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 Post subject: cheap chisels
PostPosted: 28 Dec 2016, 13:42 
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Can't be bad for less than £11 inc. P&P
http://www.axminster.co.uk/axminster-be ... stic_deals


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 Post subject: Re: cheap chisels
PostPosted: 28 Dec 2016, 14:15 
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I have the 6 piece version of that set I bought it a few years ago on a special deal, paid £10 or £11 for the set of 6 with a free honing guide. They are actually pretty nice chisels, took a couple of hours to flatten the backs etc but once sharp they take and hold a good edge.


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 Post subject: Re: cheap chisels
PostPosted: 28 Dec 2016, 14:29 
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I've got a set. I bought them to see how krap cheapo chisels really are. Verdict; not too bad at all. I wouldn't go so far as to say they were "nice"
Not very nice to look at - 2 tone handles reminiscent of shell suits. The buttons are thin and won't take (steel hammer) hammering - also tend to mark a mallet. Would be better without.
Fairly crude shapes but OK for most purposes. Not particularly hard or soft so sharpen and hold an edge in a perfectly OK average sort of way.
Mystified by Rorschach flattening the faces - what for?
Mine still have machine marks all over, after several years of use. The first sharpening (2 minute job) takes off the sharpness of the machine marks and no further attention required. NB they arrived machined slightly hollow - which makes sharpening relatively easy especially when new.

PS just looked at the Axminster reviews - they seem to moan a lot about time spent flattening. Serves them right - this is completely pointless and merely makes them slightly harder to sharpen (i.e. removes the slight concavity of the back).


Last edited by Jacob on 28 Dec 2016, 14:41, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: cheap chisels
PostPosted: 28 Dec 2016, 14:41 
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Alright, nice for the money, since I paid just over a quid each, that's car boot prices for new chisels, cased and with a honing guide.
They were pretty rough on the back so I spent a bit of time flattening them out, they aren't a mirror polish by any means but it makes sharpening fast and easy now since I just need one swipe on the back to take off the burr and then strop the edge.


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 Post subject: Re: cheap chisels
PostPosted: 28 Dec 2016, 22:20 
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Does the would-be-guru pineapple who persuaded everybody that chisel faces need flattening and polishing, get some sort of masochistic satisfaction in persuading countless amateur woodworkers to waste so much time and effort?


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 Post subject: Re: cheap chisels
PostPosted: 28 Dec 2016, 22:37 
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Well if it's not at least reasonably flat on the back how do you remove the burr when sharpening without creating a bevel on the back?


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 Post subject: Re: cheap chisels
PostPosted: 28 Dec 2016, 23:20 
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Jacob wrote:
PS just looked at the Axminster reviews - they seem to moan a lot about time spent flattening. Serves them right - this is completely pointless and merely makes them slightly harder to sharpen (i.e. removes the slight concavity of the back).


Actually, they don't. The balance of opinion is that they are easy to flatten but the handles come loose with relatively little use. There are 7 reviews and one quite strongly positive one brings the average up t 3.4 stars out of 5. The reviews are not glowing otherwise.


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 Post subject: Re: cheap chisels
PostPosted: 29 Dec 2016, 04:28 
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Rorschach wrote:
Well if it's not at least reasonably flat on the back how do you remove the burr when sharpening without creating a bevel on the back?

All the new chisels I've ever had (not that many) have been ground on the face to be slightly hollow.
So the burr comes off very easily and only a small area behind the edge gets flattened.
As time goes by this area gets bigger and it takes longer to remove the burr.
The tendency then is to put more pressure towards the edge which means yes you are beginning to form a slight bevel on the face.
This bevel slowly gets extended and the face of the chisel becomes slightly convex instead of concave.
Hence the oft heard complaint about old chisels; that they are not flat; "bellied" even.
But luckily this has no bearing on the performance of the chisel and can be ignored.
It is possible to imagine a scenario in which a very flat chisel would be essential in which case you might want to actually flatten it, but I think this is very improbable .
Never felt the need myself - to which the usual response is that I don't do the quality of work which demands it, but this is not true as it has little bearing on quality of work.
Doing it from new is just accelerating wear and making the chisel more difficult to sharpen.
For the same reason Japanese chisels have a hollow face, but highly exaggerated.


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 Post subject: Re: cheap chisels
PostPosted: 29 Dec 2016, 04:39 
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I'm really glad I don't sharpen my chisels, I just throw them away and buy new ones. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: cheap chisels
PostPosted: 29 Dec 2016, 04:40 
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AJB Temple wrote:
Jacob wrote:
PS just looked at the Axminster reviews - they seem to moan a lot about time spent flattening. Serves them right - this is completely pointless and merely makes them slightly harder to sharpen (i.e. removes the slight concavity of the back).


Actually, they don't. The balance of opinion is that they are easy to flatten but the handles come loose with relatively little use. There are 7 reviews and one quite strongly positive one brings the average up t 3.4 stars out of 5. The reviews are not glowing otherwise.

OK but one of them does; "to flatten the backs. A good 3/4 of a day wasted." More fool him in my opinion!
I haven't had the loose handle problem but live in expectations.

But the main point is that for very little money you get good value, but they aren't the best.
This is probably true of nearly all cheap chisels as they are amongst the simplest tools of all.
But certainly not true of planes - I've had "Faithful" brand planes completely unusable and un-remediable, short of re-engineering the whole thing.


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 Post subject: Re: cheap chisels
PostPosted: 29 Dec 2016, 08:38 
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The problem with chisels is that you can pay anywhere from £1.40 to £140 each for a good one and in exactly the same range for a bad one. I suspect like many things the reality is that very cheap ones are a risk in the the steel may not be great , they may not hold an edge and the handles may not out you. The money risk at the cheap end is trivial but if you have to put hours of work in this removes the cheapness unless you don't value your time or your hobby is tool fettling. I think the very high end ones (Blue Spruce, high end Japanese etc) probably deliver greatly diminishing returns.

As with most things there is a middle ground where you are likely to get some quality and reliability. Narex chisels are not expensive and mist people seem to rate them. Personally I dislike the handles. Like all tools personal preference plays a big part.


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 Post subject: Re: cheap chisels
PostPosted: 29 Dec 2016, 10:28 
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For site work, demolition etc. they are less than £3 each. That's the point. Most people here who would use them have (scores of) far better chisels.


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 Post subject: Re: cheap chisels
PostPosted: 29 Dec 2016, 10:37 
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phil.p wrote:
For site work, demolition etc. they are less than £3 each. That's the point. Most people here who would use them have (scores of) far better chisels.

Well yes.
But they'd also do if you were one of the fussy overworked dovetail brigade making "fine" furniture :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: cheap chisels
PostPosted: 29 Dec 2016, 13:06 
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I don't own these chisels but I have used them from new, I thought they are soft and go blunt quickly. And the factory machining/grinding marks left on them are coarse. And plastic handles are nasty imo.

At £11 for a set of 4, they might be worth it for rough work and you don't care if they're going to get hammered, abused and get chucked around. But certainly not at the £25 normal price.

It just shows the Lidl/Aldi chisels are an amazing bargain.


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