For the manner in which men live is so different from the way in which they ought to live, that he who leaves the common course for that which he ought to follow will find that it leads him to ruin rather than safety.

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

LN chisel (finally)

The down side to small manufacturers that make high quality products is that sometimes you have to wait for them. Lie-Nielsen is an extremely small manufacturer that makes extremely high quality sometimes you have to wait longer! They have something like 50-80 employees. Yeesh! It's a miracle they can keep up. Everything they make is worth it. I only own a few of their products. Three mortise chisels, four floats, and new 1/4" bevel edge chisel (I have a couple books and videos too). Their tools are in demand for a reason.
Anywho, up until recently my bench chisels have been garbage. I made a step in the right direction with a couple of new Stanley 750's. They are light years better than my Footprints. I have also rehabbed a couple old Craftsman chisels. That left one Footprint that needed to be ditched...the 1/4". I'll let my poor photography tell the rest.

Ta-da! O-1 steel 1/4" bevel edge chisel. After a couple of months on back order. I kinda feel like Garth when he finally had the cash to buy his Strat.

It's hard to photograph the sides of this thing. The flat edges are around .020". That's good for getting into tight areas.
This shot better shows that fine edge. The primary bevel is precisely ground to 25 degrees. This thing did some good slicing right out of the box.
LN on the left, Footprint on the right. Notice the clunky side bevels on the FP.

The same two chisels from the top.
I am happy now that none of my chisels are merely "tool shaped objects" as the Schwartz puts it. The LN chisel is finely made, and is prepared by actual human hands at the factory. With a focus on quality, and not on driving down cost, these are tools you can actually show in public. Like most mere mortals, I can't afford full sets of tools like this. It's likely that I'll continue to mix and match. I'd like to have a 1/8" chisel as well, and I believe that will be a LN.


  1. awesome! isnt it funny how things always turn out better with tools you enjoy using. I love picking up my wenzloff saw, the feeling you get when you hold a tool made by a person specifically for you feels pretty good.


  2. Quality tools can be something special. They make the work more enjoyable. Most of my time is spent in some sort of tool making, whether it's for me or making tools at work. I like putting out a high quality product. Learning to make new tools, or rehab the old ones are skills that will make this hobby very enjoyable. Even more so for the folks that earn their living with those tools.