I had one of my long standing prejudices confirmed this weekend.

On my two day sharpening course the nice chap brought a set of Two Cherries chisels, which he had bought in Germany.

We were only able to prepare 3 from this set of 8.
Four had huge bellies and the fifth was very twisted.

I would have liked to send the defective ones back to the factory. A strategy recommended to me when I trained 45 years ago.

The seductive polish disguises very poor back shape. Much better to get unpolished chisels and check the backs carefully before starting.

The best ground chisels in this country come from Ashley Iles. The slight hollow in the length of the back makes for quick preparation of the edge.

Best wishes,


  1. Hi David, having spent an enjoyable week in Hartland, under your tuition I agree on both counts: that of seductive polished chisels may well be masking the poor quality, and that the AI’s chisels are very good (now the proud owner of a set).

    I am curious though to what other long standing prejudices are ? 🙂

    Hope all is well! Darren

    • Darren,

      Too many to mention!!!!

      But thank you for your question.

      Best wishes,