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Hand Tools
Japanese chisels
Posted By Ellis Walentine
Date Tuesday, 30 August 2022, at 8:39 p.m.

In the spirit of Derek's recent plea, may I respectfully bring up a many-faceted question for your consideration? Here is a box of chisels that a friend of mine showed me when I visited him last fall...


Now, I've been using Japanese chisels since the 70s. Here's my old favorite that I resurrected after my shop burned down. It originally had a boxwood handle; now it's mulberry. You can see how much steel has been sharpened off it. It's a user for sure.


I prefer this style of chisel to Western varieties (though I am partial to my old 750s), but I've never gotten into the deep weeds of white and blue steel, boxwood vs ebony vs oak handles, Damascus style construction, on and on. I've just used the things because they feel good in my hands and they cut beautifully and hold an edge. 

My question is this: How to justify the extremes to which some hand tools have been taken? Are even the best craftsmen able to work faster or better, or to achieve finer results, or is it strictly the visual and tactual aesthetics that make the "finest" worth the investment?

Just wondering what all y'all's experiences are.....




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