Quantcast

Best saws and chisels

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

A

Anonymous

Guest
First of all I'm new here so Hi to everybody and thank you in advance for your patience. I'm kind of a newbie woodworker so I'm going to buy the first sets of hand tools. Reading here and there I'm trying to understand what are the best brands (obviously considering also the price) to buy and my biggest doubts till now are about saws and chisels (about planes I think that Stanley is for me a good compromise between cost and performance).
Saws: I want to buy a good hand, tenon and dovetail saw and my preferences were, at first, directed to the Axminster's Victor saws, but I don't have any feedback about their value. Another (more expensive) option is the R&L Dorchester saws (if Alf is reading this message, I've read a message posted by you where you said about a "David Charlesworth's test of dovetail saws". Do you know where to find the results of this test?Thank you).
Chisels: at first I was going to buy a Robert Sorby's set, becouse they fit my needs well, but then I read in this forum someone telling that they don't retain the edge very well. I've heard saying good things about Ashley Iles but I'm a bit concerned about the strenght of their bubinga handles under the strokes of a mallet. LN are good for sure but too expensive (and they don't provide the 1" and up..). Of course I've heard good things also about the Kirschen but I want to do a lot of dovetailing and their sturdy shape don't seem the most indicated. So what to buy?
Ok, I've been boring enough. Any reccomendation is welcomed!
Have a good time :lol:
 

devonwoody

Established Member
Joined
11 Apr 2004
Messages
13,459
Reaction score
3
Location
Paignton Devon
hiya, Macewindu.

Your knowledge of tool manufacturers leads me to think that you must live in the U.K. This means to me that you either have the choice of buying your tools from the DIY outlets, or most probably resorting to mail order.
I reside in the Torbay area and cannot think of one tool outlet that would enable me to visit using public transport. Nothing left on our high streets and most probably yours.
The old established manufacturers names have most probably succumbed to outputting their production to far away places.

Some modern tools are an improvement on past years, chuck away saws are really sharp and cost around £7. Those saws are much better than the one I paid £30 over 25 years ago.

Hope you enjoy your new hobby, and the time spent purchasing your kit. :lol: :lol:
 

ike

Established Member
Joined
24 May 2004
Messages
1,681
Reaction score
0
Hello MaceWindu,

Welcome to the forum. Details aside for a moment, my advice would be to spend more on a good first plane and less on handsaws (who am I to talk having succumbed to a set of Adrias!). Were you thinking of a new Stanley or a good secondhand one? A new Stanley given it's performance is not quite the good value it seems compared to the rather more expensive but excellent Lee Valley planes. I learn't this mistake before I found other helpful (helpless?) souls here to point me in the appropriate direction (steep, downward, and allegedly rusty at the bottom!). Older Stanleys are, as other far more qualified users will attest, good value tools that work well. As for saws, I think being such a simple tool, materials and design are only a little different between manufacturers, and aesthetics plays a major part in which to buy. Performance is more down to the quality of the sharpening, and DW's comment on hardpoint saws is so true - if you just need a useful saw, they do the job very well indeed for a little money (but I still wanted the Adrias!).

PS. The nitty gritty bit: I have a set of Ashley Iles chisels and I see no problem with the handles. They are lovely chisels and I recommend them in addition to one or more LV planes. If you need to whack them hard enough to split the handles, you probably are holding the wrong tool and should use a heavier framing chisel.

Planes: Well, I get by at the moment with a handsome trio of the LA Jack, LA Smoother and LA Block. I also have the very handy little Clifton 3110.


regards

Ike
 

Waka

Established Member
UKW Supporter
Joined
8 Mar 2004
Messages
4,486
Reaction score
0
Location
Weymouth
MaceWindu

Welcome to the forum.

A big ditto on don't buy new Stanley (or Record); their price/performance ratio stinks.
I second Bugbear whenit comes to planes, if your going to get a Stanley make sure its an old one, or as a starter go for lee valley, you certainly won't regret this.

I'm sure the plane experts will be along shortlyyo advise you, but be careful they don't push you over the slope.
 

Alf

Established Member
Joined
22 Oct 2003
Messages
12,079
Reaction score
0
Location
Up the proverbial creek
Welcome to the forum, MaceWindu.

Ah, the initial kitting out; always a tricky time, especially on a budget. We'll do what we can to help.

Planes: Stanleys are so-so to awful. A better bet would be to give Ray Iles a bell and enquire about his reconditioned ones (can't get his site to open at the moment, but that's probably just me). 'Bout the same price, but ground flat and square and other advantages which I can't remember just now. On the whole though, I'd sooner you could see your way clear to buying the Veritas Low Angle Jack (I know, stuck record, but I wouldn't keep saying it if I didn't believe it to be true) - easier to adjust, more flexible which is especially helpful when you're starting out with limited kit and simply a plane you'll bless you bought every time you use it.

