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Mk2 Beveled Edge Bench Chisels by Ashley Iles

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Ashley Iles - Carving, Turning & Bench Chisels
Found in Departments: Ashley Iles - Carving, Turning & Bench Chisels
  Bench Chisels
Mk2 Beveled Edge Bench Chisels by Ashley IlesMk2 Beveled Edge Bench Chisels by Ashley Ilescancelleft arrowright arrow
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Mk2 Beveled Edge Bench Chisels by Ashley Iles - A Visit to Ashley Iles pt. 1: Forgingplay video
Mk2 Beveled Edge Bench Chisels by Ashley Iles - A Visit to Ashley Iles pt. 2: Grindingplay video

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Code: IL-100-40.XX
1/8" wide ($50.95) Not available
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 1/4" wide ($40.95) In Stock
 3/8" wide ($42.95) In Stock
 1/2" wide ($43.95) In Stock
5/8" wide ($45.95) Not available
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 3/4" wide ($47.95) In Stock
 7/8" wide ($47.95) In Stock
1" wide ($50.95) Not available
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 1 1/4" wide ($60.95) In Stock
1 1/2" wide ($70.95) Not available
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2" wide ($84.95) Not available
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 Set of 4 in a chisel roll (1/4", 1/2", 3/4", 1") ($174.95) In Stock
Narrow set of 6 (1/8", 1/4", 3/8", 1/2", 3/4", 1") ($226.69) Not available
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Standard set of 6 (1/4", 3/8", 1/2", 5/8", 3/4", 1") ($216.99) Not available
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Complete set of all 10 sizes ($410.40) Not available
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  • 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.
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:for an average rating of:
Great Value
By: Brent V (Apr, 2024)
Purchased the 3/4” and it’s a great tool. You can see where they cut corners to keep the price down. For instance, the chisel came ground with a very noticeable scratch pattern. But at the same time the chisel wasn’t completely flat so polishing something at the factory that needs a little flattening by the end user is a waste on both sides of the equation. What really matters is that the steel is easy to sharpen and holds an edge well - which this chisel absolutely does. It may not be a high end tool but it will serve you well for a long time.
I own this product.
Terrible Chisel
By: Richard (Sep, 2023)
The worst woodworking purchase I’ve made in 20 years. I ordered the 1 1/2 inch chisel. Edge not square to the sides, ground with a multi-bevel on the primary bevel, and had a hump instead of a hollow on the back of the blade. Took hours to get it in useable condition. Only reason I didn’t return it is because it was already here and I had the means to fix it. Honestly, I’ve seen harbor freight beater chisels that were better than this item.
I own this product.
Amazing Paring Chisels
By: Greg Stevens (Jul, 2023)
Just received these chisels 1/2 inch and the 5//8 inch put them to work on through pegged tenons on stools I am making....amazing to pare the end grain on Spruce pegged with walnut, maple or cherry. I have LN chisels and really like them but the O1 steel just takes such a sharp edge. Sharp as received with a light honing on the tormek - and razor sharp absolute pleasure to use inclusive of handle shape. Have just purchased the 1/4 inch and the 3/8.....looking forward to trying out the 2inch wide!
I own this product.
My type of chisel
By: John Coffey (Apr, 2023)
I have 2” down to ¼” and they are a delight! They are hard and just the right amount of concavity on the bottom to make polishing easy. Never convex! I haven’t experienced any brittleness. Never noticed any squareness issues either though that would not bother me. After a few years, I doubt any of my chisels are perfectly square. The MkII are not firmers. They are paring chisels.
I own this product.
