TecoMaster Chisels

TecoMaster chisels are often attributed to E.A. Berg, Jernbolaget, or Eskilstunasteel. I do not believe that they were made by Berg or Jernbolaget, but Eskilstunasteel is a possibility for reasons that I will cover at the end of this post.

TecoMaster chisels are usually found in Canada. They were made in Sweden to be sold in Canada by the T. Eaton Company (the “Teco” in “TecoMaster”).

The two examples shown below were made in Eskilstuna, which could refer to either the city or the municipality of Eskilstuna. Both are bevel-edged cabinet chisels with beech handles and pressed steel hoops.

 

Note that the steel hoops are dimpled into the beech handle to hold them in place. Also, the difference in the shape at the top of the sockets is worth noting. The one the right is smooth and tapered inward. The one on the left has a pronounced protruding lip.

 

The oval label is foil and paper and is held in place with glue.  It has a bright blue background with a silver outline and silver lettering. The logo reads: “TECOMASTER” | “PROFESSIONAL” | “MADE IN SWEDEN” | “EATONS OF CANADA”.

 

There is nothing stamped on the front of the blades. The back of the blades is stamped “ESKILSTUNA” | “MADE IN” | “SWEDEN”.

 

As mentioned previously, these chisels were made in Sweden for sale in Canada by the T. Eaton Company.

Eaton’s “Edgerite” brand was their “good” brand, their “TecoMaster Home” brand was their “better” brand, and their “Tecomaster Professional” brand was their “best” brand. These chisels were part of Eatons TecoMaster Professional line, so Eatons must have thought very highly of them. These chisels are high quality and good to use.

Below is a listing taken from a 1965 Eaton’s Catalog (date unknown) showing two different options for TecoMaster Professional tanged chisels. No Tecomaster socket chisels were shown in that catalog, although we know that Eatons sold them as well.

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The catalog listing states that the handles are varnished birch, but observation is that they are typically beech.

(Added September 24, 2016). This rough and rustic old box also contains six TecoMaster Professional chisels,  similar to the six-chisel set shown in the Eatons’ listing above.

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The top of the box is a single piece of fir with a pronounced upward bow in it.

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Inside are six nice Swedish chisels nestled into the laminated and routed fir slab that forms the bottom of the box.

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All of the chisels are in good condition and that most of the labels are intact. Note that these labels are different than the ones for the socket chisels shown previously. This is not always the case, as I have seen other six-chisel tanged sets with the blue TecoMaster labels on them.

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Here is a closer look at one of the individual tanged, bevel-edged chisels. The handle is beech with a blued steel hoop at the top. The hoop is dimpled into the wood of the handle. The brass ferrule at the base of the handle is decorated with coarse vertical knurling. There is nothing imprinted on the front of the blade.

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The decal on the handle is glued-on foil and paper. The outer gold foil part of the label reads “MADE IN SWEDEN” at the bottom. The gold lettering within the central, deep blue-green design reads “EATON” | “TECOmaster” | “PROFESSIONAL”. (If you look above the label, you can see how the hoop is dimpled into the handle.) These are the only TECOmaster chisels that I have seen with this style of label so far.

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The vertical knurling on the ferrule is very coarse and distinct.

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The back of the blade has “MADE IN” | “SWEDEN” stamped on it.

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Here is a closer look at the blade stamp which is the same for all of the chisels in this set.  None of the chisels in this set have “ESKILSTUNA” in the stamp like the TecoMaster chisels with the blue decals that were shown first in this post.

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The narrower TecoMaster chisels normally have just “SWEDEN” stamped on the back of their blades.

 

(Added February 7, 2017). Here is a four-chisel set of TecoMaster chisels, similar to the set shown in the Eaton’s catalog listing. The lid is fir plywood and it slides into a large dovetailed recess. The decal on the lid appears to be identical to the ones on the chisels.

 

The chisels are tanged and beveled, with beech handles. The brass ferrules have two rows of coarse vertical knurling in them and the dark steel hoops at the top are dimpled into the beech handles. It’s evident that the two wider chisels saw more work than the two narrower ones.

 

They did a very nice job of routing out the cavities for the chisels. They are intricate, crisp, and precise.

 

The base of the case is made from three laminated pieces of fur and looks a bit on the rough side.

 

Below are some Swedish-made Tecomaster chisels with the popular red plastic handles. The label on the handle and the stamp on the blade are the same as on the wood-handled chisels shown above.

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The TecoMaster chisels with the blue labels look very similar to the Beaver chisels sold in Canada, although the logo on the handle is different. Both have the same “Eskilstuna — Made in Sweden” trademarks stamped on their blades. And when magnified and compared, the TecoMaster marking and the Beaver markings appear to have been stamped with an identical die. I used sample chisels that I have on hand to confirm this and feel certain both brands of chisels were stamped in the same factory by the same die. This strongly suggests that they were both made by the same manufacturer. (See the Beaver Chisels post for more information).

