Buy a cheap set and you’ll regret it; buy a good quality set and you’ll not only enjoy using them, you’ll do better work.
Up to now you may not have heard about Two Cherries tools; but the folks at European Hand Tools in Manitoba are changing that. They are the exclusive Canadian distributor for the Two Cherries line of German made firmer chisels, gouges, carving knives and turning tools.
The Two Cherries line was started in 1858 by the Wilh Schmitt Company. They must be doing something right to be in business for over 145 years. Among wood carvers, their products are very well respected.
During the past four weeks I’ve been using the set of six bevel edge chisels, and my reaction to date is: Das ist gut! Das ist sehr gut!
These chisels are hand forged from high carbon steel, heat treated by hand in an immersion bath, and hardened to Rc 61.The blades are polished to a mirror finish and fitted with hornbeam handles and steel hoops. The set I tested consisted of 6, 10, 12, 16, 20, and 26 mm chisels with plastic tip guards, all in a nicely made storage box. The chisels are from 10″ to 11″ overall in length. Other blade sizes are available from 2 mm to 40 mm.
The chisels are very well made. Well fitting handles, nicely balanced, no pitting or scratching on the blades, cleanly ground, nicely tapering bevel edges. I measured the width of the chisels and found minimal variation. For example, the 16 mm chisel measures 16 mm at the tip, 15.68 mm halfway up the blade, and 15.50 mm near the tang. You have to expect some variation in hand forging, and these variations are within acceptable limits. I was pleasantly surprised that the backs of the blades were consistently flat across their width and along their length. My experience has been that chisel backs invariably require flattening before use. Not, however, in the case of the Two Cherries. However, I must admit that, being the masochistic type, I did lap the backs on all the chisels. It didn’t require much work given how flat the blades already were. The blades do come sharpened (flat ground) but not honed, which I promptly attended to. The factory grinding was excellent. The grind is uniform across the width of the cutting edge and 90º to the side of the tool.
I enjoyed using the Two Cherries chisels. They seem to hold an edge very well, and I particularly like how well balanced they feel. They are definitely lighter than the equivalent Marples and Sorby chisels I’m familiar with. After using the set extensively for two weeks I reground the tips with a hollow ground bevel then honed a micro bevel. The results have been great!
At $179.95 CDN this set is a bit more expensive than other brands on the market, but you do get an excellent product. Good value for good tools! You can buy individual chisels as well.
For more information visit twocherriesusa.com
Carl Duguay - [email protected]
Carl is a Victoria-based furniture maker and the web editor at Canadian Woodworking & Home Improvement.
Hi. I’m looking for good fishtail chisels. Do you know of a good Canadian manufacturer? Whilst Lie Nielsen and Blue Spruce have lovely chisels – shopping now from the US for single small items is exorbitant
The only one I know of is Veritas Tools (sold through Lee Valley). They have an excellent line of woodworking chisels (not sure if they have any fishtail chisels though).