved tons of work for this new chisel prep chore.

Only “gripe” is the size markings came off with the cosmoline when I sprayed them down with carb cleaner.

View therealSteveN's profile


9208 posts in 1856 days

#14 posted 10-21-2021 12:26 AM

I used to have the Lie Neilson 750 rip offs, and sold them off, couldn’t keep the handles on. Hairspray, glue, you name it, I tried it, plus I felt the edges were junk. Fortunately great publicity, and them not having any at the time got me about what I had in them. I have probably 100 assorted old Stanley socket chisels, and have never had a one that gave me part of the headache from the LN’s.

I have 2 Cherries, Narex, Grizzly, both old, and older Marples Blue handles, but the ones I grab the most are my Veritas PM-V11 chisels. Of all the metals they are the hardest to sharpen, but once you figure that out they kick major buttocks.

I think unless you have been told something to persuade you differently and do want a set, which I always try to discourage, I’d say get the Grizzly Japanese style chisels. Well made, passable metal, and once you get used to sharpening them, fairly easy to maintain.

I said passable metal, it’s much better than what you will see on todays Narex, 2 Cherries, and Irwins, probably close to that used by LN, but some higher dollar Japanese tools would put them to shame. Those I would put up against the PMV-II that LV uses.

Today some of the premier chisel makers, and some of the other brands, like Narex are making chisels that come to you flattened, and ready to roll. Mo Money of course, but for some seeing what the tool is capable of is a good thing, as you know if you got back to that point, or still need to work on them.

Dave Jeske's Blue Spruce OPTIMA chisels are likely the best of that type I have seen.

-- Think safe, be safe

View AZcustomdesigns's profile


8 posts in 90 days

#15 posted 10-21-2021 02:18 AM

I appreciate the advice & I’m going to have to go w a select few sizes of Ashley Isles chisels. Buying a whole set when I kno I generally use a few sizes regularly or even daily doesn’t make much sense to me so I appreciate that insight. I do this professionally so having a tried & true, top quality & recommended brand is important. Im gonna go order my ¼, ⅜ & ¾ now then go make that money back lol. Thanks again

-- Handcrafted, Custom & Thorough... from A to Z

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