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Are these too good to be true?

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  • Are these too good to be true?

    Have to say the price is appealing

  • #2
    The reviews mostly sound like they need to be sharpened to carve correctly upon delivery and some edges are even nicked. Wait for someone familiar with them to comment, though.


    • #3
      The tools appear to be proof of the adage: You get what you pay for. Even the reviews hint at the shoddy quality. Several of the tool shapes (the four on the right) have no known application in woodcarving (to my knowledge.) They are undersized for mallet work.
      If you explore further on the Rutlands site, you see the realistic prices for brands such as Pfeil and Stubai.


      • #4
        I've seen sets like that. In fact I have a set like that, was a gift.
        1. In a carving set, there will be at least one profile that you will never use. For some carving styles, most of that set would be useless.
        2. You need a greater range of sizes in fewer tools = no need at all for one of everything, so similar in size, too.
        3. Looking at the bevel angles, some of those will be almost impossible to carve wood with.
        4. They admit the set is not carving sharp but that's something you have to learn to do, anyway.
        = =
        I'm convinced that a set like that is for small wood turnings, pens and the like.
        I'm convinced that a set like that is for carving soft stone, like steatite soapstone. Much, much nicer that a saw, a screwdriver and a rasp.

        I buy carving gouges, one or maybe two at a time, from open stock made by the top names, usually Pfeil.
        I bought a 11/10 Pfeil gouge this spring, the first one in several years. Both the size and the profile were things
        that I needed to be able to do. I can still recall the months run-up to buying a 9/15 Pfeil.

        The price may seem stiff but over the years, more of a bargain than most sets.
        Ashley-Iles and Henry Taylor are top makers.
        Based only on the performance of the two pairs of Narex skews that I use, I'd sure like to try the Narex carving tools.
        Brian T


        • #5
          I have to say a couple of the shapes had me thrown but being the noob I let that go. Ah well, nothing spent nothing lost :-)


          • #6
            Good move Lol999! pallin took the words right out of my get what you pay for. Do yourself a favor and stick with the recommendations of the experienced carvers in this forum. Don't buy bargain wood and don't buy bargain tools! You'll be sorry in the end.
            Keep On Carvin'
            Bob K.

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            • #7
              Something that confuses me is the advice regarding sizes. At the club I was steered towards 8mm and 10mm widths of all profiles of gouges and a 13mm straight chisel for marking out a border. I watched a Chris Pye video where he starts to carve a simple relief leaf, something I would like to have a go at, and he used a 14mm or 1/2" 8 or 9 for stock removal and a 18mm or 3/4" 3 for flattening out the level. he had already used what looked like a 10mm 60 degree V tool for outlining. Now all these sizes are larger than what I have been steered towards but I have to say I like the idea of say a wider gouge for flattening out, makes sense to me.
              Should I go for these sort of sizes? I find them appealing because using an 8mm 9 sweep for stock removal was like painting the golden gate bridge with a toothbrush!

              And RobsonValley, I have been eyeballing the Narex for a while but they seem to manufacture two grades and not every type of chisel is available across the range. The "amateur" range is hardened to about 55Rc and the new Profi range to about 61Rc. Now obviously the harder ones will take a better edge, but will it be brittle, or is the 55Rc sufficient in terms of edge development, holding and durability?


              • #8
                You won't be happy with them, save your money and get better tools. They are made from thick stock and don't cut like you want. I just know, don't ask. Merle


                • #9
                  I use a variety of sizes, from 1mm and up to 30mm. It all depends on how big your carving is. Larger tools do remove more wood, but may require the use of a holding device and a mallet. I use the larger ones with my carving bench or standing, so that I can use my body weight in pushing them through the wood. But you are correct that smaller tools will take longer. My first teacher always started with the largest tool she had available that would do the job, and so when I start certain things, I will select a gouge that seems to fit, and then go two sizes up and try that first. I only have 3-4 tools at the 10mm size. Select and buy your tools individually; if think you would like a slightly wider gouge for flattening and you do enough to justify the purchase, then buy one that is maybe a 15mm or 20mm and try it. Then you will know if it is too big or still too small. I have heard good things about Narex as a wood-working chisel, but I don't know any carvers that use any of their wood carving tools. I would be cautious about purchasing them, because of that. Their carving tools seem to have a variety of finishes and styles and they really don't appear to be of that great a quality. You can carve with almost anything if it is sharp enough and you can sharpen almost anything if you are patient enough. A new guy in our club bought some really cheap carving tools that were about $12 for nine tools. What a deal! Except the bevels were so steep you couldn't even drive them into a piece of wood with a hammer! I spent about a week changing the bevels with a belt sander and sharpening them to carve with. I didn't charge him anything, but I think the going rate for that would have been around $40, three times what he paid for the tools and not nearly enough for the time I spent on them. Buy your tools one or two at a time. And buy good ones if you want to spend more time carving, instead of learning how to fix cheap tools. No matter how much lipstick you put on it, it's still a pig! I have a drawer full of cheap tools that I wasted my money on. Save yours.
                  'If it wasn't for caffeine, I wouldn't have any personality at all!"



