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LeeValley Or WoodCraft?

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Forum topic by newplane posted 04-29-2010 09:31 PM 2690 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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newplane

159 posts in 3544 days


04-29-2010 09:31 PM

Ok friends I know its trivial but I am going to buy the blades for the hand planes and I was wondering which company is better? I can buy the same product from both of them for almost the same price. One being a couple dollars more for shipping. Things I am wondering.

1. Does one have better customer service than the other? (I am stationed in Germany, presently in Iraq)

2. Does one package their product better than the other one? (These will be shipped to Germany waiting for me there until I get back from my deployment)

3. Are they US owned company’s? I am going to buy HOCK blades from them so I know the HOCKS are made in the USA. (they better be, the steel i don’t know)

4. Am I making to big of a deal here? I do like the Lee Valley catalog a lot, but not a good reason to go with one or the other.

I just want to make sure that I get the product in good order. I don’t have a lot of money to spend on tools like the rest of us and have been saving for new blades. I just want to put my best foot forward is all. Thanks for the help friends.

-- Dont just dream it, get up and live it!


18 replies so far

View Wintersedge's profile

Wintersedge

83 posts in 2440 days


#1 posted 04-29-2010 09:41 PM

I would personally go with Ron Hock.
http://www.hocktools.com/products.htm

I am not sure of the budget, but Ron is a great guy and easy to talk to. He is master at what he does. All of his blades are A1 or O2 steel. My blades are all A2.. I think the debate is similiar to mac and windows.. I can tell ya they both get damn sharp and both need to be resharpened eventually. Buddy of mine uses mostly 02.. the jargon gets a little too technical for me to care about.

End of the day.. Ron is a person and not a company. You can order from him directly.

Cheers

-- Motivation alone is not enough. If you have an idiot and you motivate him, now you have a motivated idiot.

View Roper's profile

Roper

1370 posts in 3179 days


#2 posted 04-29-2010 09:45 PM

i second the hock. his blades are the best. next would be lie nelson.

-- Roper - Master of sawdust- www.roperwoodturning.com

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8523 posts in 3115 days


#3 posted 04-29-2010 09:56 PM

Hock blades have very good reviews.

however between Lee Valley, and woodcarft – I’d choose LeeValley hands down – everytime, and am willing to even pay more. great quality, fantastic customer service bar none!

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

View newplane's profile

newplane

159 posts in 3544 days


#4 posted 04-29-2010 09:59 PM

Thanks for the info friends. I am getting the Hock blades. But the funny thing is that I can get them cheaper from LeeValley and WoodCraft.

PurpLev—- What is your experiance with LeeValley?

-- Dont just dream it, get up and live it!

View NewPickeringWdWrkr's profile

NewPickeringWdWrkr

338 posts in 2479 days


#5 posted 04-29-2010 10:48 PM

I generally buy from Lee Valley and have never had a problem with their customer service. I’ve also heard stories on Matt’s Basement workshop regarding how he banana’d the sole of a plane and they still worked with him to fix the issue to the point where they had him ship it back at no charge to be fixed.

LV is a Canadian company, (and yes, I’m proud to call myself the same, so my views may be biased) with its products made in Canada.

I own 2 Veritas planes and have to say I am very pleased with the products and the irons that came with them. You really can use them right out of the box!

On the Hock side, I’ve never used one, so can’t make a recommendation.

-- Mike - Antero's Urban Wood Designs http://anterosurbanwooddesigns.com

View bigike's profile

bigike

4050 posts in 2755 days


#6 posted 04-29-2010 11:32 PM

i had good experiances with both stores CS,PKG, all that good stuff but as for the blades i think you might want to check this out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKotbPE22lo

I got these blades and the only thing ifind is that they can drain your wallet but there better than the hock in my opinion, and i have both in my planes.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop, http://www.icombadaniels@yahoo.com

View rwyoung's profile

rwyoung

388 posts in 2938 days


#7 posted 04-29-2010 11:40 PM

Hock blades from Craftsman Studio are generally priced less per blade (assuming it is one they stock) then Woodcraft or even Hock directly.

That said, I have no idea about their overseas shipping. I’ve had things shipped in the States no problem.

-- Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.

