Author Topic: Chisels  (Read 25618 times)

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Offline cliffp

  • Posts: 514
Chisels
« on: May 30, 2013, 07:08 AM »
I know there have been many threads about the choice of chisels and I have read them all I think but I am still undecided on what to buy. I am interested in the idea of trying M and T and dovetail joints just for the fun of it (for me woodworking is only for enjoyment anyway) and also just having a reasonable set of chisels for general use. I have some very cheap draper chisels that cost £15 from a cheap big store. I am reluctant to invest much effort in getting these into a useable state (I have the relevant sharpening equipment) but would prefer to buy a set of decent or half decent chisels on the basis that I am more likely to get into using them if they are a pleasure to use (this principle seems to have worked with planes when I bought a couple of LN to replace an old poor condition Stanley).

I am prepared to consider buying something as expensive as a set of LN bench chisels but would also like to consider cheaper, particularly as many people regard some cheaper chisels as excellent value and more than up to the job. There seem to be a number of cheaper brands such as Narex, Two Cherries (otherwise known as Kirschen I understand) or Ashley Iles. There seem to be different camps of people preferring the Narex over the Two Cherries and vice versa. I don't know to what extent this is personal preference or people just trying the one brand and liking it. Many people very much like the Ashley Iles and regard these as a definite cut (sorry about the Freudian slip!) above Narex and Two Cherries. Others don't like the AI and I wonder if they are commenting on the latest Mk2 version (I don't know when this came out). Then there are the Japanese chisels such as these from Axminster:

http://www.axminster.co.uk/ice-bear-japanese-oire-nomi-chisel-set-prod820165/

If anyone would like to offer any advice it would be much appreciated.



T15+3 set, CXS set, Centrotec set (2011), TS55REBQ, TS75EQ, 1400 rail, 1900 rail, 1400 LR32 rail, LR32 set, MFT/3, OF1400, OF1010, Guide rail adapter, edging plate, angle arm, chip catcher, small bore base, MFS400, MFS1000 profiles, RO90DX, RO150, ETS150/3, Domino DF500, Domino assortment systainer, CTL Midi, compact cleaning set, CMS GE, TS75 Module, OF Module, VL and VB extensions, LA Stopper, Sliding table, Carvex 420 Li 18 GG, core maker set, EHL65EQ, Syslite.

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Offline jmbfestool

  • Posts: 6617
Re: Chisels
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2013, 07:20 AM »
I think Dean Social has one of those Japanese Chisels.   im sure he will answer what he thinks later.

I have Harold & Saxon chisels!   Although they are very nice chisels im not really rating them at the moment to be honest.   I find them far to brittle!  Im pretty sure I have had the edge break on me just chiseling Oak.   They are hard so when I get a chip it takes a while to get it out!   

I have a chip in every one of them Harold & Saxons soooo...  unless im being to rough with them but I was under the impression they are for contractors site use!   My Marples are a much softer metal but I have only ever chipped my Marples when I have dropped them or hit a nail or screw never just chiseling wood.   

So when it comes to sharpening even though the Harold & Saxons hold the edge longer but cus of the chips it takes longer to get them back I much prefer sharpening my Marples more regularly to keep a good edge.


My mate has some Two Cherries  chisels says he really likes them nice chisels.

I would avoid HARD chisels I think the risk of chips are higher and they take so long to get out!  Its better having a medium hardness chisel so you reduce the chances of chipping but still have a good blade retention to reduce the amount of sharpening required.

I believe those Japanese ones are very hard.   

Dont get me wrong im looking at it from site use!  Maybe workshop use a harder metal chisel will be fine on clean wood with alot less risk of chipping the blade edge.

