Bench Chisel(8) - Fine Woodworking Tool Review
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Bench Chisel(8)

Pfeil Swiss Made - Bench Chisel(8)

Pfeil chisels feature hornbeam handles and chrome vanadium tool steel

$85 (set of four) (As of 12/1/1999)

(4 user reviews) Write a Review

Editor's Review:

by Rex Alexander

review date: December 1, 1999

I have several friends who own Pfeil carving tools, and they think Pfeil tools are the greatest, so I was looking forward to trying out this Swiss-made chisel. It may be a small point, but this chisel’s large-diameter round handle keeps the blade from touching the bench at any point. I found that the chisel was always rolling around on the bench, something that none of the other tools did. This chisel ranked below all others in the toughness test. The tool scored an “average” on the toughness test.. The price is for set of four.

Editor Test Results:

Toughness ranking 17

Manufacturer Specifications

Manufacturer Pfeil Swiss Made
Manufacturer's Web Site
Manufacturer's Phone Number +41 (0)62 922 45 65
Blade Size N/A
Rockwell hardness 61C
Materials N/A

Been using these Swiss Pfeil's for about 2 years, and I really like them. Easy to sharpen properly, they hold that edge well, are comfortable to hold and are well machined. Light machining marks are visible although I've never found a mirror-polished chisel that cuts any better. As bench chisels I use them mostly for light accurate work - I don't use a demolition hammer as a mallet, so I don't have any experience using them to chop deep mortices. All in all, I am very happy with them, and recommend them highly.

I bought 4 of them. Am really disappointed. Then I got disgusted with them and decided to cut my losses and ordered a set of Lie-Nielsen. They arrive tomorrow, we shall see.


The steel in these chisels is slightly above average. In paring cuts they hold an edge longer than a Marples Brand. The backs were harder to flatten, not because they were more misshapened than the Marples, but because the steel seems harder than the Marples. They seem to take a honing as well as the Marples brand and hairs would pop off my arm when I was finished honing.Striking with a mallet resulted in some edge crumbling within about 10 -15 mallet blows. About double that of the Marples brand. Not great, but better.The handles are mediocre at best. I used a rasp to reshape them to a trimmer profile. For the price, approximately $30 each, they are a decent buy.When I sold my other chisels, I kept the Pfeil's for my everyday rough carpentry chisels.

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