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Thread: Stanley 750 vs Made in USA Chisels?

  1. #1
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    Stanley 750 vs Made in USA Chisels?

    Hi All,

    On the auction site I see more Stanley "Made in USA" socket chisels than I see of the 750s or 720s. The "Made in USA" chisels also sell for lower prices.

    My assumptiion is a lot of the price difference may be due in part to collectors.

    My questions are: 1. Is the price difference due primarily to collectors?, 2. As far as being users are concerned are the old 750s and "Made in USA" chisels basically equivalent, or is the higher price of the 750s and 720s due to being much better chisels?, and 3. I have read that Stanley started using less of one alloying metal, that had gotten very pricy, in their socket chisels, and they decided that for that reason they had to change the names of the chisels, thus abandonment of the 700 numbers.

    Finally, I could not find much on the Stanley socket chisels history, especially of these two.

    Any help and history will be much appreciated.

    Thanks and regards,

    Stew
    Last edited by Stew Denton; 05-31-2020 at 2:38 PM.

  2. #2
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    Hi Stew, In Patrick Leach's monthly tools for sale newsletter he has often listed Stanley chisels without the numbers on the socket as being the same as the 750s or 720s.

    In looking for more information by searching > stanley 750 chisels patrick leach < not much turned up.

    My favorite Stanley chisel is a 400 series. They had the top of the socket rolled and knurled. They do not show up on the auction site very often.

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

  3. #3
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    The vintage Stanley 720, 740 and 750s are in higher demand in the US market, they're sought after by American users, woodworkers and collectors because they were made in the US. They were mass produced, they have a good reputation, they're not incredibly good. I read about the change in the steel composition too, it was due to WWII restrictions. I think they were braded Defiance, they have a bad reputation.

    How about older chisels, have you looked into them? Buck Brothers, TH Witherby, made in the USA, or Marples, sorby, Cam, howarth, made in the UK.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    Hi Stew, In Patrick Leach's monthly tools for sale newsletter he has often listed Stanley chisels without the numbers on the socket as being the same as the 750s or 720s.

    In looking for more information by searching > stanley 750 chisels patrick leach < not much turned up.

    My favorite Stanley chisel is a 400 series. They had the top of the socket rolled and knurled. They do not show up on the auction site very often.

    jtk
    Do the rolled chisel have the Stanley name and number on them, Jim? I have seen a few rolled socket chisels, but with no identifying marks! May have to take a much closer look, the next time!

    Thanks,

    T.Z.
    If the thunder don't get you, the lightning will.

  5. #5
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    Mine is stamped Stanley on the blade:

    Stanley 4XX Chisel.jpg

    The knurling doesn't show well in this image. The handle had really ratty leather at the top so it was sawn off.

    Be aware that a lot of the chisels may be mushroomed from improper use when a handle breaks.

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

  6. #6
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    Rafael, the Defiance are a different model. At least the Stanley Defiance chisels that I have seen are stamped with a capital D on the socket, ie: "D."

    I hadn't really looked that much at the other chisels, but will have to do that.

    Stew
    Last edited by Stew Denton; 05-31-2020 at 5:29 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stew Denton View Post
    Rafael, the Defiance are a different model. At least the Stanley Defiance chisels that I have seen are stamped with a capital D on the socket, ie: "D."
    Stew
    Isn't a D stamp the mark of a defective item, that it didn't pass QA, but was serviceable and sold at a discount?

  8. #8
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    Have sitting on the desk beside me...
    DEFIANCE

    by STANLEY

    No. 1251
    Made in USA


    I made a new handle for it....right now, I could shave my beard with it.
    Rehab Chisel, 1.5 in. wide.JPG
    1-1/2" wide
    Rehab Chisel, flat back.JPG
    Back is as flat as can be. Have not found a thing wrong with the steel....been using it to pare areas flat.
    YMMV...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stew Denton View Post
    Hi All,

    On the auction site I see more Stanley "Made in USA" socket chisels than I see of the 750s or 720s. The "Made in USA" chisels also sell for lower prices.

    My assumptiion is a lot of the price difference may be due in part to collectors.

