I haven't seen anyone here talk about these, and as I just picked one up,
thought I send out a little mini-review.
(usual disclaimer, I'm not affiliated with Hock Tools in any way, other
than as a customer).
Anyhoo, just picked up a new Hock iron, and chip breaker for my #7 plane.
(available from www.hocktools.com, or www.woodcraft.com). The iron is the
standard, not A2 blade. Both were purchased at the Tigard, OR Woodcraft
store. (nice people in there ...)
Short story: the chip breaker works, and works well. It's a hefty chunk of
steel -- quoted as 3mm thick. I didn't bother to measure it. It was obvious
that the backside had already been lapped flat (or at least polished in
some fashion) -- there was a nice 'swath' of shiny brite metal in the
'contact area' of the breaker. I didn't do any work on this, just used it
directly out of its package.
The iron itself took very little time to flatten. It would've taken a lot
less time, if I'd realised sooner that I'd started out on 800 grit paper,
instead of the 220 I'd intended. (Stupid me!).
Once the iron was flat, I did the SS thing, and got it nice and sharp.
Installed both in the plane. Bingo! Nice curlies, and zero indication of
clogging at the iron/breaker interface.
I'm happy with both. I haven't tried any other after-market irons or chip-
breakers, so I don't how these compare against any others, but these are
definitely a step (or two or three) above standard-issue Stanley.
Hope this is of some use ....