To put it bluntly, buying antique hand tools is a horribly frustrating experience. This is especially true for people who are new to handcraft and antique tools, or who don't want to spend a lot of time getting good tools to use in their workshop. If you are new to antique tools, you will have the following questions:
- Where do I buy antique tools?
- Which tools do I need?
- Are there certain brands that I should look for or avoid?
- Should I buy tools that were made during a certain time period?
- How much should I pay for a specific tool?
- What should I look for to make sure a tool is in good enough shape to use or restore?
Unfortunately, there is no store that exists where you can be certain that:
- You will find the tool you need,
- it will be in good shape and ready to use,
- it will be offered at a fair market price,
- good customer service is available,
- and you can return the item if it isn't what you expected.
Because no store that meets these criteria exists, buying antique tools takes a lot of time and requires a lot of knowledge that has to be learned by making a lot of mistakes.
One of the goals of Bench & Chisel is to make the antique tool shopping experience easier so you spend your time making things in your workshop instead of doom-scrolling online market places. Bench & Chisel focuses on just the basic antique hand tools that most woodworkers and craftspeople need. Therefore, you are more likely to find a good selection of these kinds of tools in stock than at other stores that sell rare, collectible, and speciality tools.
You will find tools on Bench & Chisel that have been carefully inspected, cleaned by hand (removing as little patina as possible), sharpened by hand, and tested to make sure they operate as they should. This is a very time-consuming process, but it is the best way to do it. In addition, detailed pictures and descriptions are given for every tool. There are no descriptions that read, "sold as is", "all sales final", "pictures tell the story", which they never fully do. If you are unhappy with the tool, you can return it within 30 days as long as it is in the condition in which you received it.