Great for Dovetails and Paring
By: Russell Braeuer (Nov, 2022)
Fit and Finish: 1/4" chisel was skewed, but 5 minutes with 1200 grit diamond stone and a hone guide squared it up. 1" chisel: about 1/8" of the back was ground too deeply at the factory. So I can only polish up about 7/8" of the back. I'm not sure how big of a problem this is to me. I can probably hone a little longer with a more course grit to remove it. It's not enough of a problem for me to return. The entire 1" blade still cuts fine. The wood handles are pretty light, and this is great when you are paring while holding the blade. I haven't noticed any edge brittleness like others. But I don't use them for chopping anything more than maybe 1-2mm off when dovetailing. Usability: I bought these for dovetails. The thin sidewall allows you to chisel sharp corners. These chisels have O1 steel. Super easy to sharpen and can get sharper than other steels, but it won't hold an edge as long as A2 steel that competitors use. So I would NOT use these chisels for making mortises. I have made a few dovetails with Poplar, and I keep a leather strop right next to me. I hone the chisels often with polishing compound and the leather strop. I haven't resharpened these chisels with stone since the first honing. Will that change when making dovetails with hardwood? Maybe. But with softwoods, leather stropping is all I need to keep a hair-shaving sharp edge. Conclusion: I'm pretty happy with the purchase. I'd have given 5 stars if the 1" chisel didn't have the over-grinding on 1/8" of it.
I own this product.
One of the best chisels available
By: Garret Olberding (Oct, 2022)
I have been in the market for some time for a set of premium chisels that I could sharpen to a fine yet durable edge without investing in exceptionally expensive or messy sharpening media. Ron Hock has argued convincingly for the advantages of O1 steel over chrome-vanadium steel (the latter of which can be air hardened, with less distortion, and is thus easier to produce) and A2 steel (which has chromium carbide additives that contribute to edge retention but are so large as to make it difficult to get a very fine edge). These Ashley Iles chisels not only hold an excellent edge and are easily sharpened using whatever media you want, they have a gently beveled back that shortens dramatically the tedious (but necessary) process of flattening. (It took me only a few seconds each to flatten the backs of my chisels with my black Arkansas oilstones.) The handles of the Iles chisels are made of a very hard, tough wood and well polished (but not so polished as to be slippery), with a shape that allows me to easily choke up on the blade all along the shaft, the chisels themselves excellently balanced and allowing me to feel the position of the tang and thus the blade just by its weight. The sides of the chisel are thin but nicely rounded (no concerns about cutting myself). And all this for an exceptionally affordable price. Is there any other chisel out there that can offer all this? Not that I've found! I'm totally sold.
I own this product.
Beautiful Chisels
By: Garrett Roberson (Feb, 2022)
These are really great chisels. I have the 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, 1 and 1-1/2" and the only flaw I have found is that the ferules come loose when pair more than a few dovetails at a time. Other than that they take a great edge and sharpen quickly. They also feel great in the hand when pairing and doing fine work. Very balanced.
I own this product.
Worth Every Penny
By: David Wiegand (May, 2021)
Due to the availability of these chisels I only purchased the 3/4 inch size. Otherwise I would have purchased the Standard Set. The handle is the perfect size and shape for my hands. The handles finish promotes a firm grip. I have tried other premium chisels whose finish is too slick. The backs come flat and are easy to polish. The bevels are also easy to hone and polish. I started with P600 and worked through P1200, P2000 and finished on P3000. That converts to 26, 15, 10 and 7 microns respectively. Total time from package to working was less that 15 minutes. Edge retention is reasonable. I continuously chopped into long grain on some southern yellow pine for 10 minutes followed by paring end grain on the same material for 10 minutes before I noticed the cutting edge could use a touch up. Six strokes on both the front and back using a leather strop with green compound is all it took to get me back to a perfect working edge. I did not experience any of the negative aspects stated by other reviewers. I am looking forward to replacing my other sizes as these chisels become available.
I own this product.
Restoring My Faith in O1
By: Matthew (Aug, 2019)
With all the new, more modern steels out there I was a bit skeptical of plain old O1 chisels but I was wrong. These chisels are just a joy to use. The blades are nice and thin so they can sneak into corners well, and the narrower chisels even have a slight bit of spring to them which I find helpful for making fine, precise cuts. The handles are lovely and well made. And finally, I have been very impressed with the O1 steel. It has a great balance between edge holding and ease of sharpening. It is tough enough to be used for chopping dovetails yet also takes a fine edge suitable for paring, all with very little effort.
