New source of affordable, high quality carving chisels and gouges.

Scott Cardais

New User
ScottC
I think Joe Dillett, owner of the Carving Shop, has an excellent YouTube channel dedicated to all things carving. He's been carving full time since 1957 and has a lot of knowledge to share and I personally like his "down home" style.

He recently posted a video endorsing a new supplier of carving chisels and gouges. He's never endorsed a product before and claims that he receives no compensation for the endorsement. Here's a link to the video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73A9w5IMCmk

The company is Schaff Tools. Here's a link to their site. https://www.schaaftools.com/

Joe goes into quite a bit of technical detail comparing the Schaff Tools to many of the other well-known brands including Swiss Made/ Pfeil, Stubai, Hirsch, Two Cherries, and about 6 others. He has solid reasons for liking the tools from Schaaf.

Based on his endorsement, I went to their site and then to their Amazon store and I was amazed to find that a 12 piece set of their tools was only $89. Joe didn't say a word about their price on his video but as anyone with any carving experience knows, quality gouges from Pfeill or Stubai, Aurliou, etc start at about $30 apiece. $89 for a set of 12 is a fantastic price.

Here's a link to their page on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XBLNRNM/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00__o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Without Joe's endorsement, based on price alone, I would have assumed these to be inferior but, based on his endorsement, I immediately purchased a set.

After making the purchase, I noticed that Schaaf offers an additional 10% discount if you sign up for their newsletter. I did this after buying my set so I'm not sure if it's too late but I sent a note to Schaaf asking.

Because quality carving chisels and gouges cost so much, I thought this info was worth sharing.

I also wanted to mention Joe Dillett's videos on carving because I think they're great. Some of his videos are clearly targeted for beginners but some of this work is very impressive. One example: a mural done for the DeKalb County Farm Bureau that is approx 7 ft x 32 ft. He describes in in his video on wood expansion as it related to carving.
 

Mike Davis

Mike
Corporate Member
Thanks Scott,

I went to the website, signed up for the newsletter, got an email almost immediately, used the included discount code from the e-mail, and got my set for $80.99 including shipping.

Has to be the best deal ever!

I'll let you know Monday night or Tuesday how well they work.
 

Bill Clemmons

Bill
Corporate Member
Thanks Scott for posting this. I'm looking forward to hearing some reviews from you and Mike once you've put them to the test.
 

danmart77

Dan
Corporate Member
Thanks Scott
Hopefully they will hold an edge. I do some carving in the shop on rifles and other furniture pieces. With an additional set that I can teach others to sharpen and shape, it will be great.








 

bowman

Board of Directors, Events Director
Neal
Staff member
Corporate Member
Thanks Scott,

I went to the website, signed up for the newsletter, got an email almost immediately, used the included discount code from the e-mail, and got my set for $80.99 including shipping.

Has to be the best deal ever!

I'll let you know Monday night or Tuesday how well they work.
What are your thoughts on this set Mike?

I signed up for the discount and ordered a set of these also Mike. These are my first carving tools, so I have nothing to compare to. I also ordered the sharpening stone with the rounded valleys of different radius, and a Flexicut Slipstrop.

I need to find some basswood to start practicing with, plus spend time learning to sharpen these new tools.
 

Mike Davis

Mike
Corporate Member
I like them for the price, they are not $40 each quality but much better than I expected.

Neal, I have some wood and can help with sharpening.
 

Scott Cardais

New User
ScottC
I received my set about a week ago.

The Amazon description made a point of saying not to order these gouges if you don't want to sharpen them and my experience backs this up.

The gouges arrived "relatively" sharp but the tips were not all perpendicular to the shaft and one of the gouges had a distinct nick that needed to be ground out.

I borrowed a friend's JoolTool and they seemed to sharpen well. I haven't done enough carving with them yet to know how well they hold an edge.

ASIDE: I've used several different sharpening systems including bench stones, Tormek and Worksharp. The JoolTool was the best for sharpening curved gouges. I'm on the lookout to buy one used if I can find it because the Jool Tool is pretty expensive. A basic unit with sharpening discs for woodworking gouges is about $500 which is a little discouraging.

The Schaaf gouges are substantially more "stout" than my Swiss Made / Pfeil. I love my Swiss Made. I think they're very durable but the Schaaf's are heavier duty. The shafts are thicker which may be an advantage when roughing out with a mallet.

I also like the tool wrap that comes with the set.

My set arrived with two #5 x 20mm. It was missing the #7 x 14mm. I contacted Schaaf and they’ve promised to send a replacement soon. I'll let everyone know if I don't get it but I assume I will.

I also learned that Schaaf is working with Joe Dillet (see original post) to decide which additional gouges to offer so it looks like they plan to expand their product offering beyond the 12 gouges they currently offer.

Hope this helps. I'm looking forward to using the set on an upcoming project.

Scott C.
 

bowman

Board of Directors, Events Director
Neal
Staff member
Corporate Member
Mike, maybe we can find some time next weekend
 

danmart77

Dan
Corporate Member
Scott
I got my roll of gouges the other day and agree a little bit of work on the edges was in order. I do some carving instruction in my shop and I am always looking for some inexpensive carving tools to get another carver going.

These Schaaf tools are a good stepping stone. If you want Swiss Made chisels, bite the bullet and get some. They are better. If you want to learn how to sharpen and work with some nice medium range tools, these are a great start.

Thanks for the lead on these.

Dan




 
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Scott Cardais

New User
ScottC
UPDATE:

The first set I received was missing one of the gouges. I didn't notice at first because the set had a two #5 x 20mm so there were no empty slots in the tool roll.

I sent a note to the mfg (Schaaf) and they quickly sent me an ENTIRE NEW SET -- not just the gouge missing from the first set.

Can't ask for better service than that.

Scott C.
 

nn4jw

Jim
Senior User
These seem ok for the money. As others have pointed out they don't compete with the Swiss made but aren't bad.

Bad is the Chinese set I bought a couple of years ago. It was pure junk, couldn't take or hold an edge and the chisels were ridiculously thick and heavy with really steep bevels. Really put me off carving as I didn't want to spend $500 for a set of the Swiss just to try the art.

These are MUCH better. The old set is headed to the trash can to make room. Clearly someone spent a great deal of time working with the Chinese to get this set a lot closer to what is a useful set. I'd bet there is a story there.
 

danmart77

Dan
Corporate Member
OK here's a little feedback I forgot to mention when I made my most recent armchair. All done with the new carving tools. The 2 volutes are done with a little texture intentionally. Viewed with a little angled light it works. Two coats of garnetlac and done.

184946
184949


The knuckled hands are done with a straight chisel but the small volutes on all 4 sides of the hands are tedious and take a while to complete. So.. the chisels are working well. If you want to get going for 80 bucks, this is a good start.

184947
184948
 

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