Information on Chisels
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More Chisel Information

Hirsch Chisels
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 Price
1    White Steel                                in. chisel   $32
2    Blue Steel                                 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          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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