Hand Tools

Re: Chisels - aesthetic dilemma

Jack Dover
Highly polished chisel blades look somewhat kitschy in my opinion, or maybe I just never admired that late 70ies aesthetics. I had a couple of chisels that were too shiny, fogged up with 400 W&D they look much better.

Also I think when something was made by hand — it should look like it was made by hand, and leaving dark oxide around the tang is nice subtle detail. I also think that long paring chisels look better glazed, but bench chisels look better left oxidized, esp. shorter blades. I was thinking about bluing mine one day, just need to figure how to avoid blue hue.

In any case, yours look good and professionally done either way. Many mid-range chisels are sold with milling marks all over their wavy surfaces. Etsy is full of chisel shaped objects all covered in coarse hammer marks. Just by looking at chisels with truly flat bevels one can tell they're better made.

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