JMB

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Offline jmbfestool

  • Posts: 6617
Re: Chisels
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2013, 07:24 AM »
Veritas brought out this metal which apparently best of both worlds  easy sharpening but still has good blade retention

http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/page.aspx?p=69847&cat=1,41504
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Offline RL

  • Posts: 3039
Re: Chisels
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2013, 01:00 PM »
Veritas brought out this metal which apparently best of both worlds  easy sharpening but still has good blade retention

http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/page.aspx?p=69847&cat=1,41504

That's what I'd go for next time. I'd get a set of Imperial bench chisels and a 1/4" or 3/8" mortise chisel. I have the Ashley Iles chisel set and I'm not that keen on them. I find I am forever sharpening them, and not just honing but all the way back to the primary bevel. For the chisels narrower than 1/2" I even changed the primary bevel to 30 degrees from 25 degrees to help make the edge more robust but to little avail. I have two Lie Nielsen chisels which are excellent in comparison.

I'd love to get a different set one day but it's not a priority so I live with the Ashley iles.

Offline cliffp

  • Posts: 514
Re: Chisels
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2013, 01:36 PM »
Thanks for your suggestions/feedback Brett and also Richard - it was your comment on an earlier thread that made me think twice about the Ashley Iles. The PM-V11 are $360 (Canadian) which is around £230. After postage and import duties I guess that would be around £300. I have been offered 7.5% discount off the LN chisel set (if I buy some other stuff as well) so I may consider that as well. Yet another option is to try and get my wife to bring something back from San Francisco next week (she is there for a week) but she might clobbered for import duties and even worse, would have to know what they cost  [scared].
T15+3 set, CXS set, Centrotec set (2011), TS55REBQ, TS75EQ, 1400 rail, 1900 rail, 1400 LR32 rail, LR32 set, MFT/3, OF1400, OF1010, Guide rail adapter, edging plate, angle arm, chip catcher, small bore base, MFS400, MFS1000 profiles, RO90DX, RO150, ETS150/3, Domino DF500, Domino assortment systainer, CTL Midi, compact cleaning set, CMS GE, TS75 Module, OF Module, VL and VB extensions, LA Stopper, Sliding table, Carvex 420 Li 18 GG, core maker set, EHL65EQ, Syslite.

Offline Deansocial

  • Posts: 2114
Re: Chisels
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2013, 01:41 PM »
I like my jap chisel. The beauty of it is the it is both hard and soft metal so easy to sharpen if it does chip. I have only chipped mine because i dropped it on tarmac

Offline jmbfestool

  • Posts: 6617
Re: Chisels
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2013, 04:47 PM »
Thanks for your suggestions/feedback Brett and also Richard - it was your comment on an earlier thread that made me think twice about the Ashley Iles. The PM-V11 are $360 (Canadian) which is around £230. After postage and import duties I guess that would be around £300. I have been offered 7.5% discount off the LN chisel set (if I buy some other stuff as well) so I may consider that as well. Yet another option is to try and get my wife to bring something back from San Francisco next week (she is there for a week) but she might clobbered for import duties and even worse, would have to know what they cost  [scared].


U can get away with the import duty just say they are second hand and you where given them.  Just take them out of the packages etc make them look a little used or something.

Or

Buy them in the UK
http://www.axminster.co.uk/veritas-veritas-pm-v11-bench-chisels-prod887049/
« Last Edit: May 30, 2013, 04:50 PM by jmbfestool »
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Offline cliffp

  • Posts: 514
Re: Chisels
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2013, 05:55 PM »
I think it would be a lot cheaper to buy them from Veritas in Canada than Axminster (and they don't have half of them in stock). I am very tempted. I think it is between these and the LN set for £209 (including discount). 
T15+3 set, CXS set, Centrotec set (2011), TS55REBQ, TS75EQ, 1400 rail, 1900 rail, 1400 LR32 rail, LR32 set, MFT/3, OF1400, OF1010, Guide rail adapter, edging plate, angle arm, chip catcher, small bore base, MFS400, MFS1000 profiles, RO90DX, RO150, ETS150/3, Domino DF500, Domino assortment systainer, CTL Midi, compact cleaning set, CMS GE, TS75 Module, OF Module, VL and VB extensions, LA Stopper, Sliding table, Carvex 420 Li 18 GG, core maker set, EHL65EQ, Syslite.

