Groz Hand planes

Could I get the group's opinion on Groz Planes? Or for that matter any of the other (new) lower cost planes, like Bailey, Grizzly. I'm in need of a #4 smooth and a #7-8 jointing plane and maybe a rabbet/bullnose. The Groz planes are on sale at Woodcraft.
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I think most of the group's opinion will be that you'll be better off at this price point with a used (Pre-WWII) Stanley. These can be had for less than $50 - you can either take your chances on eBay, and probably get a good deal if you're careful, look around at local antique shops or auctions, or you can contact a real used tool dealer and pay a little more, but be more confident that you're getting a good tool. I think that whether you go with an old Stanley or a new cheapie, you should plan on spending several hours tuning the plane before seriously using it, and you'll get improved performance with a good aftermarket blade (i.e. Lee Valley/Veritas, Lie Nielsen, Ron Hock). This might cost as much as the plane, but it'll probably be worth it. (Note - my experiences in this area are based primarily on a 75-yr old Stanley #4 that I tuned up with a new Veritas blade, a 30+ year old Craftsman block plane that's a pain, and a new plane or 2 each from LN, LV, and Steve Knight. I haven't used any the newer cheaper planes) So I can't comment directly on the Groz/New-Stan/Griz, but if there's any way you can afford a real LV, LN, or Knight, know that it will certainly be a thing of beauty that works wonderfully right out of the box. Finally, remember that you need to obtain some sharpening system: be it waterstones, scary sharp (TM), etc., and probably a honing guide, and costs can add up for these things also. Good luck, Andy
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I'll second that - a good thick blade makes a plane perform a thousand times better, and it's a lot easier to sharpen to boot. My user #5 is a "Revenoc" brand, with a massive tapered iron that's nearly 1/4" thick at the business end.
John
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A couple of summers back, I worked at Rockler's, to help out the manager with a problem he had. An interesting place, for a few months at most.
The Groz planes came in, and they were pretty much the first ones that had been there in a while. One Saturday, a fellow needed a block plane, and we set about to get him one that worked. After opening, cleaning and trying to adjust 4 block planes, I sent him to the local hardware guy to buy a Stanley contractor's version. We boxed the Groz and sent them back to HQ.
For cheap crap, no price is low enough. And this was cheap crap.
If you need to save money, wander around to garage sales, and ask about or for woodworking tools they might want to sell. A good old plane might cost you $10. Pay cash, smile, and go home and sharpen.
Or tap the retirement savings, and go to www.lienielsen.com
Stanley info you will find of interest, should you spend the hours required to do the reading, is at www.supertool.com/StanleyBG/stan0a.html Patrick is one of the early wReckers...
Patriarch, far down the slope
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Better than Anant or Kunz.
But there's not much else good to say about them.
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wrote:

New low cost planes take a good deal of effort to beat into a usable condition, if they can be at all.
The last Bailey I got showed problems in the workmanship that were characteristic of badly worn tooling--they probably produce some good ones but unless you know what to look for and find someone with a large stock of them it would be difficult to cherry-pick. I pretty much had to remachine the thing before it was happy. Shame too, they used to be nice tools and it probably wouldn't cost all that much to fix the tooling.
An old Stanley off of ebay or Craigslist or a local auction would likely be a better bet--it may still need some work to render usable but at least it wasn't screwed up at the factory.
If you're looking for a working tool rather than a project then spend the bucks for an LN or Lee Valley or Clifton or Steve Knight. If those are too pricey for you you might want to consider Japanese or Chinese pattern wooden planes--Japan Woodworker and Lee Valley both have a selection for surprisingly low prices (Japan Woodworker also has another selection for prices more in line with LN/LV/Clifton). When the Chinese imitate Western tools the results are unpredictable, but their traditional designs work quite well.
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You're going to read a lot of replies to you post that tell you these things are no good. Maybe I'm just lucky--but they work great for me. I've got the #3, #4 and #5. After spending some time tuning and sharpening--they all make nice shavings and do what they're supposed to do. I'd buy them all again.
I've never owned or used any of the better planes out there, such as those from Lee Valley or Lie-Nielsen so I couldn't tell you how those compare to the planes made by Groz. I suspect they don't. But then comparing a Groz plane to a Lie-Nielsen is probably like comparing a Camry to a Lexus LS. Groz and Lie-Nielsen are both planes, Camry and Lexus are both made by Toyota. If you just need an inexpensive tool, the Groz will do it as will the Camry. If you've got the money to spend and want something that's higher quality the Lee Valley/Lie-Nielsen and the Lexus will do it for you. :)

If you've never used planes before and don't know whether they're going to be something you want to use or not--this is a pretty good sale with $21 for a #4 and $27 for a #5. Just be prepared to spend some time tuning and sharpening them.
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wrote:

Groz aren't. Try Zastava.
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