                  • #10
                    Watching Chris Pye handle an 18mm gouge may be like watching a Wimbleton champion handle a tennis racket. We each develop skills using woodcarving tools as individuals. At best we can only generalize about what consistently fails. For myself, doing relief carving for many years, I have these observations. The #3 gouges are used the most. Fishtails are better that straight. #1 gouges (actually chisels) are mostly useless for leveling because the corners tend to dig in. Long bent, spoon, dogleg, and other special gouge shapes are rarely used. The higher curves (#7 to #9) are only useful where one must match a curve in the design. My personal favorite profiles are #2-20mm, #3F-6mm, #3F-16mm, #7-6mm. Other gouges are for detail work.

                    Most gouges can be used for more than one cut. For example, the corners of fishtail gouges can make fine skew cuts. A knife and skew can produce cuts like any V-tool.

                    With all this said, YOUR choice of tools should not be based on my experience -- or Chris Pye's. You plan to use a mallet. I don't, so my choice of tools is limited by the power in my hands and arms. My advice: buy one gouge, learn to sharpen it, then spend many hours finding all the ways you can make cuts in various woods. If, after weeks of using that one gouge, you find the need for a different shape, then buy one more, and work the hell out of it.


                    • #11
                      I took a two-week course from Chris Pye up in Maine, and his advice was to use the largest gouge or chisel that worked. Why make 2 or 3 cuts when you can get it done with one? And you do have better control of a large tool that a smaller one. I'm going to chance offending a few carvers, but if you buy a set of gouges and never use most of them, it's not the tools fault. You have to take the time to practice with each tool and learn to use it. You need to show yourself what that tool is capable of doing. The tool manufacturers don't make sets out of the least used tools, they're the most commonly used. And, when you buy a set of tools, they're half the price of individually purchased tools. When I need a new carving tool, I need it now, not next week. My nearest Woodcraft is 60 miles away, and I'm not going to stop what I'm carving and spend 3 hours and half a tank of gas to buy one tool that I need now. Maybe other carvers plan better than I do, but how do you know you need a new tool until you realize you don't have THE tool you need? OTOH, if you're a caricature carver, you don't need a set of anything, so your choice of tools must match your carving style and subjects. When you see pictures of the pro carver's shops, you see a bunch of gouges and chisels, and they use a lot of them. Mike


                      • #12
                        I hope you did not order these, as customer service got some nasty letters about these a part of this complaint...

                        Service fine, product rubbish.

                        Glad I only bought these chisels on special as they are not worth the money at full price. Half the chisels have come out of their handles on first use and don't hold a particularly good edge.
                        Ordering and delivery were fine.
                        Probably won't use ......

                        Always do a customer service reports on an item before buying wood carving materials. on search engines will give you both pro and cons of items and issues about that company. Chisels that are hard to keep sharpen and fall apart after a few usages will often cause you major headaches.... As Phil reported at times you get what you paid for. ON note the customer service of this company seems to be great, but bad products do not need to waste your time and money.


                        • #13
                          ON another note, I have bought rubbish chisels. cheap use on driftwood and other wood that may have lots of sand or rocks in the wood. These chisels can get busted up where as my number one tools will not get broken or chipped. If your buying tools for this reason.....get the cheap ones. I do use my junk chisels whenever the wood integrity is questioned. Although it is noted to anyone buying chisels for the first time....get the best ones that you can afford. There are major differences between too good to be true....and top carving tools.


                          • #14
                            This product was made to look like a quality woodcarving kit; specifically the Pfeil "Brienz Collection," a set of 25 tools with mallet, sharpening stones, honing oil, etc. in a beechwood box. But the price of that product in Rutlands catalog is about $750. The huge difference in price was obviously aimed at novice carvers.
                            By the way, it was John Arbuckle who said "You get what you pay for!"


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by pallin View Post
                              The huge difference in price was obviously aimed at novice carvers.
                              Phil,,,, this is the point that, I like to consider when it comes to Integrity. Most of the time the novice carver or the target beginner carver.... that does not know the difference between top of the line and junk tools.....In my opinion they do not have the experience to know a tool that keeps a sharp edge longer, that a handle does not fall out. Looking at the close up these tools I see zero.... and I mean zero comparing to Pfeil tools which I own about twenty chisels. I do not know it really upsets me when I see such things.