Vertias vs. Lie-Nielsen

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Forum topic by Dchip posted 09-29-2009 02:41 PM 5754 views 0 times favorited 31 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Dchip's profile


271 posts in 3274 days

09-29-2009 02:41 PM

Topic tags/keywords: plane

So I it’s about a year after I’ve started woodworking and I now realize that it will be a life-long hobby. Time to invest in some quality tools. Given my apt. shop situation, I’m going to start with some hand tools. My first interest is going to be a top-notch block plane. Any comments on the Veritas LA block plane from Lee Valley vs. the Lie-Nielsen LA block plane?

-- Dan Chiappetta, NYC,

31 replies so far

View blackcherry's profile


3338 posts in 3844 days

#1 posted 09-29-2009 02:47 PM

Both are exceptional tools and for the value LV would be my choice take nothing away from LN.

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3915 days

#2 posted 09-29-2009 03:22 PM

LN is “prettier” then LV but they both work the same. Albeit I have the LV I would prefer the LN as it fits nicer in my hand.

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4024 posts in 4085 days

#3 posted 09-29-2009 03:30 PM

I second blackcherry. I also like the fact that many of the LV designs are complete innovations as opposed to older Stanley designs. Both companies pay admirable attention to machining, materials and details, so I would certainly not sneeze at owning either (or both). My budget is more revived Stanley Bailey and Sargent.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View Walnut_Weasel's profile


360 posts in 3244 days

#4 posted 09-29-2009 03:40 PM


I too am a newbie and have little tools, money, or space and have decided to invest in hand tools. After buying my first hand plane (crappy Groz), I realized that the old stanley style planes do produce a wonderful finish and are fun to use. However I recently read an article in Popular Woodworking that talked about the advantanges of bevel-up bench planes – the biggest being that one plane can do the work of several planes and that they are easier for a newbie to adjust. Some searching on the internet (including Lie-Nielson’s site if you look hard enough) confirm that bevel-up planes do seem to be the way to go if you do not already have money invested in the stanley-style planes. Here is the link to a form where I posed this question to our fellow lumberjocks.

Regardless of what choice you make – I don’t think you can go wrong with either LN or LV. I plan on getting a LN bevel-up jack plane with a second blade in the next week or two. Once I get a chance to try it out, I will be sure to post a review.

-- James -

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3670 days

#5 posted 09-29-2009 04:09 PM

both are exceptional in quality and machining, and you couldn’t go wrong with either one.

I’m personally a Lee-Valley guy, I really like their innovations, and their designs. although at this point – neither one is in my budget.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2656 posts in 3548 days

#6 posted 09-29-2009 04:11 PM

The first plane has been a Veritas med shoulder plane and I quickly realized what a real plane was. Both LV and LN are great, I lean towards LV.

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View Dchip's profile


271 posts in 3274 days

#7 posted 09-29-2009 05:25 PM

Some great input, thanks everyone. What would be the downside to a bevel-up plane, since most comments seem to be in praise of such? Also, isn’t bevel-up the common orientation for block planes? I have a cheap Stanley that I got from HD and did some work on, to the best of my ability, and it works well right after I sharpen the blade, but performance quickly falls off (I realize this speaks more to the blade quality, not overall plane, but am still skeptical of the overall quality of new Stanley plane( i.e. plastic handles, loose, multiple blade adjustment screws, etc.)). I would like to buy a block plane that I know will be off the highest quality for the life of the plane, and as such am leaning towards the Lee Valley LA Veritas block plane with adjustable mouth. I have read elsewhere, however, that the adjustable mouth makes the plane a but more unwieldy, something that seems to go against the whole purpose of a block plane. Any comments?

Also, to Walnut – The idea of getting multiple planing action in one plane sounds appealing, but my experience with these things in the past is that they do all things less well than their dedicated counterparts. While I can’t speak specifically for quality woodworking tools, I would hope to one day have a full collection of quality planes. Again, perhaps someone with more experience could comment on this as well?

-- Dan Chiappetta, NYC,

View Walnut_Weasel's profile


360 posts in 3244 days

#8 posted 09-29-2009 07:08 PM


I cannot make a comment for certain (yet) – just repeat what I have been told so far. The “all for one” approach to the bevel-up plane is that just by changing the blade’s micro bevel you can significantly change the cutting action of the tool. You can have one blade set at less than 45 degrees to cut end grain like a block plane, and a second blade set at 45 degrees (or greater) to give the plane the same (or at least very similar) action as a standard bench plane. Changing the cutting angle on a standard bench plane can be done, but it is a bit more complex and once it is changed, a bit more difficult to revert the cutting angle back to the original 45.

Again – I have not yet had a chance to use a bevel-up for myself. I was just about ready to start buying old Stanley planes and reconditioning them when I found out about the bevel-up planes. If they are as good as folks are claiming – it is a no-brainer to buy one and I thought I would make you aware of them.

Here is a web article from Popular Woodworking talks a bit about both positives and negatives of bevel-up.

And item number 4 on the Lie-Nielson Q&A page recommends that a person start with a bevel-up plane.

-- James -

View Llarian's profile


128 posts in 3629 days

#9 posted 09-29-2009 07:48 PM

Aren’t all block planes bevel-up?

-- Dylan Vanderhoof - General hobbiest and reluctant penmaker.

View Dchip's profile


271 posts in 3274 days

#10 posted 09-29-2009 08:43 PM

Hey James,

Thanks for the effort put into helping. I’m going to put some more research into this topic, maybe even try to find a few to test out, before I start look for a larger plane, such as a jack or jointer. I actually just placed an order for the Lee Valley Veritas LA block plane, which is bevel-up, though I imagine this would be difficult to compare to a jack plane or jointer plane. I will post an update when it arrives. Hope your journey into woodworking treats you well.

-- Dan Chiappetta, NYC,

View Walnut_Weasel's profile


360 posts in 3244 days

#11 posted 09-29-2009 09:24 PM

Dylan – All block planes that I have ran across are bevel-up. However I have been refering to bevel-up bench planes.

-- James -

View rblaiklock's profile


6 posts in 3183 days

#12 posted 09-30-2009 02:35 AM

I own multiple planes from both LV and LN, all excellent products, and as has been said before, you won’t be making a mistake with either.

I was not a fan of the original LV block plane as it was a wider design, but the new model has gone to a narrower design which is easier for me to hold.

One plus for LV is the ability to get either A2 and/or O2 blades if you care about such things (LN is just A2, last time I made a purchase). For a block plane it’s less of an issue as the blade is small, so sharpening is not a major task.

View Francisco Luna's profile

Francisco Luna

943 posts in 3415 days

#13 posted 09-30-2009 07:58 PM

both planes are outstanding tools…..
Tradition, beauty, heirloom quality Tool? .........LN
Performance, innovation, quality, excellent* Customer Service?.........Veritas.

-- Nature is my manifestation of God. I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day's work. I follow in building the principles which nature has used in its domain" Frank Lloyd Wright

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5621 posts in 3734 days

#14 posted 10-01-2009 03:11 PM

I was at LV in Wpg a last fall and they offered to let me test drive their planes on a slow evening. I couln’t take advantage of the offer as I live outside of Wpg and scheduling never seemed to work out. Jen bought me one of their planes for Christmas (see my avatar) and I really enjoy using it. I have a #4 (inherited) and it works okay, but nowhere near as nice as the LV. I would recommend taking the planes for a test drive if you can arrange it.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View CanadaJeff's profile


207 posts in 3631 days

#15 posted 10-01-2009 07:45 PM

I envy you all!
I wish I had $300 to drop on a premium block plane.

Well back to my Stanely Number 4!

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