As regular as clockwork, about twice a year, Aldi stocks their shelves with chisels and when they sell out they are gone. Sometimes they last for a week and other times they are gone the same day. Sorry for everyone elsewhere in the world, I try to keep everyone happy, but this is for UK stores only as far as I know. Tomorrow, 23 January 2014, the four-chisel sets return to the Aldi supermarket chain bins and usually they are around for a few days, but since we blogged on them they usually go pretty quickly. I have used the sets at the student benches for four year, going on five now, and they have proved excellent chisels. They are not pretty, but I like the balance and I use them alongside my own. I have no hesitation to pick them up and use them on any of my work and indeed we use chisel hammers and mallets on them all day long and they have never, broken or bent and the handles have never split.
Over the years I have used them, these bevel-edged chisels take and hold a good edge. I have found that the edge lasts for a long time used on any wood so I was and am surprised that Aldi have kept the price the same for five years running at £7.99 for a set of four. Size are practical and pretty standard at 8mm, 13mm, 18mm and 24mm. The handles are single-piece Ash with a chromed metal ferrule that works but I don’t really care for. But they are very comfortable in the hand and the fat indents are pleasing to the hand too. They are finished as well as any mass-made chisel which means they could be more finely ground so they are on a par with the Irwin, Bahco, Footprint makers. Last year I filed and polished out a couple of chisels in about twenty minutes and they felt really nice. I removed the varnish from the handle, scraped and polished them and gave a couple of coats of boiled linseed oil and they felt very good to use.
I am sure you will have to flatten out the large flat face and we show you all of that on our YouTube video on an Aldi chisel here:
So, don’t necessarily see these chisels as low grade and second rate. If you need a good set of lifetime chisels, a second set, or a set for the kids and grand kids, these chisels work well, no matter how you slice it!