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Thread: Paring chisel survey

  1. #1

    Paring chisel survey

    With the never ending search for more tools to acquire I pose this question. What is your favorite paring chisel? I'm thinking of the one you can't wait to grab when it's time for the finest details of your project. Looking forward to your answers.

  2. #2
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    I have a long straight 1/2" that gets a lot of service. My favorite is a 3/8" crook neck though. Seems more versatile for the things I actually end up paring.
    I always forget . . . Is it the letter "S" or the letter "C" that is silent in the word scent?
    - Glenn (the second "N" is silent) Bradley

  3. #3
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    I have two blue spruce that are my paring go to set. 1/4 and 1/2"

  4. #4
    No question it is my restored 3/4" James Swan.
    Dave Anderson
    Chester Toolworks LLC
    Chester, NH

  5. #5
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    My old Boxwood handled Marples do what I need them to do. I have a picture in here of one curling up ridges from a small backsaw on a tenon cheek offcut. Micrometer is on the "large" shaving in that picture.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #6
    You'll laugh at me, but I have a set of ALDI chisels ground to 15* that work well as parers. I like the 3/4" best.

    (I also have a set of the NAREX parers - while I love the length, they are simply too thick and heavy for my likes.)
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  7. #7
    Of current production western chisels there are few pattern maker chisels being produced, the only one I've used are made by R. Sorby. The few others I've seen are too thick. With Japanese chisels there are a large number of push chisels, most are very good, it is kinda pick your steel and handle wood and if it is coming from a blacksmiths shop you will have a good chisel. BTW, each, western pattern makers or Japanese push, are very good paring chisels that have slightly different jobs in their wheelhouse. You can't go wrong with either.

    ken

  8. #8
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    I have some dedicated, long paring chisels, but I usually just use the nearest one at hand.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by James Spillman View Post
    With the never ending search for more tools to acquire I pose this question. What is your favorite paring chisel? I'm thinking of the one you can't wait to grab when it's time for the finest details of your project. Looking forward to your answers.
    Isn’t everything pared to precision?

    A definition of a paring chisels is one with a thin, low bevelled blade intended to take thin shavings in joinery. Does this then exclude the average bench chisel, which have 30 degree bevels and thick bodies?

    One chisel I consider to be a small paring chisel are the detail/dovetail chisels from Blue Spruce. They are exquisite. Yet they have 30 degree bevels owing to being made of A2 steel. Sharp is sharp, regardless of bevel angle, although I suspect that 30 degrees is a limitation. It would be interesting to attempt a 20 degree bevel and add a Unicorn profile.



    Most bench chisels can be made to perform this way. But it is as the old adage states, “jack of all trades ... and master of none”.

    At the other end of the scale I have Kiyohisa slicks. Their blades are relatively thick by Western standards, but thinner than oire nomi. They also have a lower bevel angle at 25 degrees. Their long handles enable paring angles to be judged better, while the canted blades allow them to cut at a lower angle ...






    At the end of the day, a choice is dictated by whether you prefer working up close, or not.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    I have a pair of Blue Spruce paring chisels - long, thin, exquisite. I also have a set of Narex "paring" chisels which are are long, thick and feel like swords. They do pare though.

  11. #11
    Join Date
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    For my favorite paring chisel it would have to be a 1" Buck Bros. with an approximately 15º bevel:

    Paring a Tenon.jpg

    It can take nice controlled curls.

    It was in with my first few Buck Bros. chisels acquired. They are what led me to put together a set, 1/8" to 1" by 1/8ths, over the years.

    For bigger paring either a 1-1/4" Stanley 400 series or a 1-1/2" Union chisel is used.

    Stanley 4XX Chisel.jpg

    The top of the socket is not mushroomed. It is made that way and has knurling. This series wasn't as popular as the 750. They are occasionally seen on ebay.

    Union Shoulder Trimming.jpg

    Union Hardware chisels usually have the name stamped on the socket. They are a fine chisel that until recently didn't command the premium of other vintage brands. Of my larger chisels this is possibly my favorite.

    For paring the bottom of a dado some Buck Bros. crank neck chisels are handy to have.

    Crank Neck Chisel.jpg

    Can a person have more than one favorite chisel depending on the need?

    My 1" chisel is too big for most dovetails.

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

  12. #12
    Thank you for your responses. It appears many people have a "go to" favorite. Blue Spruce chisels are often mentioned as a favorite paring chisel because of it's light weight and beautiful design.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Michiana
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    I have two. One is a 1/2" cranked neck Buck Brothers paring chisel and the other is a 1 1/2" Butcher firmer ground as a paring chisel. They both work as intended.




    Sharp solves all manner of problems.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
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    South West Ontario
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    Ashley Isles paring chisels are slim, sharp and strong. They fit the paring chisel definition perfectly. Four sets of chisels and some randoms but no clear favourite. It all comes down to the scale of the work.
    ​You can do a lot with very little! You can do a little more with a lot!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by William Fretwell View Post
    Ashley Isles paring chisels are slim, sharp and strong. They fit the paring chisel definition perfectly. Four sets of chisels and some randoms but no clear favourite. It all comes down to the scale of the work.
    Nicely stated, William.

    In addition to scale of work, add hardness of wood.

    One can work as precisely - if not more so! - when using a hammer with a bench chisel. This is one of the raison d'etre of oire nomi used with a gennou.

    If using a hammer or mallet, the chisel handles come under scrutiny: can they hold up to taps with a metal hammer? Hooped bench chisels are, obviously, the best choice. However, a hammer with wood, leather or nylon ends is also suitable for unhooped handles. Steel still gives me the best feedback, hence my love of Japanese oire nomi.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

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