This is, as far as I know, a first. This month M. Power Tools will introduce new chisels that have a replaceable high-speed-steel tip. According to the company’s literature, you should be able to change from a dull tip to a sharp one in less than a minute using only a screwdriver.
And to make things even more interesting, M. Power is going to produce chisel tips in different profiles, including a standard bevel, a tip with a serrated edge and a most unusual three-sided cutter (the two edges and the bevel will be sharp).
The tips come completely sharp and are resharpenable. That means that you can replace the tip in the middle of a project (or while on a job) and then sharpen the dull tip at your leisure. Of course, some woodworkers will simply toss the dull tip , like some woodworkers toss dull chisels.
The mechanism that holds the tips uses screws that will stay attached to the chisel’s blade, so you won’t lose the screws on your shop floor.
The tips are titanium-plated high-speed steel (HSS) which has been hardened to Rockwell 63 on the “C” scale, which means they will be fairly tough. I’ve worked with Japanese high-speed steel chisels that were designed for carpentry. They can take a beating. M Power officials say the high-speed steel will last up to five times longer, though I didn’t see that level of durability in the Japanese HSS chisels I tested a few years ago.
The company will offer two sorts of chisel handles. The MercPRO version has a blue acetate handle with a steel strike in the handle. The Fleetwood Innovator version has a beech handle with a brass ferrule and a steel strike as well.
Both version are made in England, according to the company.
These tools should be available in the United States by Sept. 17 and will be available through Eagle America and Garrett Wade.
The retail prices of the Innovator version of the chisel are as follows:
– 1/2″ will be $47.85
– 3/4″ will be $49.50
– 1″ will be $52.50
– Cutter inserts will range from $7.49 to $9.95 each
When these tools become available we’ll give you a full report.
– Christopher Schwarz
Other Interesting Tools With Replaceable Inserts
– Heard of Rali planes? These interesting Swiss-made tools have been around for along time and use replaceable plane irons. Some woodworkers swear by them. Take a look at then at Advanced Machinery.
– Stanley had a line of handplanes with replaceable blades. Called “Ready-Edge Blades,” these tools are quite similar to the M Power idea. You can read the original patent here.
– Or if you want to learn how to sharpen, I recommend our book “Handtool Essentials,” which is a collection of our best writing on hand tools from all our contributors, from Lonnie Bird to David Charlesworth to Adam Cherubini. It’s available in our store for just $15.