I own this product.
By: Kory Cassel (Oct, 2018)
These chisels are wonderfully balanced, very easy to sharpen, and cheaper than anything as good. They are NOT heavy choppers; not all-in-one chisels. The finish is only OK, but polishes out quickly if you want a mirror shine on the bevels. I'm very pleased with them so far! Recommended for your finest work. You WILL need stouter chisels for very rough chopping/mortising.
I own this product.
Great chisel
By: Tom Head (Feb, 2018)
Worth waiting for. great chisel. Handle is stout and good size. and steel is long enough to give your knuckles clearance when chopping a curve. Flat back, was razor sharp in 5 minutes.
I own this product.
By: Harvey (Apr, 2016)
These chisels are exactly as described and I couldn't be happier with them. The finish is excellent and the edges are perfectly ground. They have a slight hollow on the back so it only takes minutes to get the back in good shape for sharpening.
I own this product.
Wonderful Chisels
By: Kenny B. (Apr, 2016)
Great chisels. I increased the 25* factory to 30* and that eliminated any chipping problems. I've read, in the past, that the first millimeter or so of a new chisel may be 'chippyâ- due to hardening the very thin edge of a chisel, but after getting past that millimeter or so, there should be no more problems. That's certainly the case with the set I own. They work great, feel good in the hand, and stay very sharp for a very long time. I'm very pleased with my purchase.
I own this product.
By: Mark Fisher (Apr, 2016)
Low cost, easy to sharpen, holds a good edge......what else could you want? I really don't know why I'd ever want to spend more on a chisel.
I own this product.
Nice Chisel but...
By: Randy (Mar, 2016)
I like the Mk2 series much better than the American Pattern; however, both suffer from the same problems: less than great fit & finish; about 50% (my experience) of the chisels come with skewed (some significantly so) cutting edges rather than squared-frustrating on a new chisel. Otherwise one of the nicer O1 chisels currently available. I wish Ashley IIles would improve fit and finish - I would be willing to pay a little more for that. When ordering, ask TFWW to sort for squareness, you will likely still end up with a couple that are skewed but not as dramatically. Plan on grinding a square edge. Due to the above issue I rate them 3 Stars, other wise they would be a solid 4 star chisel. They take a fine edge, hold it as expected for O1 steel, sharpen easily & achieve a nice balance.
I own this product.
I want to like them
By: Chris Padilla (Mar, 2016)
I've had these for almost two years now, I bought the set of 4 and added the 1/8". I really like the beveled edges and the feel o f the chisels but I have the same problem with brittleness as the others. I've tried higher angles but still these seem to get mangled after even light use. I really want to like them but when I get some extra money I'll be replacing them unfortunately. Not sure if I got a bad batch or what but they really are only good for light paring.
I own this product.
Very Good Chisels
By: Robert Thomas (Feb, 2016)
I want to start off mentioning how these chisels are used. I am a lifestyle woodworker and use these chisels to make a living wage. They are used nearly everyday performing tasks such as cutting dovetails, paring tenons and dados, and chopping mortises for hinges and small tenons. I have been using a few Lie Nielsen chisels and was 80% satisfied. These chisels are extremely well made and I prefer these chisels over the Lie Nielsen chisels I have. The steel is well made and strong. Edge retention is not as good as the Lie Nielsen chisels but the level of sharpness I am achieving with the MK2 chisels is superior. The handle is comfortable and I like the balance. People have mentioned that the brass ferrule comes loose and I have experienced that myself on the 3/4" chisel but none of the others. I simply pricked the ferrule with a center punch and I haven't had a problem since. For the price these chisels cannot be beat. I do not see myself buying another set of chisels after using these.
I own this product.
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.
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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