These superb bevel edged chisels are named after the founder of Narex Bystrice, Mr Vaclav Richter. Launched to celebrate the centenery of the company, they bring Narex's signature blend of high quality and low price through clever engineering, to the super premium end of the chisel market.
Made from a new type of carbon steel alloyed with chromium for enhanced hardenability and vanadium for grain reduction and enhanced toughness, the steel is heat treated using a cryogenic process to maximise the formation of the desirable martensite crystalline microstructure in the finished steel. In laymans terms, it is proven technology mastered to the extent that it can compete with the latest powder metallurgy steels for performance, but at a much keener price point.
In use, the new Narex steel has slightly less stone drag than Narex's familiar CrMn (which is one of the nicest of all steels to sharpen) so it's pretty close to O1 and PMV11 for ease of sharpening. Edge taking is up there with the very best of them - to the extent that going through the extra grades really pays dividends. But the biggest change is absolutely astonishing edge retention, this stuff takes absolutely ages to show even the slightest hint of dulling and can be brought back to mouthwatering sharpness in moments.
The fine grinding is so good it's almost a mirror finish - on all surfaces, there is no undesirable rounding off of the underside of the edges. The backs of the chisels are almost optically flat, so for the first time ever I would recommend doing nothing to them in preparation and maintainance, just wipe off the wire edge on a soft strop. The edges are as fine as hand ground chisels, barely there at all, making them suitable for the finest precision joinery.
The chisels are fitted with traditional pattern handles from Mr Richter's time, made from ash for lightness and strength, extremely smoothly finished and secured with a splitproof ground steel ferrule bearing the Richter logo and smartly trimmed with a thin leather bolster. The chisels are supplied coated with a light corrosion inhibiting oil with VCI protection for each individual chisel to ensure that they reach you in perfect condition.