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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-05-2013, 01:59 PM Thread Starter
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Default Question About Blue Chip Chisels

I have read some reviews on these inexpensive chisels and some are good, but many are not so good. One person mentioned the coating that is on them, but did not suggest what to use to clean it off. Another said that the steel was very poor made of used dog food cans in China. Others were more positive about the quality of the steel. For the price, one probably can't go wrong, if they don't work they might make good paper holders. Any comments from members that are familiar with them?

Jerry Bowen
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-05-2013, 02:26 PM
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" For the price, one probably can't go wrong"
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-05-2013, 03:22 PM
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Default Irwin Marples Chisel Set

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Originally Posted by Jerry Bowen View Post
I have read some reviews on these inexpensive chisels and some are good, but many are not so good. One person mentioned the coating that is on them, but did not suggest what to use to clean it off. Another said that the steel was very poor made of used dog food cans in China. Others were more positive about the quality of the steel. For the price, one probably can't go wrong, if they don't work they might make good paper holders. Any comments from members that are familiar with them?

Jerry Bowen
Jerry-

If you are talking about the Irwin Marple Chisel Set... Quality Chisels.

I have the set. I didn't buy it. That's part of the Marples prize set I won in that contest. I learned a lot since then about "Marples." Williams Maples and Sons created quality edged tools... and today, Irwin carries on that line with an effort to carry on that tradition.

I was pleasantly surprised. They look like quality tools. They are pre-sharpened, which is almost unheard on these days. I honed and used. I've only had the set for less than a month, so no long term stats yet.

Steel? LOL. Sorry, not Chinese. The Marples line is made in Italy.

Coating? "Most" tools are shipped with a protective light oil coating, so that is really not a hit. Clean with any degreaser (wd-40, mineral spirits, etc) and then wax. You would do the same to a plane iron or cutter.

It has really changed my pre-conseaved notion about Irwin in general. Before that, with past experience, I thought of Irwin as a tool company who made quality mid-ranged tools. That is now changed. I had not know about this line before, but now that I have... I think if it were not free, as I got them, I would still really buy this set!

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-05-2013, 06:56 PM
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The (Irwin) Marple Chisels used to be made in Sheffield. My original set...Black handles...certainly were, as was my second set which I still have. The first set went to a 'new home' in the first B&E.
According to the Irwin site:
http://www.irwin.com/uploads/product...sels_eBook.pdf
the chisels are hardened to RC 58-61.
Lee Valley Tools - What is the Significance of a Rockwell Hardness Rating?
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-05-2013, 07:53 PM
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I have a set of them and they're not bad, I bought them at one of the big box stores - I think Lowe's, but I'm not certain. Garrett Wade sells these, and I am impressed with that company, and have bought quite a bit from their catalog over the past few years and have never been disappointed. These chisels can be reshapened easily and quite frankly, don't hold an edge terribly long - but it only takes a few seconds to put a sharp edge back on them. I like the feel of them in my hand, and they DO NOT GET ABUSED!

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-06-2013, 07:22 AM
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I don't own them but but have picked up other cheap ones at garage sales for a quarter or so. I have found that any chisel will do the job once it is sharpened. The nice thing about cheap ones is that you don't mind using them in places that you wouldn't consider using a good one
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-06-2013, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by mgmine View Post
I don't own them but but have picked up other cheap ones at garage sales for a quarter or so. I have found that any chisel will do the job once it is sharpened. The nice thing about cheap ones is that you don't mind using them in places that you wouldn't consider using a good one
Gotta agree with that. All mine are Harbor Freight chisels. And they work just fine.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-06-2013, 05:02 PM Thread Starter
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Nobody has confirmed or commented on what was said in the review that bad mouthed the quality of the steel of the Blue Chip Chisels. I am referring to the statement that the chisels are made in China from dog food cans and are of very low quality. I suppose that it doesn't make any difference where they are made or what they are made of as long as they work. For the most part the reviews are good, and for the price, one can't go very wrong. I will admit though that I would like further confirmation as to where the chisels are really made and that the steel is of better quality than that of dog food cans.

Jerry
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-06-2013, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bowen View Post
Nobody has confirmed or commented on what was said in the review that bad mouthed the quality of the steel of the Blue Chip Chisels. I am referring to the statement that the chisels are made in China from dog food cans and are of very low quality. I suppose that it doesn't make any difference where they are made or what they are made of as long as they work. For the most part the reviews are good, and for the price, one can't go very wrong. I will admit though that I would like further confirmation as to where the chisels are really made and that the steel is of better quality than that of dog food cans.

Jerry
Jerry, this sounds like disgruntled propaganda to me. I would not put too much credence on the statement.

You have to be careful that you do not believe everything you read.

Please link to the review so it can be checked.
This is the great thing about the Internet. Anything can be said [anonymously]but not proven.

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-06-2013, 05:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bowen View Post
Nobody has confirmed or commented on what was said in the review that bad mouthed the quality of the steel of the Blue Chip Chisels. I am referring to the statement that the chisels are made in China from dog food cans and are of very low quality. I suppose that it doesn't make any difference where they are made or what they are made of as long as they work. For the most part the reviews are good, and for the price, one can't go very wrong. I will admit though that I would like further confirmation as to where the chisels are really made and that the steel is of better quality than that of dog food cans.

Jerry
Jerry-
I have the Irwin Marples 6 piece Woodworking Chisel Set M44SB6N. It is so new, I went out into the garage, to the trash and dug out the original box cover. My mistake. The blades I won say Italy... The wrapper on the back, upper left corner says-

Features
* Premium quality steel for superior sharpness and edge retention
* Bevel edge, pre-hone for immediate use
* Impact resistant handle for use with hand or mallet

But looking closer, in the lower left corner, right of the Company data, in "very" minuscule fine print: "Made in China to IRWIN specifications"

Like I said, the set is new, but I have no complaints or bad experience with them yet. They take a sharp edge and they work. I've trimmed some wood. Done 4 mortises. Fitted 4 tenons. So far, I haven't had them long enough to tell you how long they keep an edge. And I'm not one to abuse tools.

"You" asked about these and we told you about our experience with them. The steel is hard but not brittle. It sharpens easily and fast. That could also mean that it will need a honing/stropping a bit more often than something harder... but harder also usually means harder to sharpen and brittle. Remember me mentioning a high carbon chisel of mine that takes forever to sharpen? You don't want to end up with something too hard, for doing mortises. IMHO, just sometimes not a good combination.

The "chisels in question" are good. These are better than some I have and not as good as others... but then that bias does creep in there to my "favorites." I can tell you I have some others that I am biased to because of sentiment and having used a long time.

I have a chisel I use a lot. It is not a good cutter. The angle is 30 degrees where most my other chisels are around 25 degrees. It takes forever to sharpen. I still have it and keep using it because my Master Carpenter mentor gave it to me when I started as his apprentice. It was my first working chisel. It sucks. But that thing can and has taken a lot of abuse and hard use and just keeps giving back. It's a love/hate kind of thing... but that one works also... In a different kind of way. I've always had it close, in the same location/pocket of the different tool belts I've gone through in the past 30+ years.

"Don't worry, I saw this work in a cartoon once."
"Usually learning skills and tooling involves a progression of logical steps."

Last edited by MAFoElffen; 01-06-2013 at 06:29 PM.
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