I brought home a Lie Nielsen #4 hand plane in iron today. I'm sitting here
looking at it next to my #51/4W Veritas plane and thought someone might be
interested in an opinion. While deciding what to buy, I found several
comparisons between LN and Clifton and others but not much on LN versus
Veritas. At least in the limited searching I did.
I have done absolutely no work to either one other than lapping and honing
the blade on the Veritas. I have been using the Veritas some, but it has
been treated with care.
Both planes are machined very nicely. Checking the sole longways against
the blade of my Starrett combo square, I can see no light at all with the
LN. With the Veritas only a bit of light is visible between the straight
edge and the adjustable mouth piece. The rest of the sole appears to be
perfectly flat. Checking both planes crossways with the combo square the
Veritas shows just a sliver of light in the center checking in various
places while the LN shows none until you get to the rear 1/4 where a faint
light becomes visible. I can see no value in further flattening the sole of
either plane and I've become rather anal about this sort of thing lately.
The LN takes a slight lead in fit and finish. The casting is smoother
inside and the handles have been rounded with a little more care. The
bronze frog and lever cap on the LN look nice on it but I find the overall
look of the Veritas quite attractive as well.
Both planes came with A2 steel blade machined nicely but not honed. The
Veritas was easy to lap as it was quite flat out of the box so I just had to
remove the grinding marks to get a mirror finish. The LN blade appears at
first glance to have been ground with a finer grit but I think I can see
some deeper scratches in there. I'll know better once I lap and hone it.
I find the Veritas rear handle much more comfortable since it's a little
taller and I can get my fingers wrapped around it. I don't have gorilla
hands so I can imagine this being even more of an advantage to some. Right
now, I feel the Veritas is a better value and will probably lean that way
when choosing where to buy my next plane. Assuming both companies I'll have
to use both side by side to be sure. I feel genuine pride in owning both
I'm going out to make some shavings now!
Please give us your impressions on both after you hone the iron on the LN
and use them both.
R & B ENTERPRISES
"Don't take this life too seriously.......nobody
gets out alive" (Unknown)
Remove "no" to reply
Great, I can see the next step on the slippery slope to Paddy's
Land. Life was so much simpler when pocket hole screws and biscuits,
along with a brad or two, were "all I'm ever going to need to put
I was fortunate enough to get to test the Veritas low-angle
smoother side-by-side with the LN #164, and I believe the Veritas
plane is a better value. As was noted, the LN gets an edge in fit and
finish, but Veritas has added functional improvements such as the
longer toe, lateral set-screws, and a Norris-style adjuster. The tote
is also a taller and thicker than the LN, and while it appears
"clunky" compared to the graceful LN, in use it fits my mitts
The blade clamping mechanism is also simplified compared to the LN
which is based on the original Stanley. You do have to be a bit
careful when re-setting the iron, as it can slip more easily than the
LN, but it is so much easier to remove for honing/sharpening, that it
is a definite improvement, IMHO.
I have noticed no difference between the two in how the irons take
and hold an edge.
Anyhow, I do most of my smoothing with low-angle planes, and the
Veritas has replaced the LN as my go-to plane. I still use the LN,
but the combination of subtle improvements made by Veritas make it
more "user-friendly" in the long run. Given the price difference, I
can definitely recommend the Veritas as the better value.
What do you think of the Veritas adjustable throat system?
Veritas seems to be quite innovative. Their new shoulder
plane has some interesting refinements to the Stanley
or LN - a hole behind the iron for you finger for a better
grip, a "handle" that's looks like it would fit the hand
better than the traditional shoulder plane "handle" on
the Stanley and LN. The equivlent LN is about $225, the
I like the Clifton shoulder plane I bought but I'd like
more gripping options like the ones on the Veritas.
Anyone tried the new Veritas shoulder plane in a real
I have the Veritas shoulder plane and like it. I have not used it much;
just played with it to make sure that it did work. I have a project coming
up with lots of shoulder plane work and will know more later. Sure does
seem nice though.
I like the adjustable throat but I don't have enough experience using other
plane designs to say it definitely makes an improvement in a given
situation. I was a little worried about having a moving plate on the sole
of the plane but the machining is very precise so I've had no trouble with
it. The throat adjusts very easily and seems to stay in alignment.. My
first day using my 51/4W, I set it up as a smoother with a tiny throat
opening, the chipbreaker close to the edge and barely a hint of blade
protruding through the sole and planed the surface of some Mahogany so
smooth it was amazing to me. It took only a few minutes to setup and adjust
like that. I'm sure the Lie Nielsen will be the same way though.
I've got the Veritas shoulder plane also but haven't really used it yet. If
I make the progress I'm hoping to, I should be using it to finish up the
shoulders on some tenons next weekend.
Yup. Just spent the weekend doing many simple shaker panel doors with
short stub tenons that fit into the panel dadoes. The shoulder plane can
take thinner-than-paper shavings, and did more than three dozen tenons
and still doesn't need rehoning (after the first touch up out of the
box). Highly recommended.
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