Are Expensive Chisels Worth The Money? Western Bench Chisel Comparison

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Review by WoodWorkLIFE posted 04-21-2017 04:09 AM 814 views 1 time favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Are Expensive Chisels Worth The Money?  Western Bench Chisel Comparison Are Expensive Chisels Worth The Money?  Western Bench Chisel Comparison Are Expensive Chisels Worth The Money?  Western Bench Chisel Comparison Click the pictures to enlarge them

A question that has plagued woodworkers for eras. In this video, I take a look at western bench chisels to understand what makes them tick. I test for ease of sharpening, ergonomics, the utility of the blade length/stays and overall feel. I took all of the chisels to a 27-degree bevel to really get a feel for sharpening them and to get rid of that first bit of possibly over hardened steel, I flattened the back, and then I just had-at-it living with them for a few months. The video is a synopsis on these impressions (pardon my sloppy clamping of the work piece)

A couple of really good standouts were the Work Zone Chisel from Aldi, for practically free, the Stanley Sweetheart, and the Veritas PMV11.

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In the end the key to any chisel is getting it sharp, and keeping it that way so also check out my video on sharpening if you haven’t already.

But, at the end of the day, a good lifetime chisel is up to the hand of the craftsman that is using it. Henry David Thoreau said, “Men are becoming the tools of their tools.” I say, and probably somebody before me, “It’s not the tool that makes the man.” But at the end of the day, I think everyone should own one nice chisel, to at least know what they are missing. The value of these tools is entirely up to you.

Thanks for watching, please like and subscribe to my channel,


-- Rick, Keep your tools sharp and your mind sharper,

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4 comments so far

View dhazelton's profile


2504 posts in 1897 days

#1 posted 04-21-2017 12:39 PM

Nice video. Been to my Aldi’s a few times and never see those chisels. Gotta look again.

View gargey's profile


580 posts in 376 days

#2 posted 04-21-2017 07:40 PM


View diverlloyd's profile


1861 posts in 1458 days

#3 posted 04-22-2017 08:58 PM

Aldi chisel are sold around Father’s Day. I hate video reviews.

View MrRon's profile


4059 posts in 2844 days

#4 posted 04-23-2017 12:46 AM

Steel is what makes a good chisel. A cheap chisel can be made into a good chisel as long as the steel used is good. The trouble is you don’t know what steel is used just by looking at it. By buying an expensive chisel, the guesswork as to the steel used is done for you. If you hold an unknown steel chisel against a grinding wheel, you can determine what steel alloy was used by the sparks made. Generally a name brand chisel has pretty good steel. Stanley is one such brand. I would stay away from Chinese made steel. Old files have been used to make knives, but not good for chisels. High speed steel (HSS) is best for chisels if you want to make your own. It can take a lot of heat from grinding and not lose it’s temper.

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