OK. (O.K.) Gouges

Contributed by Randall Nelson

The two O.K. (OK.) gouges that I got recently are very nicely made. My immediate impression was they were very similar to the set of Svea chisels I have already written about, possibly made by the same people.

Like the Svea chisels, the handle size versus blade size is generous and comfortable to the hand, as if they were actually made to be used by skilled workmen, unlike many of the lesser known brands. (A good example of this would be the Mico chisels which I described recently; the blades were very well made, but the handles were assembled from poorly matched elements and assembled so badly that no craftsman would be able to use them without first disassembling them and then re-attaching or removing the hammer rings. I have often seen this combination of well-made blades that are very poorly fitted to undersized handles that appear to be the way they came from the factory, such that you are astonished that they had the nerve to sell them in that condition.)


The two gouges are a 3/8″ in-cannel and a 3/4″ out-cannel. The handles are very nicely made and finished Solliden-style beech. The hammer rings have a gold varnish finish and are pinned through with small flat headed brads. The brass ferrules have two rows of slanted knurling. The stickers are two yellow concentric circles alternating with blue and a blue outside rim that says BEST/ SWEDISH STEEL and in the center it says OK. The stickers were applied to the back side of the handle, a feature I have not encountered before.


The deeply pressed stamp on the blades is applied, typically, to the inside curve and says O.K. MADE IN SWEDEN. The second period in the stamp makes the blade stamp, and name, slightly different from the sticker image. The stamp was probably done while the metal was still soft, since the impact pressure has created a noticeable flattened area across the back of the gouge.


Contributed by Randall Nelson