Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Lee Valley Chisels

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Lee Valley Chisels

    I sent for a set of ten chisels from Lee Valley. The set of ten is back ordered until November 11.
    Those who have bought them and used them, are they a really good chisel or a decent chisel for the price, or one you would sacrifice instead of your good chisel?
    These chisels are chrome-manganese steel, hardened to Rc59
    I do not know steel terms so would this be of good quality?
    Thanks again for helping me
    Murray
    Murray
  • Thread Continues Below...

  • #2

    Re: Lee Valley Chisels

    Re: Lee Valley Chisels

    I assume you bought the nex classic bevel edge chisels and not the original Narex chisels that LV has been selling for a while. That being said, i have the older chisels and I am quite fond of them. Edge retention is not as good as i would like, but it is still pretty good. They feel good in the hand and balance well, and at about $10 a piece you won't regret the purchase.

    Comment


    • #3

      Re: Lee Valley Chisels

      Re: Lee Valley Chisels

      I bought the middle sized set a while ago. Flattening the backs on most was easy, with one exception. I put a 30 degree microbevel on them, then mistreated them horribly by cutting mortises in red oak. I found them to be amazingly tough - no edge rolling when mortising and they kept their sharpness quite well. They seem superior to my old Marples blue chips, although time will tell. FWIW

      Comment


      • #4

        Re: Lee Valley Chisels

        Re: Lee Valley Chisels

        I was browsing around looking at bevel edge chisels today. It's unsettling that we can get a set of 4 Narex for $35 yet I go to Lie Neilson and they sell one for $55 per chisel. Then I wonder how good the Narex ones are if they're so cheap.

        Now I'm not picky, I've been using these Footprint chisels for 3 years now along with the worksharp so anything's an improvement. I just don't want 3 sets of chisels around, just one good set and my kickers (footprint).
        Are the Narex ones good? What's not great about them? Why are the LN ones so crazy expensive. I notice LN is A- steel, the Narex Rc59 chrome-manganese steel. The intro price is only until Aug 8th.
        Why do people keep calling me Rob?

        Comment


        • #5

          Re: Lee Valley Chisels

          Re: Lee Valley Chisels

          Lie Nielsen is a small business aiming at a niche market, paying North American wages, and supplying first-class service. They've only been around since 1981, with the usual business startup costs, and a wide product range. Prices are on a par with other NA makers such as Blue Spruce. Narex has been around for nearly 100 years under various names, mass-producing small tools. It pays Czech Republic wages, and for service you have to go to the retailer. Until the 1990s it was nationalized -- subsidized by the government. It exports all over the world. There's no reason why their quality control shouldn't be excellent, but they have a limited range of products -- chisels, screwdrivers and associated stuff. There's no comparison in the cost of doing business.
          From the consumer point of view there probably isn't any justification for paying the extra for LN if all you're interested in is your finished product. Narex will do the job, with maybe a fraction more time spent on sharpening. I do own LN and BS, partly because I like to support NA businesses, and partly because I admire excellent workmanship with no expense spared. If the Narex had been around when I was buying, though, I might well have bought them instead. After all, once you've admired your LNs for the first week, you whack them with a mallet like any other chisel.
          Jim

          Comment


          • #6

            Re: Lee Valley Chisels

            Re: Lee Valley Chisels

            I think a lot of people want to skip steps and buy their last set of chisels first. I understand how people want to buy one time and getit over with, but I don't think anyone can tell another woodworker what they will find good enough. Differences in expectations are huge, and what satisfies you after a few years of woodworking might frustrate you after 10. Or not. That is also why you can buy chisels that cost ten dollars each, and others that cost 500 each.
            I do think there is a big difference between Lie-Nielsens or BS and Narex, materials, craftsmanship, and feel, but whether the price difference is justified is an entirely subjective call. I do know that edge retention is almost always better on the more expensive chisels. Not always, but if you don't have the time to hunt for the good old ones or to try each maker one by one, you bite the bullet at one point and if you're lucky you get what you pay for. Some might find the extra sharpening negligeable, others not. I know I don't.
            Of course it's not just a choice between three makers. There are several different styles to choose from, and it can take a while to really know what works best for you. As Jayked said the Narex will do the job, and if you haven't found the need to spend 50 or $100 on a chisel, don't do it.
            Frank
            SPCHT

            Comment

            • Thread Continues Below...

