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Mk2 Beveled Edge Bench Chisels by Ashley Iles
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Found in Departments: Ashley Iles
  Bench Chisels
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A Visit to Ashley Iles pt. 1: Forging
A Visit to Ashley Iles pt. 2: Grinding

Quantity in Cart: none
Code: IL-100-40.XX
Quantity:
 1/8" wide ($35.51) Temporarily Sold Out
 1/4" wide ($28.31) In Stock
 3/8" wide ($30.11) Temporarily Sold Out
 1/2" wide ($31.01) Temporarily Sold Out
 5/8" wide ($26.96) In Stock
 3/4" wide ($33.26) In Stock
 7/8" wide ($33.71) In Stock
 1" wide ($35.51) Temporarily Sold Out
 1 1/4" wide ($43.16) In Stock
 1 1/2" wide ($48.56) Temporarily Sold Out
 2" wide ($59.36) Temporarily Sold Out
 Set of 4 in a cardboard box (1/4", 1/2", 3/4", 1") ($121.08) Temporarily Sold Out
 Narrow set of 6 (1/8", 1/4", 3/8", 1/2", 3/4", 1") ($182.92) Temporarily Sold Out
 Standard set of 6 (1/4", 3/8", 1/2", 5/8", 3/4", 1") ($174.85) Temporarily Sold Out
 Complete set of all 11 sizes ($388.83) Temporarily Sold Out
Quantity:
  • Main
  • Ashley Iles Edge Tools Ltd.

Ashley Iles Mk2 Bench Chisels our our favorite chisel for joinery and general use. They have precisely ground side bevels that provide excellent clearance working in corners, and utilize a bolster and tang construction to lock the forged blade onto the Bubinga handle. At the business end of the Mk2, a properly hardened and tempered O1 tool steel blade keeps a razor edge, and is simple to maintain with oil, water or diamond stones.

Ashley Iles is family owned and operated business run by second generation tool makers who's experience and skill in manufacturing make the Mk2 a chisel you can be proud to own. When selecting a bench chisel there are three important parameters: blade profile, blade steel, and handle design. The high-clearance profile of the the Mk2 blade has exquisitely thin sides - tapering from 1/16" to less than 1/32" at the tip. The O1 tool steel blade is hardened and tempered to 61 HRC. We love O1 tool steel, because and even in this age of laboratory concoctions, there's no material that delivers the edge retention, sharpness, and sharpenability of an O1 Bench chisel. To further aid in sharpening, the chisel backs are ground with an intentional hollow of a couple thousandths of an inch, so the cutting edge can be polished quickly without the need for excessive flattening. The Mk2 has a Bubinga handle, proportionately sized to the blade, with 1" and smaller using a carving style handle to provide control and balance.

Ashley Iles is able to incorporate the above features into a reasonably priced chisel due to their decades of experience in and around Sheffield's storied tool making tradition. Ashely Iles is a family owned and operated business, run by craftsmen who were born into Sheffield's tool making workshops, and grew up straddling grindstones, and hammering steel. Barry and Tony who currently operate Ashley Iles Ltd. maintain their father Ashley's steadfast resistance to following fads, or adding unnecessary features. Ashley's well worn anvil (still in daily use) sits at the center of their workshop, and is a reminder of that heritage. Last time we visited East Kirkby, a short train ride east from Sheffield, we shot footage of the Ashley Iles workshop - it's worth the watch to catch a glimpse of the legendary craft tradition of Sheffield, as carried on by Ashley Iles Edge Tools Ltd.

Because of the high demand for Ashley Iles Edge tools, and the limits their traditional methods of manufacture put on volume production, we are rarely in stock on all sizes of chisel at the same time.
For all sets and individual chisel orders (except the Box Set of 4) we will ship the sizes listed as In Stock immediately, and any chisels listed as Temporarily Sold Out when they become available - typically 4-8 weeks. We do this at no extra charge, and thank you for your patience in supporting a truly amazing manufacturer.

Ashley Iles Mk2 Chisels are Made in England.

Ashley Iles (Edge Tools) Ltd. is a small, family-run company based in a small town in bucolic Lincolnshire, England. Ashley Iles was a patternmaker who started his firm in 1949; today his sons Barry and Tony continue to run the business. (Ashley's eldest son, Raymond, also continues the family tradition of toolmaking, and you might recognize his name on the Excellent D2 Mortise chisels we sell). Thanks to the quality of Ashley Iles chisels, carving tools and woodturning tools this small firm enjoys an international reputation. Although the book is sadly out of print, before his passing, Ashley Iles wrote a fascinating autobiography about how he came to found Ashley Iles Edge Tools Ltd. and the surrounding history and context of Sheffield's industrial roots. If you can get your hands on a copy of Memories of a Sheffield Tool Maker it is an excellent read.