View JohnStevens's profile

JohnStevens

22 posts in 2424 days


#8 posted 04-30-2010 01:48 AM

Here you go NewPlane. I think I have some answers…

1. Does one have better customer service than the other? They are both good companies. The Woodcraft replacement blades are manufactured by the same company that Lie-Nielsen uses, IBC. (I do agree with the other posters, though. Ron Hock makes the most amazing blades. You’ll love them. Ron is from Northern California and travels the country showing them off. I’ve met him a couple of times and he really puts his heart into his blades. The quality shows. You can buy them direct from Ron or from some of the woodworking retailers like woodcraft.com)

2. Does one package their product better than the other one? Both LV and WC ship basically the same.

3. Are they US owned company’s? I am going to buy HOCK blades from them so I know the HOCKS are made in the USA. LV is Canadian. WC is in West Virginia, but the individual stores are franchised. Hock blades are made in the US in Northern CA.

4. Am I making to big of a deal here? I do like the Lee Valley catalog a lot, but not a good reason to go with one or the other. No, very good questions. Good thread. There are definitely some cheap, junk blades out there (like the Groz blades – although, with some tune up time, Groz planes can do quite well. Just don’t like their blades. Made in India?)

I just want to make sure that I get the product in good order. I don’t have a lot of money to spend on tools like the rest of us and have been saving for new blades. I just want to put my best foot forward is all. Thanks for the help friends.

-- "I'll show you my tenon if you show me your mortise!"

View KayBee's profile

KayBee

1083 posts in 2713 days


#9 posted 04-30-2010 02:06 AM

Actually, some Hock blades are made in France.

-- Karen - a little bit of stupid goes a long way

View measure2x's profile

measure2x

50 posts in 2600 days


#10 posted 04-30-2010 03:01 AM

Re Lee Valley is Very Good;
FYI….I have ordered from Lee Valley recently (3 times in last month or so). I am impressed with their service.For example, last 2 times, ordered on a Sunday…received an e-mail Monday with tracking # (which works) and got my order on Thursday Morning (5 days). Their web site tells you if item is in stock and quotes in USA and CDN dollars.

cheers,
Terry (NB Canada)

-- Terry, Fredericton, NB Canada

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 3352 days


#11 posted 04-30-2010 03:41 PM

Ron Hock is a great guy to deal with, I have a couple of his blades and chip breakers and they are quality. I personally like Lee Valley but WC is good too and the sometimes have free shipping offered.
You might take a look at Rob Cosman’s video on the new blades he is promoting.
http://www.robcosman.com/chipbreaker.html

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8523 posts in 3115 days


#12 posted 04-30-2010 04:19 PM

sorry I didn’t get back to you earlier.

here is my experience with LV (for that past ~10 years): Quality tools, friendly and helpful support from pre purchase to post purchase, and descent prices. I have NEVER had a less than remarkable experience with them – EVER

As for my latest good experience with them – I was in the market to buy the Incra LS positioner. LeeValley had a better price then Incra’s own marked down on sale prices. I purchased from Lee Valley. when I got the positioner, I noticed the aluminum fence was slightly scratched – nothing that would void functionality, but for a high priced item, I expected it to be defect free upon arrival – and if anything and it gets scratched – it better be from MY operations with it :). I contacted LeeValley about it – and got a 2nd positioner within 48 hours and instructions to pack the original one in the new box, and ship back on their expense – it doesnt get any easier than that. after that they contacted me to check if I’m satisfied with the new one.

I have always received 10+ service from Lee Valley, I can’t say enough about them. My wife also gets their stuff for gardening, and misc. stuff.

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

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

16244 posts in 3685 days


#13 posted 04-30-2010 05:18 PM

I agree with everything PurpLev said above. Their customer service is second to none.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View newplane's profile

newplane

159 posts in 3544 days


#14 posted 04-30-2010 06:14 PM

I am leaning towards LeeValley, they have a marking guage that I think i might like too. Thank you everyone for the info.

-- Dont just dream it, get up and live it!

View Ingjr's profile

Ingjr

144 posts in 2483 days


#15 posted 04-30-2010 09:00 PM

LV no question. JMO. Ron Brease also sells some pretty amazing blades.

-- The older I get the faster I was.

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