Surprise landing: Stanley’s new Sweetheart chisels have arrived
Earlier last summer, Stanley tools said that they were going to reintroduce the well-liked Stanley 750 line of socket chisels. That raised the hopes of many a woodworker. Well, autumn came and went and there were no chisels. Then a few pictures showed up on Stanley’s website, but there were no real details about them. This week, out of the blue, we received a box from Stanley. Inside we found another box, containing eight chisels and a leather roll. Each of the chisels was individually boxed, too. Nice surprise. We’re sending them out to one of our regular contributors to give a good testing and he’ll report on them in the magazine very soon.
While they were here, I couldn’t resist the temptation to take them out and see how they felt. I also brought in a few of my Lie-Nielsen bench chisels, which are also based on the original 750 line. I can’t give an exhaustive review of the Stanley’s, but I will point out some differences between them and the Lie-Nielsen chisels. I hope that will sate your hunger for information until we can get the official review into the magazine.
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The first thing that came to mind when I took the Stanley’s out of the box is that I dread socket chisels in the winter. The handle fell right out of the socket. That’s a problem with my Lie-Nielsen chisels, too. The way around it is to either epoxy them in place, or, (and this is what I do) wrap a few shavings around the tenon on the handle and seat the handle in the socket. That works pretty well. Okay, the second thing I noticed was that they are very light, even lighter than the Lie-Nielsen. That’s because their blades are thinner. But they are still well-balanced in your hand. Personally, I don’t see anything wrong with their weight. The second thing I noticed is that the sides of the chisels are a bit taller than the sides on the Lie-Nielsen chisels. That means they’ll have more trouble getting into dovetail sockets, if you use them for that.
Here are few more details. The size chisels that we received: 1/8 in., 1/4 in., 3/8 in., 1/2 in., 5/8 in., 3/4 in., 1 in., and 1 1/4 in. The blades are made from “High carbon-chrome steel.” The box says that they are “Made in England with Global Components.” I’ll leave it to you to decipher what that means, but the bottom line will be performance, and Gochnour will give us skinny on that after he gets them in his dusty hands and gives a good workout.
Chisels reborn. Stanley has reintroduced its venerable 750 line. Here you see 1/2 in., 3/4 in., 1 in., and 1 1/4 in. chisels.
Descendents of a common parent. My Lie-Nielsen 3/4 in. chisel (top) and the Stanley are both based on the Stanley 750 line.
The edge of a bevel. On the Stanley, the edge is narrow, but bit taller than those on the Lie-Nielsen.
Barely an edge at all. On the Lie-Nielsen there is almost no edge, which makes it easier to get into tight corners when paring dovetails.