Marples chisels are manufactured by Irvine tools manufacturers, a company that makes and distributes professional hand tools and power tool accessories. Irwin tools is a worldwide company known for its production of durable and superior quality tools. The Irvine Tools brand line includes names such as, Quick-Grip, IRWIN, Strait-Line, Vise-Grip, Marathon, Unibit, Speedbor and Hanson.
The company first got its start in 1885, one year after founder Charles Irwin purchased the idea for a solid center auger bit from a local blacksmith in his town of Martinsville, Ohio. Irwin patented the idea for the auger bit and started a Irwin Auger Bit Co. along with four other business partners. From then on, the company grew and expanded its line of tools until it became the global name that is known by today.
One of the most popular brands produced by Irwin is Marples chisels. These chisels are high quality stainless steel chisels known for their durability and ease of use.
What are Marples Chisels?
Irwin Marples chisels are sold by the dozens of thousands around the world. The Marples chisel is usually made of high carbon solid-forged steel blade for maximum edge retention and features a polypropylene handle for superior grip strength and to prevent damage, if accidentally dropped or when struck by the hammer. These chisels are mostly bevel edged and come in a variety of sizes in complete sets. The occasional chisel can be found on a number of web sites to help customers complete a set that is missing a chisel or to provide customers with a chance to purchase a special chisel type such as, the Blue-chip 1/8 inch bevel edge, which is intended for fine woodworking.
Marples chisel is an excellent product. Based on price, you can’t beat it as a product for amateur woodworkers. You will soon learn that this chisel holds a decent edge and the handle is very durable.
Marples chisels are made in China, so they can be affordably priced. They may not hold a sharp edge for as long as other brands, but this is easy enough to remedy with the sharpening stones and the chisels are available in sizes that may be difficult for woodworkers to find.
The Different Types of Marples Chisels
The company sells Marples carving chisels in sets ranging from three up to six chisels. All of the chisels are usually beveled edge chisels, they simply vary in size so that wood workers can use them in very minute detail work. The smallest sets that contain three chisels provide woodworkers with a 1/2 inch chisel, a 3/4 inch and a 1 inch chisel. The size refers to the width of the chisel across the blade.
Marples wood chisels in sets of four also include a 1/4 inch chisel, while those larger sets include the 3/8 inch and 5/8 inch chisel. The smallest chisel that Marples makes is the 1/8 inch. This is probably one of the smallest chisels that can be used on heavy-duty woodwork without breaking the steel from repeated hits with a mallet.
The larger chisel sets come in a latching wooden box for safe and secure storage. These chisel sets are very well-priced and make a good gift item for the amateur wood worker. For example, the Irwin BlueChipBevelEdge 6 Piece ChiselSet is one of the best intermediate level user chisels available and has been for many years. You may have a few doubts about ordering such a low-cost product; however the quality has survived the purchase of the line by Irwin.
You can quickly sharpen up these chisels after receiving them to be sure the edge is sharp. Try out the tool by cutting a few mortises with the 1/2-inch one. After cutting several mortises, you’ll see that the chisel is still sharp enough to cut through the wood like butter.
It only goes to show that these chisels are very sharp, easy to hone and great for beginner to moderate level wood workers.
If you are just starting out in wood working or are considering the art, but haven’t tried it yet, consider the smaller IrwinTools Marples MetalStrikeCap 3-PieceChiselSetandWalletHolder. This set of three chisels comes in a sturdy folding wallet that secures in place with Velcro. The wallet is small enough to toss into any good sized tool box.
This set includes the ProTouch Grip for easy gripping and to prevent slipping when hitting the chisel. Additionally, the chisels come with a strike cap for use with a hammer, to ensure that these chisels last a good long time. The three pack is highly useful and a better option than many other brands out there for those just starting in wood working.
Those people who are like most amateur woodworkers can have drawer filled with dozens of wood chisels that aren’t sharp enough to use and are just lying around useless. You may be tempted to keep buying cheap wood chisels to avoid the costs of more expensive ones, since you think that they too will dull after a few uses. Why should you pay $40 for three chisels? These chisels are built to last and won‘t let you down the way that other lower end chisels have in the past.
Other chisels are made with cheap steel that doesn’t last, but Marples uses high quality steel and either a simple beveled or non-beveled edge to its chisels so they are easy to sharpen properly.
While this set is about $40, it is still highly affordable when you consider the durability of the chisel and the ease with which you can resharpen the tool as it wears down.
Marples carving chisels are good, sturdy, mid-priced products that can help amateur woodworkers develop their expertise. In the long run, these Marples wood chisels are easy to sharpen and won’t break or chip on you. When considering Marples chisels, start out with a small three pack and add the others to your kit as you get used to the brand. This way you can pick and choose your favorites once you have the basic set put together.