Recommend Chisels


Good morning everyone. As I slowly accumulate some tools, I think the next item on my list will be a good set of chisels.

Looking for your recommendations.

I guess probably more for general use as well as cleaning up mortises and tenons.

Home center stuff good enough? Better value to be had online? I'm not opposed to spending money where it's needed but don't want to over pay for something I don't need.


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Narex has several lines of chisels and is a highly rated company. From what I have seen they are economical as well. If cared for they will last a life time if not more. As you go down this rabbit hole you will find chisels have a tendency to accumulate, kind of like loose screws in your pocket. Recommendations of sizes: 1/4”, 1/2”, 3/4”,11/4”. Others may have their different opinions on this and that’s fine your mileage may vary. Personally I have an old set of Marples mortise chisels, a set of the Stanley Sweet Hearts, and a verity of other chisels picked up from antique store and tool meets over the years. I use and love them all. Good luck


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Get some Narex Richter. They are top notch and very fairly priced. Available at Infinity and Lee Valley. I own them after a thorough research and they are superb.


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I bought a set of these when they were first introduced on Amazon. The manufacturer offered an introductory price that was too good to pass. They are still a reasonable price for the value. Like most new chisels they will require honing. You can read others' opinions of these chisels on this thread.

I bought these too, but then bought Narex Richters within a few months which says something.

Bill Clemmons

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. . . . .Recommendations of sizes: 1/4”, 1/2”, 3/4”,11/4”. Others may have their different opinions on this and that’s fine your mileage may vary. . . .
Regardless of which brand you settle on, I agree w/ Richards recommendation. Don't buy anything bigger than a 4 piece set w/ the key sizes he recommends. I've got a multitude of chisels in lots of sizes, but my go to, by far, is a 1/2". Rarely do I go above 1". That Schaaf set would fit my needs just fine.


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An excellent source of Narex chisels is Lee Valley Tools. I have a set of the Narex Classic Bevel Edge and several of the Narex Mortise Chisels, which are both affordable and of very good quality. The Narex Richter series are their superior line. I have a set of the Schaaf chisels from Amazon as well (a decent starter set), but my favorite bench chisels are original blue handled Marples in a nice wooden box that hold an edge very well.

Another source is the local flea market where you should look for Buck Brothers or old Stanley chisels.

John J

Senior User
Tim, you will get a ton of great advice on this forum on different chisels you can buy. You may already know this but study up on the somewhat lengthy process you will have to do to prepare the chisels for use once you get them. You may need to make extra purchases to be able to properly flatten and sharpen the chisels. Most chisels are out really good to use right out of the box in my experience.

Charlie Buchanan

Corporate Member
I have way too many chisels. Mostly assorted older Stanleys, Buck Brothers, along with a couple of Japanese dovetail chisels. I do have a set of Narex bevel edge chisels which are quite good and a bargain. Just be sure to get the true imperial sizes and not metric “close enough” sizes if you want to match up to hollow mortising chisels an drill bits.
It really depends on what you want to use them for. And sharp is more important than the brand.


Another vote for the Narex Richters if you can afford them (I bought mine from Taylor Tools on a special). I also have a old cheapy plastic-handled generic set for brute force work, scraping glue, etc. I can't see using the Richters for that purpose. And as mentioned in previous comments, do your research on sharpening/flattening the backs, etc. It's very important to success.

bob vaughan

Bob Vaughan
Senior User
Consider starting out with a $50.00 or less set of four.
Learn how to sharpen them.
Move up to Narex Richter later. They are very hard and it takes a while longer to sharpen but that edge stays and stays. You'll still have an easier to sharpen set for opening paint cans and scraping glue.


Senior User
Sorry for the long wind, in advance. I have both the Schaaf and Narex Classic chisels (NOT Richter) mentioned in some of the above posts. I had already ordered the Narex set from Lee Valley when the Schaaf set was offered at the incredible price of $19.50 for the set of four, so I had to get them as well. Both brands came sorta sharp but needed flattening. Both took an edge well and I don't recall any consistent difference in the amount of work to make them right. I haven't used either enough to comment on edge retention but I assume it will be similar based upon the flattening/honing experience.

Other observations that may or may not be important to a user...
1) Both brands are comparable in overall length.
2) The Narex tools are a bit heavier in each size, with the factor being larger for the wider blades. Comparable in 1/4 inch, 170 vs 200gm for the 1".
3) The Narex tools have a consistent edge bevel of about 1mm over the entire blade length. The Schaff is about 2mm at the tip increasing to about 3mm at the butt.
4) The Schaaf handle is round. The Narex handle is oval and somewhat larger than the Schaaf.
5) The Narex has a metal ring at both the butt and tang end, the Schaaf only at the tang.
6) The general finish is, in my opinion, better on the Narex.
7) To the best of my knowledge the Schaaf is only offered as a set of 4. The Narex are available as sets or individually and in an extended size range as well as skewed profiles.
8) I did have some quality issues with one of the Schaaf tools. They were responsive to replace it.

My Opinion is that the Narex is a better buy at the current pricing. Your milage may vary.
Here are links to each.

Schaaf (Amazon) $42.99 for set of 4

Narex (Lee Valley) $55.50 for set of 4
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Thanks everyone for the replies. Looks like the majority of you recommend the Narex. I think the classics will work for my needs.

They really aren't any more expensive, or cheaper (depending on your point of view) than some likely lesser quality brands.

I've learned that buying cheap is usually more expensive.

I'm sure that somewhere on this forum there is a thread regarding sharpening. Proper stones, angles, etc.

I really am a noob. I would like to become something more than a tinkerer

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