Hands on... Ox chisels and hacksaw
It might seem obvious to a carpenter or joiner, but it has taken me a great many years to fully appreciate the value of a good sharp chisel. All too often I have struggled with a chisel that has lost its edge through hitting a nail in a joist or being dropped. It takes time to look after woodworking tools and when you are trying to get a job finished it seems an extravagance to grind and hone them and when the job is over the chisels go back in the roll with mental note to re-sharpen but somehow it gets overlooked until the next time.
Like the paint roller and the handsaw, wood chisels are fast entering the category of throw-away tools because you can’t justify spending the time on something that sells for less than your labour price. That is not to disrespect them in any way, though, because these days even a budget priced set such as these from Australian hand tool company Ox is perfectly good for everyday site working – especially for a plumber who merely wants to knock out a few notches. And if you want to disregard everything I have said about throw-away tools and love them a little, they will respond and no doubt give you years of service. I have been using them now for just over a month and they seem to hold their edge as well as any. The trough tang and striking button allows you to hit them with a claw hammer so if you have a bit of timber that is in the way of your pipe, go for it with attitude.
Also from the Ox stable is this rather fine hacksaw. It has a nice level tensioning arm and a very comfortable grip. I can’t really understand why some leading hand tool companies who have been in the game for years can’t quite manage to produce a hacksaw of this calibre. It seems that some just won’t entertain a radical redesign. It leads me to wonder if a company such as Ox can bring out an even more radical design that allows you to saw all the way through a 4in. cast iron soil stack. Even a boiler flue would be a start.