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M-Power, the company that brought us such products as the Perfect Butt, the Tri-Scribe, and the Precision Sharpening System, now brings us chisels with replaceable tips from Sheffield, UK. This isn’t the first time these chisels have been covered — The Woodworking Magazine blog actually covered them several weeks ago, but now you can actually purchase them online.

Somewhat like a utility knife, when the Merc Pro chisel gets dull, rather than sharpening it, you can just unscrew the blade, replace it, and keep working. M-Power manufactures the inserts from high-speed steel (HSS) and titanium plates them. They claim the inserts will keep their edge up to 5 times longer than carbon steel, plus you can resharpen them just like a normal chisel if you want.

M-Power gives the chisel a “split proof” acetate handle and tops it with a hardened and tempered strike cap. They finish the chisel body itself with an almost mirror-like polish. You can find 1/2″, 3/4″, and 1″ chisels for just under $50. The standard inserts run about $8 to $9, the three-sided inserts run $10 to $11, and the 1″ serrated insert runs $10.

Merc Pro Insert Chisels [M-Power]
Merc Pro Insert Chisels [Eagle America]
Chisels with a Replaceable Tip [Woodworking Magazine Blog]

13 Responses to Dull Chisel? Just Replace The Blade.

  1. Wayne D. says:

    I just got a bunch of chisels my dad found at a garage sale. A little time on the grinder and then honing on a stone and the work well. If you keep up on the honing and protect the tips when you are done with them, it isn’t that big of deal to keep sharp.

  2. Garrett Wade carries the Innovator M-Power chisels, with the same HSS inserts but with beautiful turned beech handles rather than acetate. We especially like the beveled on 3-sides insert.

  3. Gary says:

    The next step in a disposable society. Good lord, I’m getting old.

    Do that many people really find it difficult to sharpen chisels?

  4. Dave says:

    This is really insert tooling for woodworking tools. Insert tools are widely used in the metalworking industry.

    And what’s with the Garrett Wade spam here?

  5. @Dave:

    In what way was the post from the Garrett Wade Tech spam? It was on topic (same chisels, different handle). It was timely (same day the article was published). It was informative (It told us where we could find similar chisels). She clearly told us her affiliation.

    If another poster unaffiliated had posted the link, would it have been spam?

    I hate SPAM with a passion, don’t get me wrong, but I see nothing wrong Petra’s comment.

    @Petra:
    Thank you for the information

  6. @Gary:

    Who says these are disposable? I wouldn’t throw them away. Right in the post I say they can be resharpened.

    Sharpening your own tools is a valuable skill to learn, but haven’t you ever damaged a chisel in the middle of a project? Especially if you’re away from your shop. Are you going to carry backups? Waste time sharpening when you could be working?

  7. fred says:

    This is an interesting concept and thanks for the post.

    But replaceable tip chisels? In the long run you may have to live in hope that the vendor stays in business and keeps selling replacement tips. How many times will you be able to re-sharpen an insert – before there isn’t enough length left? Also – what about flattening the back of the chisel with this arrangement? Compare that to buying a quality chisels from any number of sources in the USA (e.g. Lie-Nielsen or Blue Spruce to name 2 sources) – or if you prefer England (e.g. Ashley Isles, Ray Isles, Henry Taylor, Sorby et. al) or other European and Japanese sources (Pfeil, Two Cherries, etc.) . I know that some will say that these M-Power tools are carpenter’s chisels – not meant for fine work and certainly not as costly as the brands of chisels I cite above – but with any type of quality traditional chisel (carpenter’s butt chisels included) you will be able to repeatedly sharpen and hone it to a razor edge – touch it up as needed – and pass it on to your grandchildren. I use old Stanley socket chisels that belonged to one of my mother’s uncles and were probably purchased around the time of WW1. Sharpening chisels – even to a mirror finish – is not rocket science and is a skill well worth learning. There are many alternative ways to achieve good results – and not all of them require big investments.

    On the jobsite – carrying a pocket hone to touch up an edge is an easy thing to do – and a fine-grit foam-backed sanding block from Home Depot will suffice in a pinch – putting an edge back on a chisel. Of course if someone wants to use your fine wood chisels to cut through nails – or pounds on it with a claw hammer – then they don’t deserve the name “craftsman” or even “toolmonger” I understand what you say about inadvertent damage being possible (a hidden nail maybe) – but are we to believe that if that happens we’ll have a spare insert in our toolbox – rather than a spare chisel? BTW – on larger longer-term jobsites we often set-up both

  8. M-Power and retailers like GW will have to overcome the misconception that these tips are intended to be disposable. I guess in this day and age it’s a natural assumption – we hear “replaceable” and think “disposable” – and as craftspeople we’re repulsed in principle. I first noticed this in the comments to Chris Schwarz’s blog post a couple of weeks ago. But as retailers it’s our job to describe tools accurately and to help clear up any misinformation.The replaceable HSS inserts on the new M-Power (Merc) chisels are NOT intended to be disposable. They can be resharpened in the same way a standard bevel chisel is – on a stone with a honing guide, for instance. The inserts are designed to save time by eliminating the need to stop work flow in order to sharpen a dull chisel. In other words, they are designed to increase productivity as much as convenience. Thanks for the kind words – I hope this helps.

  9. browndog77 says:

    Need a quick edge on a dull or nicked chisel? Flip your belt sander on its back & hone away! A medium-fine grit does a pretty good job! I could do that faster than someone could change the tip on one of these (not something I would try to do in a hurry-a vise would probably be the safest way)

  10. Coach James says:

    I don’t see where this is such a bad idea, and certainly better than some of the garbage chisels I see in the store. I use sandpaper and a steel plate for quick touchups and I certainly would not just throw away a $10 insert, but then I am tight with money. Also, I have worked on many jobsites where there was no electricity so a belt sander is not an option. That and the fact that I don’t own a belt sander.

  11. Rob says:

    If I’m in a situation where I’m going to chip the edge of my chisel, then it’s probably not that important that I have a perfect edge. If I’m to the point where I suddenly realize I have to sharpen my chisel, well I haven’t been keeping up my tools that well. This is kind of like keeping extra plane irons around in case you need to have a fresh edge, at least to me.

    Maybe in a production environment where every minute counts and you’re wearing your chisels out pretty quickly.

  12. B. Foo says:

    I don’t really see the point in this. I would assume you could resharpen a chisel in the same time it would take to replace a removable cutting edge. I dunno… seems like another “invent a problem to sell a product” type of deal…

  13. Gary says:

    @ Benjamen Johnson

    I guess I can concede the point on the disposable comment. But I wonder how many times you can resharpen the tip before you run out of material. How long is the bevel? I’ve got some old chisels that are an inch shorter than when I got them.

    Have I ever damaged a chisel? Yes. But only when I was doing something that I knew was going to damage it.

    And whenever I’ve worked on a project out of the office, I’ve brought more than one chisel. Use one long enough even without damaging it, and it will get dull. If it’s undamaged, a few swipes on a hone, and it’s sharp again.

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