|Review by Dan||posted 02-09-2011 08:02 AM||4502 views||1 time favorited||8 comments|
- Pinnacle/IBC Blade & matched chip breaker by Rob Cosman
- Brand: Pinnacle/IBC | Category: Hand Planes
Last week we got hit with a huge snow storm which covered my driveway with a lot of snow. I had to leave for work next morning and didn’t have time to shovel. I was able to get my front wheel drive car out of the driveway without getting stuck. The tires spun out a bit and the back fishtailed a little but after a little effort the car made it out. Later I took my full size 4×4 truck out and it plowed right through the thick snow with ease. No slipping, no spinning and the exit drive out was so smooth you wouldn’t even know that you were driving through a foot of snow.
Both of my vehicles were able to get through the snow but the truck was far easier. Did I need the truck to get out? No. Could I manage in the snow with just the car. Yes. However it sure is a pleasure and brings a lot more comfort and ease to drive the truck.
The reason for that story was because thats exactly how I would compare the Pinnacle/IBC blade and chip breaker to the original factory blade and breaker. I have been debating the idea of a new expensive blade and breaker for my planes since I started restoring them 8 months ago. I struggled with the old blades to get them square, flat and sharp. I put hours and hours into old plane blades and I just wasn’t getting the results that I thought I should be getting. However the price of a quality replacement blade and chip breaker was just out of my budget and even when I did have the money I just couldn’t see spending 80 to 100 dollars on blade and breaker. I spent a lot of time reading reviews of different blades and trying to decide if it was worth it or not. Well I got a good tax return this year so I finally decided to treat myself and buy some new blades and breakers. I was going back and forth on whether to go with a Hock blade and breaker or Pinnacle/IBC. I debated it so much that I decided to get both. I bought a Hock set for my jointer and the Pinnacle for my smoother. Ill review the Hock later in a different post. The Pinnacle/IBC blade and breaker comes as they describe almost ready to use. I spent about a half hour getting the plane and blade ready. I had to file the mouth of my plane open a little which was easy enough. I then spent a few min honing the blade. For my first attempt I used a piece of Cherry wood. The plane with the new blade went through the wood like my truck did the snow. No tear out, no chatter and super thin shavings. I tried on 3 different hard woods and it went through them all with ease.
My over all thoughts
The shavings the blade produced don’t seem much different then the ones I got with a fine tuned old blade. However the huge mass of the blade and breaker make it a ton easier to plane through hardwoods. When using the old blade I was able to get great shavings at times but I often struggled with woods like Cherry and Maple and I would get a lot of chatter and tear out. I could achieve great results with the old blades but it was not easy and it took a lot of effort and work. The new Pinnacle/IBC blade in my Stanley 4 is just a joy to use so far. It has made hand planing even more of a joy for me to do. You can get good results without it but if you plane a lot its a nice upgrade.
The only reason I didn’t give it 5 stars is because of the price. I paid 100 dollars for the blade and breaker set and as good as the blade is I still think thats a lot of money. I am not disappointed that I spent the money but had I not had a nice chunk of extra money I probably would have skipped on this. I know woodcraft has these on sale now but the number 4 size was not on sale. I would be more willing to buy when on sale.
-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"