Narex Chisels are made in the small village of Bystřice in the Czech Republic where they have been making tools for over 100 years. The Narex factory was founded in 1919 by Václav Richter, and while the factory has modernized over the past century, many of the manufacturing methods such as drop-forging are still in use. They have become well known for making high quality, reasonably priced tools, including chisels.
To commemorate its 100 anniversary, Narex developed a new line of premium bench chisels named after their founder. The Richter Extra Chisels are the finest chisels Narex has produced and are made using the best materials and processes, including cryogenic heat treatment. These chisels have similar performance, quality and aesthetics as other premium chisels available on the market, but at a much more reasonable price point.
Instead of using their existing Chrome Manganese steel (which is a very good steel!) that is used on the rest of their chisels, Narex developed a new type of steel, alloyed with Chromium for hardenability and Vanadium for grain reduction and enhanced toughness. Richter chisel blades are forged from this new Chrome Vanadium (Cr-V) steel, and hardened, cryogenically heat treated and tempered to a minimum hardness of 62 HRC. The cryogenic heat treatment in liquid nitrogen extends the quench hardening down to about -190°C, which converts the maximum amount of austenite to martensite, and increases both the hardness and dimensional stability.
We like this new steel they are using - it can be sharpened to a very keen edge as easily as O1 steel (and much faster than A2), but the edge retention seems much better than O1. Extra care is taken during grinding and polishing to ensure that the back of the chisel is very flat and that the sides taper down to very thin lands which allow the chisel to be used in very tight spaces such as when cutting dovetails. The front bevel is ground at 24 degrees and a Secondary or Micro-Bevel is advisable, depending on how the chisel is going to be used. We also recommend that you flatten the back once before the first honing, but this takes very little time as the backs of these chisels are already quite flat.
Richter chisel handles are made from domestic sustainably harvested European Ash known for its strength, toughness and attractive grain. The handles are finished with oil followed by shellac, which we much prefer to glossy lacquer finishes. The blade is mounted in the handle using a solid stainless steel ferrule and there is a leather washer added to help absorb shocks from mallet blows.
Blade Forged from extremely high quality CR-V Steel.
Cryogenically Treated to 62 HRc.
Fine ground and polished with thin sides for reaching into tight spaces.
Premium Grade Ash Hardwood Handle.
Solid Stainless Steel Ferrule.
Thin Leather Bolster Washer.
These chisels are available individually in the following sizes: