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Thread: Help me decide on beveled chisels. Richter or Pfeil

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    Austin Texas
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    Another vote for the Ashley Ile Mk 2 chisels Michail. They feel good in my hands and don't seem to dull up faster than anything else. They are easy to freehand or guide sharpen with my water stones. I just received an AI round back chisel two or three days ago (and two or three days after completing some dovetails) to try out and my tryout on some scrap timber went well. I did not even sharpen it, just tried it and also nipped the end of my finger when I bumped the finger tip against the corner of the blade. It definitely came sharp. The Mk 2 chisels are 30* bevel and the round back one is 25*. I intend to use the round back one(s) for paring.
    David

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Columbus, Ohio, USA
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    2,837
    If I remember correctly, your primary complaint with your existing chisels was that they did not hold an edge long enough. So, you have a primary complaint on edge retention.

    If edge retention is my primary concern, well, then I want PM-V11 from Lee Valley (which I own), or XHP, from whomever sells that and I have never tried it, just read about it.

    When I was looking around, I saw plenty of complaints about Narex chisels specifically claiming that you needed to hone often and that it took a long time to make the backs flat. The problem with Narex, however, is that (1) I think the chisels you are looking at have some new cryo-treatment so previous experience is not useful and as many people who complained about the chisels also thought that they were the best thing ever.

    I own some Narex chisels, but I purchased them because they are very long and they do not see significant use. I used to own Narex tenon chisels, but I also own Ashley Isles so I got rid of the Narex for no particular reason.

    As for Pfeil, well, they have a solid reputation, and most people seem to really like the steel.

    Ignoring that I would buy the PM-V11 chisels from Lee Valley, which might not be possible for you (without huge shipping charges), If you have nothing else to go on, the first thing that I would look at is the handles. I really like the stanley sweet heart socket chisel handles. I own some very old ones and I just like them. I would look at the Pfeil and the Narex and decide if you think that you will find them nice in your hand, or if you would need to remake the handles if not.

    I used to own a set of Pfeil bench chisels, but I was afraid to use them because I did not know how to sharpen and I did some bad things to some cheaper chisels. When I figured out how to sharpen without destroying my chisels, a friend needed them more than I did, but had no chance of affording them, so I gifted them to my friend. In other words, I did not use them long enough to have anything to say about longevity; but the handles were very different than those that I seem to like now.

    So which form factor to you prefer? And please, let us know what you think after you decide and compare to what you have now.

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Silicon Valley, CA
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    638
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Pitonyak View Post
    ... Ignoring that I would buy the PM-V11 chisels from Lee Valley, which might not be possible for you (without huge shipping charges), ....
    Dictum carries the Veritas chisels and sells in the EU. Of course the PM-V11 chisels still seem higher priced than some of the others that have been discussed in this thread.

    With chisels, unlike planes, the edge is readily accessible so maybe we should be talking sharpening instead of exotic steels. (Mostly kidding! Sharpening threads always generate heat, but not often light. Besides a search of the forums will find many such threads.)

    Michail, it is worth considering if more convenient sharpening would allow more frequent sharpening and reduce the need for more expensive exotic steel in search of longer lasting edges. Remember the is no one right answer, just the best trade off which will be different for each of us.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    bloomington il
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    162
    Wood by wright did a nice chisel test. His top pick was the Richters. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYDLQ_gydhc&t=1240s
    The spread sheet he made up was nice https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...E08/edit#gid=0

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Frederick, Maryland
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    158
    Quote Originally Posted by justin sherriff View Post
    Wood by wright did a nice chisel test. His top pick was the Richters. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYDLQ_gydhc&t=1240s
    The spread sheet he made up was nice https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...E08/edit#gid=0

    I owned the basic Narex chisel and didn't like it. Didn't hold edge well and they were bulky.

    I also own Lie Nielsen and PMV-11 chisels and purchased the Narex Richter chisel.

    This review is dead on! I agree 100% with everything he said and for approx. $35/chisel you CANNOT beat the new Richter chisel. Its fit and finish is as good as the Lie Nielsen and Veritas, however, the Veritas still holds edge longer but not by much.


    Regarding that review on Sawmillcreek where he had quality concerns...I don't agree at all. My opinion was that person is having an issue in his technique as Narex spent a lot of time prepping these chisels and work on the overall fit and finish on these chisels.

