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Narex Richter Chisels: Initial Impressions

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Re: Narex Richter Chisels: Initial Impressions

Postby Trevanion » 07 Jan 2021, 22:25

I just realised that I'm so averse to everything hand tools I subconsciously posted this in the "Machines and Power toolery" section.

D'oh! :eusa-doh:

Mod Edit : I've just moved it to Hand Toolery for you. Cheers, Trim.
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Re: Narex Richter Chisels: Initial Impressions

Postby AJB Temple » 07 Jan 2021, 22:40

If you watch the vid that T posted, these special Narex are widely available. They came out top in the vid.
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Re: Narex Richter Chisels: Initial Impressions

Postby droogs » 07 Jan 2021, 23:50

When we were on holiday in the Czech Rep a couple of years ago, I wanted to visit Narex in brystice but SWMBO wouldn't let me as I would have had to leave here behind when coming home to meet the weight allowance. She was right :lol:
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Re: Narex Richter Chisels: Initial Impressions

Postby billw » 07 Jan 2021, 23:59

droogs wrote:When we were on holiday in the Czech Rep a couple of years ago, I wanted to visit Narex in brystice but SWMBO wouldn't let me as I would have had to leave here behind when coming home to meet the weight allowance. She was right :lol:


Has she made it back yet?
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Re: Narex Richter Chisels: Initial Impressions

Postby Chris101 » 08 Jan 2021, 13:21

novocaine wrote:
Chris101 wrote:Stop it.


Yer ok. :cry: walks away mumbling like a scolded teenager.

Sorry! Should have put a ;)
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Re: Narex Richter Chisels: Initial Impressions

Postby TrimTheKing » 08 Jan 2021, 16:47

Trevanion wrote:(He didn't test the extraordinarily expensive £100 each IBC or Blue Spruce chisels for example) on the market today...


I have a full set of six Blue Spruce paring chisels I bought back in 2008, cocobolo handles, truly beautiful things and a joy to use. I spoke directly to Dave Jeske (Blue spruce founder) to see how I could get them as cheaply as possible and eventually bought them direct from him and had them delivered to a hotel in Philadelphia where my wife was on business for a week, thus saving delivery and import duty costs.

Now here's the good bit, despite them being ridiculously priced for chisels, and by that I mean a lot to pay for ANY chisel, not that he's overpricing them, (we'll gloss over that) I bought when the $ value was on its knees compared to the £ so I just checked back and I paid £285 all in for them, the set with the beech handles, which is cheaper, is currently £540 on Classic Hand Tools!!! :shock:
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Re: Narex Richter Chisels: Initial Impressions

Postby Woodbloke » 08 Jan 2021, 17:21

TrimTheKing wrote:
I have a full set of six Blue Spruce paring chisels I bought back in 2008, cocobolo handles, truly beautiful things and a joy to use. I spoke directly to Dave Jeske (Blue spruce founder) to see how I could get them as cheaply as possible and eventually bought them direct from him and had them delivered to a hotel in Philadelphia where my wife was on business for a week, thus saving delivery and import duty costs.

Now here's the good bit, despite them being ridiculously priced for chisels, and by that I mean a lot to pay for ANY chisel, not that he's overpricing them, (we'll gloss over that) I bought when the $ value was on its knees compared to the £ so I just checked back and I paid £285 all in for them, the set with the beech handles, which is cheaper, is currently £540 on Classic Hand Tools!!! :shock:


I well remember drooling over those when you brought them to the bash at Rickmansworth College a few years ago - Rob

Edit - they're not Beech but Curly Maple (I've just looked) and for making such an elementary, school boy error you ought to donate them to me :lol:
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Re: Narex Richter Chisels: Initial Impressions

Postby Trevanion » 08 Jan 2021, 17:47

TrimTheKing wrote:I have a full set of six Blue Spruce paring chisels I bought back in 2008, cocobolo handles, truly beautiful things and a joy to use. I spoke directly to Dave Jeske (Blue spruce founder) to see how I could get them as cheaply as possible and eventually bought them direct from him and had them delivered to a hotel in Philadelphia where my wife was on business for a week, thus saving delivery and import duty costs.