At the Ashley Iles Works you are more likely to find Barry and Tony in the workshop making tools, than working a keyboard. At English woodworking shows customers are continually amazed that the salesman taking the orders (usually Barry) is not only a company director, but is fully capable of personally forging and grinding any of the tools made by the firm. When we visited the Ashely Iles works in 2012 we shot video footage of the Ashley Iles workshop, including several minutes of Tony Iles working at 3 foot diameter grinding wheel spinning at a surface speed of over 60 miles per hour, while grinding the bevel of a thumbnail turning gouge free-hand. (You can watch the videos in the product media viewer.)

Ashley Iles operates in a tradition that is bound by quality, and authenticity, backed up by a lifetime guarantee on each and every tool they make. They are one of the last remaining companies to employ the traditional skills, and methods that made Sheffield's name synonymous with quality, and we are proud to support them.

  
Customer Reviews:

Great chisels for guitar making

By: Barnaby Ralph (Jun, 2015)

I bought these over a year ago and am incredibly satisfied. before these, I had quite a few other chisels, including some nice Japanese ones, but these are the perfect balance and shape for guitar making. I got the set of six and have not regretted it for a moment. They sharpen easily, hold an edge really well and are an utter joy to use. Today, another woodworker visited my shop and tried them - he was so impressed that he's going to buy a set as soon as he can! That's what motivated me to write a review.
I own this product.

Didn't work for me

By: jeff wilson (May, 2015)

Pretty chisels;flat, easy to sharpen and balanced-I bought 2 or 3 but had no luck with them. Even at obtuse angles they didn't hold an edge; really brittle even in poplar.
I own this product.

Decent chisels

By: James Navarro (Mar, 2015)

They're an all around good chisel for the price. I've used them extensively for the past few months and I am pretty satisfied. The larger sizes are near perfect. The backs were fairly easy to flatten. They take a very keen edge and feel balanced. But I did run into issues at first. Nearly every chisel arrived skewed, which is pretty easy to correct and you will probably want to prepare the bevel to your liking before using any way. But I thought it worth mentioning. I've also encountered edge brittleness on some of the smaller sizes that went away with honing -- except for the 1/4" chisel, which TFWW offered to replace no questions asked. And a few of the furrels came lose over the winter. This was kinda expected and I fixed it with quick-set epoxy. They work great now. Another word of caution: the smaller chisels are very thin and quite flexible -- even under hand pressure. Not the kind of chisel you want to strike very hard with a mallet.
I own this product.

Thoroughly satisfied

By: David Taylor (Mar, 2015)

I have tried many chisels over the years, from the Marples Blue chips up through some fancy Japanese chisels (well, I own one :) I bought the 1" MKII a while ago, mainly because my Marples keeps losing its edge every time it gets near a piece of pine, so I wanted something that would last a bit longer. To my surprise, right out of the box this thing slips through wood, leaving a shiny surface! I used it to make a tool box out of white cedar scraps left over from my shop door build, and even that soft, brittle wood shines under the slice of this tool. I have yet to hone it! I am so thoroughly impressed I have embarked on a quest to get them all. Once done, I will be listing my current mismatched set on eBay, watch for them!
I own this product.

A woodworker who wants to buy chisels

By: Tim (Jan, 2015)

I'm in the market for a set chisels. As a former manager in retail, I'll say there are many competing for the consumer's dollar. It would pay you to do whatever you need to to have stock on hand because when the customer is ready to buy, he will go somewhere else instead of waiting....exactly what I'm going to do.

Improving an already good thing

By: Patrick Gibbons (Oct, 2013)

I bought the original AI chisels when TFWW first got them and was pleased with them. I cut down the handles on the chisels under 1" and liked their extra thickness. When the MK2's came out, I bought some sizes to finish my set. WOW! The concave backs were ready to go with very little effort. The sides were beveled to a wonderful thinness and the blades were thinner overall and shorter. This, along with smaller handles, greatly improved the balance. Too bad I'm so cheap. Otherwise I'd replace all my chisels with the new Mk2's.
I own this product.

owner

By: Alonso Florez (Apr, 2013)

I got the three bigger ones and they are a delight to work with them. Hold edge very good. they are up to their standards
I own this product.

Amazing Chisels

By: Art Kieres (Mar, 2013)

We just got a set of these in the shop to compliment our American Pattern set and they're great! The sides are ground extremely thin which makes them wonderful for getting into tight places. The blades are a bit thinner than most bench chisels, but seem very strong and if you're beating on them hard enough for it to matter you should probably be using a mortise chisel anyway... Thanks Ashley Isles and TFWW for another outstanding set of chisels.
I own this product.

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