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Forum topic by Rob McCune posted 11-10-2007 07:04 AM 29116 views 0 times favorited 26 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Rob McCune

123 posts in 4268 days

11-10-2007 07:04 AM

I am not very impressed with the two items I have purchased from Buck Brothers (Home Depot). A #4 plane and a 1/4” chisel. Try as I might, I cannot get any of their stuff to maintain a really fine edge. I used a combination of scary sharp and three high grit Japanese water stones. I have some cheapo stanley chisels I used them on and got a OMG edge which surprised me, but the buck bro chisel was more expensive and after an hour of working it, it looks like crap. Sure the flats are smooth and shiny, but not as shiny as the cheapo stanley. Plus the whole end of the chisel seems to have been machined so that the top an bottom are not parallel, leaving me with a skewed edge which I can’t straighten out for some reason. As for the plane, I have been trying to lap the sole of it for a few weeks now, and am getting nowhere. I think the metal is just to soft. And no matter how sharp I get the blade, it doesn’t ever give me the smooth clean passes I keep reading about. Do you guys think it is just me or are Buck Brothers tools crap? I am okay if it IS me, because I might be doing something wrong and I need to know. What do you guys think?

-- Rob McCune

26 replies so far

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4483 days

#1 posted 11-10-2007 07:54 AM

Humm…HomeDepot…It might not be you.

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 4044 days

#2 posted 11-10-2007 08:10 AM

Yeah, I’m with Dennis, I don’t think it’s you.

See Budget -v- Quality

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View TheGravedigger's profile


963 posts in 4193 days

#3 posted 11-10-2007 11:20 AM

If you got an edge on the Stanley, it’s not you. I’d save the chisel for rough work, ditch the plane, & move up a notch or two in quality. My daddy always said, “Buy cheap, buy twice.”

-- Robert - Visit my woodworking blog:

View Rob McCune's profile

Rob McCune

123 posts in 4268 days

#4 posted 11-10-2007 05:16 PM

That’s just it, I didn’t think I was buying cheap. The plane was $40 so yeah a little inexpesive but the Ace Hardware one was $15. The chisel was $8 for a 1/4” chisel. That seemed pretty expensive to me. I guess maybe I need to re-adjust my thinking of what cheap is.

-- Rob McCune

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Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 4044 days

#5 posted 11-10-2007 09:01 PM

I’m glad ebanista voiced his approval of Marples chisels – I agree, but I’ve seen a lot of hate for Marples since they were bought by some big tool company (don’t remember which). They still seem to be making a good product. I bought a set of four of their chisels and have been really happy. I also have a couple of Marples pull saws that have more than earned their keep.

I don’t know if you can get a good plane at the hardware store anymore. The old Stanleys were really good and you can find them pretty cheap on ebay. With new planes, I think you have to pay up for quality. Or have Thos. Angle show you how to make one yourself!

-- -- --

View Rob McCune's profile

Rob McCune

123 posts in 4268 days

#6 posted 11-11-2007 01:09 AM

I ended up returning the home depot one and went over to the tool store (they sell a lot of rockler). I ended up with a Bahco one from sweden. It has a rockwell hardness of 63, which I hope is better than that cheapo one.

-- Rob McCune

View mjpierson's profile


86 posts in 4162 days

#7 posted 11-11-2007 02:16 AM

only buck bros item i have is a drywall saw – and it will probably stay that way…

buy cheap…buy twice – I like that…

-- Mike - Columbus, Ohio

View cheller's profile


254 posts in 4278 days

#8 posted 11-11-2007 02:25 AM

Looks like you’ve already got this solved, but I’ll throw my 2 cents in anyway. Two years ago I took a workshop at the North Bennet Street School in Boston. It was a fantastic experience. I’d recommend it to anyone in the Boston area. One of the things they insisted on was good tools, all of the workshop was hand tools. One of the guys in the class showed up with some Buck Bros. chisels and was told that he really needed to get something else. The two brands that the school store sold were the Marples Blue and I think Crown (I’ll have to go look at my tools to be sure).

Incidentally even good brands occasionally produce duds. One of the chisels I got had “bad” steel – good brand amazingly frustrating chisel. It just would not hold an edge, not when I sharpened it, and not when the instructor sharpened it. When I replaced it I was much happier.

