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Socket chisels are not as common as they used to be, mainly because they are more expensive to make than the common tanged chisel of today. On the plus side they are far stronger, and the handles less likely to break than those fitted to tanged chisels, and the handles can easily be replaced. At 230mm long, these chisels from Lie-Nielsen are particularly comfortable in the hand and have excellent balance. The blades are made of A-2 Tool Steel, hardened to Rockwell 60-62, cryogenically treated and double tempered. The edges are square, parallel along the length, and very narrow so you can get into tight places. The backs are ground flat and finished by hand. The bevel is flat ground at 30°, little additional honing is required. Lie-Nielsen Chisels have Maine-harvested Hornbeam handles, not surprisingly known locally as Ironwood, and prized for its toughness. This under-utilized species makes superb chisel handles.