• Creator
  • #2027484

    Post count: 1

    I thought I would start up a conversation about chisels for beginners. While I like the idea of buying the vintage Stanley <span style=”line-height: 1.5;”>750</span><span style=”line-height: 1.5;”> </span><span style=”line-height: 1.5;”>chisels I have found that they have become too expensive with publicity that they have gotten, at $30+ on eBay for a chisel that needs serious work I just don’t find it being worth the money. </span>

    Does anyone have any experience with Aldi chisels that Paul Sellers recommends? I also would love to hear some peoples thoughts on Narex chisels.

  • Author
  • SamelB
    Post count: 2

    I started setting up a small beginners woodworking workshop last spring. I bought a set of cheap German chisels (name Unknown, but they have images of cherries on the chisel). The price of each chisel was in the range $10-15.

    I’ve previously had the pleasure of working with some high end tools and frankly, as long as you keep your tools sharp, there is no great difference in the tools. Almost anything that’s hardened can give you good results, however, the budget tools may not keep their edge quite as long.

  • Danny Hale
    Post count: 3


    I bought a set of Maples years ago, before they were bought out. I love them, but I don’t know if the quality has changed since then.

  • Mike in TN
    Post count: 295

    Hi Wiense,

    I have WAY too many chisels. Fate has been kind enough to bless me with a lot of finds over the years and you can see some of the tools in my shop tour posts.

    First, chisel preference is based on things like ease of sharpening, edge retention, handle shape and balance, fitness for a particular type of work etc. and it is all very personal. I have worked with enough different types (good and bad) that, while different, they will almost all fit my hands well enough to do good work (for me anyway) when pressed. There are Stanleys, Narex, Ashley Iles,Veritas, German, English, Swedish, Japanese, American, and yes, Chinese chisels in the pile and all have been used at some point. Everyone will tell you something different based on their likes and experience and here are my observations.

    All of the high end, brand name chisels will serve you very well with the exception of brand name chisels sold cheaply at the big box home stores and department stores. Those things are not marketed for serious woodworkers. If however you are seeking a good bench chisel at a lower price, the Aldi and Narex chisels will serve you well. I have been using the Narex chisels as my everyday chisels for about two years now. They are not as good as some of my others in some respects but very serviceable at a much lower price than most other new chisels. I have some chisels that have some better qualities, but none so superior that it makes enough of a difference that I feel compelled to put them at the bench. I do use other chisels for specific functions where the type, shape, or balance makes them better suited for that function.

    My experience with the Aldi chisels is as follows: After seeing Mr. Seller’s review I made an effort to get a set, just because they were inexpensive and were reviewed well. I purchased a set after watching the ads for about a year (they are not available all of the time) and brought them home to try them out. The tools were well finished and had some nice hardwood handles that looked to me to be European beech. They are tang chisels. The backs were consistently slightly hollow but flattened easily up to the edge. I could tell that, based on my experience with other tools, the feel during the sharpening process indicated a relatively hard steel. The chisels sharpened well and easily resulted in a shave sharp edge in short order. I proceeded to try them out on some hard maple and oak scraps, paring, slicing, by hand pressure and using a mallet. After about an hour of pretty intensive work I tried the edge against the hair of my arm again  and it shaved it away. At that point I returned to Aldi and purchased another nine sets. They all were consistent with my experience with the first set. After investing about ten minutes with each set, I had ten sets of extremely good tools at a awesome price.

    I have since sold one set to a beginner at cost and have gifted a few sets to relatives who have been just as thrilled with them as I have been. You may find them horrible since beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

    • Mike in TN
      Post count: 295

      Sorry all,

      I misspoke in my earlier post. The Aldi (Workzone) chisel handles actually ash.

  • ponyboy10
    Post count: 3

    Thanks for the info this is awesome for the beginner (me).

  • robertshuai
    Post count: 3

    buck bros chisels are nice

    hello, i have bought many buck bros (made in USA) chisels from craftsmanstudios they are extremly cheap and on sale

    i recommend the bench chisels but not the pairing or cranked necks from buck bros. (pairing and cranked neck do not have perfectly flat backs, if you care about that)

    it’s like $90 for 9 bench chisels and free shipping, decent steel (slightly softer than the A2 on my LN) hard to beat for the price.

    i am not affliated with any of these companies, only offering personal experience.

  • Bruce G.
    Post count: 9

    I have been using a set of the Workzone chisels from Aldi since June of this year. I have had the exact same results as Mike from TN.

    I wholeheartedly endorse these chisels.  In fact I have used them to build the workbench that Paul Sellers demonstrates and it turned out great.

    I am also looking at purchasing a set of the the Narex Chisels. I am just waiting to get them worked into the budget.


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