Best chisel set for joiner?

Discussion in 'Carpenters' Talk' started by Sarah Dunn, Sep 27, 2021.

  1. Sarah Dunn

    Sarah Dunn New Member


    I'm looking to buy my husband a chisel set for Christmas. Can people please recommend the best chisel sets on the market for joiners?

  2. candoabitofmoststuff

    candoabitofmoststuff Screwfix Select

    Last edited: Sep 27, 2021
  3. woodbutcherbower

    woodbutcherbower Screwfix Select

    Hi Sarah,

    To make him love you even more than I’m sure he already does, I’d strongly recommend this set of Kirschens. They’re made by a German family firm who’ve been making cutting tools since the 1700’s, and these ones are made from surplus Krupp steel acquired by Kirschen in 1946 - this was used to make impenetrable German battle tank turrets during WW2. They’re a joy to use and hold a razor-sharp edge for ages. The set contains every size he’s ever likely to need. They’re not the cheapest, but they are tools for life. And besides - he’s worth it :)

    Hope that helps.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2021
    Mr Rusty likes this.
  4. candoabitofmoststuff

    candoabitofmoststuff Screwfix Select

    Also.. is he already a joiner and you are looking to supplement what he has? Is this for DIY work?
  5. Sarah Dunn

    Sarah Dunn New Member

    Thank you for the prompt responses. @woodbutcherbower Thanks, I don't know very much about joinery at all, are these suitable for site work as well?
    @candoabitofmoststuff I would say the budget is up to £200? Is there anything more expensive than that? Also, to answer your questions, he's actually doing an apprenticeship in joinery and is currently on site but he's building up his tools and hasn't got chisels yet (he's talking about buying them) so I thought there's my cue.
  6. candoabitofmoststuff

    candoabitofmoststuff Screwfix Select

    Right... You're saying "joinery", and also mention "on site" which suggests "carpentry...

    To be pedantic they are slightly different things...
    Joinery is more associated with "finer" more precise work, such as making furniture, windows, doors, where as carpentry is more making houses, roofs, or fitting windows and doors...

    However, I'm splitting hairs a bit there...

    What's previously been suggested are probably a bit too good/valuable for site work I'd suggest... Though that's not to say they are not suitable!

    Perhaps a better value might be Narex... for example,

    Or even,

    If he is just on site a large selection is probably not needed...
    Might be worth watching this, just for background on what tools are used on site; .

    Whatever chisels he does end up with, they need to be sharp to work properly, so he'll need sharpening equipment of some sort, and the ability to sharpen by hand... it really isn''t difficult!

    Good luck,
  7. Sarah Dunn

    Sarah Dunn New Member

    Thank you very much indeed for this, very informative! What would be a good sharpening tool for the Narex ones?
  8. woodbutcherbower

    woodbutcherbower Screwfix Select

    One of the main reasons why I recommended Kirschens is that they’re a really good all-rounder. I’ve had mine for around 7 years and they’re equally at home onsite or in the workshop = I do both. I don’t know of a single other professional joiner who thinks that any of his tools are ‘too good’ to actually use …….. but anyway

    There are numerous other types & brands of chisels out there, some of which are works of art and cost megabucks - Lie-Nielsens from the USA and Oire Nomi’s from Japan as two examples.

    But to be perfectly honest, if you can afford to spend a bit more, my honest advice would be to put the extra funds towards something to keep them sharp. Any chisel (no matter how good it is) will go dull and lose its edge (especially once you start chiselling oak and other hardwoods).

