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Tool: Mortise Chisels Shop Now

Manufacturer: Blue Spruce Toolworks

MSRP: $109.99+

Walloping on a chisel to chop a mortise is a big ask. It’s no wonder that the “pig sticker” mortise chisels of old were meaty—modern variants have, in my opinion, fell short until now.

The new mortise chisels from Blue Spruce are the best mortise chisels I’ve ever used and I’ve owned many. The infused maple handles are a signature of Blue Spruce and the blades are everything I expect. They’re ground to perfection and are razor-sharp out of the box. But that’s not what makes them special.

A few weeks back, I was giving a weekend demonstration (shout out to the folks at the St. Louis Woodworkers Guild).  After demonstrating chopping a mortise, I got asked why that was so easy. Initially, I dismissed it to sharpness and good material. However, upon reflecting during my 5 hour drive home, I think it has to do with the design of these chisels.

The maple handle is capped on the end with a stainless steel cap. This cap threads onto the tang of the blade—it extends through the handle to sort of “capture” the handle. Because of this, all your mallet blows are transferred directly to the blade. On a regular chisel, the wood handle acts like some form of shock absorber. Needless to say, I’m done buying any more mortise chisels. 

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