It’s not often that I see a new boutique toolmaker pop up on the woodworking scene. Usually, I see some form of press release or article in a publication. Over the last year, however, I’ve been closely following the journey of one small toolmaker from Ohio. Andrew Kimmons started selling his chisels on his Etsy store, and I had seen a handful of reviews that were showering Andrew with praise on his handmade chisels. So, I reached out to Andrew to see what the buzz was about.
After receiving the set of chisels from Andrew, my first impressions were pretty striking. They were flawless. The curly maple handles were very nicely turned, and I knew immediately that they are made with a hand tool user in mind. It nearly felt like the handle was reaching out to shake my hand. Personally, I usually favor a slimmer handle on my chisels, but the thicker handle on the Kimmons Chisels just fits.
Working down from the handles, the ferrules are made from stainless steel. If I had one wish for the chisels, I think the lead edge of the ferrules could be chamfered slightly to soften it. It’s a minor detail that you only notice when you choke up on the chisel handle.
With a background in metallurgy and fabrication, Andrew machines all of his chisel blades in-house. And I will tell you—they come sharp. The thin, tapered edges of the chisels fit well into the corners of dovetails. I used this set while working on the tool chest on page 46. I flipped back and forth between my Blue Spruce chisels and this set from Andrew. Being made from A2 steel, they held an edge longer than my Blue Spruce, but took just a little longer to touch up on my oil stones. As an O1 tool steel fan, I was glad to see Andrew also offers his chisels made of O1, even though O1 tends to be a little more temperamental during heat treating.
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