One can see here that the tang and grip are slightly offset, like most other Japanese chisels. This is an advantage when cutting deep mortices, for instance, as one can cut much deeper than the length of the chisel blade would suggest. One can easily and accurately cut, with a 65 mm long blade like this one, a mortice up to 100 mm deep.
The blade of these dovetail chisels is triangular in section. This shape allows the chisels to be used to cut in tight corners, like dovetail joints, where the shape of a normal chisel prevents it from being used. These chisels are in general thinner than standard chisels, and so should not be used for heavy work. The steel used for the edge is the best available for these tools - White Paper Steel, forged by Master Matsumura, and hardened to about 64 HRC.
The thickness measurements given for these chisels is at the peak of the triangle in the middle of the blade. The narrower chisels are thicker so as to provide the blade with enough strength and stiffness. If the blades are too thick for a job, one can file off some part of the peak, which is formed of relatively soft and strong iron. It will not look as nice as the original blade, but the chisels can then be used in places that cannot be reached with any conventional chisel. Be aware that filing off the peak of these chisels will weaken them considerably, and under no circumstances should leverage be exerted on these blades! These chisels are hand-forged, and so small variations in the dimensions listed are to be expected.
|Blade width||Blade thickness||CodePrice|
|3 mm||7 mm|
|4.5 mm||7 mm|
|6 mm||6 mm|
|7.5 mm||5 mm|
|9 mm||5 mm|
|10.5 mm||5 mm|
|12 mm||5 mm|
|15 mm||5 mm||Currently not in stock!|
|18 mm||5 mm|
|21 mm||5.5 mm|
|24 mm||6 mm|
|30 mm||6 mm|
|36 mm||6 mm|
|42 mm||6 mm||Currently not in stock!|
For blue paper steel (the name comes from the colour of the manufacturer’s packaging) the exact hardening temperature is not as critical as for white paper steel; hardening faults are therefore less likely to occur. The slightly different alloy additives from those used in white paper steel improve the edge retention of blue paper steel chisels and make for a tougher edge that is less prone to chipping. The achievable sharpness is slightly less, but for most practical purposes - and obviously subject to the user’s sharpening skills - this should not make any difference. Hand-forged by master blacksmith Matsumura in Yoita, Japan.
Handles made of white oak.
Total length 215 mm.
Set of 5 Japanese Blue Steel Dovetail Chisels
6, 12, 18, 24, 30 mm
They come in a kiri wood box with a polystyrene lining to protect the cutting edges.
All 5 dovetail chisels