Now here's the good bit, despite them being ridiculously priced for chisels, and by that I mean a lot to pay for ANY chisel, not that he's overpricing them, (we'll gloss over that) I bought when the $ value was on its knees compared to the £ so I just checked back and I paid £285 all in for them, the set with the beech handles, which is cheaper, is currently £540 on Classic Hand Tools!!! :shock:


I've always admired the tools Blue Spruce produces but I could never personally justify ~£90 per chisel, but I make architectural joinery and not fine cabinetry and furniture which I believe the Blue Spruce could be justified for, especially at the price you paid for them.

When I was posting elsewhere, there was a newish member who was a complete beginner to woodworking who was showing interesting a couple of full sets of Blue Spruce Chisels that were on the marketplace for £400+ and I sent him a polite PM querying why he was looking to spend over £400 on a set of chisels as a hobbyist as they were a rather expensive investment compared to other chisels. He started a thread in response to my PM (he had no ill-intent, he just wanted it to become an open discussion instead) and comparing it like a "Fiat v Ferrari" stand point and he had some interesting ideas, He had been using some new Marples chisels up to this point and he found they were not adequate (as AndyT said above, they really arent) for finer woodworking and dovetailing which they really weren't so fair enough, but what really intrigued me is that he valued his hobby time at £50 a hour, so every hour he spent fettling with a tool to get it working properly was £50 wasted in his eyes.

After a few posts from others encouraging him to try a cheaper set of good quality chisels, another poster offered a set of Stanley 5002s like my one above which are excellently made for £20 including the postage and he took him up on the offer. Once he recieved them he was mortified that they were not sharp and had some minor issues such as slight back bevels and small chips that needed rectifying as you would get with practically all secondhand tools. I don't think he actually appreciated that every tool needs sharpening and maintenance once in a while, perhaps he thought he could mitigate the learning curve by spending 20x as much, I don't know.

I think he ended up buying the Blue Spruce chisels in the end but that outburst he had always tickles me when I think of it, "BACK BEVEL??!" :lol:

Thanks for moving my thread, by the by :)
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Re: Narex Richter Chisels: Initial Impressions

Postby AndyT » 08 Jan 2021, 18:16

Ah yes, I remember that slightly bizarre discussion.

Perhaps I'm naturally disinclined to spend, but part of the pleasure I find in using my personal assortment of chisels is from knowing how very good they are, having cost so little.
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Re: Narex Richter Chisels: Initial Impressions

Postby TrimTheKing » 08 Jan 2021, 18:43

Yeah there's no doubting they are eye wateringly expensive, and that I can so most of what I do (or more correctly haven't done anywhere near enough of for far too long...) with much cheaper ones. I won't try and justify it, I had the cash, I liked them, I wanted them, I bought them, end of!

I also have a much cheaper (£50 ish) set of everyday users from Axminster that take a great edge and didn't need too much fettling to be generally brilliant, and they do most of the heavy lifting with the BS's coming out for the final fettle.

I also figured that they are so high spec that they will hold their value and if the time comes I decide I neither want nor need them then I'll get at least what I paid back, and looking at the SH market, probably more!

For now though, I'll continue to use and admire them.

I do kind of get where that chap was coming from in terms of if you have the cash and want to save time then yeah go for it, but it's very naive to think that they are 100% perfect out of the box, although the BS are fantastically engineered and every one perfectly flat (I tested them all on my waterstones) and simply needed a secondary bevel putting on, so as close to perfect as I could have hoped for.
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Re: Narex Richter Chisels: Initial Impressions

Postby Trevanion » 09 Jan 2021, 23:32

AndyT wrote:It's pleasing to see that they are proper bevel edged chisels, not just firmer chisels with the corners knocked off. (Someone gave me a current production Irwin Marples which falls into that "why did they bother?" category but I am sure there are plenty more.)


I'm not sure why they bother with putting the bevels on glorified firmers either except maybe to lighten them up. Here's a Kirshen Two Cherries, a modern Stanley 5001 and a modern Marples Split-Proof, I suppose they're technically carpenters chisels but I think you would struggle to do any fine work where you need to get into a corner such as a dovetail.

