Hand Tools Archive

Subject:
Re: realize significant gains???

wilbur
"I just don't remotely understand the ardent recommendation of imai chisels at a much higher price than a lot of other chisels tied in with this sudden reversal that not only do carving tools need to hold their edge even better, but that tools that have less edge strength than mediocre japanese tools are just fine."

Hi David,

I have to admit, I'm not exactly sure where you're coming from with this line of thought, but I'll do my best. Please forgive me if I'm misreading your last post.

First, Imai bench chisels in the usual sizes are in the $63-72 range. You don't need to spend $100 to get an Imai chisel.

Second, I fully understand that Imai chisels these days are not the bargain that they used to be, thanks to the tanking dollar/yen exchange rate.

Third, the main reason I like Imai chisels is that I have personal experience with them, and I think they work great, not because I did a comprehensive head-to-head comparison test with many other brands of chisels.

Specifically, my thought process during the time that I was chisel shopping went something like this. My main point of comparison back then was not so much other Japanese chisels, but Lie-Nielsen chisels. At the time, the Imais were much more price competitive, and were actually a little bit cheaper than Lie-Nielsens. They aren't any more, again thanks to the tanking dollar/yen exchange rate. But at the time they seemed to be a reasonable comparison to the Lie-Nielsen offerings.

The reasons I liked the Imai chisels out of the other Japanese chisel options at the time were:

-- They were the cheapest chisels that had no negative reviews.
-- I knew Imai made a high end chisel line, so I figured that he knew what he was doing in terms of blacksmithing and chisel manufacturing.
-- I liked the people that were selling Imai chisels (Misugi Designs and Hida Tool).
-- He made a complete line of chisels: bench chisels, paring chisels, mortise chisels, and others.

After having used them for a little over 3 years now, I can say that the main thing I like the best about the Imai chisels is ease of sharpening. They certainly get ridiculously sharp. They certainly hold an edge for a long time. But it's the ability to get back to a sharp edge quickly that appeals to me the most these days.

Three years ago, I might have been more focused on edge retention. Looking back over time, that has become less of a priority. That may be why I think that the use of newer alloys and CPM steels in chisels and plane irons might be solving a problem that doesn't exist for me. I'm not sure if there is another advantage to CPM steels that I am missing, but the main advantage that people are talking about is edge retention. Again, if I did a lot of work in jarrah or tropical species, I might think differently. But I don't, so the edge retention advantage doesn't mean as much to me. Then again, your average beginning woodworker won't be loading up on rosewoods, either.

I believe that it is true that if you sharpen with diamonds, ease of sharpening becomes less of an issue with the newer alloys. I just happen to hate sharpening with diamonds. There's something about the feel of them that gives me that nails-on-a-blackboard sensation. Give me waterstones any day.

So if you couple the relative lack of advantage that CPM chisels would give me with the requirement to use a sharpening system that I don't like, and it's pretty easy to see why I'm not super excited about the idea of CPM chisels. I don't think this is inconsistent with why I like my Imai chisels.

One other thing I noticed today. Christopher Schwarz wrote a glowing review of the Veritas replacement blades for Stanley planes. He reviewed the blades that he bought and owns and uses at home. He had the choice between A-2 and O-1, and went with O-1. He summarizes his experience with them like this: "Iím a big fan of Veritasís O-1 blades. They polish up nice and quick and hold an edge for a good long time."

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CPM 3V vs. CPM M4 ?
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Re: CPM 3V vs. CPM M4 ?
Re: CPM 3V vs. CPM M4 ?
Re: CPM 3V vs. CPM M4 ?
Re: CPM 3V vs. CPM M4 ?
Re: CPM 3V vs. CPM M4 ?
Re: CPM 3V vs. CPM M4 ?
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Re: CPM 3V vs. CPM M4 ?
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Re: realize significant gains???
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Re: realize significant gains???
Re: realize significant gains???
Re: realize significant gains???
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Re: realize significant gains???
Re: realize significant gains???
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Re: realize significant gains???
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Re: realize significant gains???
Re: realize significant gains???
Re: realize significant gains???
Re: realize significant gains???
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Re: CPM 3V vs. CPM M4 ?
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