I have been getting a number of hits from people looking for more information on Hirsch chisels. It is my understanding that Hirsch and Two Cherries are made by the same manufacturer at the same plant and are identical except for the handles and the engraving stamped into the blade. I use Two Cherries chisels in my own shop and I have been well pleased.
Toughness and Hardness
Fine Woodworking listed various chisels by the "toughness" rating. This was a scientific measure that showed how well a chisel held an edge after it was repeatedly hit into a wooden block. These are the chisels and the order of toughness, from most tough to least. WOOD magazine also tested chisels, measuring the hardness on the Rockwell hardness C scale.
Chisels are listed in order of "toughness" as measured by Fine Woodworking. When possible, Rockwell hardness ratings, measured by Wood magazine at various parts of the chisel, are listed. (Wood tested a different group of chisels.)
This is only part of the picture, and you should really read the complete articles. For more information, read issue 116 of WOOD magazine (August 1999) and issue 139 (December 1999) of Fine Woodworking. (Incidentally, I get both magazines every month and I find them to be incredibly helpful.)
Chisels listed in order of toughness (1 is toughest; 17 is least tough).
Hardness (Rc) measured at tip, center, and shank.
Chisel Name Rc Ratings Street Price1 White Steel ½ in. chisel $32 2 Blue Steel ½ in. chisel $38 3 Iyori set of four $156.80 4 Hirsch 59/59/31 set of four $79.95 5 Barr Specialty Tools set of four $300 6 Two Cherries 59/60/34 ½ in. chisel $18.65 7 Crown Tools set of four $39.95 8 Harris Tools set of five $109.99 9 Craftsman 57/58/59 set of five $29.99 10 Japan Woodworker set of four $67.80 11 Garret Wade 59/61/56 set of six $59.95 12 Sorby Gilt-Edge 61/60/37 set of four $140 13 Lee Valley set of five $36.50 14 Sorby Octagonal 59/59/26 set of four $130.45 15 Stanley 5002 set of four $37.96 16 Marples Blue Chip 60/60/17 set of four $31.50 17 Pfeil set of four $84.49 Red letters indicate my favorites- ones that I think deliver good quality at a decent price.
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This page last updated 10/21/03
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