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Wooden Handles...Plastic Handles...but which is best...?

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jimi43

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Hello boys and Girls and welcome to woodschool.

Today we will be looking through the E N O R M O U S archie shaped window...mind your heads on the chains children...



What do we see boys and girls?

We see a plastic handle...and a wooden handle....

Later on...the woodwork master .... Mr Honie Bevel will....be along to talk to us and if we're lucky may bring his German exchange games teacher Herr Par Nein...who can tell us how many edges you can get on a single chisel without it becoming an ice cream scoop.....

Stay seated and keep looking through that hole in the wall and let me know when he finishes his lunch and is coming down the windy path...

LITTLE JOHNNIE!!! Put that chainsaw down immediately!!!!
 

Jacob

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Don't like the black one. Looks a bit sinister - "the chisel of Fu Manchu" :roll: Would it have a secret compartment in the hilt? For coded messages, poison pills etc?
The blue one is of course perfect.
 

Jacob

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adamwilliams":zu63b5g8 said:
Well both looks great but wooden handles are much stronger and durable.
Not true unfortunately. I'd rather have wood handles but plastic is much more practical (except for the weight).
 

MickCheese

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jimi43":23sdmc9s said:
Hello boys and Girls and welcome to woodschool.

Today we will be looking through the E N O R M O U S archie shaped window...mind your heads on the chains children...



What do we see boys and girls?

We see a plastic handle...and a wooden handle....

Later on...the woodwork master .... Mr Honie Bevel will....be along to talk to us and if we're lucky may bring his German exchange games teacher Herr Par Nein...who can tell us how many edges you can get on a single chisel without it becoming an ice cream scoop.....

Stay seated and keep looking through that hole in the wall and let me know when he finishes his lunch and is coming down the windy path...

LITTLE JOHNNIE!!! Put that chainsaw down immediately!!!!
Jim

You've been drinking again, you know what it does to you. :lol:

Mick
 

matthewwh

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If you need to hit a chisel hard enough to damage a wooden handle then you haven't sharpened it properly.
 

Jacob

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matthewwh":3e1ddhel said:
If you need to hit a chisel hard enough to damage a wooden handle then you haven't sharpened it properly.
Depends on the chisel. You should be able to tap most of them fairly sharply with a mallet. If it is a firmer and has a hoop you should be able to whack it really hard (with a mallet).
Mortice chisels are intended for maxi-malleting - they don't have hoops but have big thick handles instead. I've got a 5/16" mortice chisel with a rosewood handle and it's split. Luckily it's cross grained and the split has just taken off a wedge so it's still usable. I blame the handle.
If you haven't brought a mallet on site then you can bash away with a lump hammer or even the side of a claw hammer, but wood handles wouldn't survive for a fraction of the time that plastic would.
If you are a working woodworker then chisels are consumables and getting the job done is more important than chisel well-being!
 

doctor Bob

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Jacob":jypccsek said:
If you are a working woodworker then chisels are consumables and getting the job done is more important than chisel well-being!
I have to agree with the beardy twot for once..... :lol:
 

Jacob

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doctor Bob":1xusy2nj said:
Jacob":1xusy2nj said:
If you are a working woodworker then chisels are consumables and getting the job done is more important than chisel well-being!
I have to agree with the beardy twot for once..... :lol:
Thanks for that doc. In fact everybody agrees with the beardy twot once or twice in their lives*, if not more often! Even woodbloke and BB though they'll probably deny it :roll:

*PS except Mrs G
 

Allylearm

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Side issue I just acquired some Marples (Irwin Blue Chip) well they were sold my my supplier as such. Have makers name on handle not like my original Blues.

Thing is they are not as long in blade as my original Blue chips from the seventies, and they do not look as good quality as them either, they were bought for a use in our assembly and honed up OK and they will be used by non pros in assembly.

My old Black handled Stanley bought in "76" are still going strong as well except for my largest, gave it an apprentice many moons ago and he trashed the handle. He said he tapped it as shown, no way all my others have never caused me any wear in tear, he abused it and got a right kick up the a** as a result. The only thing about the Stanley Blacks was the shiny bevels but that has long gone now. But anyway these new ones purchased are not as long and the handle is not the same as mine in my hand. Or it could be my imagination as I am comfy with my old ones.

