Vevor woodturning chisel set review

As I mentioned in my recent “DIY wood lathe idea” topic I recently built a small modular wood lathe for making tool handles and other projects. I needed a set of chisels to use with this and while doing my research I came across a Vevor turning chisel set on Amazon which honestly seemed too good to be true: an 8-pc set of HSS chisels with a list price of $56 and excellent reviews. That was already looking attractive. When I spotted it Amazon had it on sale for $36. And on top of that there was an additional 50% off coupon. So all said and done it was less than $20 delivered to my door. Even though I had low expectations and generally try to avoid low-end import brands I just couldn’t say no to that price and figured if they were junk I’d simply return them.

I was very surprised, these are not high-end tools but honestly the set is an incredible value.

It came in a wood box which isn’t super fancy but is much nicer than expected given the price. The chisels feel very solid, they did not skimp out on the thickness of the steel. The handle fit and ferrules were all tight. The handles were all nice with nice finish and no knots or splits. The tools are all a little over 16" long overall with roughly 6.5" long blades and 10" handles–not exactly “full size”, but not skimpy either. If anything the tools are on the thicker than expected side. The set comprises the following pieces according to the description:
1" roughing gouge
7/8" spindle gouge
3/8" bowl gouge
1" skew
5/8" skew
5/8" round nose scraper
5/8" V point scraper
All in all it is a good assortment that covers all the main bases. I have a few gripes but they are honestly minor:

  1. The gouge sizing is a bit strange. All of the gouges are ground as spindle gouges despite the largest being called a roughing gouge and the smallest being called a bowl gouge. The two larger ones are quite close in size and then you’ve got a big step down to the “bowl gouge” which actually measures closer to 5/16" than it does to 3/8" so it is quite small. In my opinion the set would be improved by swapping out the 7/8" gouge for something a little smaller, more like a 5/8", and the largest one should be ground more like a roughing gouge than a spindle gouge. That last detail the user can easily fix.
  2. The part-off tool is the parallel type as opposed to the diamond profile type. I greatly prefer the diamond type as it drags less in the cut. Also, it’s quite thick measuring just under 1/4" (a little over 6mm). While 1/4 parting tools are a thing, this is thicker than the standard 3/16 or 5mm. And if you are doing smaller work you will want something thinner still. That said you could easily repurpose this tool as a diamond point scraper.
  3. The skews suffer the same odd sizing as the larger gouges. The larger skew measures a little under 1 inch, while the smaller one measures a bit over 5/8" so they’re not too different from each other. The larger one is fine, I’d rather the smaller one be more like 1/2".
  4. The set also included a freebie carpenter’s chisel (not for turning). This was quite small, the steel quality seems good but the handle is too small to fit in my hand comfortably, the ferrule is paper-thin, and I couldn’t find a single straight line or flat surface anywhere on it; it appeared to have been hand-ground by a drunkard. The freebie is junk, but it’s hard to complain given the great value of the set as a whole. I tossed it in my spares box, at some point in the future I’ll make a scraper or something out of it.

The quality of the edges was surprisingly good. There were no burrs or rough spots on any of my set, in fact most of the chisels could go to work right away, just a few needed a little touch-up: the smallest gouge was sharpened a bit unevenly, and the two scrapers had a little bit of rounding at their tips instead of nice square edges.

The tools aren’t perfect, but they’re much better quality than expected, and the value for money of this set is off the charts. Given that most basic HSS turning tools cost about $40-60 each getting an entire set of 8 for a fraction of that is incredible. This set is an absolute no-brainer recommendation for woodturners of any skill level. It’s the ultimate beginner set. You could also purchase just the very basics from a higher quality brand and use this set to fill in the gaps. It would pair well with a nice 3/16" diamond parting tool and a ~1/2" to 5/8" side-grind bowl gouge with no redundancy. But more than that, even if you end up purchasing nicer tools down the road (or already own them) these can be repurposed or reground into different tools. I.e. if and when you get a nice parting blade you can use the one from this kit as a narrow scraper. If you get a fancier skew you can regrind this one to a different angle or put a radius on it, etc. Even if you think of the set as “8 HSS tool steel blanks with handles”–a blank canvas for making into your own tools–it’s a great deal.

I looked back a the listing a couple times while I was writing the review and each time I could see the discount amount and the coupon amount fluctuate. The set isn’t always on sale but it often is. At the time I’m writing this the Amazon price is $39.99 and there is a 40% off coupon available.

I have observed some Vevor products to be complete junk but this lathe chisel set is amazing value for money even without the coupon.

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