Turning Archive 2007

Are there real differences between turning tools?

>There's going to be a woodworking show coming to town next weekend, and I thought it might be a good chance to pick up some "real" turning tools. This will be my first time buying something off the shelf. The used lathe that I bought came with some old 1950's era Buck Bros. and Craftsman turning tools, which are all spindle oriented. I'm going to be looking for some tools more oriented towards bowl turning.

However, having perused the Packard Woodworks catalog, and the Craft Supplies USA website (they won't send me a catalog, despite 4 attempts to request one), I've become real confused as to which brand I should go with. As far as I can tell, the only real differences between brands is the type of steel used to make the gouge. I'm assuming that any differences in profile I can alter with grinding to a new profile, and any differences in tool handles can be addressed by making new handles. After all, that's why I got a lathe, right?

I've figured out the difference between M2 high speed steel, ASP 2030 and 2060, and cryo treated steels. What I'd like to know is if there are any real differences between brands, assuming that you keep the type of steel the same (e.g., a Hamlet M2 HSS gouge and a Sorby M2 HSS gouge).

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