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 these chisels in a vast array. Socket chisel handles are less likely to break than tang chisels, and can be replaced easily. Comfortable in the hand and with excellent balance.
*Please note that our Hornbeam chisel handles have natural color variations in the wood grain.
View our YouTube video on Bevel Edge Socket Chisels here:
Edges are square, parallel along the length, and very narrow so you can get into tight places. The bevel is flat ground at 30º, the backs are ground flat and finished by hand at 400 grit.
Chisels should be kept very sharp for best performance. The bevel is hand-lapped at 30º, but a higher secondary bevel of an additional 5º is advisable, depending on the wood and how the chisel is being used. On very hard woods, like oak, hard maple or exotic species, take lighter cuts and use a higher secondary bevel. Additional honing is recommended. Do not force the tool, especially when dull. Do not strike with a metal hammer.
You can find sharpening instructions in a printable PDF format here: Sharpening Instructions PDF
For more information on advanced sharpening we recommend David Charlesworth’s videos Plane Sharpening and Precision Preparation of Chisels for Accurate Joinery, available in both DVD and streaming formats.
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. We don’t recommend using a 16-ounce framing hammer with these chisels, though that is how we test them.
Our chisels are made of A2 Tool Steel, hardened to Rockwell 60-62, cryogenically treated and double tempered.
To protect your chisels from rust, be sure to oil, wax and/or wrap the tools after use. We recommend Jojoba Oil, a plant based oil product that is non-toxic, odor-free and easy to use. Also, in our shop, we use a fine abrasive handblock to remove any light surface oxide from tool bodies and blades. Jojoba Oil and abrasive handblocks are available from us. Handles are oiled and buffed with wax to produce a natural finish. Wipe with oil as desired to refresh.
Materials and workmanship are guaranteed for the life of your tool. Call for repairs or replacement parts. We are available for advice if you ever have a problem using your tool.
Sharp chisels are dangerous and should be handled with care. Dull chisels are even more dangerous and should be sharpened.