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What are spokeshaves made of?

Shop for Spokeshaves
wooden and metal spokeshave There are two types of spokeshave in regards to what they are made from: metal spokeshaves and wooden spokeshaves. The metal versions are more widely available for purchase and are considered a more modern tool compared to the wooden version.
wooden spokeshave The wooden versions vary slightly in the way they are structured, but perform similar tasks to the metal spokeshaves. For more information see: What is a wooden spokeshave?

Metal spokeshave body and handles

iron and brass body spokeshaves A type of cast iron, brass or bronze will be used to make the spokeshave body.
cast iron

Iron spokeshave bodies

Grey iron is the most basic and commonly used cast iron; it has low tensile strength and does not withstand impact well. Cheaper spokeshaves are made from grey iron and they may crack if dropped.

Ductile and malleable iron can also be used for spokeshaves. These are more resistant materials and are better-lasting than grey iron. Malleable iron is heat treated and has similar properties to a mild steel, it has good tensile strength and ductility.

Tensile strength is amount of stress a material can withstand before it stretches and breaks.
brass instrument

Brass and bronze spokeshave bodies

Brass and bronze spokeshave bodies are usually slightly more expensive and generally better quality. Like the ductile iron, they are more resistant to breakages and harder wearing.

Spokeshave blades

spokeshave blades, A2 tool steel Spokeshave blades are made from steel. Low quality spokeshaves have high-carbon steel blades, whereas better quality ones tend to be made from A2 tool steel. A2 steel is a tool steel, which means it is manufactured with the properties best suited for tools. The A2 steel is more durable and consequently the blade will remain sharper for longer.

Choosing a spokeshave

 weighing up options Although there are obvious benefits to some of the materials used for spokeshaves, there are other factors to consider when buying one. Information on the quality can be seen on: How do you identify a top-quality spokeshave? Wonkee Donkee would recommend that you weigh up the options by considering, how much the tool will be used, how much you are willing to spend and how much work you are willing to do on the tool itself?