Image

I suppose they work best in their environment, scrapping cement off scaffold boards and prying skirting off the wall kinds of things. Here's the Marples and Narex side by side, there's quite a large difference.

Image

I've just found these bad boys, I kinda wanna try one out and see how well they work dovetailing 8-)

Image
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Re: Narex Richter Chisels: Initial Impressions

Postby AndyT » 09 Jan 2021, 23:54

Yes, there are definitely different sorts of chisels adapted for different work.

Here are some more pictures. This is what I meant by a modern Irwin Marples branded chisel. Strong, useful, but thick and a bit clumsy.
Alongside it, a "proper" bevel edged chisel by Stormont, made in Sheffield, probably mid 20th century.

Far more slender and elegant and much nicer for careful bench work. Not for chipping away cement!

IMG_20210109_224004_DRO.png
(1.57 MiB)


IMG_20210109_224042_DRO.png
(1.56 MiB)


IMG_20210109_224051_DRO.png
(1.76 MiB)


IMG_20210109_224120_DRO.png
(2.1 MiB)
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Re: Narex Richter Chisels: Initial Impressions

Postby Andy Kev. » 12 Jan 2021, 18:00

Talking of high prices for expensive chisels, have a look at these Japanese paring chisels:

https://www.fine-tools.com/usu-nomi.html

If you allow the cookies to be enabled, you will get to see which ones have sold out. Once you've got past the first lot, let your mind boggle at the second lot and at the fact that the two most expensive of them have also sold out!
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Re: Narex Richter Chisels: Initial Impressions

Postby Woodbloke » 12 Jan 2021, 19:01

Andy Kev. wrote:Talking of high prices for expensive chisels, have a look at these Japanese paring chisels:

https://www.fine-tools.com/usu-nomi.html

If you allow the cookies to be enabled, you will get to see which ones have sold out. Once you've got past the first lot, let your mind boggle at the second lot and at the fact that the two most expensive of them have also sold out!

What you pay for is the fancy blacksmith's work with those über-expensive chisels. They actually work no better as 'users' than the ordinary ones. I have a similar set of those less expensive ones from Workshop Heaven which will take and hold a superb edge, but which are only used light and delicate hand paring. The fancy ones do look pretty though - Rob
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Re: Narex Richter Chisels: Initial Impressions

Postby billw » 12 Jan 2021, 20:07

Andy Kev. wrote:Talking of high prices for expensive chisels, have a look at these Japanese paring chisels:

https://www.fine-tools.com/usu-nomi.html

If you allow the cookies to be enabled, you will get to see which ones have sold out. Once you've got past the first lot, let your mind boggle at the second lot and at the fact that the two most expensive of them have also sold out!


500 quid for a chisel? :shock: :shock: :shock:
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Re: Narex Richter Chisels: Initial Impressions

Postby Trevanion » 12 Jan 2021, 21:33

Woodbloke wrote:What you pay for is the fancy blacksmith's work with those über-expensive chisels. They actually work no better as 'users' than the ordinary ones. I have a similar set of those less expensive ones from Workshop Heaven which will take and hold a superb edge, but which are only used light and delicate hand paring. The fancy ones do look pretty though - Rob


As you say Rob, the pattern steel backer is purely cosmetic and adds no other function to the chisel, the laminated carbon steel that does the cutting is the same on both chisels but the fancy chisel is £400 more :lol:

I remember someone saying that pattern steel (Damascus) tools and utensils made in Japan very rarely stay in Japan as they are quite a lucrative export to "Westerners" whilst Japanese people focused less on the tools doing the work and focus more on the quality of work being done and would simply use the very plainest and humble of tools and utensils.
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Re: Narex Richter Chisels: Initial Impressions

Postby Andy Kev. » 13 Jan 2021, 09:43

I think that if you have a great deal of money to spare and that if you are completely knocked out by the aesthetics of the most expensive chisels, then of course what's wrong with buying one? The question then is: do you use it or do you put it in a display case as a work of art? Or do you build the display case to put it in when you're not using it?