 

11 comments on “TecoMaster Chisels
  1. Randall Nelson says:

    I just saw a group of Tecomaster chisels sell on Ebay that had red plastic handles, but the handles looked round with fluting instead of the flattened oval red handles used on Bergs and Bacho. Even the same ugly color of red, but with the remnants of paper labels that you could barely make out that said Tecomaster. 6 chisels for $40.00! What a steal!

    • Birch says:

      I saw those red plastic Tecomaster chisels, too, and snagged copies of the photos. I had intended to bid on them myself, but got distracted and forgot until it was too late. They were a steal!

  2. Randall Nelson says:

    Glen: The Tecomaster red plastic handles on that set I saw looked exactly like the red handle on the CI Fall chisel you show elsewhere. Another possible connection between manufacturers, at least for handles.

    • Birch says:

      The red plastic handles on the Tecomaster and the CI Fall chisels do look like twins. I hadn’t noticed that before. That reminds me, I need to post some photos of the red-handled Tecomaster on the Tecomaster page.

      • Val Skinner says:

        Dear Mr. Birch: Have a boxed set of eight of the red handled chisels which we’re going to sell. Unused. TecoMaster stickers in tact on each handle. Stamped “Eskilstuna Made in Sweden” on the steel.

        What would be a fair price to put on these? What’s a proper way to sell them so you don’t get ripped off?

        Val

        • Birch says:

          That sounds like a nice set of chisels, Val. I don’t know what a fair price would be, but I think that your best chance for getting a decent price might be to sell them on eBay.

  3. Russ S says:

    Hi! Great website! The red handle material I think may have come from Dupont, like the yellow handle stuff from a few years earlier. I’ve seen here in Sweden Berg, Jernbolaget, and Esteel chisels with yellow handles a-la the US magazine adds you’ve seen, plus red handled chisels for all three brands and also Wallins. Plus beech for all four brands and masur björk for the first three.

    The reasons seem lost to history. Eskilstunasteel seems to have started in the 1930s and disappeared in 1960, perhaps gulped by Bahco at the same time as Berg & hand tools from Jernbolaget? Who knows?

    Good luck!

    Russ

    • Birch says:

      I’ve been curious about who made those yellow, red, and burgundy plastic chisel handles. Whoever did seems to have made them for several Swedish chisel manufacturers.

      I recall seeing the yellow plastic handles on Berg, Jernbolaget, and Ekilstunasteel (Gensco only) chisels.

      I have seen red and/or burgundy plastic-handled ones on Berg, Bahco, Jernbolaget, CI Fall, Tecomaster, and Wallin chisels.

      I have never seen the red/burgundy handles on chisels from Eskilstunasteel (i.e. Eskilstunasteel Garanti, Esteel, or Gensco). I’d love to see an example.

      Also, I’ve never seen a beech handle on a Berg or a Jernbolaget chisel — at least not when the handle came from their factories. All I have seen so far are masur birch and plain birch for wooden handles. (I’m not sure about the Eskistunasteel chisels … I’ll have to look again.) Again, it would be great to see an example.

      There are tons of other Swedish brands with beech handles. It was probably cheaper, easier to work, and harder to split or bend. Still, that masur birch is so nice to look at.

      My research agrees with your information about Eskilstunasteel. It appears that was founded in Torshälla in 1936 and was bought out by Bacho around 1960. I have a box of yellow plastic handled Gensco chisels that has “AB BAHCO” on it. I’m guessing they are from the early 1960’s.

  4. Russ S says:

    Also – these currogated red handles (as opposed to the smooth oval Berg type) on your Teco chisels show up in my Swedish tool catalogs from 1964 until at least 1978. They are always attached to Finnish Hackman chisels, or sold separately, but are never attached to a Swedish-made chisel. I’m not sure what this means!

    • Birch says:

      I haven’t seen many brands of Swedish chisels with corrugated red handles. I recall seeing them on Tecomaster chisels and onCI Fall chisels.

  5. John Schettle says:

    I have a graduated set of Teco Master Professional chisels from EATONS of CANADA with the red plastic handles in sizes of 1/4″, 3/8″, 1/2″, 3/4″, and 1″.
    A recently acquired HANDY 15mm Made in Sweden red plastic handle chisel clearly indicates that they were made in the same factory. The handles are identical and the steel is ground the same way leaving no doubt in my mind that they are the same chisel. Unfortunately, I don’t have the means at this time of providing pictures. Thank you. John

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