|Review by Belford||posted 01-10-2017 01:56 AM||1981 views||0 times favorited||13 comments|
I own several types of woodworking planes. My German (ECE) planes are like driving a semi across a sheet of Rice Paper. My American planes (Stanley) are cantankerous until sharpened and set with an exacting procedure that I can never get exactly correct. My English (Record) planes are mere replicas of the American Stanley or vice versa. All have some good features and bad and for the most part get the job done.
I don’t own any Japanese planes and therefore have no remark upon them.
Now comes the heresy……the best woodworking planes I own are Chinese (Mujingfang) woodworking planes. I understand many will disagree with my assessment of any of these planes, but here is my opinion. My opinion is based upon at least ten years of usage.
Prior to purchasing my first Mujingfang plane I was skeptical, not only because of the cheap price, but because of some perceived quality issues. My first plane, a ten inch, Ebony bodied smoother arrived pre-sharpened and ready for work right out of the box. I set the blade and within seconds I was producing wafer thin shavings on soft Pine. I tried curly Maple next with the same results and absolutely no tearout. Plus the plane wasn’t heavy and was a pleasure to behold. The workmanship was more then acceptable. In those days my first plane cost $26.00, today the same plane is $79.00.
Since my first Mujingfang, I have purchased seven more of varying sizes. All are either Rosewood or ebony and with the exception of the chamfering plane all have preformed as they should. (the chamfering plane does the job but is much too aggressive regardless the set.)
My smallest planes are not toys and are invaluable for leveling proud inlay. The four largest planes are used on either the push or pull stroke. I have a small Neoprene faced hammer reserved to set these planes.
In any case, my experience with Mujingfang brand Chinese woodworking planes has been outstanding. Your experience and opinion may differ. Beware, there are imitations and there is dude claiming to be an American living in Beijing who says he will send you Mujingfang planes at a discount. Part of the problem is that Mujingfang does not stamp their name on their product so it’s best to purchase from a source that allows for returns.
(by the way, my assessment of most other Chinese products is at complete odds with this review)