I have the impression that some people get genuinely offended by the very existence of such tools. I don't although I personally wouldn't buy one. I could see me shelling out €89 for the 36 mm one from the cheaper range (especially at the moment given that money can't be blown in restaurants etc.) but when it comes to the expensive ones, yes I appreciate the beauty of them but not enough to want to buy one.
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Re: Narex Richter Chisels: Initial Impressions

Postby Woodbloke » 13 Jan 2021, 13:56

Trevanion wrote:As you say Rob, the pattern steel backer is purely cosmetic and adds no other function to the chisel, the laminated carbon steel that does the cutting is the same on both chisels but the fancy chisel is £400 more :lol:

I remember someone saying that pattern steel (Damascus) tools and utensils made in Japan very rarely stay in Japan as they are quite a lucrative export to "Westerners" whilst Japanese people focused less on the tools doing the work and focus more on the quality of work being done and would simply use the very plainest and humble of tools and utensils.

Spot on Adrian. As far as I can make out, the patterned (Damascus) steel is produced entirely for the Western market and the locals in Japan use only very plain (but extremely good quality) utensils and knives. We had severial meals at a particularly nice restaurant in Kyoto where I sat in front of this sushi chef...

IMG_0885.jpg
(128.57 KiB)


...and I asked on one occasion if I could examine his knife. Rosewood handle, very 'ordinary' (or so it appeared) steel, but super, super sharp :shock: - Rob
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Re: Narex Richter Chisels: Initial Impressions

Postby Craig Salisbury » 13 Jan 2021, 14:18

just to add to this, i bought some kitchen knives in kappabashi in tokyo and chatting with the guy there the average westerner don't want the hassle with single bevel plain knives as these need a lot more care and maintenance due to rusting. they also like to show their friends fancy damascus knives.

...so yes, i'm lazy so i bought damascus lol
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Re: Narex Richter Chisels: Initial Impressions

Postby AJB Temple » 13 Jan 2021, 14:37

Not sure I agree that the sushi chefs in the mid to upper end Japanese sushi and sashimi restaurants use cheap and functional knives, though some do and some use western knives as well. In my slightly obsessive travels around Japan I've sat watching chefs using various long knives (yanagiba, kiritsuki yana etc) to prepare fish. They may look plain (very rarely if ever Damascus) but they will often be from prestige makers such as Aritsuga or now hard to find Shigefusa. These are crazy money now.

There are definitely people around who will pay serious money for hand made artisanal knives and tools. Friend of mine in USA has a few dollars and hundreds of hand made knives. Many are never used and just displayed. He decided to take up workshop activities (for which he is exceedingly ill suited) and has amassed very fine chisels, planes and so on, all beautifully displayed in his huge workshop. His skill is minimal to non-existent, but I still like his tool collection.
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Re: Narex Richter Chisels: Initial Impressions

Postby billw » 13 Jan 2021, 15:24

Watching skilled sushi chefs is as good as eating the products themselves.
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Re: Narex Richter Chisels: Initial Impressions

Postby Woodbloke » 13 Jan 2021, 17:33

AJB Temple wrote: ....often be from prestige makers such as Aritsuga or now hard to find Shigefusa. These are crazy money now.

I bought three Aritsuga knives from their shop in Kyoto, two of which had my name engraved on the blades in Japanese kanji - Rob
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Re: Narex Richter Chisels: Initial Impressions

Postby AJB Temple » 13 Jan 2021, 23:27

Ha! We both have the T-shirt for that Rob :D In the aisle in the shopping centre, with the blowfish restaurant just down the row. Same family (which fell out) had another shop on the old fish market site in Tokyo.

I really love Kyoto. Such a fascinating city. So many great little restaurants (not the touristy ones). We went to every knife shop and local maker and most of the gardens, including the moss garden at the monastery (Saiho-Ji: Koke-Dera moss temple) where you had to get invited by postcard in advance and do a sheet of calligraphy before being allowed in the amazing garden.

We must exchange notes one of these days!

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Re: Narex Richter Chisels: Initial Impressions

Postby AJB Temple » 13 Jan 2021, 23:29

Sorry - might have drifted slightly off topic there. :oops:
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