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.
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
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.
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.
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...
far down the slope
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.
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.
If you want to reply via email, change the obvious words to numbers and
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.