Monday, April 13, 2015

Swedish Chisels - and Others

Recently, I found a gorgeous set of E.A. Berg chisels on Swedish eBay ( but someone else must have wanted them more, as they went for a relatively high price.
As a consolation, today I pulled out my own small collection of Swedish (and other) chisels.  I got all of these chisels either from Jonas or his dad.
Gee, there's more of these than I thought!  Do they replicate, or what?
This group of chisels actually has two from England and one from Finland.  All are excellent.
Ever see one of these?
I can't quite make out the maker's mark.  I also know nothing of tools in Finland, but this one just feels great in my hand.
Finnish chisel.  This one is about 3/8".
There also were two matching English chisels by J. Jowett.  These chisels are just a hair over 1/4" and 1/2", making me think they are true imperial, just like the classic motorbikes from the '50s.  In those days, British inches were just a bit bigger than the U.S. version.  In motorcycle repair, you need three sets of wrenches:  Metric, SAE, and Imperial. 
J. Jowett of Sheffield.

Other side.

One still had a legible label on the handle.
When you think of Swedish chisels, the one I think of most is E.A. Berg.
Iconic red plastic handle.
Don't take the red plastic handles for granted.  The steel on these chisels is superb.  I find myself reaching for these chisels often.
I have three of these, a 1", a 3/4", and a 3/8".
Curisously, many of these chisels are labelled in both inches and mm.  I think they truly are in inches, but if you want to know the metric equivalent (common in Europe), it's there on the blade.
Eskilstuna is synonymous with good tool steel.
Eskilstuna is a city in Sweden well-known for quality steel.  In England, good tools were made in Sheffield.  In Sweden, it was Eskilstuna.
Two unmarked mortice chisels.  3/16" and 1/4"
There were also a couple of E.A. Berg gouges in the pile, too!

Once I lined them all up, I realized this is a fairly decent set of user chisels.  Although they don't all match, I have pretty much all I need.
3/16, 1/4+, 3/8, 3/8, 1/2+, 3/4, 3/4, 1, 1-1/4 chisels, 1/4 mortice, and 5/16 and 1 inch gouges.
That's a decent set in my book.  Some of these chisels I rehabbed a while back and have been using, the others I want to start using and will soon rehab.
If all the handles were the same, I wouldn't be able to tell one from the other!
My plan was to get to work on an unfinished project today, but it didn't work out.  Today was a "play with your tools" day in the shop.  Since I had them out, I didn't want to roll them back up in the rag I was storing them in.  They will never get used that way, so I tacked this little chisel rack on the back of my bench to see if I like working this way.  So far, it seems to work, although some of the chisels are heavier in the back and tend to lean.  I'll have to figure out a way to get that working.


  1. Oooh nice. And yes I found that tools left alone in the dark tend to somehow multiply...:-) I have a few EA Berg chisels, they sure are great steel, take and hold a good edge. Now if can only enticed them to multiply, maybe I should leave some music playing in the shop at nite?

    1. Hi Robert! Haha, I truly didn't know I had this many old chisels. The 3/8 and 1 inch red handled E.A. Berg chisels I have been using for a while, and they are a joy. The steel sharpens so easily.

      Good luck with the dinner music for your chisels.

    2. Well, I checked this morning, still only have a menage a trois of Berg chisels, sigh!
      Bob, the jokester

  2. Hi Brian, look for Järnbolaget. Same Qualitiy as EA Berg, but under the radar of australian collector.

    Cheers Pedder

    1. Yes, that is also an Eskilstuna firm. Jonas says the quality is the same.

      Thanks for the comment!

  3. The Finnish chisel brand is Hackman, sometimes also marked as Hackman & Co or Hackman & Sorsakoski. Chisel is "Taltta" in Finnish, for googling more information.


    1. Thanks, Pekka! That chisel is great. I'd love to find some more.

  4. It is good to see all those chisels having been cleaned and polished.
    I have two Sorsakoski chisels, I think they are 3/8" and 1/2". They are really nice chisels to use.


    1. I haven't got them all done yet, but I'm working on it. I have decided to try these out as my daily users to see if I like them better than my Lie Nielsens. So far, I like sharpening them better (A2 steel is really hard), and they feel softer in my hands. Much more comfortable. All of them.