Saws: I always boringly repeat this, but a saw's only as good as the sharpening job done on it. Many modern saws slip up in this respect, plus they have hideously uncomfortable handles. Yep, both things are curable, but if you're going to do that save yourself the "new" premium and buy secondhand. I assume we're talking back saws here? In which case give the Japanese ones some consideration too. If you fancy I have a non-pair of x-cut and rip 10" saws which I'm open to negotiation on. Not as pretty as a Victor or R&L, but it's free up a big chunk of budget for the chisels or planes. Hardpoint's will fill a gap temporarily, and good for man-made stuff, but a properly sharpened "real" handsaw is a joy to use. DC's test can be found in Vol.2 of his books. And while I'm on the shameless shill, it seems I have a pristine duplicate of same - open to offers. (Gotta pay for the Stanley #10 I just bought this morning... :roll: )

Chisels: Quite right to avoid the Sorby's I fear. They can be good, but it's the variability in quality that's the problem. Owners speak well of the Ashley Iles, but I think Ray Iles' ones are supposed to be quite good too? Bubinga's pretty tough stuff, and when all's said and done handles can be replaced, so I wouldn't worry too much about that.

Hope that helps.

(All the above was written before I went out this morning, so apologies for repetition)

Cheers, Alf
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
ike":4fx9ahsy said:
A new Stanley given it's performance is not quite the good value it seems compared to the rather more expensive but excellent Lee Valley planes.
Ike
which in turn are not quite as good as Lie Nielsen planes :lol:

OK, before you all go mad defending LV planes, LN and LV are equal in use, but LN are slightly better on quality/build/materials. Clifton are cheapest and as good in use. I own all three manufacturers' products and so speak from experience on this

Planes: Old stanley (I have never tried one but people say they are good), Lie Nielsen, Veritas, Clifton are all equally good in use
Several members seem to have recently decided that the only decent planes are Veritas - this is untrue
If price is the main factor, then buy a Clifton.

Saws: I use a Pax and a Lie Nielsen DT saw the most. Pax are very good value for money and excellent saws.

Chisels
: Ashley Iles. You won't regret it..
 

Alf

Established Member
Joined
22 Oct 2003
Messages
12,079
Reaction score
0
Location
Up the proverbial creek
Tony":958f8fu2 said:
ike":958f8fu2 said:
A new Stanley given it's performance is not quite the good value it seems compared to the rather more expensive but excellent Lee Valley planes.
Ike
which in turn are not quite as good as Lie Nielsen planes :lol:
I don't believe it's quite as black and white as that...

Cheers, Alf
 

sxlalan

Established Member
Joined
21 Apr 2005
Messages
242
Reaction score
0
Location
Skipton, Yorkshire
Being in a similar situation (and unable to afford a PT :) ) I am also looking for my first plane. (Actually that's not quite true as I have a Stanley Block Plane that I paid a tener for at Focus and has almost put me off woodworking before I've even started!). Is the low angle Jack from Veritas what you would recommend as a good all-round starter Alf? I was edging more towards the low angle smoother which is a bit shorter and less intimidating :? . Initially I would primarily use it for trying to square up edges and ends hopefully progressing to flattening surfaces as I got more proficient.

Cheers

Alan
 

Alf

Established Member
Joined
22 Oct 2003
Messages
12,079
Reaction score
0
Location
Up the proverbial creek
Alan,

I was giving it some thought this morning, and yes, I would. It's long enough to joint edges, works very well on a shooting board and does well as a panel plane for smoothing too. With the whole extra blade thing you can adapt it easily for end grain, difficult grain, even scraping (or so I understand, but I haven't tried that yet). It is big, but it's also remarkably well balanced so I don't think you'd find it too intimidating once you'd got over the initial "eeek" moment. :D Gives me the heebie-jeebies when I recall how dimissive I was of it when word got out that it was going to be made; I'd have never tried it if it wasn't for the reviewing. :shock:

Cheers, Alf
 

sxlalan

Established Member
Joined
21 Apr 2005
Messages
242
Reaction score
0
Location
Skipton, Yorkshire
Thanks Alf though I might wait for the UPS man and your review of the Bevel Up Smoother before taking the plunge...
 