Offline cliffp

  • Posts: 514
Re: Chisels
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2013, 03:02 AM »
I've done a bit of research and chisels attract duty as well as vat (I think it is 3.5%) so if the postage cost was £30 (a guess) then the total cost would be £335 which to me seems excessive compared to £209 for the LN set.
T15+3 set, CXS set, Centrotec set (2011), TS55REBQ, TS75EQ, 1400 rail, 1900 rail, 1400 LR32 rail, LR32 set, MFT/3, OF1400, OF1010, Guide rail adapter, edging plate, angle arm, chip catcher, small bore base, MFS400, MFS1000 profiles, RO90DX, RO150, ETS150/3, Domino DF500, Domino assortment systainer, CTL Midi, compact cleaning set, CMS GE, TS75 Module, OF Module, VL and VB extensions, LA Stopper, Sliding table, Carvex 420 Li 18 GG, core maker set, EHL65EQ, Syslite.

Offline JayStPeter

  • Posts: 363
Re: Chisels
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2013, 09:50 AM »
I have the LNs, they are great.  Don't think you'd be dissapointed in them.
Jay St. Peter

Offline Tim Raleigh

  • Posts: 3520
    • Oakville Cabinetry
Re: Chisels
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2013, 10:19 AM »
I have LN's, and like them. They are beautiful chisels, and turned up and sharp when you receive them but I do find them a bit "light" in my hands.

If you are like me and weight and feel are important, I would suggest you actually pick up a chisel and try it before you buy a set.

For every day bench work I still prefer my cheapo yellow handle Marples. The steel is a bit soft but I really like the weight and I find them great for almost every task except dovetails.

Tim

Offline cliffp

  • Posts: 514
Re: Chisels
« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2013, 11:05 AM »
Tim, thanks for that. What would you recommend for dovetails? (speciality ones or ones that just have a thinner blade?)
T15+3 set, CXS set, Centrotec set (2011), TS55REBQ, TS75EQ, 1400 rail, 1900 rail, 1400 LR32 rail, LR32 set, MFT/3, OF1400, OF1010, Guide rail adapter, edging plate, angle arm, chip catcher, small bore base, MFS400, MFS1000 profiles, RO90DX, RO150, ETS150/3, Domino DF500, Domino assortment systainer, CTL Midi, compact cleaning set, CMS GE, TS75 Module, OF Module, VL and VB extensions, LA Stopper, Sliding table, Carvex 420 Li 18 GG, core maker set, EHL65EQ, Syslite.

Offline RL

  • Posts: 3039
Re: Chisels
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2013, 12:15 PM »
Tim, thanks for that. What would you recommend for dovetails? (speciality ones or ones that just have a thinner blade?)

I use regular chisels for dovetails but I do have a 1/8" LN chisel to get into the corners.

Offline Tim Raleigh

  • Posts: 3520
    • Oakville Cabinetry
Re: Chisels
« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2013, 12:24 PM »
Tim, thanks for that. What would you recommend for dovetails? (speciality ones or ones that just have a thinner blade?)

I use regular chisels for dovetails but I do have a 1/8" LN chisel to get into the corners.

Agreed! For me the weight of the LN are perfect for a heavy handed SOB like me!
Tim

Offline farms100

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Re: Chisels
« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2013, 12:51 PM »
 I have a very mixed set of chisels.

LN are fantastic, a bit short in the usable steel for my taste, has a  big thick blade.
pfeil also very good, thinner blade gets really sharp good edge retention. (metric)

old set of marples softer than the above but sharpen up really fast.

ashley iles I have 2 inch chisel that was factory fresh. despite grinding and sharpening at least 5  times the edge crumbles like crazy.

I tried some of the woodriver a few years back and those are pretty good for a first set of chisels.

 I'd like to try the new lee valley ones but festool seems to be sinking into my brain.

Bottom line is your going to use the chisel that fits into your hand well. 
eastern mass guild of woodworkers. http://www.emgw.org

Offline woodguy7

  • Posts: 2727
Re: Chisels
« Reply #15 on: May 31, 2013, 06:03 PM »
I have a full set of 2 Cherries, Lie Nielson & a set of 4 Japanese chisels.  I rarely use the Japanese, the Lie Nielsons only come out when doing furniture or something nice but my 2 Cherries are the ones I use all the time. Love them.