    My questions are: 1. Is the price difference due primarily to collectors?, 2. As far as being users are concerned are the old 750s and "Made in USA" chisels basically equivalent, or is the higher price of the 750s and 720s due to being much better chisels?, and 3. I have read that Stanley started using less of one alloying metal, that had gotten very pricy, in their socket chisels, and they decided that for that reason they had to change the names of the chisels, thus abandonment of the 700 numbers.

    Finally, I could not find much on the Stanley socket chisels history, especially of these two.

    Any help and history will be much appreciated.

    Thanks and regards,

    Stew
    Stew, there is no difference between the 750 and the Made in USA chisels. I think at some point the labeling changed, but the steels and the manufacturing remained.

    I have a mixed set I put together a while back (1/8 - 1).Never a fan of the original handles, so turned new ones from Sheoak. The lands were ground as well, with LN as a model. What looks like a 1/8 bevel edge chisel here (these are incredibly rare) was ground from a 1/4.





    These are nice chisels to use. While not really any lighter than the originals, the minimal lands create the feeling of using a lighter chisel. I am generally not a fan of socket chisels, preferring the tanged variety, but really like these.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  10. #10
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    I read about the change in the steel composition too, it was due to WWII restrictions. I think they were braded Defiance, they have a bad reputation.
    First a little history from > https://virginiatoolworks.com/2012/0...short-history/ :

    After the relationship between Stanley Rule & Level and Leonard Bailey fell apart in 1875, they ended up in court over a patent infringement dispute (which Stanley eventually won) over the designs of Stanley employee Justus Traut. Bailey went to work for Selden Bailey’s (no relation) Bailey Tool Company and in 1878 moved from Hartford, Connecticut to Woonsocket, Rhode Island to oversee the manufacture of their Defiance and Leonard’s own Victor line of planes. Both of these lines struggled and Stanley ended up buying both in 1880 and 1884 respectively, but then discontinued them by 1888.
    There have been a few different brand marks which included 'Defiance' in the name. One plane purchased at an estate sale many years ago was stamped "Defiance by Stanley."

    A 1/4" chisel still in my accumulation is marked "Defiance Made in USA." It looked like the sides were cut with a hack saw. This is after it was cleaned up some on a sanding disk:

    Edge of Defiance.jpg

    The trade mark:

    Defiance Stamp.jpg

    Cleaning up the sides has left a little of the original manufacturing marks. The chisel is now a little under 1/4". That comes in handy occasionally.

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

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    Mine is stamped Stanley on the blade:

    Stanley 4XX Chisel.jpg

    The knurling doesn't show well in this image. The handle had really ratty leather at the top so it was sawn off.

    Be aware that a lot of the chisels may be mushroomed from improper use when a handle breaks.

    jtk
    The ring and the chisel looked similar, but no name. I also believe it had light knurling. Saw the chisels at an antique mall we frequent in the SE part of PA and we'll be headed that way in 4 or 6 weeks, so I'll need to search again.

    Thanks again for posting the photos, Jim (same to you Bandit, for your photo).

    T.Z.
    If the thunder don't get you, the lightning will.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Zaffuto View Post
    The ring and the chisel looked similar, but no name. I also believe it had light knurling. Saw the chisels at an antique mall we frequent in the SE part of PA and we'll be headed that way in 4 or 6 weeks, so I'll need to search again.

    Thanks again for posting the photos, Jim (same to you Bandit, for your photo).

    T.Z.
    You are welcome Tony.

    My recollection is Keen Kutter also had a ring around the top of some socket chisels, though it wasn't knurled.

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

  13. #13
    I have both 750s and "Made in USA" chisels from the same era. I don't notice any difference between the two. I think both collectors and users drive up the price, because if it says 750, everyone knows it is a 750 and is of X quality, etc. If it is not labeled it is less certain, and you need some knowledge and experience as to its quality. Collectors are paying for the name, and users are paying for the certainty, so that drives up the price over the identical chisels that are unlabeled (but are 750s).

    Apparently Stanley didn't have the foresight to realize that stamping "750" would make the chisels much more valuable 70-80 years in the future.

  14. #14
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    A set of 10 Stanley 720 paring chisels are available at Jim Bode's store.

  15. #15
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    I have a leather chisel roll with Lie Nielsen chisels and I have Lee Valley detail chisels.

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