These chisels are precision made by Veritas in our own machine shop. Turned and milled from solid bar stock, the blades are O1 tool steel* (Rc58-60), chosen for its ease of sharpening and its excellent edge-retention properties at low bevel angles.
The blade is tapered from shoulder to tip for strength and rigidity, with parallel sides and true bevel edges for full clearance and minimal friction when working into an angled corner or a tight recess. To ensure the face of the blade is both smooth and true, we lap each blade to a flatness tolerance of ±0.0005" (half of one thousandth of an inch!) or better over the entire surface.
The blade-to-handle connection is made with a tang and a socket-like ferrule. The tang has flats to prevent the handle from rotating. Turned from a solid blank, the ferrule seats directly onto the shoulder of the blade. Repeated mallet blows will only tighten the joint through use. Each chisel is superbly balanced, with the center of gravity at or below the tang/socket connection.
The handle is hard maple that has been kiln-baked at a high temperature to eliminate nearly all moisture content and caramelize the natural sugars in the wood. This imparts a rich, dark color to the wood, while helping to seal it against humidity changes, making it resistant to swelling and shrinkage. The handle is contoured to fit the hand nicely, with shallow flats parallel to the blade back to provide tactile cues for finger placement. The end is domed to resist chipping from glancing mallet blows.
The chisels are available in 1/4", 3/8", 1/2", 3/4" and 1" widths, with blades ranging from 4-5/8" to 5-1/8" long. The 1/4" and 3/8" chisels have 30° primary bevel angles; the others are ground at 25°. All have 2° micro-bevels, and require only final honing before use.
Made in Canada.* We have also produced a line of bench chisels with blades made of an innovative powdered-metal steel known as PM-V11™, a tough, wear-resistant alloy that retains its edge longer when used on dense, abrasive woods, yet sharpens as easily as A2 steel. Click here to view or purchase them.