You are here

Lie-Nielsen Bevel-Edge Socket Chisels

WOOD magazine rating


Lie-Nielsen Chisels are based on the classic Stanley 750 Bevel Edge Socket Chisels. Socket chisels are not common these days, perhaps because they are expensive to make, but Stanley and others once produced these chisels in a vast array. Socket chisel handles are less likely to break than tang chisels, and can be replaced easily. At 9" long, these chisels are comfortable in the hand and have excellent balance.

Lie-Nielsen's chisels are made of A-2 Tool Steel, hardened to Rockwell 60-62, cryogenically treated and double tempered. The edges are square, parallel along the length, and very narrow so you can get into tight places. The backs are ground flat and finished by hand at 400 grit. The bevel is flat ground at 30°, but a higher secondary bevel (about 35°) is advisable, depending on the wood and how the chisel is being used. Additional honing is recommended.

Lie-Nielsen Chisels have Maine-harvested Hornbeam handles. Hornbeam, also known as Ironwood, was once prized for its toughness, but usually winds up as firewood these days. This under-utilized species makes superb chisel handles. We don’t recommend using a 16-ounce framing hammer with these chisels, though that is how we test them.

Price is for 5-piece set without leather tool roll. Also available in 7 and 9 tool kits, or individually for $55 each.

WOOD magazine review

Excellent socket-handle chisels

Review Summary

One of two socket-chisel sets we tested (the other was Stanley Sweetheart), the handles arrived loose in the blades, not uncommon for socket chisels. You can adjust their fit, if needed (ours did not), by removing material from the wood tenon, then firming them up with mallet blows. If you're not used to using socket-handle chisels, it might take a while to get comfortable gripping and using them.
Like the Blue Spruce chisels, these are handmade (in Maine) and perform superbly—the lowest-priced option for A2 steel. Also available in 7- and 9-piece sets; add a leather roll to store the chisels for $65–$75.

Detailed Ratings

out of 5





Ease of Use




Tip of the Day

At-a-glance grinder gauge

Here’s a simple way to reset your grinder’s tool rest to the correct angle. After adjusting the... read more