I have to admit it. I am always a little skeptical about tools that are reasonably priced. But these looked pretty nice for the money, so I decided to take a chance on them. At less than $10 per chisel, they were worth a shot. I layed down my money and took home a set.
The set I bought is the one pictured. It came with 6 chisels and a canvas bag to put them in. The handles are of a hardwood, with brass ferrules and nicely polished blades.
The blades were sharp right out of the package, but not razor sharp. I can't hold that against Wood River though. It is par for the course to have to tune and sharpen any chisel to get maximum performance out of it, even though it is new.
So, the first thing I did was check it for flatness using a plate glass and sandpaper method. I have to tell you. I was pleasantly surprised at what I found. Normally a chisel in this price range requires a lot of grinding to get it flat. They were not perfect, but were close enough to impress me.
I completed the sharpening using a Work Sharp system and finished them off with a light polishing on a cloth wheel. This system worked well with the Wood River chisels. They were now razor sharp and ready to put through some paces.
The first thing I tried doing was to use them for making some simple furniture joints. I tried cherry, poplar, and walnut. They held an edge fairly well and I had no problems with them.
Then I tried using them for a little bit of wood carving.
I used them to help hollow out a few spoons and do some rough out work. I used walnut and mahogany. Once again, no problems with the chisels.
I was pretty impressed with this set. If there was one thing that I might change for me, it would be that I would want larger handles. You ladies out there will probably be just fine with them. I just have fairly large hands.
It should also be noted that this is a set to be used with a wooden mallet, and not a steel sledge hammer. If you need a chisel for beating out dried caulking from an old window casing, this may not be the set for you. If however you are more into finely tuned furniture joints and light to medium use, this set will serve you well without having to spend big bucks.
Considering the price, I have to give the Wood River chisel set an A+.