Schaff chisels reviews here please

Mike Davis

Mike
Corporate Member
My order arrived last night but I just went out to get it.
Amazon did a good job of packing and delivery

The chisels are much better than expected.
They come in a nice canvas roll, you just don’t see that on a cheap set of chisels.
Backs are flat.
Width is very close, I didn’t get the micrometer but on the mark of my Stanley tape.
They are sharp but need a good honing.
I think the brass ferrules could be a little thicker but I always like them more robust.
The handles match, look good, fit my hand, and the grain is straight through.
Looks like maybe ash?

I would buy a set at the full price but this introductory special is fantastic and
Very much appreciated.

Looking forward to the next tool from Schaff.

and now the pictures…

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wsrhue

wyattspeightrhue
User
I like their gouges. They are defiantly a good value to get started with, but you have to put some time into sharpening them.
 

wbarnes

Will
Corporate Member
I agree Mike, much better than expected for the price.

All I have to compare them to is a Narex Richter chisel that I purchased recently. The Narex fit and finish is definitely a step above, but again for the price of these I am pleased.
 

Echd

C
User
Just unboxed mine. They seem a good value for sure.

The first pic is what you receive from the box; an attractive looking tool roll.

The second is how they are individually packed; wrapped in plastic with a black plastic tip. They have a small amount of grease or other rust preventative on them, but not so much that they are dirty.

Third is a comparison to the Narex chisels which they seem to be very closely modeled after. The Schaff are heavier towards the tip; the narex has a more natural balance IMO.

Mine were delivered very dull, not a surprise or unexpected but they are not usable as is. I was unable to do much more than gouge the walnut scrap I tried it in.

The fourth shows a comparison of the chisel geometry vs the closest matching Narex (my set of those is metric vs these being imperial so it isn't a perfect match but close)

The fifth is my attempt at showing the backs. I have not made any earnest attempt to flatten them but I did pass the backs over a 300 grit diamond stone to show the contours. They are not very flat unfortunately. Fortunately though that is a one and done task and easily rectified with some elbow grease.

I did go ahead and threw them in my sharpening guide and put an edge on the 1 inch chisel. With little effort it was able to cut through walnut. With flattening and a little more effort I'm sure it would improve further. The steel seems fairly hard based on the relatively little I saw removed by my stones.

For $20 I'm sure you could do much worse. They seem like very affordable and capable copies of the midrange narex line. To not expect to need to do a little cleanup work at this price point would be silly.
 

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Scott H

Scott
User
Received mine today.

First impressions:
  • The backs all have a slight hollow along the length of the blade which is similar to how I received my Narex bevel-edge chisels. I measured it at about 0.003-0.004" using feeler gauges on the 1" Schaaf chisel. I never had to fully flatten the entire back of my Narex chisels, just polish the first couple inches of the back, and those have worked just fine for flush trimming things... So that is a good sign I think. I would not expect ground flat for $24 or even $40 and a hollow seems much better than having a belly.
  • The lands on the sides of the chisel are significantly thicker than the Narex chisels. They not quite as thick as my DeWalt chisels from Home Depot but they are close. I wonder how they compare to Richter or other premium chisels. I was under the impression thinner lands are preferable for bevel-edge chisels specifically for dovetails.
  • The surface finish on the back is more uniform than I remember on the Narex. The Narex chisels came with more of a finely corrugated/corduroy finish you could actually feel with your fingernail. This feels more like it has been sanded up to the neighborhood of 200 grit (don't quote me on that.)
  • 1" and 3/4" were very close to dimension, the 1/2" was more like 0.465" (~1/32 under) and the 1/4 was more like 0.230" (~1/64 under.)
  • The light grease or oil coating on the Schaaf was not any trouble to get rid of. The Narex set I got a handful of years back had some kind of lacquer or varnish that only came off with Acetone and a lot of scrubbing, or stoning.
  • They are weakly magnetic as shipped, primarily in the center. I have a little watch demagnetizer that got most of it out. Not sure this has any importance besides that iron filings want to stick to it more during flattening.
The tool roll is a nice touch.

The first 2 photos, top is DeWalt, middle is Schaaf, bottom is Narex.

(Edited with some further updates)
 

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bowman

Neal
Staff member
Corporate Member
I received mine yesterday and finally got to get them out of the roll. Out of the gate, i thought they felt sharp, but used my 400/1000 diamond plate to flatten the backs and hit the bevel, then a few strokes on the strope.

Had an extra piece of pine sitting around, weak approach to clamp it down, here are some curls I was able to make.
 

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Scott H

Scott
User
Here is my update on sharpening. They all get sharp as any other chisel I have been using, within my ability to tell a difference. I am going to reserve judgement on the edge life until I use them but no red flags so far.

I don't think it took more than maybe 25-35 minutes to do the initial flattening and sharpening on any one of these. I am not exactly fast at it but they weren't nightmares.

I did find the lands are not all square to the back. Some are > 90* and some are < 90*. This really only mattered on the 1/4 chisel because it wanted to sit cockeyed by a few degrees in my sharpening guide, I did that one by hand instead. The bevel grinds were not all perfectly square either so the secondary bevels aren't all even widths, but they're sharp.

