Lie-Nielsen Chisels are based on the
Stanley 750 Bevel Edge Socket Chisels. Socket chisels are not
common these days, perhaps because they are expensive to make,but Stanley and others once produced socket chisels in a vast array. Socket chisel handles are less likely to break than tang chisels, and can be replaced easily. At 9" long, our chisels are particularly comfortable in the hand and have excellent balance.
Our chisel edges are square, parallel along the
length, and very narrow so you can get into tight places. The
backs are ground flat and finished by hand at 400 grit. The
bevel is flat ground at 30°, but a higher secondary bevel (about
35°) is advisable, depending on the wood and how the chisel is
being used. Additional honing is recommended.
Lie-Nielsen Chisels have Maine-harvested
Hornbeam handles. Hornbeam, also known as Ironwood, was once
prized for its toughness, but usually winds up as firewood these
days. This under-utilized species makes superb chisel handles.
Longer handles are available for paring — overall length is 13".
When your Chisels arrive, the handles
may be loose because of wood shrinkage. They may also loosen
during dry weather. The handles are held in place by the wedging
of the wood into the tapered socket. Just rap the chisel handle
upside down to re-seat the handle (some people find loose
handles annoying and prefer to glue them in).
One of the advantages of the socket
design is that if you want to change handles, you can simply tap
the side of the handle on a board and pop the handle off.
Our chisels are made of A-2 Tool Steel,
hardened to Rockwell 60-62, cryogenically treated and double