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Thread: Quality carving tools at affordable price?

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Kapolei Hawaii
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    3,044
    Ok. Long post. Get a beer. I'll wait......
    Just got a set of the afore mentioned cheapo tools. Spent 2 hours honing. I checked Amazon and they have it listed, so if you were waiting, can get them. I checked because i was sure they said they include a beginners ebook, which I can't find......
    My qualifications.... None. I can't sharpen. Yet. I can hone/strop...... I have lots to learn.
    Impressions. What the site is true. if you can't sharpen, (me) may not be wise to buy the tools. I can sharpen skews and flat chisels.
    Oh, I'm a woodturner, and what I'm looking for is to augment my feeble skills.
    I'm not a metallurgist, so I have no clue on the steel quality, but I do think it's good steel. I ran my series of diamond hones, 325/600/1200. and tried in vain to sharpen. I do own 3 and only 3 good tools. One of them is a Pfiel V-tool which, I actually do know how to "sharpen". Have yet to take the others to the grinder. I do agree that Amazon is correct about not knowing how to sharpen. Given my limited carving tool sharpening skills, I can't see how they sharpened half of the tools. BUT as they say, you need to know how to sharpen.
    I cannot agree that they are "junk", I do own several JUNK tools, and these are pretty good as far as I can tell. The V-tool and the flat chisels work pretty good in my limited experience. The others, since I have yet to take it to the grinder and actually sharpen, yet to be determined.
    If they again appear on Amazon, I'd jump and get them. 100 bucks for a dozen chisels? CANNOT go wrong with that........
    Oh, they have a real nice spoon gouge. I have a Sorby spoon and this one is smaller, and will fit nicely in my collection........
    Buy them if you can. As a real novice non professional beginning clueless carver, I think it's money well spent. My Pfiel alone is almost what I paid. How can you possibly go wrong. As mentioned, you NEED to know how to sharpen before you can carve. These need to be sharpened, not honed.
    Last observation, they are not physically as "big" as the other name brands that I have, meaning they will have less tool life with continued sharpenings. Handles are well finished, NOT to my personal liking, too much varnish/oil/finish for me.
    My $0.02. Bottom line....... You get what you pay for. These, are a BARGAIN. Get them. No Fail. If you only use the 2 flats and the V, money ahead. I finally went over the edge due to the insanity of staying at home. Need more hobbies. CV-19. Be safe, stay home do some woodworking.
    Aloha.
    Last edited by Kyle Iwamoto; 05-14-2020 at 5:15 PM. Reason: Changed the availability. It is again on the site. It was not at the time of posting.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Putney, Vermont
    Posts
    824
    Thanks for the review Kyle. These are definitely the chisels you want to learn sharpening and upkeep on.

    Carving chisels look to be quite intimidating to sharpen by hand; but with a light touch on the grinding wheels and a slow methodical approach you will be sharpening them better and faster before you know it. Check out the youtube post I posted earlier and you will get some good alternatives for sharpening.

    Maybe some more experienced carvers can post their sharpening skills here or in a new post to help us beginners out.

    I will be buying these chisels before winter. As you have said, some necessary carving chisels for not too much cost.

  3. #18
    Here's what I use to sharpen carving tools. But you need a lathe.

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Kapolei Hawaii
    Posts
    3,044
    You're welcome for the review Michael. I think it's a worthy of being an outstanding deal. Thanks for starting the post.
    About sharpening, I do have a Tormek, and a lathe. And Mike, I've already copied your sharpening disk. I remember you posting it before. (?) Just curious though, I just made mine with a glue block, and mount it in my chuck when I need it. That way I don't have to sacrifice a faceplate. Which you seem to have really nice ones...... I mark where the #1 jaws sit on the block, and re clamping will be the same, and alignment is not an issue. I just need to learn how to sharpen these chisels. As I sadly admitted, I could not hand sharpen them. Should not be a problem on the Tormek. Just wanted to mention that I couldn't do it for the ones who may not have sharpening gear.
    They do have the bevel on them, but far from "sharp". I was following the existing bevels. But, my hand sharpening skills are way lacking. I'm sure if you can hand sharpen, it would not be a problem since the factory bevels are there. Out of the box, they are fairly sharp, they did cut with some force, just not carving sharp.

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    SW Missouri
    Posts
    39
    A member of our carving group was talking with Vic Hood and he recommended them to her. She bought the 12 piece unsharpened set (they are now available pre-sharpened) and asked me to sharpen them for her. It took about 2 hours to get them carving sharp…. that includes putting a few of them on a water wheel, as they needed to be reshaped. While I had them, I tried them out and found them to hold an edge for the 10 – 15 minutes I used them.

    What I did notice is the QC in the manufacturing process may not be the same as the more expensive tools, such as Pfeil. ie: the V-groove (flute) of the parting tool (V-tool) was not centered, making one side thicker than the other. Since this tool seems to offer the beginner sharpener the most problems, the offset flute only compounds it. Since I have only worked with one set, this may not be an issue with all of them.

    I know Joe Dillett (The Carving Shop) personally. (Some of you may remember him from ‘Carving Magazine’, where he had a recurring column called ‘Ask Joe’.) He is a very talented carver and an excellent teacher. You won’t find a nicer guy. I trust his opinion and believe his review of Schaaf tools to be his honest opinion. He wouldn’t have made that video if he believed otherwise.

    I teach beginner carvers and always tell them to buy the best tools they can afford. If that means they can only afford the Schaaf, I would recommend them. I believe a real issue for the beginner is the sharpening. If they are not proficient at sharpening, or have readily access to someone who is, I would not recommend unsharpened tools. That being said, these tools would be good for one trying to learn to sharpen vs. a more expensive tool.

    I do not believe Joe uses a pedestal grinder to sharpen his carving tools. I know he uses a hand drill, a Tormek, stones, diamond plates, and a home-made bench-top sharpener (and possibly other items), but nothing I know of that turns at a high RPM. (I know he sharpens… or use to… knives, etc. for other commercial business, so he may use a grinder for those…. I just don’t know.)

    For anyone interested, I’m going to start a new thread on how I build a powered sharpener.
    .... Dave

    Old carvers never die.... they just whittle away.

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Putney, Vermont
    Posts
    824
    Thanks for sharing your sharpening setup Michael. I don't have a lathe yet, but you show good ways to accomplish making them easier for us who haven't done it yet.

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Putney, Vermont
    Posts
    824
    I appreciate your comments Dave. Your sharpening setup looks like a good one and I will keep it in mind if my grizzly wet grinder does not work out.

  8. #23
    I started with flexcut interchangeable sets. I personally have the 11 pc. and deluxe set. I still use them everyday alongside my more expensive tools
    Iv'e also heard good things of ramelson tools, but personally have not used them, so maybe someone else can vouch for them.

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Williamsburg,Va.
    Posts
    12,400
    My favorite are the Pfiel brand that Woodcraft sells. They aren't the cheapest,though.

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