This is only workshop use though, on site I use a mix of Marple's blue chip & Stanley's. I will probably get a set of the new Veritas ones at some point as well.

Doing more dovetailing then get the Lie Nielson, doing more M&T then get the 2 Cherries.

That's my opinion.
If its made of wood, i can make it smaller.
Shirt size medium
p.s- ive started reading these too

Offline TinyTiger

  • Posts: 83
Re: Chisels
« Reply #16 on: May 31, 2013, 08:39 PM »
I have used the older Marples and the newer Marples/Irwin, and they were both nice but really soft steel and dulled quickly.  I tried the Narex, but they had handles that were so light the chisels felt strange and off-balance.  I was never comfortable with them.  I used the Ashley Isles, and they were pretty soft too.  I even had a set of Craftsmans quite a few years back.  I finally got sick of sharpening all of the bargain-priced chisels after very little use (and light use at that).

Just my 2 cents, but I highly recommend the Lie Nielsens if you can swing them.  I got rid of all the others and got a set of the L-Ns.  As a side benefit, I haven't had to sharpen half as much!

Good luck with whatever you decide on!
Russ

Offline cliffp

  • Posts: 514
Re: Chisels
« Reply #17 on: June 01, 2013, 03:21 AM »
Thanks for all the latest replies, you are all helping me a lot in my decision making. I sharpened up a blue handled stanley (6 years old vintage) and it dulled very quickly when I used it to cut a mortise. After this experience I don't want a soft chisel. On the other hand I don't want to wreck an expensive chisel cutting mortises. Are LN suitable for this operation using a mallet? (I have ordered a Thor nylon hammer following the recommendation of Paul Sellers). Or would the PM-V11 be a better choice for this? I may do as Woodguy suggests and get LN for intricate/less aggressive work and something cheaper but still reasonably hard for heavy duty chopping.

As a side note, do you guys use waterstones for sharpening or something quicker like a Tormek or Worksharp?
T15+3 set, CXS set, Centrotec set (2011), TS55REBQ, TS75EQ, 1400 rail, 1900 rail, 1400 LR32 rail, LR32 set, MFT/3, OF1400, OF1010, Guide rail adapter, edging plate, angle arm, chip catcher, small bore base, MFS400, MFS1000 profiles, RO90DX, RO150, ETS150/3, Domino DF500, Domino assortment systainer, CTL Midi, compact cleaning set, CMS GE, TS75 Module, OF Module, VL and VB extensions, LA Stopper, Sliding table, Carvex 420 Li 18 GG, core maker set, EHL65EQ, Syslite.

Offline Kev

  • Posts: 7651
Re: Chisels
« Reply #18 on: June 01, 2013, 03:29 AM »
Thanks for all the latest replies, you are all helping me a lot in my decision making. I sharpened up a blue handled stanley (6 years old vintage) and it dulled very quickly when I used it to cut a mortise. After this experience I don't want a soft chisel. On the other hand I don't want to wreck an expensive chisel cutting mortises. Are LN suitable for this operation using a mallet? (I have ordered a Thor nylon hammer following the recommendation of Paul Sellers). Or would the PM-V11 be a better choice for this? I may do as Woodguy suggests and get LN for intricate/less aggressive work and something cheaper but still reasonably hard for heavy duty chopping.

As a side note, do you guys use waterstones for sharpening or something quicker like a Tormek or Worksharp?

I have a Tormek. "Quicker" is probably not a good thing to call the Tormek, but it does sharpen a lot of things well. If you get some good chisels it's worth becoming proficient with waterstones (practice on something you don't love too much).

I wouldn't use a worksharp on anything very expensive personally.

Offline jmbfestool

  • Posts: 6617
Re: Chisels
« Reply #19 on: June 01, 2013, 03:31 AM »
Thanks for all the latest replies, you are all helping me a lot in my decision making. I sharpened up a blue handled stanley (6 years old vintage) and it dulled very quickly when I used it to cut a mortise. After this experience I don't want a soft chisel. On the other hand I don't want to wreck an expensive chisel cutting mortises. Are LN suitable for this operation using a mallet? (I have ordered a Thor nylon hammer following the recommendation of Paul Sellers). Or would the PM-V11 be a better choice for this? I may do as Woodguy suggests and get LN for intricate/less aggressive work and something cheaper but still reasonably hard for heavy duty chopping.