Alf

Established Member
Joined
22 Oct 2003
Messages
12,079
Reaction score
0
Location
Up the proverbial creek
I don't want to second guess myself about the bevel up smoother, but I wouldn't bother waiting. The bevel up smoother is just that, a smoother. It'll lead you merry dance jointing edges (too short) and it can't be used on a shooting board. Go for the jack, and comfort yourself with the thought that all the irons you buy for it will also fit the bevel up, if it turns out to be worth having... :wink:

Cheers, Alf
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Thank you for all the advices till now.
About planes I'm considering also Veritas now. I think I'll have to take a decision soon, even if I'm enjoying also the choosing part.
Btw I'm from Italy Devon

Cheers :lol:
 

Midnight

Established Member
Joined
11 Oct 2003
Messages
1,805
Reaction score
0
Location
Scotland
Saws: I want to buy a good hand, tenon and dovetail saw and my preferences were, at first, directed to the Axminster's Victor saws, but I don't have any feedback about their value.
I've had a few Victor brand saws for some time now, long enough to put them through their paces... so far I canna find fault with them; their hand saws cut clean' quickly and track pretty easily to the line... their gents saws are nicely balanced, really fine kerf and again... excellent cut...

Hopefully the ones I have will last me a fair while, but if I'd to do it over I wouldn't hesitate to buy them again...
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Alf":11p0jrpp said:
Tony":11p0jrpp said:
ike":11p0jrpp said:
A new Stanley given it's performance is not quite the good value it seems compared to the rather more expensive but excellent Lee Valley planes.
Ike
which in turn are not quite as good as Lie Nielsen planes :lol:
I don't believe it's quite as black and white as that...

Cheers, Alf
read the next sentence in my post :twisted:
 

Alf

Established Member
Joined
22 Oct 2003
Messages
12,079
Reaction score
0
Location
Up the proverbial creek
Tony":1xx7x5q2 said:
Alf":1xx7x5q2 said:
Tony":1xx7x5q2 said:
ike":1xx7x5q2 said:
A new Stanley given it's performance is not quite the good value it seems compared to the rather more expensive but excellent Lee Valley planes.
Ike
which in turn are not quite as good as Lie Nielsen planes :lol:
I don't believe it's quite as black and white as that...

Cheers, Alf
read the next sentence in my post :twisted:
I did. That's not what I was thinking. I don't believe you can say "brand X" isn't quite as good as "brand Y"; it's too sweeping a generalisation. But you could say "brand X's burfl isn't quite as good as brand Y's". F'rinstance, for standard, bevel-down bench planes, I'd go with L-N every time (sorry Rob), but for bevel-ups and the scraper plane I'd plump for Veritas in a heartbeat (sorry Thomas). Block planes, I'm totally undecided on 'cos both have pros and cons. Shoulder planes, well I can't say. I know what I have, but as I haven't tried the others it would be unfair to comment.

Of course that puts aside the whole issue of what I, or you, might be using to judge what makes X not quite as good as Y in the first place... :roll:

Cheers, Alf
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I see what your saying Alf. :D

I am an engineer, and it is the manufacture and quality of machining and materials that I was referring too.

I agree totally with your comment re bevel up LV, bevel down LN.

I would also say shoulder LV (lateral adjusters) and block LN (particularly their rabbet block)
 

MikeW

Established Member
Joined
15 Apr 2005
Messages
1,933
Reaction score
0
Location
Forest Grove, Oregon USA
Tony":3a2gi0r1 said:
...I am an engineer, and it is the manufacture and quality of machining and materials that I was referring too...
Ok, off topic. But that statement reminded me of a series of, well, jokes about engineers. Here's one:

Understanding Engineers - Take Six

Three engineering students were gathered together discussing the possible designers of the human body.

One said, "It was a mechanical engineer." Just look at all the joints."

Another said, "No, it was an electrical engineer. The nervous system has
many thousands of electrical connections."

The last one said, "Actually it was a civil engineer. Who else would run a toxic waste pipeline through a recreational area?"

Ok, I'll go out to work now...
 

Sharpdon

Member
Joined
7 Jun 2005
Messages
14
Reaction score
0
Location
Healdsburg CA
MaceWindu":2nzr9u0s said:
I want to do a lot of dovetailing and their sturdy shape don't seem the most indicated. So what to buy?
Another consideration is to use Japanese chisels. The laminated hard steel holds a fine edge and they require less frequent sharpening. Some modest priced (start at $15.95) bench chisels may be seen at:
http://www.japanwoodworker.com/dept.asp?dept_id=12769
The dovetail chisels are a bit more expensive:
http://www.japanwoodworker.com/dept.asp?dept_id=12781

I don't know a UK source.
If you purchase a few to try, you will see the benefits.
What ever you choose, keep them sharp and you will enjoy them more.
 
Top