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Veritas Combination Plane Comparison #6: My Conclusions

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Blog entry by Mosquito posted 09-11-2017 01:28 AM 1581 reads 0 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 5: Thoughts on Use Part 6 of Veritas Combination Plane Comparison series no next part

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. General Comparison
  3. Irons Comparison
  4. Rods and Fence Comparison
  5. Thoughts on Use
  6. My Conclusions

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My Conclusions

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I’m going to restate this as it seems to have been missed by a few people in the beginning:

Second, I’m going to throw out the disclaimer that this was by no means a 100% exhaustive test. We did not do things like study edge retention, sharpening, and haven’t done any prolonged use/testing of the Veritas plane. It was largely just a comparison of the two on a visual, mechanical, and basic general use level. We only had the one standard Veritas iron, and spent about 4 hours messing around with the two planes. We didn’t try every single operation, or every single iron, so take that for what it’s worth.

 
Alright, now the opinion part of things… What are my thoughts on the new Veritas Combination Plane? In short, I like it and I wouldn’t mind owning one.

The longer version follows.

All of the adjustment knobs (I believe there are 17 solid brass knobs on this thing), for the most part were a lot less fiddly than the #45. That’s not to say that you don’t sneak up on the right cutting depth by loosening the iron, moving the depth adjuster, tightening the iron, try again and get no shaving, then repeat, and repeat, and repeat…That’s just sort of how the process goes in general.

What I mean is things like the micro adjustment on the fence. It’s smooth, and I think it works better. With the Veritas there are two knurled knobs on both of the rods that hold the wooden fence on instead of just the one on the Stanley. The micro adjustment knob is then captured by some retention clips on both sides of the fence, so the knob doesn’t move, only threads into and out of the wooden fence portion. This mechanism was smoother than the double-threaded screw that the Stanley uses. It also felt more secure when tightened back down as well, due to the thumb screw on both rods rather than just the front one.

There was almost no backlash on the depth adjustment for the Veritas, as one would expect from a brand new tool. I’m used to the #45 and how much backlash there is (movement in the adjuster before that actually translates into cutter movement), so kept over-shooting my spot on the Veritas. This is much like with 100+ year old Stanley bench planes vs a Lie Nielsen bench plane depth adjustment wheel too. It happens with age, so I would assume after 100 years the Veritas would likely have the same problem :-)

I also feel the lever cap with a screw for holding the iron in place is also nicer on the Veritas than the wing nut and clamp on the #45. It seems to be a little easier to use, and gets a good hold on the iron.

I wasn’t sure I was going to like the tote and not being able to extend my pointer finger like I do with the #45, but I got used to that quickly, and I never felt like I needed that for the extra feel and control. It seemed to just work with far less subconscious input.

I never found myself wishing I had a knob on the fence either. I never use the one on the #45, and didn’t miss it on the Veritas either.

 

Now, the price… Yeah, the Veritas caries a hefty price tag. At the moment, the plane is $400 USD ($399), and you only get one iron (1/4” groove). All in, including plane, all the irons, and the box and I think you’re looking at somewhere between $1,000 and $1,100, which is an awful lot of money. If you’re thrifty, diligent, and lucky you can get into a #45 for FAR less than $1,000. A pristine example of a #45, though, will find you closer in the $200-$400 neighborhood with a full set of irons and box.

Yes, it’s a lot of money but I do think it’s worth the asking price, at least to me. Everything is a little tighter, adjusts a little smoother, and I found it to be comfortable and easy to use.

If you have a Stanley #45 and you’re happy with it, keep it. I’m not 100% sure I would say it’s worth upgrading if you’ve already got a #45 that you’ve figured out and gotten good at using.

If you’ve got no combination plane, and you want one but are on the fence between trying to find an old #45 or the new Veritas, I don’t think you’d go wrong with either. There are tradeoffs both ways, naturally. In my mind, the advantages of the #45 are that you can get into one including irons for less money than the Veritas which only comes with one iron. If you’re into vintage hand tools, the #45 will also satisfy that itch too ;-). The advantages of the Veritas are that it’s ready to go as soon as you get it. You don’t have to worry about buying a plane off eBay and hoping the seller represented it correctly, or that all the pieces are there and working. You won’t have to clean any rust off of it before you put it to use, and everything adjusts smoothly and accurately. The blade alignment knob and small blade support knobs are both nice additions to what the #45 was as well, and though they seem minor, I would gladly pay more for a #45 to have them.

