View Full Version : Japanese chisel

jeremy holloman
04-11-2005, 1:01 PM
I am seriously thinking about picking up a set of new chisels and am leaning to getting some Japanese ones, but I was noticing that the backs all seem to have a depression purpusefully cast in them and it stops not far from the blade edge. On some they even had three. It couldn't have had more than 3/8' or so of flat back. My question is, what do you do when you have sharpened to the beginning of the relief? Throw them away? Seriously, I would like to get a set, and I don't mind the price if they are going to last. I am a fanatic about sharpening. I hone my chisels at the slightest hint of losing an edge. I'd hate to spend the money and have to chunk them withing a couple of years. Of course, there may be some super cool way of dealing with the dished backs that I don't know about.

Derek Cohen
04-11-2005, 1:45 PM

All Japanese blades have hollowed blade backs. This is to make it easier to flatten the very hard steel that is laminated there. Don't worry about sharpening to the edge of a hollow - it will not occur. As you hone both sides of the bevel, the hollows will appear to recede.

Regards from Perth


Michael Perata
04-11-2005, 3:32 PM
Unless you are going to work almost exclusively with the softer woods found in Japan, I would pick up only one Japanese chisel and try it for awhile and see if it what you really want.

You may want to go back to western style iron.

Tim Leo
04-11-2005, 7:21 PM
the hollow disappears as you flatten the back.