Harbor Freight HSS Turning Chisels
by Douglas Vincent


Well, the set of chisels finally showed up two weeks after I ordered them. I was prepared to be a little disappointed and see that the steel was simply mislabled high carbon but I am very happy to report that this is not so! For a measley $39.99 you get 8 chisels that are HSS. How can this be so? I don't have a clue as even import grade HSS blanks cost about almost $10 for a 1/4x1/2x4 piece of steel. They are made in China which of course says something about the price but the quality is amazing. The handles are not a good as the Harbor Frieght Pakistan carbon steel chisels but are perfectly usable. They measure about 16-17" long with 7" of blade. Included in the set are; 3/8", 3/4", 7/8" spindle gouges, 3/16" parting/bead tool, 1/2" round nose scraper, 1/2" and 1-1/8" skewed chisel and a 1/2" diamond parting tool. The steel is almost a full 1/4" thick. They pack great heft.

Now what is truly amazing about this set is that it is the same price (and sometimes $10 cheaper), than the carbon steel set from Pakistan which in itself is a great deal for some quality starter chisels. (Which is what I started with)

The item number for this set is 35444-1vga. Other sets worth consideration are items 35445-0vga (4 piece set) and 38257-0vga (5 piece set. All are listed as HSS.

I tested the steel with a spark test comparing them against both a known HSS blank and a carbon steel chisel.

Now if I just had time to use them.


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© 2003 by Ellis Walentine by special arrangement with Wayne Miller of Badger Pond. All rights reserved.
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