Chris Schwarz's Blog

New Premium Chisels Coming From Stanley in November

Stanley Works will unveil a new premium bevel-edge chisel this year that bears some similarities to the company’s vaunted Everlasting line of chisels that were made between 1911 and 1942.

Like the Everlasting chisels, the new Stanley chisels will have the blade, head and shank made from one piece of solid steel with wooden scales. The vintage Everlastings were a little different in that the wooden handles completely surrounded the steel shank. The new chisels will have the beech scales infilled into the steel, much like a H.D. Smith perfect-handled screwdriver.

Stanley officials said the chisels will be made from high-carbon steel hardened to 59-62 on the Rockwell “c” hardness scale. The tools will be hand-finished and be available in the following sizes: 1/4″, 1/2″, 3/4″, 1″, 1-1/4″ and 1-1/2″. The tools will be sold individually or in boxed sets of four and six sizes, officials said. They will be available only in woodworking specialty stores. Estimated pricing for the individual chisels is $17.99 to $19.99 each.

Company officials released the two computer renderings shown above. Production models are not yet available for testing.

Stanley has been testing prototypes of this chisel with woodworkers and builders, and 74 percent of those who used it said they’d consider switching to this tool. Because of its heavy-duty construction, Stanley officials said the tool will be ideal for both workshop and installation work.

From a furniture-making perspective, woodworkers will be interested in how narrow the side bevels of these chisels will be. Narrow side bevels are ideal for hand-dovetailing. It’s hard to tell from a computer rendering what the tool will look like in steel, so I wouldn’t make too much of the illustrations.

Also, many chisel users are keenly interested in how long their chisels will hold an edge. In my book, Stanley has always done well in this department. The yellow-handled Stanley U.K. chisels have always maintained a terrific edge for me. And the company’s FatMax chisels have also been surprisingly durable and easy to sharpen (I have a set at home).

We’ll obtain a set of these new chisels as soon as we can and report all the details. The chisel market is a crowded one (just open any woodworking catalog), so the quality of these new tools will be closely watched by competitors and consumers.

Also, a Stanley official sent me updated computer renderings of the company’s new line of premium handplanes that we reported on here. There have been a couple changes to the details, particularly in the shoulder plane. I’ve posted these new renderings below.

- Christopher Schwarz

The standard-angle block plane.

The low-angle block plane.

The low-angle jack plane.

The No. 4 smoothing plane.

The shoulder plane.

7 thoughts on “New Premium Chisels Coming From Stanley in November

  1. B.R. Clifton

    As to the logo, I’d prefer seeing the old one. Nothing disgusts me more than change just for the sake of change. Stanly is a very old company and has an established name. Why not keep the old familiar logo? I see nothing wrong with it. My .02.

  2. Mitchell

    I came into the handtool experience not too long ago after a lifetime of not using anything that didn’t plug in. The chisel has become the mainstay of my work and it took some serious research to find something I was happy with. As it turns out, my ideal chisel is the Stanley Everlast – pre Sweetheart. I like the weight of them in my hand and I find their balance perfect. They hold an edge quite well, aren’t difficult to sharpen and all these 80 year old chisels that I have found so far haven’t required a great deal of lapping to get their backs flat, only just enough to get rid of the stains and give a polish.

    If the old adage, "you get what you pay for", is true, how can Stanley produce a "quality, premium" chisel that sells for less than 20 bucks, while L-N has to charge $55 for the same thing?

    My father was a carpenter his entire life and lived by the Stanley name. If he saw what Stanley has been producing lately – well, lets just say he wouldn’t be happy. While these chisels may be a start at bringing the Stanley name back to what it once stood for, the truth is, they have a long, long way to go.

  3. Samson

    When I first got into woodworking many years ago, I was taken with the everlasting chisels as far their looks and quality. They could still be found at flea markets and later on eBay for fairly reasonable prices, so made it a point to obtain several. I also picked up various socket and tang chisels along the way. I quickly gravitated to the later over the everlasts due to weight and balance issues. That metal coming up through the handle makes the tool heavy and gives the chisel a much different balance and feel. In short, their pretty and their rugged, but they are not optimal for woodworking in my experience. LN was wise to make 750 type as opposed to the everlasts.

  4. Tom Holloway

    I don’t want to make too much of aesthetics, because functionality (for the price) is what should really count. That said, I agree that a "premium" logo would help set these items off from the stuff that Stanley has been churning out for the past few decades, in the area of hand tools. Several sources of inspiration are in Stanley’s own history; I am partial to the Gothic font used in the pre-SweetHart (1910-21) combination planes, myself. In the same vein, I would lose the black-stamped information on the blades of the chisels. An improved Stanley stamp on the handles, and a discrete indication of the size, on the blade, would make for a more elegant look. In all, I’ll be looking for these tools in a nearby WW Supply.

  5. Chris F

    Is it just me, or do the first three planes look functionally identical to the Veritas versions, but without some of the "extras" (indents in the sides, alignment setcrews, two bolts in the tote of the jack…)? They’re almost the same colour scheme too.

    I wonder if they’re subcontracting them out to Veritas…

  6. Praki Prakash

    This is good news. I need some of those very planes.

    I hope Stanley delivers on the quality. I can’t afford to (or, I won’t) spend many hundreds of dollars on LN or other brands. All I want is reasonable quality tools. I don’t mind tuning them as I need to sharpen and tune after a while anyway.

  7. Ken

    They need to re-brand their logo to something a bit more sexy – that boxy, boring logo is just not becoming… premium tools need premium logos or marks.

    And they need to put some shape to those plane totes!

    The shoulder plane looks very nice but I’d want to see it made a combination chisel/bullnose/shoulder and the finger/thumb recesses need to be oval in shape and parallel to the slope of the back.

    Other than that, the included features seem like they should add up to very functional planes hopefully out of the box as long as appropriate care is taken in production and materials. Might we see high-speed steel blades a la Brent Beach’s impressive body of study?

    http://www3.telus.net/BrentBeach/Sharpen/bladetest.html

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