-- Chelle

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4269 days

#9 posted 11-11-2007 04:41 AM

OK I’m going to throw a monkey wrench into this thread- I don’t have a really good set of chisels, I have bought Stanley chisels and Buck Bros. I use them in the shop and in the field. During their use I hit nails during demolition and they get dropped on concrete and really get dinged up. What I am trying to establish here is that they get used and abused.

I use a belt sander with a worn out 100 grit belt on it and get them pretty sharp. To finish it out, a few laps on a strop board from Woodcraft and they will make the hair will fly off of my arm.

I do consider my chisels disposable because they are very utilitarian, but they do take an edge and hold it for as long as I expect them to for the way that I use them. When I am doing fine work in the shop, I only need to lap them on the strop occasionally to keep the razor edge. I don’t spend hours religiously sharpening my chisels but I can get them SHARP. Sharpening is a skill developed by constantly doing it.

If I get an expensive set of chisels I will treat them with more care.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View USCJeff's profile


1064 posts in 4237 days

#10 posted 11-11-2007 05:53 AM

I got a Jack Plane (Buck Bro.s). Upgraded the iron and am happy. The fact that you can replace the iron at Home Depot for $2 is scary. There’s no way a $2 iron will hold an edge. I have a couple of their chisels. Nothing special, but I like them much more than the planes.

-- Jeff, South Carolina

View Rob McCune's profile

Rob McCune

123 posts in 4268 days

#11 posted 11-11-2007 08:10 AM

Where can I get another blade for it?

-- Rob McCune

View Dust4brains's profile


14 posts in 4060 days

#12 posted 11-11-2007 09:16 AM

I agree, return them to the store. I’ve been looking for a block plane to get started and I checked out the lower priced ones, (my price range) and I saw the Buck Bro’s. This looked questionable to say the least. I also checked out the Great neck brand at my local Do-it-best dealer and this was the same. I then went to Sears and checked out Craftsman. It looked great in the packaging but when I opened it in the store I saw the blade had a serrated look. It still had flashes left on it from casting I guess? Eventually I got a Stanley from that well known wood store Fred Meyers (yeah, the supermarket). This works great and cuts well and cost me $20. I hope you can return these and wish you happy tool hunting.

-- -If you love wood, cut wood, sand really doesn't matter how it turns out; you've got Dust4brains!

View USCJeff's profile


1064 posts in 4237 days

#13 posted 11-12-2007 05:11 AM

Rob, Check out the Hock Blades. Lee Valley sells them. I’m sure they’re sold elsewhere as well, but Lee Valley is the most mainstream I know of. They have pretty good customer service. I’d call to make sure you’re getting the blade that matches your plane. If I remember right, the price was around $35-$40 shipped.

-- Jeff, South Carolina

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4027 posts in 4233 days

#14 posted 11-12-2007 12:00 PM

Wayne's source for Hock blades
has: Hock 2-3/8in Bench Plane Blade – Fits 4-1/2, 5-1/2, 6, 7 for $33.50 O1 and $39.50 in A2 steel
Veritas has 2-3/8” x 7” Hock Plane Blade for $37.50 – no mention specifically which alloy these are but they are Rc62
Both are cheaper than at Hock's website. – $40 for high carbon and 49 for A2
Veritas has their own line of replacement blades in O1 and A2 steel thicker than Stanley irons and only 1/32˝ thinner than Hock for $37 and $39 respectively.
The A2 stays sharp long but is harder to sharpen than the oil quenched steel. The O1 can be sharpened to a higher degree of sharpness on the plus side, is more prone to rust than the A2 on the con side.

I’m shopping for a replacement blade for an Ebay rehab Sargent 410. That’s why the replacement iron I quoted isn’t the usual #4 replacement iron.

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

View Dadoo's profile


1789 posts in 4159 days

#15 posted 11-12-2007 03:58 PM

Never heard of Buck Bros. but after reading this, I remember walking the tool isles and seeing their display. And I thought, “These look pretty!” And then, “They also look cheap!” So I figure that they must be “Pretty cheap” and kept on walking.

-- Bob Vila would be so proud of you!

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