Two Cherries HSS Turning Set - Canadian Woodworking Magazine

A competitively priced set that will provide very good service to novice or intermediate skill level turners


Two Cherries HSS Turning Set

The Two Cherries brand of high quality bench chisels and carving tools has been well known among furniture makers and carvers for quite some time. Not so with their turning tools. The company makes two sets of turning chisels, one of high carbon steel (HCS) and the other of high speed steel (HSS). HCS is much softer than HSS and can become even softer if you overheat it while grinding, and it doesn't hold an edge as long; you seem to spend as much time at the grinder as you do at the lathe. Still, you can buy a HCS set of chisels at about half the price of a HSS set, which helps to explain why they are still on the market.
Recently I had the opportunity of trying the Two Cherries HSS Turning Set (1594SB). It consists of four tools: a 25/32" (20mm) skew, 25/32" (20mm) spindle gouge, 25/32" (20mm) round nose scraper, and 3/16" (5mm) fluted parting.

Nicely contoured handle   

The hornbeam handles are 9-3/8" long and 1-7/16" at their widest. They're covered with what appears to be a high gloss lacquer finish; not the greatest looking finish I've seen, though certainly serviceable. The blades are about 6" long (giving the tools an overall length of about 15") and are made from 7/32" stock. They come very nicely polished. The cutting edges are well formed, though I felt it prudent to hone the edges before using them.

I used these chisels on a Delta 46-460 midi lathe. The rather short handle length makes them ideal for work on smaller lathers; I would think that anyone turning on a full-size stationary lathe would want to use heavier chisels with longer handles. The handles are comfortable to hold, and makes it easy to roll the chisel over the tool rest. Nonetheless, I would have preferred a longer handle, which makes the tool easier to leverage. As well, I like to tuck the handle against my side when turning. But, these are merely personal id1osyncrasies.
I'm not hung up on the issue of whether it's better to buy tools individually or in sets; it all depends on what is being offered. This set contains four tools that will find frequent use, particularly if you do spindle work. If you are, or plan to be, doing face plate turning exclusively, then this really isn't the set for you.
At about $288, or $70 per tool, this is a competitively priced set that will provide very good service to novice or intermediate skill level turners.


  • 4 tools: 25/32" skew, spindle gouge and round nose scraper; and 3/16" fluted parting tool
  • 7/32" thick 6" long high speed steel stock
  • 9-3/8" lacquered hornbeam handles
Manufacturer:Wilh. Schmitt & Co
Available From:Robert Larson Company 
Retail Price:$288.00
Model #:1594SB
Made In:Germany
Carl Duguay, February 2011
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