I have seen the Marples clear handles split and never bought them as a result but they were popular with some, though again the new ones when I last seen them in my opinion are not the same as the ones back in the 70/80's

Still like my Plastic though I have some pattern makers paring chisels and Sheffield made firmer (wooden handled) which are fine for the role they were bought, though the patterns makers needed new handles as the ones supplied split in my tool chest and were never hit with a claw only used as parers. I even acquired a japanese chisel was not impressed with quality though the edge was good and is a shop tool in my opinion. But from 76 I have only bought a 5 set Stanley black handled and my blue chips 9 set. With one damaged out the two set and is still in use as a scraper duffer chisel when I do not want to damage my good ones. I would not like to carry a wooden handled bevel on site, good for shop or bench hands, but plastic is my preferred weapon of choice supported by their longevity in regards to my purchases. Plus in the case of my plastic handled I have poked/banged/levered/dropped from height on concrete these chisels, where no fine Sorby or expensive tool, etc would like to go or try.
 

No skills

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As a thread that was started a tad tongue in cheek its one of the more sensible discussions I've seen here :shock:

Chisel lives are not equal by any means so how can anybody possibly apply a one handle suits all/is best approach?

Site or rough work chisels can have a very short and hard life, doesnt matter how well you have sharpened them a wooden handle will give out when doing the hardest work.

Eventually I'll get myself a nice set of chisels for my home time potterings, for the lighter and delicate work. Yes they will have wooden handles! because their nicer looking and feel better in my hand, I certainly wont be hitting them with any hammers or large mallets :)


"Plus in the case of my plastic handled I have poked/banged/levered/dropped from height on concrete these chisels, where no fine Sorby or expensive tool, etc would like to go or try."

Spot on. (hammer)



So to send this thread to the silly place it was expected to go how about the next discussion, boobs - natural or plastic... which is best?
 

AndyT

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Er... lurching back on topic for a moment, I'd like to join in the general buzz of agreement and say that although I have now got more chisels than I really need, (justified by having no too alike, so those differences will matter sometime) I feel no desire to start stripping off the sturdy blue plastic from these Stanleys and Marples. One of them was the first chisel I bought, dammit, about 40 years ago!



 

Eric The Viking

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+1 for Marples blue handles.

(Jacob, look away now) OK, I'm an amateur, but I've had my bevelled set since the early 1980s, and I use a (small!) claw hammer, not a mallet. I have a mallet (squared head variety), but it's just not comfortable.

To be fair, they rarely see tough hardwood, but they do keep a pretty good edge for a decent length of time, and they do get used for rough DIY as well as decent work.
 

János

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Hello,

Dear Ally, you are right, the older chisels are better made, their blades a little longer and thicker than the new ones. I have bought my first Stanley blue chisels in 1993, and have bought some new ones every now and then. The change of finish occurred around 2000. The manufacturing has been shifted to the Czech Republic, I suspect (Stanley acquired/bought many toolmaking firms in that country). As these chisels are available under so many different brands (Irwin, Marples, Stanley etc.) they might be the products of a specialist maker...

I do not like the feel of the hard and slippery plastic handles, but their shape and holding comfort is really good. I prefer long handles on paring chisels, but these chisels are intended for "universal use", from light morticing to hand paring...

Have a nice day,

János
 

Jacob

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Eric The Viking":383jnujh said:
... I use a (small!) claw hammer, not a mallet. I have a mallet (squared head variety), but it's just not comfortable.
....
?? A mallet's a mallet - what's comfort got to do with? What are you doing with it? :shock:
Round or square it's a much better tool for hitting chisels - you really should try it. It's not about protecting the handles, it's about precision and better control
 

Eric The Viking

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I ":2dq9mbz6 said:
Jacob look away now
You didn't, did you? :)

It's the handle. The hammer I use is just comfortable.

I know what you mean about a mallet, but I'm used to using the heel of my hand most of the time (if I can't, it usually means a trip to the wet+dry). They only really get hit when chopping mortices or things like hinge rebates for interior doors, etc. They're never hit hard and it is accurate.

You can tell I feel a bit guilty, can't you? :oops:

E.
 

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