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)
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.
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.
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
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.
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
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.