23 brands go head to head in a real-world test
Chris Gochnour takes a look at the bench chisel, that woodshop workhorse that is used for dovetailing, mortise-and-tenoning, paring, installing hinges, chamfering edges, and even cleanup. Of the dozens of bench chisels on the market, he ran 23 through a series of tests designed to help woodworkers make informed choices when choosing a chisel.
He divided his test in to three parts. First, he examined each chisel out of the box, recording how much work it took to get it ready to cut wood. Second, he evaluated how each chisel performed on dovetail and mortise-and-tenon joints. Last, he checked how long the edge held up when chopping end grain, to determine how well it held an edge.
Here are the four that stood out from the pack:
Lie-Nielsen: Best Overall Western-Style. $50
The Lie-Nielsen was almost flawless out of the box. Its back was lapped flat and its beveled edges were milled and tapered…