If you want something that just works no hassle and don’t mind dropping some pennies, then the Veritas is definitely the way to go. If you want, or have, to save some of those pennies then you’ll probably be happy with a #45 in your arsenal. They both work, and they both work well, but I’d have to admit that I do think the Veritas works a little better when all things are considered. It’s hard to beat the set up/adjustment times, accuracy in those adjustments, and ease of use that come with the Veritas.

Will I be buying one? Not right now, but I haven’t ruled out buying one down the road. It is a very nice plane.

If you’ve made it this far, holy crap I’m sorry!

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - http://www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods - http://www.TheModsquito.com



21 comments so far

View bandit571's profile (online now)

bandit571

17996 posts in 2440 days


#1 posted 09-11-2017 02:28 AM

Right now, with a fixed income, I am staying with a Stanley #45. have it tuned up, and I think I have it figured out.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

14665 posts in 2375 days


#2 posted 09-11-2017 02:56 AM

Thank you for your review efforts, Mos! Nice work!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

7755 posts in 1242 days


#3 posted 09-11-2017 03:22 AM

I would say it’s on par with what I would expect minus the knicker issue. That I wouldn’t have expected from them but they’re usually pretty good about fixing problems.

thanks for this mr evangelist.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

834 posts in 339 days


#4 posted 09-11-2017 04:51 AM

Thanks for writing that up, Mos. Glad to meet you and get to provide the Veritas for you to compare and get to watch the process and play with your 45s.

-- Dave - Minneapolis

View Tim's profile

Tim

3559 posts in 1718 days


#5 posted 09-11-2017 01:21 PM



If you’ve made it this far, holy crap I’m sorry!
- Mosquito

Haha, awesome write up, thanks for the detail.

View Mosquito's profile

Mosquito

8924 posts in 2049 days


#6 posted 09-11-2017 01:39 PM



Right now, with a fixed income, I am staying with a Stanley #45. have it tuned up, and I think I have it figured out.

- bandit571

I would agree with that stance. To me, a decently tuned #45 does just fine, and I don’t think I’d rush out to replace a functioning #45 in most circumstances.


I would say it s on par with what I would expect minus the knicker issue. That I wouldn t have expected from them but they re usually pretty good about fixing problems.

thanks for this mr evangelist.

- TheFridge

I agree, which is why I hope it’s an anomaly in part of the process rather than the normal. And if this is a widespread issue, I would trust that they would fix it soon in future shipments.


Thank you for your review efforts, Mos! Nice work!

- Smitty_Cabinetshop


Thanks for writing that up, Mos. Glad to meet you and get to provide the Veritas for you to compare and get to watch the process and play with your 45s.

- Dave Polaschek



If you’ve made it this far, holy crap I’m sorry!
- Mosquito

Haha, awesome write up, thanks for the detail.

- Tim

Thanks guys! It was fun to get to try it out and compare.

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - http://www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods - http://www.TheModsquito.com

View ArgosyBob's profile

ArgosyBob

1 post in 14 days


#7 posted 09-11-2017 02:27 PM

I was excited to see a new combination plane being offered, but when I saw the details of it on the Lee Valley website, I kinda lost interest. It looks a lot like my Record 050C (which I really like) and it lacks some of the functionality of the Stanley 45/Record 405. I’m going to pass on this plane, though I may buy a few of the cutters. I use my Record 050C and 405 a lot. I even bought an extra Stanley 45 to dedicate to the special bases, but even so, I have a heck of a lot less money in those 3 planes than it would take to add this new one to the arsenal. Still, it does look well made.

