Hand Tools

Re: Yes...

david weaver
..almost without question, the chisels I've bought (recently) end up falling into a narrow range. If I didn't have the luxury of trying so many (if I was one of the die hard "never buy a second set" types), I could live with the sorby chisels. But I'm glad to have gotten more and tried more.

There's one exception to my newly-realized typecast (of the English types). I do like a full hardness japanese chisel, but had been looking for a while for one that was a little less tubby in cross section. The love for the iyoroi set that I have was due to their ability to tolerate heavy mortising (no corners breaking), but I don't do as much of that, and I've found some older chisels that are equally good for it.

I'm otherwise a buyer of opportunity. If I can try something at a price that I know I can sell it for, I'll do that. It just means I'll have to take what comes along at that level rather than getting a jones for a certain maker. The unknown with that is fun, but I think I've settled (on the thinner uknown) chisels with what I like, and they don't sharpen on the washita - too hard - and that's OK. They sharpen well on japanese natural stones.

Until you mentioned that I like the English types, and until I measured chisel cross section earlier this week, I had no idea, though, that I was consistently buying almost identical chisels in proportion. If the wrought iyorois didn't have a thick cross section (something that I don't think you can avoid with wrought iron), I probably would've stuck with them. The thin chisels I found were ....well, purchases of opportunity, too, on a japanese proxy auction. Once makers aren't current, they don't seem to have any value over there, even with decent chisels....there are a few exceptions (ichichiro, shimamura, etc), but not many.

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