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Thread: Anybody tried out the new Wood River socket chisels?

  1. #1

    Anybody tried out the new Wood River socket chisels?

    Hey guys

    Anyhody here tried out the new Wood River socket chisels?
    If so - what are your impressions?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Dublin, CA
    I haven't tried them.

    Based on the reviews and a couple other factors I suspect that like Narex they're saving (a lot of) money by doing 100% of their grinding before heat treatment

    Unfortunately I suspect that they haven't figured out Narex' low-distortion interrupted quench austempering process, which may be why people are complaining so much about warp and setup time. I say this both because the upper end of their stated hardness range (Rc 59-63 vs Rc 59 for Narex) is unattainable via austempering AFAIK, and because the lettering on the iron appears to be etched. Austempered irons usually have to be printed because lower bainite doesn't etch very easily.

    BTW that huge Rc 59-63 hardness spec range is worrisome. If they're really varying that much then you'd be playing "chisel Russian roulette" every time you buy one. Rc 59 is perfectly fine for a chisel, and is about the same as LV's O1 chisels and Narex. Most conventional alloys lose toughness and become extremely brittle and "chippy" by Rc63, though, and if they were using the sort of alloy and/or construction that can handle that I would think they'd say so (and charge more). "Cr-V" is a near-meaningless steel description, as there are a wide range of tool steels have Cr and V as their top two non-Mn alloyants. I don't know of any that I'd use in a chisel at Rc63 though.

    All in all I'd take a pass for now until more is known about these.
    Last edited by Patrick Chase; 02-06-2018 at 2:21 PM.

  3. #3
    I've had a set since mid November. I had no troubles flattening the backs using my trend diamond plate and working through shaptons. So far, the edge has held up fairly well. I can resharpen and be back to work in less than a minute. For me, the cost difference between this and one of the premium brands wasn't warranted.

  4. #4
    Thanks for the info.

    I saw a set of these at Woodcraft. They looked really good.. And especially the backs looked perfect/slightly hollow ground for easy setup. I got the 1" to see how it was. It's very nice and I am ordering several more based on that one..

    I will post a brief review once they come in and I have a chance to try them all out..

  5. #5
    May just be a bad one in the batch, but i just got this one and it failed day 1. Handle is pristine, so its not like I was wailing on it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Forest Lake MN
    I have a set of the regular non socket ones and they are fine. Not awesome but fine and work well enough. I spent a couple hours on the set getting them flat and sharpened, but figure you have to do that with most.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Plano, Tx
    I have purchased a 1” and a 3/4” and I am very happy with both. At the time I bought them I was either going to purchase the wood river chisels, or try out the new Stanley 750s. Based on reviews that I read I just had a bit better feeling about the wood river chisels.

    They feel better than my Irwin Marples blue handle chisels and I feel like they take a bit better edge as well. Lately I find myself using some of my smaller chisels with some of the work I am doing (3/8” & 1/2”) so I’d eventually like to pick up those sizes as well.

    I’m tempted to try out one of the new Stanleys because they seem to have a bit longer blade (maybe a better for paring) but I wouldn’t hesitate to buy a few more of the wood river chisels.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Ketrow View Post
    May just be a bad one in the batch, but i just got this one and it failed day 1. Handle is pristine, so its not like I was wailing on it.
    The good news is that they should replace that, no problem. Woodcraft is often a little more $$ than other places I get things and their shipping cost won't win any prizes but, I have never had them give me any static on a return or a replacement over the years.
    She said “How many woodworking tools do you need?”
    I said “Why? Do you know someone who is selling some?”

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    DuBois, PA
    Several years ago, my wife bought me a set of the four Woodriver butt style chisels (non socket). Now, I have to say, I would not have purchased these, as I much prefer my AI chisels, the few Japanese chisels I have and the many vintage chisels. However, these Woodriver have worked very well. They take an edge nicely, and hold it for the wood I work (cherry, white oak, some walnut mainly).
    If the thunder don't get you, the lightning will.

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