Blue Spruce paring chisels: too pretty to use?
If you’ve ever used a true paring chisel you know how wonderful they are at the job they’re made for. The thin blade with a low bevel angle is better for paring than a standard bench chisel, but more importantly, at least in my experience, is their overall length. They are often at least 12 in. long and that extra length makes them far easier to finesse. I’ve used Japanese paring chisels (loved them) and some western style ones, too (didn’t like them). Blue Spruce Toolworks recently sent use a set of their long paring chisels. The seven chisels arrived in two separate boxes. When I opened them, the first thing I noticed was all the straw they are packed in to protect them during shipping. I couldn’t see the chisels at all, but that only spiked my excitement. So I carefully dug my hand into the straw and pulled out the first chisel: the 1 in. wide version. Here is what ran through my head: My lord this is a gorgeous tool. And it is. The African Blackwood handle is polished and fit my hand wonderfully. The long, thin blade was tantalizing. The most intriguing feature of the blade was the edge. Rather than having a straight bevel like you find on most every other chisel, the Blue Spruce chisels have a scalloped out edge. And there is just the tiniest whisper of a flat at the bottom. That, I think, will prove to be a bit benefit when you’re trying to get into really tight corners, like when you’re cleaning out between dovetails. (It’s also a drop dead sexy design touch.) Of course, the real test of a tool is how well it works. And that’s what were going to find out next. (Around here no tool is too pretty to use. If it is, it’s not a tool.) We’re sending them out to longtime Fine Woodworking contributor Chris Gochnour. He knows a thing or two about testing and using chisels. His review will run in the magazine.
If any of you already have the chisels, let us know what you think. Do you like them?