As a side note, do you guys use waterstones for sharpening or something quicker like a Tormek or Worksharp?

Yeah I would shy away from soft metal chisels and hard metal chisels that's my experiences ur best of with inbetween hardness.   If you go for one of the extremes all does it do your head in lol that's what I have learnt lol.

I use diamond stones as they sharpen blades on the job. quicker than stones plus they stay flat.

I use a tormek t7 to grind them back down and sharpen them also.


« Last Edit: June 01, 2013, 05:39 PM by jmbfestool »
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Offline Tim Raleigh

  • Posts: 3520
    • Oakville Cabinetry
Re: Chisels
« Reply #20 on: June 01, 2013, 08:11 AM »
I may do as Woodguy suggests and get LN for intricate/less aggressive work and something cheaper but still reasonably hard for heavy duty chopping.

I would concur, I would use my LN dovetails etc. and get something else for heavy duty chopping. I haven't tried the LV's yet but I'm tempted.

As a side note, do you guys use waterstones for sharpening or something quicker like a Tormek or Worksharp?

Tormek and stones for fine tuning. The Tormek is a great system if you can swing it.
Tim

Offline farms100

  • Posts: 133
    • please visit our woodworking guild
Re: Chisels
« Reply #21 on: June 01, 2013, 08:57 AM »
I shoudl add that almost all my work is furniture, not carpentry. Having different flavors of is useful for many reasons. When you have to pare and fit joints, is where hand fit is critical. most of the time my goto chisel is a 1 inch marples i've had for 20+ years I like the large blade length

regarding steel softness, its a trade off between sharpening speed and edge life. I keep wood and leather strops charged with compound and retouch the edge  often.
eastern mass guild of woodworkers. http://www.emgw.org

Offline Untidy Shop

  • Posts: 2653
Re: Chisels
« Reply #22 on: June 01, 2013, 09:10 AM »
Thanks for all the latest replies, you are all helping me a lot in my decision making. I sharpened up a blue handled stanley (6 years old vintage) and it dulled very quickly when I used it to cut a mortise. After this experience I don't want a soft chisel. On the other hand I don't want to wreck an expensive chisel cutting mortises. Are LN suitable for this operation using a mallet? (I have ordered a Thor nylon hammer following the recommendation of Paul Sellers). Or would the PM-V11 be a better choice for this? I may do as Woodguy suggests and get LN for intricate/less aggressive work and something cheaper but still reasonably hard for heavy duty chopping.

As a side note, do you guys use waterstones for sharpening or something quicker like a Tormek or Worksharp?



I have a Tormek. "Quicker" is probably not a good thing to call the Tormek, but it does sharpen a lot of things well. If you get some good chisels it's worth becoming proficient with waterstones (practice on something you don't love too much).

I wouldn't use a worksharp on anything very expensive personally.

Yes Tormek system is very good, but Kev is right, it is not quick. But great for tune ups.

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Offline j123j

  • Posts: 72
Re: Chisels
« Reply #23 on: June 01, 2013, 05:18 PM »
Thanks for all the latest replies, you are all helping me a lot in my decision making. I sharpened up a blue handled stanley (6 years old vintage) and it dulled very quickly when I used it to cut a mortise. After this experience I don't want a soft chisel. On the other hand I don't want to wreck an expensive chisel cutting mortises. Are LN suitable for this operation using a mallet? (I have ordered a Thor nylon hammer following the recommendation of Paul Sellers). Or would the PM-V11 be a better choice for this? I may do as Woodguy suggests and get LN for intricate/less aggressive work and something cheaper but still reasonably hard for heavy duty chopping.

As a side note, do you guys use waterstones for sharpening or something quicker like a Tormek or Worksharp?

