Canadian Woodworking

Veritas Bench Chisels

For the past decade Lee Valley’s bench chisels had all the charm you’d expect from tools in an auto repair bay. Maybe it was the yellow and black butyrate handles …

The new Veritas chisels feature kiln-baked maple handles that are luxuriously silky to the touch, with a subtle flat giving a tactile clue to blade position. Custom-turned ferrules seat against the blade and tighten the blade-handle connection through use.

The O1 tool steel blades were designed by someone who actually uses chis­els. Their faces are lapped flat to ±0.0005”, saving you hours of grunt work, and their straight parallel sides with true bevelled edges permit working into tight recesses.

The ½”, ¾” and 1″ are ground with a 25° primary bevel, while the ¼” and 1/8″ are ground at 30° – a smart feature that helps prevent the edges of the smaller chisels from crumpling during hard use. A 2° micro-bevel on the blades means they’re ready to go after only a minute or so of honing.

The mass of the chisels and straight-sided blades make them ideal for mor­tising, yet their excellent balance means they don’t feel cumbersome during fine work. Their edges held up well during some heavy chopping yet were a breeze to hone. My completely subjective evaluation: 9.7 out of 10. A great set of chisels.

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