Professional Builder’s Tibby Singh Chodha checks out hand tools from Silverline.
Silverline isn’t a tool brand I tend to use but I wouldn’t want to write them off, so I was happy to put them to the test. Most builders’ merchants I walk into Silverline seem to have a presence, so I guess they must be doing something right otherwise people wouldn’t want to buy their products. With an impressive 5,000 plus hand and power tools for use in the home, garden and workshop I was ready to put some to work.
I got my hands on some hand tools and first up was some Silverline Expert Wood Chisels. Since I’ve used them daily for almost two decades I’d like to think I’m a bit of an expert when it comes to wood chisels. Now that makes me sound old but it’s just that I started at a very young age. I could pick some faults, as you could with most products, but at this price point you wouldn’t think twice about picking them up.
A soft grip handle makes it comfortable and, because they are not fully rounded, there’s no chance of them running away when you place them on a flat surface. The finely ground, honed and sharpened bevel-edged blades also come with blade guards, which helps keep the hardened tempered steel in top shape.
What stuck out for me were their steel caps, which means, when struck with a small hammer, you know you won’t get any mushroom heads. Not only that but they are made to be struck with a wooden mallet. I did manage to give that a go with Silverline’s Wooden Mallet. Made from hardwood it has an angled striking face that allows you to strike a clean blow. The mallet is a simple product that swings into action for the job at hand.
This moves me to the next hand tool, which is Silverline’s Hand Plane No.4. It looks great with a rosewood handle and a brass adjustment screw. It comes with a 50mm heavy-duty carbide blade, with milled sides and a fluted base. You don’t often see a fluted base on a plane, but it does have the effect of reducing friction by minimising the contact between the surfaces, which will in turn prevent it from sticking. Nothing else will be sticking either because it comes well-oiled. Weight is important when you’re planing wood and this is a satisfyingly heavy tool.
After using some Silverline products they’ve definitely left a positive impression. With the option to register the tools for a Lifetime Guarantee, it suggests the manufacturer has full confidence in them as well.