Wednesday, April 26, 2017

AHS Model Chisels - Review

Welcome back plamo nerds! I apologize if my recent tool revelations have been keeping you up since Monday - but I'm afraid you won't be getting any sleep tonight just yet. A wise man once said, "seek and ye shall find". I think it was Bruce Lee, but it may have been's a toss up. So I seeked (sook? sought? sought! gahtdemenglishlanguage!) and a few weeks ago I found exactly what I was looking for. Today I am proud to present the fruit of my fearless foray into the cryptic Chinese plamo market - the AHS Model Chisel!

Now you already know how cheap I am, and how I enjoy exhausting all imaginable DIY solutions before actually spending cash on tools. A while back I posted a DIY guide on how the lowly thrift store screwdriver set could be re-purposed as chisels. The results they produced were okay, but the poorman's chisels were nowhere near as sharp or as sturdy as I needed them to be, and so the search for a budget alternative to the exorbitantly expensive BMC chisel continued...until now!

Click on the Read More link for the rest of this post...

AHS stands for Aquarius Hobby Studio, and they're a China based company that makes plamo tools. I am yet to find an official website, but from what info I could scavenge, these chisels are made of powder steel, which google tells me is used for making heavy duty tools.

These chisels are a good 15cm long, about 1cm wide and .5 cm thick. They feel hefty and solid in the hand. The length means you can hold it whichever way you're comfortable with, without the need for a separate holder as in the case of the BMC or Madworks chisels. The handle is wrapped in shrink fit rubber, and each chisel comes with a tough shrink fit protective cap as well. I got the .5 and .9 as initial samples, and the width measurement seems spot on.

The edge on these chisels are really sharp, and you can either do a traditional scribing stroke, pulling it backwards to make a panel line, or you can push it forwards to chip away larger chunks of material. They're great for adding detail or even sharpening existing details on your kit.

The long handle makes it very easy to grip and keeps it stable in the hand while working, so at least in that department it trumps the BMC. I found a pic online of them side by side and you can see the difference in size.

As for issues, I did notice some oxidation on the butt of one of the chisels, but it could have been because I was sent old stock since the package shipped much faster than I expected. AHS says they need at least two weeks to put together an order because these are  made to order. Wiping them down with some sewing machine oil once in a while might be a good idea to prevent this.

For the net price (about half of a BMC shipped) they're pretty good. They aren't all that much cheaper than a Madworks or G-Temple chisel, but you get to save a lot on the proprietary handle, and you don't have to keep switching out heads - you simply grab the size you need and go. I actually found slightly cheaper chisels in the Chinese hobby market, but they seemed of poorer quality, so I went with AHS.

Here's a video showing how they work:

As mentioned in previous posts, I'm going to start taking pre-orders on these for Philippine based modelers! Send me a message at if you're interested!

Until next time, keep building plamo!

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