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Turning Gouges

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woodshavings

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I need to buy some additional turning tools and are looking for recommendations. I presently have a number of unbranded "Made in Sheffield" tools, some Crown tools and a set of 10, very cheap Chinese tools which I bought to experiment with.

The Crown tools seem to keep their edge longest, the unbranded Sheffield are variable.

I have noticed some unfavorable comments about Crown so I am not so sure which manufacturer to go for.

I was thinking about Sorby - but before I part with the folding stuff I would welcome advise and comments please. :)

Cheers

John
 

Alf

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Up the proverbial creek
John,

As far as I can tell, what's "best" seems to depend on who's handles you like/strength of gouges/sizes etc etc. Nobody ever seems to say "Urgh, the steel in these ones is awful", which is a Good Thing I suppose! If you like the Crown, why not stick with them? Some people seem to feel their handles are too short, but if you like 'em... I've heard good things about the Hamlet ones IIRC, and Ashley Iles always seems to get very well spoken of. My personal view is that with the Sorby a lot of your money goes to pay for the name, but then I don't like their handles much... :wink:

And to put all this opinion in perspective: I bought a set of Record ones about 4 years ago when I first bought the lathe, and have added a Sorby multi tip scraper and a Crown narrow parting tool (hate it, btw) and that's it. In short, I know nothing :oops:

Cheers, Alf
 

Cutting Crew

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Hi John,

As Alf says, a lot of tool preference is down to feeling comfortable when holding and working with the tools. I personally feel that most of the British made tools are good. It should also be remembered that unless you are turning all day everyday that some of the Axminster and Craft Supplies imported tools are also worth looking at.

At the moment the Record Power tools offer good value and can be picked up at most woodturning stockists.

You say you noticed some "unfavourable comments" about Crown tools, I currently have on test one of the David Ellsworth Signature Gouges from Crown Tools, this has the special "Ellsworth" or celtic grind and it is one of the best gouges I have ever tested.

Most turners have a variety of tools, eventually finding a brand they prefer and then expanding their collection as the need arises.

Best regards....Mike
 

trevtheturner

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Hi, John,

I agree - high speed steel tools by the recognised brands are all okay.

On the question of handles, I now buy, if possible, unhandled tools. Sorby do them - I save about a fiver a time by turning my own handles, with the added advantage of making them to size and shape to suit me. FWIW.

Trev.
 
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