I am always looking for good tools and sometimes I despair at new one because they look so, well, cheap looking. Some modern makers can take good rosewood from certified plantings, good brass fitments and good steel and make tools look kitsch.
The worst come from Sheffield, England because the makers there bought the names of the old makers and sell product purporting to be made by those makers. Did you know that? Not only that. Did you know that many makers use the same single maker to make their tools for them and put their name on them. Anyway that’s another story.
The I Sorby marking gauge above has a lovely feel to it with fine refinements and adjusters. I bought it on eBay for £7.50. Imagine buying such a fine tool for so little money. This gauge would last for a hundred years of daily use.
And what about my collection of older Marples chisels. These were made before Record Sheffield sold out to American Tool who sold out to Praxair who sold out to Rubbermaid. Something we should consider when we think we are buying from reputable tool companies, but tracing the route discover that companies berthed in Sheffield and using the old names are most often having their tools made where all tools come from somewhere in Asia.
Look at these. I picked them up on eBay and paid about an average of £8 per chisel. I bought them part as a group and some individually. They are lovely to look at but even better to use. get them while you can.