    You need two things - a honing guide and a sharpening plate. The guide holds the chisel at the correct angle, and the guide clamps it in place as it’s rolled backwards and forwards across the plate. Pretty much the industry standard is the US-built Veritas;

    he best whetstones are dead-flat steel plates coated in industrial diamonds. The older-type oilstones and waterstones wear out, developing a recess in the middle over time, making flattening the blade almost impossible. These don’t;

    The above combination gives you a chisel which can be used to shave hair off your arms ….
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2021
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  9. woodbutcherbower

    woodbutcherbower Screwfix Select

  10. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select

    Marples red and yellow handled splitproof bevelled edge chisels are an excellent all rounder for workshop Joinery and building site Carpentry. A set of five or six are readily available and will cost around £70. If you wanted to spend the full £200 then you could buy a Sheppach Tiger 2000 bench grinder/sharpener with the remaining money and your man will be indebted to you for life.
  11. woodbutcherbower

    woodbutcherbower Screwfix Select

    The Tiger's great value, but doesn't work for the kind of stuff I do a lot of the time. It only sharpens to 220 grit (I often have to go to 1000 grit followed by a leather strop), it doesn't have the super-important facility to flatten the back of a chisel, there's no reliable way of setting a consistent, accurate bevel angle, and no way of then making a small adjustment to get your micro-bevel. For roughing out chisels which are well overdue or have hit a nail though - it's great for sure. And a fraction of the cost of a Tormek.
  12. FlyByNight

    FlyByNight Screwfix Select

    My advice: DON'T

    A lot of people prefer to choose their own tools - some feel nice in your hands others don't ... It is a nice gesture, but you really need to make sure he get ones he will be happy with - be they £20 a set or £200. Maybe get a good picture of a quality set printed out with £150 printed on the front and then let him tell you what he would prefer. He knows you will have thought about it, ttaken advice and are being generous, and you know he will be happy with whichever he chooses.
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  13. woodbutcherbower

    woodbutcherbower Screwfix Select

    My girlfriend bought me my chisels as a Christmas present 7 years ago.
    The following year, she bought me a set of Japanese saws after seeing me spending hours on YouTube watching Samurai Carpenter videos.
    The following year, she bought me a Festool Sortainer after watching me always carrying around multiple boxes of different-sized screws.
    The following year, she bought me a Makita DAB site radio after watching me banging my busted old DeWalt one against a wall to make it work properly.
    The following year, she spent countless hours online tracking down a grey Hilti beanie hat to replace the much-loved one I'd had nicked whilst out on a job.
    The following year, she bought me a limited-edition presentation set of Joseph Marples try squares.

    Every one of these gifts was totally unexpected, and they all meant the absolute world to me because she'd taken the time, care and thought to get me something she knew I wanted or needed.

    You can see where I'm going with this ........
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2021
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  14. WillyEckerslike

    WillyEckerslike Screwfix Select

    Just buy some lingerie - that's sure to make his Christmas. Mrs Eckerslike does that sometimes and I have to say it really cheers me up. I haven't the heart to tell her that I'd rather she bought me a set of chisels. Bluddy lingerie doesn't fit me properly either....

    Seriously though, you've had some great suggestions but I would get some Axminster vouchers or similar so that he can choose his own - and try not to look bored if you go there with him because he'll be on cloud nine...
  15. Shytot

    Shytot Active Member

  16. WillyEckerslike

    WillyEckerslike Screwfix Select

    The trouble with treasured tools for site work is that they risk getting nicked. Sure you can get stuff replaced on insurance but it won't be the same. It's bad enough losing your stuff but that set of chisels was really special.....
  17. CGN

    CGN Screwfix Select

    All the above. Prob can’t go wrong with a set of Irwin marples though.

    As much as I’d be chuffed with tools as a present, they’re usually a tax right off.
  18. koolpc

    koolpc Screwfix Select

    She likes to see you wear it as much as you like slipping it on when she aint there!!! Lol
  19. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select

    I bought the 2500 model after being recommended the 2000 by a departed member on these forums and I have to say it's ideal for what I need it for, though I have a jig with mine to set it at a particular angle which does save a lot of guesswork and messing about. It's not Katana league quality, granted, but it certainly grinds and sharpens well enough to tackle most Carpentry tasks. Looked at a Tormek and couldn't justify £400 odd just to sharpen chisels once in a blue moon.
  20. FlyByNight

    FlyByNight Screwfix Select

    Becasue you had been seen looking at specific items, whereas teh OP has come here asking which she should get - there is a difference.

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