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

13569 posts in 3854 days


#8 posted 09-11-2017 02:42 PM

Thanks for the review. Given the investment I have in legacy combination planes, I probably could not justify a purchase. But it sounds nice.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

14665 posts in 2375 days


#9 posted 09-11-2017 03:33 PM

To me, a decently tuned #45 does just fine, and I don’t think I’d rush out to replace a functioning #45 in most circumstances.

- Mosquito

I don’t mean for this to sound snarky, but under what kind of circumstances should someone rush to replace a functioning #45 with the Veritas combination plane? That’s a big chunk of change to plop down. I really do think it appeals primarily to the ‘only buy new’ market segment. And make no mistake, that’s a very important group of folks because it fuels manufacturers like Veritas and L-N. That said, ArgosyBob’s post is a good reflection of where I’m at as well. No surprise to anyone, right? :-)

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View AnthonyReed's profile

AnthonyReed

9294 posts in 2197 days


#10 posted 09-11-2017 03:38 PM

Excellent. Thank you Mos.

-- ~Tony

View Mosquito's profile

Mosquito

8924 posts in 2049 days


#11 posted 09-11-2017 03:57 PM

I think Tony just returned the favor on the notification spam lol



To me, a decently tuned #45 does just fine, and I don t think I d rush out to replace a functioning #45 in most circumstances.

- Mosquito

I don t mean for this to sound snarky, but under what kind of circumstances should someone rush to replace a functioning #45 with the Veritas combination plane? That s a big chunk of change to plop down. I really do think it appeals primarily to the only buy new market segment. And make no mistake, that s a very important group of folks because it fuels manufacturers like Veritas and L-N. That said, ArgosyBob s post is a good reflection of where I m at as well. No surprise to anyone, right? :-)

- Smitty_Cabinetshop

No surprise, and I don’t think anyone would expect me to dump all my #45s either lol (Though if I sold them all I could get a couple of the Veritas sets…)

In my mind, I could see someone who’s already got the Veritas Small combination plane and all of its irons and a Stanley #45 dumping the #45 and getting the Veritas as it uses the same irons, and is a smaller/lighter package, and for consistency (yes, I admit that sometimes it bugs me that my table saw is a Walker-Turner, my Band-saw is a Delta, and my drillpress is a Craftsman…). I also think that if travel was of the utmost importance to someone, say they have a traveling tool chest and frequently use it, perhaps this may be a better option to help save on some weight. It’s not a lot, but every little bit helps, right? Other than that, I don’t know of many reasons to sell a complete and working #45 to replace it, unless you’d rather not deal with the slightly more fiddly set up of the Stanley. Certainly agree that it’s a nice offering from the new crowd.

I think it’s a lot easier of a sell to someone like Dave, who’s looking to buy and doesn’t currently own a #45 (or equivalent), but still comes down to a less time more money vs more time less money. I’ll be keeping my #45, but maybe some year if one shows up in the factory seconds Cyber Monday sale and I’ve got no other ideas for Christmas…. who knows ;-)

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - http://www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods - http://www.TheModsquito.com

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

14665 posts in 2375 days


#12 posted 09-11-2017 04:02 PM

^ Very thoughtful answer, Mos. And a good one, too. Thanks very much, those are all valid selling points.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View Mosquito's profile

Mosquito

8924 posts in 2049 days


#13 posted 09-11-2017 04:15 PM

I am keeping ideas rolling around for retrofitting something like that blade alignment knob though. That was probably the single most significant improvement that I saw on it. It was nice and made set up easier

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - http://www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods - http://www.TheModsquito.com

View AnthonyReed's profile

AnthonyReed

9294 posts in 2197 days


#14 posted 09-11-2017 05:16 PM

I did return the favor, although the gratitude for all the write-ups and sharing of knowledge was the intent.

-- ~Tony

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

13569 posts in 3854 days


#15 posted 09-11-2017 05:42 PM


I am keeping ideas rolling around for retrofitting something like that blade alignment knob though. That was probably the single most significant improvement that I saw on it. It was nice and made set up easier

- Mosquito

Looking forward to seeing what you come up with. Some mentioned free shipping was ending today. Not a combination plane, but I ordered the medium router plane. Been on my list for a while.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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