Saturday, May 06, 2017

Pfeil Carpenter Chisels

While at Woodcraft buying hinges for the peanut's toy box one of my friends that works there showed a new stock Pfeil bevel edge chisel. For some reason Pfiel is calling these chisels "Carpenter" chisels. Very strange, the chisels in this line are well thought out beveled edge bench chisels with a low chrome content steel blade and a very nice Ash handle. They are about as far from a "Carpenter" chisel as you can get. 

In my hand the chisel felt great, small, light, and well balanced. The Ash handle has a "grippy" natural finish. My friend stated he was thinking about buying a set and asked if I knew anything about them. Of course I knew nothing but the chisel felt good in hand and had IIRC K-5 something steel hardened to 60 RC (all information from my friend doing his homework). On a whim I picked up a 19mm to take home and give a run. 

Once home I sharpened it on a medium grit brown Spyderco stone followed by a white Spyderco polishing stone and a leather strop. It went quickly, the back was slightly hollow and the bevel was ground 25 degrees primary with 30 degree secondary. The white Spyderco gave a nice thin burr that came off with a single 'pull'. Both the back and bevel had a good polish even before stropping. After stropping the edge felt and looked sharp. I do not normally 'test' for sharpness but as this was a test I did. The chisel did a good job of paring both Pine and Oak end grain with ease leaving a smooth surface with no noticeable dulling of the chisel.

Last night I used the Pfeil chisel to chop and pare the hinge mortises for the peanut's toy box's lid. I have no use or need for more chisels but this line of Pfeil chisels are so nice and at a price point of around $40 USD I expect a few more will follow me home. 


  1. Ken,

    From a little bit of research I did, it appears that the name results from a translation problem into english from french or german, both spoken in Switzerland. Appears that it should have been translated as woodworker.

  2. Agrred with Andy about the naming convention.
    Pfell makes my favourite wood carving tools. They have an arrow on them (pfell) and are often refered to as "Swiss tools or Swiss made". They are one of the vey few carving tool maker to sell you out of the box a sharp gouge (minimal honing is all you need but they will work out of the box.
    Traditional carving tools came with a rough bevel (ie not sharp) since carvers would then finish grinding them for their work at hand, which varies with wood species and how you work, etc..

    Swiss tools are prized by most carvers around the world. These are the ones i learned carving with and have accumulate "a few" :-) love these tools, good steel, hold an edge

    Bob, separate from Rudy for the weekend.

  3. As I recall Ken you said you only had 100+ chisels. That is an odd number and bad woodworking luck. You should try to get it up to an even 200.

  4. Andy,

    That is as good an answer as I could come up with because they are about as far from carpenter chisels as you can get.


  5. Bob,

    Rudy need a break?

    I have a couple of their gouges and they are very nice. I expect they decided to bring some of their gouge experience to the chisels. Their earlier bench chisels didn't tickle my chisel jones.


  6. Ralph,

    I guess you could be correct, only a hundred or so bench chisels ain't no collection. It takes several hundred for that job. Truth is I could get by with less than 10 total but they sure are pretty on the wall. It is a sickness but I guess a good one, it keeps me out of the bars and from chasing women.