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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Lie-Nielsen chisels

Just taking a moment to gush on about Lie-Nielsen chisels. I really like these things. A while back I got a few of their mortise chisels, and earlier this year I got a 1/4" bench chisel. Last week my new 1/2" bench chisel showed up (a 3/8" should be here today). Mind you, these aren't cheap. At $55 each, there's a reason I don't have a rack stuffed with them. My first bench chisels were Footprints...barely serviceable, with heavy handles and questionable steel. I tried a Two Cherries chisel, and no matter what I do, I can't like it. Next chisel was the new Stanley SW. The Stanley is not a bad option. They are better steel than a Footprint, the balance is good...and most importantly...I like the handle.
Too bad Stanley can't make their chisels to the standard that Lie-Nielsen does. The L-N chisel is based on the original Stanley 750. From box to cutting takes about 5 minutes. A quick couple of swipes to polish the already very flat back and hone the bevel.

The back of the chisel comes from Lie-Nielsen hand finished to 400 grit. It is FLAT. This leaves only the polishing to the user, and saves a lot of time.

L-N on the left, Stanley on the right. Notice the difference in the height of the side lands. The sides of the L-N are about .020". The Stanley sides are obviously much larger.  The small side lands make it much easier to get into tight spaces (like dovetail joints) to pare waste away without bruising the piece. Anyway, that's enough gushing from me. My 3/8" chisel just showed up...which means I'm only 5 minutes away from having another awesome chisel!

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