More Details on Sharpening
An angle of 20º- 30° is usually recommended for chisels and plane irons. These angles work fine for bench chisels and as a beginning point for bench and block planes. However, increasing or decreasing the angle may yield better results for other tools or applications. Keep in mind these rules of thumb:
- Heavy mortise chisels will hold an edge better if the angle is increased to 30º or more.
- A 30° bevel often holds a better edge when working hardwoods with a bench chisel.
- A paring chisel with a lower angle (20-22º) will cut and pare beautifully.
Use the following in applying your judgment to the situation: a higher angle produces a stronger but less sharp edge; a lower angle results in a sharper, weaker edge.
The characteristics of steel directly affect the quality of a tool: too hard and it breaks, too soft and it won’t hold an edge. What is needed is steel with a high carbon content (.55% to .95%) and added metals such as manganese, chromium or vanadium to improve hardening and wear characteristics. Our edge tools are manufactured from high-carbon (.90%) manganese-enriched steel.