My newest set of chisels
I bought a new set of chisels from Harbor Freight yesterday . Paid $11.98 for the set. I like these chisels. The seem to hold a cutting edge fairly well. Will they hold an edge as well as a premium chisel? NO, but I got a 1 1/2 inch chisel in the set and a Lie Nielsen 1 1/2 inch chisel sells for $150. For $138 dollars difference when I need a 1 1/2 chisel I will get by. Did I mention the other 5 included chisels.

They are great for other uses like, rough work, opening paint cans, and take the place of a card scraper for certain applications. I use them for any time a chisel would be a great tool to use but when I don't want to use my Two Cherries chisels. 

At $11.98 and that is without a coupon they are an outstanding buy.

I also bought 4 6 inch F style clamps they had on sale for 3 dollars and some small change.  (that is all they had on the display wall). When ever I go into a big box store I like to buy at least one clamp. It is amassing when you realize you have a lot of clamps with out breaking the bank. The cost the same but it is spread out over time.  Menards has some nice 12inch F style clamps for about $12 but I have enough of them for now.  Anyway I have 4 clamps that can stay in the bottom of a draw and I may need them for one time a year from now but I have them. If you are doing a bent lamination sometime you will need a lot of clamps and they will do just fine.

Good buys and I just thought I would pass it along to some who would never thought about buying lesser quality than the best.



I bought two sets, back when they were about $7 each.  One set is still in the package.  They are decent chisels and will take a very keen edge.  The handles aren't so great, though, but a good value, even at $12.

For clamps-I really like their tiniest squeeze clamps. For some things, they are my absolute go to. It has been a couple of years, but I think they were like $2 each...
I have one or two chisels like those, I use 'em for opening paint cans!
Geometry was the most critical/useful mathematics class I had, and it didn't even teach me mathematics.
Currently..there are 12 of those 6" clamps, hard at work in the shop....along with 8 of the 12" version, and 4 of the 18" version...I think there is 4 of the 24" version, as well..Most were from Harbor Freight...including a couple that I bought at a yard sale...

Almost bought that set of chisels, today....needed the bag of acid brushes, spread the glue around better...$3.21 for 36 brushes...

Also...have seen a few of those 6" clamps hanging from a hook when I go to check out....$2.99 each...
Show me a picture, I'll build a project from that
I also have a set of these chisels; with the 20% coupon they use to always offer, they were ~$7+, as was mentioned earlier. I've used them for rough work thus far and they've worked just fine. Harbor Freight has many great buys on items difficult to easily find locally. I bought a couple sets of punches there and a couple of picks/scrapers I'm using on an old classic metal lathe I'm refurbishing. Very handy to have their store in our small town now.

(02-19-2023, 10:27 AM)tablesawtom Wrote: Some time ago, Paul Sellers was touting a set of chisels he bought at Aldi's.  They look (as I recall) much like these.  I remember thinking that I should check them out if ever an Aldi's store opened up near me.  Well now three have moved near me.  But I completely forgot about the chisels.

Of course, I don't need another set of chisels.  Years ago, sometime in the 1970s, I bought a set of yellow plastic handed chisels, Stanley No. 60s, they were my only chisels when I worked in carpentry during summers in College, still have them, they're my beaters.  When I got into fine-er woodworking, I bought a Woodcraft branded set of four paring chisels, with beech handles, they hold a great edge. Still have them too, in my fancy tools box.

Somewhere along the line I picked up a set of Marple Blue Chips (way before Irwin).  I still have them, they're in my carpentry box now and I probably use them the most.  I have a couple of odd Stanley 750s that I use for dedicated tasks like chopping dovetails (they're short and I like that better than paring chisels for chopping.  I really like the feel of them, so when Lie Nielsen started making chisels based on the 750s I bought a set as soon as they were available.  I don't like them at all, at least no better than any of the other ones I don't use.  

During my tool collector phase I started collecting Buck tanged firmer chisels (like the ones in the Studley Chest) I was buying them one at a time, building a set.  I re-handled some of them.  They're very nice, though I think some of them need re-hardening.  I also have a set of Craftsman plumbing chisels (I call them) they are completely made of one piece of steel, sort of like a cold chisel, but a woodworkers chisel.  I use them when I really need to dish out abuse.  The steel in them takes a great edge, but is really soft, considering that most of the old timer plumbers I know sharpened with a mill file and stropped on a brick, it's good that they're soft.
Finally, I bought a new in packaging set of Stanley No. 60 black plastic chisels.  I thought I was buying No. 40 Chisels (the black handled version of the everlast chisels) but I was wrong.  The back handled 60s were the precursors to the yellow handled 60's I already have...Dumb.  I've never touched them.

Of course, along the way I have bought dozens of other chisels (one or two at a time) that came in toolboxes that I wanted, or at flea markets, yard sales (we call them tag sales here in CT).  Once I counted all of the chisels I own and it was well over 100, and that doesn't count woodcarving chisels.

It's an addiction I think.  I am rarely at Harbor Freight, but next time I'm there, or at Aldi's (if I can remember) I'll look at these.  I don't need them, or the dozens of  other chisels that I don't use.  But apparently it hasn't stopped me from buying them.

A fool and his money...

I think a lot of folks forget you can do pretty decent work with very affordable tools. "Premium" chisels don't necessarily make you a better woodworker. Another inexpensive set that are quite nice are the chisels they sell occasionally at Aldi.
Still Learning,

Allan Hill
Harbor Freight tools have always been a mixed bag and they have tended to reduce their woodworking offerings through the years. I own a HF rabbet plane and a few holdfasts that came from there. The wooden handled chromium vanadium chisels are very good for the price and are currently much better than their older, similar set of high-carbon chisels. The handles are not great, but the tools are still capable for most work. They are not premium chisels due to fit, finish, thick sides, and the ugly handles, but are a real bargain compared to the competition. I can't say the same about their other chisels or their hand saws. Their marking gauges also represent a relative bargain if you tune them. The chisels are not designed for cutting dovetails but can do most cabinetmaking functions quite well. I recommend them for beginners, folks on a very tight budget, or those that need a "beater" set. They are great to learn with and use until you have enough resources to spend on a premium set. The Aldi chisels seem to be just slightly better performers (when you can find them), but the HF set offers a wider range of sizes.

I have literally hundreds of chisels including Sweethearts, WoodRiver, Narex, many Aldi Workzone, and older tools such as Berg Bahco, Marples, some Ashley Iles, among others. The HF Set performs as well or better than many of the older tools in edge quality and exceeds nearly all of the "big box" carpenter-quality offerings. They do require some tuning before performing well, but they will perform well given proper TLC. Narex, WoodRiver, and Marples paring chisels live at my bench. and I have recently been trying out a set of the Schaaf bench chisels which I like very much for most work.

A lot of folks knock HF but I have many tools from there that I use every day. Just look at your actual needs and keep in mind that, like many other brands, some of their offerings are relatively good, and some are garbage. Their biggest fault is that they are inconsistent. Use your judgement and have fun.
Quite a few H-F clamps got used today..
None Bowed...
Show me a picture, I'll build a project from that
In the end, its really about how often you have to refresh the edge, as "cheap" means the maker compromised on something, likely the steel and consistency of the heat treatment. if it works for you, I say go for it.
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Non impediti ratione cogitationis

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