Block Planes (manual): Low Angle vs...

I've been looking at block planes. Only found Stanley brand in most stores. Are there others worth considering?
Also noticed a big difference in price between the regular Stanley model and their "Low Angle" version. Anyone know why? (I'm presuming that Low Angle means what it seems...that the blade forms a narrower angle with the wood)
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Rob wrote:

If there's a big difference then you're not just looking at different models but different series.
That said, Stanley is not what they once were. Their new planes may be OK if you get a good one, but the manufacturing tolerances appear to be very loose (my suspicion is that the tooling is just plain worn out) and you're more likely to get one that needs a tremendous amount of work before it's working the way it's supposed to, if it can be brought into such condition at all.
Veritas and Lie Nielsen are expensive compared to Stanley but they need minimal tweaking to be usable.
Another option is an _old_ Stanley, may still need tweaking but at least it was close to begin with.
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Veritas and Lie Nielsen are the highest quality. I have a Lie Nielsen ($150) and an old Stanley ($20). I use the Stanley for stuff like pallet wood, tree stumps, etc. The LN is used for my better projects. The low angle allows for a thinner shaving and less-aggressive cut. Typically this small tool is used a lot, so skimping on quality will hurt in the long run. I use my larger planes much less because I have a Delta DJ20 jointer.
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Forget Stanley.
Veritas low angle. The adjustable mouth if you possibly can. The simpler "apron plane" if you can't. It really is worth every penny. It's useful, it's beautifully made and it's better than any Stanley old or new.
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I know my Veritas apron plane gets used more than any other plane in my shop, and has from day one. I have a batch of Stanley low angle block planes that are less often used: I think today's block plane may be the best current Stanley production, but the Veritas beats it handily, and with almost no tune-up. No experience with the L-N.
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In low angle block planes the bed is seated at a lower angle. You can still control the overall angle of attack by grinding the blade bevel at a higher angle.
A low angle plane may tear out grain that a standard angle won't. On the other hand, a low angle plane can plane end grain shavings (in hardwood, anyway) that a standard angle would make dust out of.
As for price difference, I suspect you are comparing a Stanley without adjustable mouth standard angle against a low angle with adjustable mouth.
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