  6. #21
    Thanks everyone for the input. Especially the users that had these were really helpful.

    Edge retention is the only reason I want to upgrade from Dictum ones. I don't want to visit the sharpening station twice after chopping 6-8 tails.

    I found a UK based retailer that have Ashley Iles, Richter and Pfeil and bonus Veritas.

    Maybe I will end up buying one of each and try what I offer most.

    I was ready to pull the trigger on Richter but now I need to figure out which sizes mare available on each brand and see if I can work it out this way.


    Hope this helps other members in the future.

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Port au Port, NL, Canada
    Posts
    13
    Having tried a couple Narex chisels and the older Pfeil carpenter chisel design I wasn't impressed with the Narex chisels, I found the Pfeil to be more comfortable and didn't roll around. Pfeil didn't require near as much work to tune up. So I ordered the new style bevel edge Pfeil carpenter chisels.
    I received them this week and after looking them over I'm happy with my choice. I want to change the bevel so I have a 20* paring set, a 30* bench set and 2 sets of 18* corner chisels 10mm and 12mm with 20* bevel.
    My order consisted of a bench set from 4-40mm, a paring set 6mm, 10mm, 12mm,16mm, 20mm and 26mm and 2 corner chisel sets for 10mm and 12mm which I'll regrind to 18 degrees left and right then reset the bevel to 20 degrees.

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Silicon Valley, CA
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    638
    The Pfeil chisels are very nice and I think you make a good choice. However:

    Quote Originally Posted by John Erickson View Post
    ... I wasn't impressed with the Narex chisels, ....

    The Narex Richter chisels in this thread are recently released and a step up from the well known Narex offerings. After a quick glance, I expect it would take fairly extensive & careful testing to say objectively one is better than the other. Certainly the Richter's are closer in size, fit, and finish to the Pfeil's than the earlier Narex chisels and a individual's choice would probably come down to their personal preferences and working style.

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    twomiles from the "peak of Ohio
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    8,826
    Hmm..
    Rehabbed Fulton Special chisel.JPG
    Part of a set...
    Vintage chisels.JPG
    1-1/2" Stanley Handyman , PEXTO 1" rounded back, 1/2" Fulton Special, 1/2" Witherby.
    Last edited by steven c newman; 05-21-2020 at 1:50 PM.

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Connecticut Shoreline
    Posts
    86
    I guess I have been lucky in my work, and with the tools that I own, in that I cannot identify any of my chisels that won't take or keep a serviceable edge. I have a number of chisels (like everybody here). I started out with old (now they're old) Woodcraft branded bench/paring chisels. Later I bought a set of Marples Blue Chips (Pre Irwin). Along the way I picked up various old chisels, Bucks, Pexto, Greenlee, Swans and many others. They all seem to take a keen edge, and since it's my habit to strop frequently, they seem to keep the edge for an acceptable amount of time.

    Since I have so many, I reserve individual chisels for particular uses, some for light paring cuts, some for chopping dovetail waste, and others for rough usage (chopping hinge and door lock mortises, etc). The rough ones are likely to encounter nails and paint and I appreciate their soft steel, so I can grind out nicks readily.

    If chopping dulls the chisel prematurely, I wonder about the grinding angle, maybe too acute?

    I suppose if I worked with my chisels all day, every day, edge retention would be more of a concern. But ever since I adopted Paul Seller's 3 diamond plates followed by a strop technique, putting a fresh edge freehand on a chisel is a 30 second task. Do I get as sharp an edge as other, more elaborate and time consuming methods? Probably not, but they're sharp enough for the tasks at hand.

    DC

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Longview WA
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Carroll View Post
    [edited]

    Since I have so many, I reserve individual chisels for particular uses, some for light paring cuts, some for chopping dovetail waste, and others for rough usage (chopping hinge and door lock mortises, etc). The rough ones are likely to encounter nails and paint and I appreciate their soft steel, so I can grind out nicks readily.

    DC
    This is my reason for still buying decent chisels when convenient. There are a lot of good old tools available for what seems like cheap money when compared to what a good quality chisel costs today.

    Of course, not everyone wants or needs a 1" mortise chisel. There are still four more 1" mortises to cut on my current project. Each chop has me thinking about what other heavy firmer chisels might be useful.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

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