Pfeil Tools and the Sheffield List

Pfeil tools are very popular amongst woodcarvers but their numbering system differs from the widely used Sheffield List. The first few chisels are numbered in a similar way to the Sheffield List but after that it starts to deviate more substantially. In this article I attempt to match up the Pfeil numbering system with the Sheffield List.

While I have done my best to match up the various gouges there may be errors and omissions. If you see a mistake please leave me a comment below and I’ll get it fixed.

For the Sheffield List I’m going comparing against the chart available in the Henry Taylor catalogue as this covers a good range of tools. Matching the curve of a tool is difficult unless you have either the tool or a dimensioned drawing so this is a best guess.

Pfeil Number Mapping

Sheffield European / Pfeil Description
 1 1 Double bevel chisel
 2 1S Double bevel skew chisel
1e Single bevel chisel
1Se Single bevel skew chisel
3 2 Flattest gouge
4 3 Gouge
5 4 Gouge
6 5 Gouge
7 6 Gouge
8 7 Gouge
8 The Pfeil system has an additional gouge I’ve arbitrarily made it #8 as matching the sweeps would be hard
9 9 Going by the sweep the Pfeil 9 is semi-circular
10 See Pfeil #11
11 11 From the sweep this is the best match but the profile isn’t perfectly semi-circular in the Pfeil
39 12 60 Degree v-gouge
41 15 45 Degree v-gouge
45 13 90 Degree v-gouge
14 55 Degree v-gouge
16 35 Degree v-gouge
17 Staehli gougle, v-tool with a small sweep
18 Schaller gougle, base is like a Pfeil #11 with a sweep on the sides
12 Flattest long bent gouge
13 Long bent gouge
14 5L Long bent gouge. The L suffix indicates long bent tools. An exact match to the Sheffield list is difficult.
15 Long bent gouge
16 7L Long bent gouge. Long bent gouge. See Pfeil #5L
17 8L See Pfeil #5L
18 Long bent semi-circular gouge
19 Long bent u-gouge
20 Long bent tall u-gougle
40 12L Long bent 60 degree v-gouge
42 Long bent 45 degree v-gouge
46 Long bent 90 degree v-gouge
21 1a Short bent flat chisel
22 2ar Short bent right hand skew
23 2al Short bent left hand skew
24 2a Flattest short bent gouge
25 3a Short bent gouge
26 5a Short bent gouge
27 Short bent gouge
28 7a Short bent gouge
29 8a Short bent gouge
30 9a Semi-circular gouge with a short bend
31 See Pfeil #11a
32 11a U-gougle with a short bend
43 12a 60 Degree spoon bent v-gouge
44 45 Degree spoon bent v-gouge
14a 55 Degree spoon bent v-gouge
10 Back bent straight chisel
33 20 Flattest back bent gouge
34 30 Back bent gougle, there seems to be a break in the Pfeil numbering scheme here
 35 25 Back bent gouge
 36 Back bent gouge
 37 28 Back bent gouge
 38 Back bent gouge
21 Dog leg chisel
22 Wing parting tool. V-gouge with a strong sweep on the edges
23 Macaroni tool. Box shaped with slight relief on the sides
24 Fluteroni tool. Wide based U profile
1F Fishtail chisel
3F Fishtail gouge
5F Fishtail gouge
7F Fishtail gouge
9F Fishtail gouge

Pfeil produce many more chisels than are shown on this list and not all match up to any of the profiles / shapes in the Sheffield List easily. For example Pfeil list a wide range of items under their long bent tools but many of the appear to be a better match for spoon / short bent tools in the Sheffield List and are also listed under the short bent section.

The Sheffield List doesn’t include any specific numbers for fishtail gouges but it would be expected that the numbers follow the same pattern as straight gouges.