LumberJocks

"Best" Block plane

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Review by PPK posted 11-06-2017 03:34 PM 1389 views 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
"Best" Block plane No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Ok, I know that writing the “Best” is a charged statement, and not everyone agrees, of course. But my opinion is that the Lee Valley Veritas Low Angle Block plane is the best buy among the other choice of block planes. My reasons for such a statement are below.

Pros:
-Fits the hand REALLY well. The little concavities for the fingers are perfect, and you don’t even have to think about it. Just pick it up and start planing. Lie Nielsen and the Stanley Sweetheart have a little grind out too, but not the nice 3 that the Veritas does.

-Option of the PM-V11 steel. I really like the blade. Stays sharp well, and seems easier to sharpen to me.

-Easily adjustable, and has the norris-style adjuster for side to side adjustment. For me this is easier than trying to tap the blade to get it cutting consistent thickness across shavings.

-Set screws on the sides make putting the blade back in and getting it adjusted very fast. I don’t like how the Lie Nielsens or Stanleys don’t have this feature. (Disclosure: I DO own a Lie Nielsen rabbet block plane, and like it very much. I just say that to ensure you I’m not just knocking something I’ve never owned/used. I also own a Stanley Block plane.)

-As usual with Lee Valley/Veritas, the fit and finish is excellent. Everything glides so smoothly and is machined perfectly.

Cons:

-The thing is pretty expensive. ($170 with the PM-V11 steel) Other than that, I really can’t think of any cons!

-- Pete




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PPK

834 posts in 624 days



14 comments so far

View cmmyakman's profile

cmmyakman

125 posts in 2471 days


#1 posted 11-06-2017 03:58 PM

I have the Veritas DX60 with the PM-V11 blade and it literally brings a smile to my face any time I pick it up. It’s not only a work of art, it’s by far the best hand tool I own. Why can’t all tools be so well constructed? Sometimes, I wish I had dropped the extra coin for the NX60.

http://www.leevalley.com/us/wood/page.aspx?p=61963&cat=1,41182,48942

-- You can't fail if you don't give up.

View Bill_Steele's profile

Bill_Steele

200 posts in 1547 days


#2 posted 11-07-2017 05:07 PM

I have this same plane—but not with the PM-V11 plane iron. I have never had or used a Lie Nielson plane so I can’t compare to that. This plane is solid and has a heavy/substantial feel. It has a very precise adjustment and I really enjoy using it. I would buy it again given the choice to start over.

Maybe it’s just me, but I find that the oil and sweat from my hands leaves finger prints and even mild corrosion on the shiny parts of the plane. To keep it clean I use a scotch-brite pad to clean it and then wax the entire thing with Renaissance wax.

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

1643 posts in 1037 days


#3 posted 11-08-2017 03:26 PM

I have an earlier model with the adjustable mouth. The feature is awesome, but the problem is the mouth plate extends to the front of the plane. The problem lies in if you ever bump the nose of the plane, the mouth can be forced against the blade. The newer version has fixed that issue by not extending the mouth plate to the nose.

View PPK's profile

PPK

834 posts in 624 days


#4 posted 11-08-2017 04:05 PM



I have an earlier model with the adjustable mouth. The feature is awesome, but the problem is the mouth plate extends to the front of the plane. The problem lies in if you ever bump the nose of the plane, the mouth can be forced against the blade. The newer version has fixed that issue by not extending the mouth plate to the nose.

- splintergroup

Hmm… I hadn’t thought of that. I suppose if its a big problem, a guy could grind down the front of the plate, so it would never protrude past the toe. That’d be a shame to do to a new plane though!

-- Pete

View Andre's profile

Andre

1451 posts in 1621 days


#5 posted 11-09-2017 07:41 AM

Have to agree, I went from a Wood river defective POS to a Stanley 60 1/2 which acquired a PMV-11 Iron to a LN bronze 102 then a LN Rabbit Block Plane to a Veritas apron plane until the DX 60 with PMV-11 iron showed up. The DX 60 by far the most versatile for real work but the LN 102 has the best feel and function for finer detail work.

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

13751 posts in 3912 days


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

I have the LN 9 1/2 and 60 1/2 and 102/103. My favorite block is a Stanley 65 with a Hock Iron. I’ve not tried the Veritas blocks.

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

View Dedvw's profile

Dedvw

166 posts in 2696 days


#7 posted 11-11-2017 04:36 PM

Overall happy with my Veritas Low angle but I do find the adjustable toe likes to move. Its very hard to lock down into place.

And I just read Splinters post saying the same thing. I did not realize they fixed that issue.

View Ripthorn's profile

Ripthorn

1454 posts in 2800 days


#8 posted 11-13-2017 02:34 AM

I have one of these and absolutely love it. I also have vintage 18 and 65 blocks that see regular use. I have them all set up differently, with the LV set up for the finest work in exotics and figured woods. The other two are set up for various levels of medium and coarse cutting. Of course there is no comparison, but they all work really well and I love them all, but if forced to pick just one, this one would be it.

-- Brian T. - Exact science is not an exact science

View bobasaurus's profile

bobasaurus

3341 posts in 2999 days


#9 posted 11-13-2017 06:52 PM

I too have one of these and love it dearly. I recently put the added tote and knob accessories on it, too. The vintage blocks just don’t compare.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

1643 posts in 1037 days


#10 posted 11-13-2017 10:53 PM

Come to think about it, maybe they haven’t “fixed” it?

Anyway, this is what I’m talking about:

This plane has the toe guard that keeps the mouth from being knocked close if the toe hits an obstacle:

(DX60)

This is the toe on my older block plane, I wish it had the design of the DX60:

View Dave Polaschek's profile (online now)

Dave Polaschek

1069 posts in 397 days


#11 posted 11-14-2017 12:38 PM

I picked up a DX60 recently too. Pretty sweet, and I find I’m using it a lot. But I’ll probably end up either getting the optional tote or buying a Lie-Nielsen #1 for a lot of the stuff I use a block plane for today as the arthritis in my hands gets worse. Easier to hold and push a real tote than a small block-plane.

-- Dave - Minneapolis

View Bill_Steele's profile

Bill_Steele

200 posts in 1547 days


#12 posted 11-14-2017 11:28 PM

This is what the toe looks like on mine with the mouth all the way open. They made it so that it cannot open beyond the toe.

View PPK's profile

PPK

834 posts in 624 days


#13 posted 11-15-2017 02:05 PM


This is what the toe looks like on mine with the mouth all the way open. They made it so that it cannot open beyond the toe.

- Bill_Steele

Yes! Mine is like this too. They did indeed fix the problem. I guess that’s what I was talking about when I was saying a guy could just shorten up the sliding mouth thing on the older model that protruded past the toe.

-- Pete

View JohnChung's profile

JohnChung

396 posts in 1889 days


#14 posted 11-15-2017 03:50 PM

This was my first plane. I have since move on to other planes. The DX60 is worth owning one as the size fits really well in the hand.

I also now own the QuangSheng Low Angle block plane. Still not the same quality as Veritas and LN but is a very close contender.

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