            • #7

              Re: Lee Valley Chisels

              Re: Lee Valley Chisels

              Yes they are nex classic bevel edge chisels. I was hoping they would be fair quality for the price. Tough is good. Looks like these are made in a cheaper to operate off shore factory but they maintained some steel quality. Maybe for some these won’t be their last set, but it is nice that most people have the money to start out with a bit better quality. I have had a couple of cheaper sets over the years but only did rough woodworking. I am now going to try my hand at making some doveltails which I always wanted to do but never did. Now that the bucket list time is getting short, I thought I had better get going at it.
              Thanks for the comments on the chisels and makes me feel better on my ordering these.
              Murray

              Comment


              • #8

                Re: Lee Valley Chisels

                Re: Lee Valley Chisels

                Murray,
                you asked: Those who have bought them and used them, are they a really good chisel or a decent chisel for the price, or one you would sacrifice instead of your good chisel?

                I picked up a full set of 10 last week. I bought them because I wanted the larger sizes (11/4, 11/2,2) but LV isn't selling just the larger sizes which I don't understand because those 3 came boxed separately than the other 7. Anyway my limited experience with them is as follows:
                - relatively flat backs however, I did lap the backs to get them to where I wanted them
                - since I have a set of BE chisels at 25 degrees primary, I reground the Narex to 35 ( the 35 is a secondary) ; also in part because I think the steel is too soft to support a 25 degree edge
                - I then honed them to 8000x
                the above was easy to do because the steel is relatively soft which I suspect will require more resharpening than on my other chisels (hirsch, LN, BS, HS) going forward.
                For the price they are ok in my opinion as an extra set but they won't be my go to chisel of choice and I won't be using them for dovetailing. What I dislike about them about them are the handles. They are much too big for my liking both in terms of diameter and length. I much prefer the feel of my LNs and BS's. I definitely will rehandle them at some point.
                My best chisels are my Harold and Saxon's from Australia but one can't compare a $120 chisel (and 2.5+ years wait time) with a chisel with an average cost of $8.50.

                conclusion, the 3 larger ones will be used when needed, the smaller sizes probably never.


                Larry

                Comment


                • #9

                  Re: Lee Valley Chisels

                  Re: Lee Valley Chisels

                  Excellent feedback. I dropped by at the Edmonton store this morning and ordered the full set (10 chisels) and was told they are out of stock (no news) and that no backorders are being accepted either! That was news as my understanding is that 10 chisel set was made up of 7 + 3 ( 1 1/4, 1 1/2 and 2") so they should have been able to fill the first seven and backorder the three. Anyways I did not argue; took it as a sign from god that there are better quality chisels in my future

                  Comment


                  • #10

                    Re: Lee Valley Chisels

                    Re: Lee Valley Chisels

                    Originally posted by Teak View Post
                    Excellent feedback. I dropped by at the Edmonton store this morning and ordered the full set (10 chisels) and was told they are out of stock (no news) and that no backorders are being accepted either! That was news as my understanding is that 10 chisel set was made up of 7 + 3 ( 1 1/4, 1 1/2 and 2") so they should have been able to fill the first seven and backorder the three. Anyways I did not argue; took it as a sign from god that there are better quality chisels in my future
                    When I bought them they didn't have the 3 larger sizes in so they gave me the 7 pack and back ordered the 3 piece set. I guess the demand is a lot higher than expected so they have stopped taking back orders?

                    AK

                    Comment


                    • #11

                      Re: Lee Valley Chisels

                      Re: Lee Valley Chisels

                      Hi Larry
                      I know these chisels will not compete with you high end ones you have mentioned. Wow the Harold and Saxon's must be quite a chisel. I don't do much hand tool work but am going to try some so these will do me. I also bought a set of 5 Beaver (Swedish made) chisels at a yard sale the other week so these set should outdo me.
                      Teak and Andrew , when I ordered them they are shipping the set of seven and BO the 3.
                      It is forums like this that really can sell tools. Bulk orders for some discount consideration would be nice to do.
                      Murray

                      Comment

                      • Thread Continues Below...