Cannot really complain so far for paying $6 per chisel.
 

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RickR

Rick
Senior User
Just got mine today. My impressions are similar to Scott H with respect to sizing, back flatness, etc. I also just recently acquired a Narex set from Lee Valley (Imperial) which are, to my eye, noticeably nicer in the fit/finish department and dead-on as to width. I also have an issue with the 3/4 Schaaf chisel in that the blade and handle are noticeably misaligned (see photo). I emailed Schaaf; we'll see what their response is. As an aside, while I paid only $20 for the Schaaf set, it is now being offered at $45 on Amazon. Excellent value at $20, not so much at $45 compared to $49.50 for the Narex at Lee Valley.
IMG_2037 (1).jpg
 

Cuthriell

Cuthriell
User
I received mine today and found the one chisel I pulled out to be easily flattened and honed. After a bit of chopping there was no edge roll over so I would say they work as well as anything else I have. They are a little longer than what I normally use, but if these were all I had I would be happy. What a good buy. I have two carving chisels with a little misalignment as described by RickR and they replaced them no questions asked. Truth is they would be OK as is. I still have them as they did not care to see them returned.
 

ScottM

Scott
Staff member
Corporate Member
Mine came on Wednesday. Not sure when I will have time to really work on them. First impressions:
- very nice packaging
- liked the thank you note included
- measured 1" chisel with calipers and it measured 1.2". More is good
- bottom not 100% flat but will not take much to flatten
- Looked at edge through a mag light and saw exactly what Mike showed
- Conclusion - for $20 how could you go wrong
 

creasman

Board of Directors, Development Director
Jim
Staff member
Corporate Member
I finished polishing the backs and honing each of mine last night. It took me about 30 minutes per chisel on average. They are a decent set, certainly worth the $21 I paid. I saw in the Woodcraft sale flyer that came yesterday they are offering the 4-piece WoodRiver utility chisel set for $21.49 (regular price is $42.99). I don't have any experience with these, but they seem to be in the same functional range. However, they don't come with a nice roll and the silicone chisel guards are extra.

Reading others' evaluations I'm surprised by the inconsistency in the widths. With mine the 1" and 1/4" chisels are dead on. However, the other two were slightly under -- about 1/64" - 1/32". I would have expected all the 1" chisels to be the same width, for example.

Maybe personal preference, but I prefer more of a bevel. The edges are too thick for getting into dovetails, for example. This can be fixed with the grinder if I decide to invest the time.
 

Scott H

Scott
User
Mine came on Wednesday. Not sure when I will have time to really work on them. First impressions:
- very nice packaging
- liked the thank you note included
- measured 1" chisel with calipers and it measured 1.2". More is good
- bottom not 100% flat but will not take much to flatten
- Looked at edge through a mag light and saw exactly what Mike showed
- Conclusion - for $20 how could you go wrong

Is that one point two inches wide? Almost a quarter inch oversize? That is surprising...
 
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Oka

Board of Directors, Vice President
Casey
Staff member
Corporate Member
Got mine 2 days ago and cleaned up a couple of them yesterday (1/4 & 3/4)
Generally, they are nice chisels, they sharpen (actually I honed and stropped) as good as Narex common type.
All the chisels were about 2-3 thousandths less than spec'd width .... .998, .736, .467 & .229
The finish has more finish grinder markings than the other chisels I own, just an observation.

The only things I see that are questionable are the side bevels on the chisels. They are thicker and unequal. On my 1/2" chisel the side grinds on the bevel - the left side is about a 1/3 wider than the right. All have this condition to some degree.
That is nit picking though. They cut as good as any other and very happy with buying these

My guess on the handle wood - it is either Tamo Ash or Chinese Beech, but it looks more like Tamo Ash to me -just a guess


Thanks Mike for cluing us in on this deal!
 
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Melinapex

Mark
User
Finally got around to looking at mine this evening. My 1" and 3/4" are spot on, the 1/2 is 15/32 and the 1/4 is 15/64....
I got the backs flattened and like others, had a small hollow which is fine. It's too cold to be out there very long, so I stopped there.
Shouldn't take much to sharpen them so going to call this one of the best deals ever!
Thanks Mike!
 

Chris C

Chris
Senior User
They strike me as a cheaper version of the Aldi chisels. Not complaining, just my initial observation. I'll reserve judgment until I put them to use.
 

Oka

Board of Directors, Vice President
Casey
Staff member
Corporate Member
I never realluy checked the bevel, just honed them up.

So today, I resharpened them carefully and discovered a couple of things . The 1/2 "chisel out of the box had a 30 deg bevel and the 1"was 27 deg. Not a big deal, just inconsistent.
The other thing I really noticed was as the chisel was being sharpened, the material coming off had a powdery flaky look to it. Kinda reminded me of iron dust that was attached to a magnet. I have never have witnessed this before on any of my other chisels.
Additionally, they rust real quick. A couple of drops of water got on a chisel and was there 30-45 min and you can see the result. Not a big deal but something I noticed
 

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