Yeah I would shy away from soft metal chisels and hard metal chisels that's my experiences ur best of with inbetween hardness.   If you got for one extreme all does it do your head in lol that's what I have learnt lol.



Are you really talking about hardness? as in measured in the rockwell scale? I dont follow.

As a pointer for JMB, I believe your H&S chisels are M2 hss and yes they are diffucult to sharpen but they are tough, really tough.
If your edges chip then increase your bevel angle, 30-34 degrees for heavy chopping depending on the steel and the hardening process.

For chisels I would recomend plain carbon steel, but hss is sometimes needed if the chisels are used on hard and abrasive woods (teak, wenge...)

For beater chisels you cannot fault the narex chisels.

For chopping I like japanise chisels with simple high carbon steel blades (good ones, not cheap) and for paring I use japanese and blue spruce (a2) chisels.

The Lie-nielsen chisels are very good allround chisels, if I were to only have one set of  chisels they would be the LNs.
The veritas chisels are also very good, O1 or PM-V11 but I dont like the handles as much as the lie-nielsens but thats a personal thing.

Offline tonylumps

  • Posts: 51
Re: Chisels
« Reply #24 on: June 01, 2013, 07:09 PM »
When all of my 40 year old Stanley chisels started to look ragged I started to look at all of those Exotic chisels until I saw the prices. I just could not see hitting a hidden stable with a 150.00 chisel.I went and bought a Tormek instead of the chisels.It was almost the same price as a set of Japanese chisels.My old Stanleys are sharper now then when I bought them. And every Knife in the house cuts now to Boot.

Offline j123j

  • Posts: 72
Re: Chisels
« Reply #25 on: June 01, 2013, 08:02 PM »
Yeah I understand your reasoning, but even a 150$ chisel can be re-sharpened  ;D

But yeah, if you're unsure whats inside the wood then you often opt to use the cheapest chisels that will get the job done.

Nobody needs 150$/piece chisels, and everyone could get by with cheap chisels but some people (myself included) appreciate the qualities of the high-grade chisels and are willing to pay an eye watering price for something like a set of paring chisels which are a real pleasure to use.

For me its easier to achieve a higher quality with these expensive and rather specialized tools, but in the end of the day someone who has way more skill could do even better work with tools that cost the fraction of my tools...

Offline Tim Raleigh

  • Posts: 3520
    • Oakville Cabinetry
Re: Chisels
« Reply #26 on: June 01, 2013, 08:15 PM »

For chopping I like japanise chisels with simple high carbon steel blades (good ones, not cheap) and for paring I use japanese



What kind of Japanese chisels do you use?
Tim

Offline j123j

  • Posts: 72
Re: Chisels
« Reply #27 on: June 01, 2013, 08:27 PM »
For bench work I have japanese bench chisels (oire-nomi), various brands gathered over the years.
But I am going to buy a set from a single smith soon, already have the smith decided just need to get the order in.

For most paring I use japanese chisels, 400mm (16") long, very thin blades. Mine are made by Ouchi.

+My timber framing chisels (chu-tataki-nomi, atsu-nomi, anaya-nomi), I dont have any of the huge slicks because I really havent found a need for them yet.

When im paring small pieces I have Dave Jeskes dovetail paring chisels which are very light and nimble in my hands.
I've got a few sizes of these 1/8, 3/16, 1/4, 3/8 and 1/2". These can be even hit with a mallet (lightly).
« Last Edit: June 01, 2013, 08:30 PM by j123j »

Offline Festool Fishy

  • Posts: 147
Re: Chisels
« Reply #28 on: June 07, 2013, 04:16 PM »
Hey Cliff
did you make up your mind and buy any chisels ?

cheers fishy

Offline jacko9

  • Posts: 2349
Re: Chisels
« Reply #29 on: June 07, 2013, 04:39 PM »
I have purchased a number of chisels over the years and all of them will give you a great cut when 1st sharpened.  However, only my Japanese chisels will retain the sharp edge long enough to finish a project.  The Japanese chisels that I own and hollow back very hard cutting edge forged together with thicker mild steel that absorbs most of the cutting shock.

Quality relates to ease of use and edge retention in my experience.

Jack