                      • #12

                        Re: Lee Valley Chisels

                        Re: Lee Valley Chisels

                        I've prepped my set of ten, but other than testing the edges on end grain pine I haven't done any real work with them yet. All I can vouch for so far is that they take a keen edge and that the backs are quite flat. Except for my 2", they all took minimal time to prep. The 2" inch was a bit of a chore since mine had a low spot on the top right. I'm very happy so far. I'm starting a couple of new project soon, so I'll be sure to give more feedback. I already like them better than my Hirsch set though...
                        Cheers,
                        SPCHT

                        Comment


                        • #13

                          Re: Lee Valley Chisels

                          Re: Lee Valley Chisels

                          Hi -

                          A few comments on some of the posts in this thread...

                          Teak - we will certainly take back-orders for the chisels... if you still want them at the now-expired intro price, I'll be glad to honor that. Sorry for the confusion.

                          Open stock will be listed soon on the website - we had to wait for the dust to settle on the sets. We will have stock of all sizes 1" or less, but we consumed most of the 1 1/4, 1 1/2, and 2" chisel filling orders for the sets. Since these are coming from the Czech Republic, and are not a stock item, the lead times are long.

                          Even at regular prices - these chisels are a good buy. Well made, well hardened, and accurately ground. The handle style is a classic European shape - which may not suit all users, but that's why we offer other styles of chisels. I am buying my two sets when they come back in stock; I don't see how they can make this quality at these prices.

                          As many of you may know- we will be introducing our own chisels later this year - made here in Ottawa. They will start at $30-$40 per size... and head North from there! For limited runs of precision tools - most of the cost is labour and machine time. We bill machine time at $20-50 per hour, and labour at skilled machinist rates. Then add in the cost of premium steels (up to $18 lb - also applied to the steel removed to form the net shape) and it's not hard to see why the price is where it is (or will be). If I look at our least expensive chisel in development right now, more than $18 of our cost is labour and machine time! Conceptually - there no difference between the economies of scale for mass produced cars, and mass produced chisels. Narex would be the ford Focus of cars....a premium chisel would be a Bentley....of course, there customers for both.

                          Cheers -

                          Rob
                          Last edited by Rob Lee; 08-09-2011, 07:47 AM. Reason: typo

                          Comment


                          • #14

                            Re: Lee Valley Chisels

                            Re: Lee Valley Chisels

                            Hi Rob;

                            No worries. When I wrote "took it as a sign from god that there are better quality chisels in my future", I was thinking about your premium chisels. Any idea when we can expect to see these in the store? Also are they good old fashioned O1/A2 or something fancy like CPMV? O1/A2 would mean I would not have to upgrade my sharpening infrastructure. All of my planes are from LV with A2 so I really want to try O1. If my understanding is correct traditional chisels were made with O1 Thanks again for your generous offer. This is what makes LV a leader.

                            Regards,
                            Last edited by Teak; 08-09-2011, 02:39 PM. Reason: typo

                            Comment


                            • #15

                              Re: Lee Valley Chisels

                              Re: Lee Valley Chisels

                              Originally posted by Teak View Post
                              Hi Rob;

                              No worries. When I wrote "took it as a sign from god that there are better quality chisels in my future", I was thinking about your premium chisels. Any idea when we can expect to see these in the store? Also are they good old fashioned O1/A2 or something fancy like CPMV? O1/A2 would mean I would not have to upgrade my sharpening infrastructure. All of my planes are from LV with A2 so I really want to try O1. If my understanding is correct traditional chisels were made with O1 Thanks again for your generous offer. This is what makes LV a leader.

                              Regards,
                              Hi -

                              Yes - our chisels should be appearing before Christmas, hopefully much earlier. The first released bench chisels will be O1 steel, and we'll be announcing a second steel at the same time. Date on those will depend solely on the ability of the mill to supply steel. Lead times are horrendous right now on powdered metal steels... 8+ months!

                              Cheers -

                              Rob

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X