Plane comparisons question

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Forum topic by MikeS posted 07-27-2010 03:51 AM 991 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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92 posts in 3270 days

07-27-2010 03:51 AM

I am curious as to how Record planes compare to those of older SW Stanely Bailey planes. Also, how they compare to the newer LN, LV and Clifton planes.

3 replies so far

View paratrooper34's profile


867 posts in 2375 days

#1 posted 07-27-2010 09:57 AM

Hi Mike.

This is right up my alley. I have several Record planes. I can tell you that they are excellent planes, great quality. I have a #3, #4, #5, #7, #8, and a T-5 (has a side handle for shooting board use). I will tell you that they all work outstanding. They required little in the way of tuning. All were basically flat and required little to no lapping of the soles, frog mating pieces, etc. The stock blades were easy to flatten and maintain a sharp edge when sharpened. The only one that I bought a new blade for is the T-5. That’s because the shooting board use with mostly edge grain really punishes the blade’s edge. The factory blade simply would not stay sharp. I purchased a Veritas A-2 blade for it and have had no problems with keeping a good edge now. The others all have the factory Record blades and they are fantastic. For smoothing, the #3 and #4 are phenomenal. For the #7 and #8, they excel at jointing/board prep after jack or scrub plane use. And the #5 is a great all around user, even outside of traditional jack/fore plane applications. No need for a #6. Actually don’t need the #8, but I like it to have around for the sheer bulk when needed on some big stock.

Another benefit: cost. The Records that I have, which are all used and were purchased off Ebay, saved me a ton of money over buying new. The most expensive one was the #8 at just over $100. Since they required no more tuning than I would expect over other used planes or perhaps some of the new lower end planes, the savings are clearly evident.

For asthetics, used Record planes can be had with rosewood totes and knobs (most of mine are beech, however), plus they have solid brass screw caps in the handles and for the adjuster knob. I do like the blue color they use as well. The older ones have a nice lateral adjustment mechanism, unlike the newer Record/Marples which have a plain stamped steel one. They all have a screw adjuster in the back of the frog for setting the blade in the mouth.

How do they measure up against LN, Veritas and the like? I would say there is no difference in performance whatsoever. Record did not use the Bedrock style frog like LN uses, but quite frankly, I cannot see why it is any better over the regular Stanley type frog. And the older Stanley/Bailey? Again, no difference in performance. I have a LN plane, never had/used a Veritas or Clifton, and had/used old Stanleys. I have read several reviews and watched videos of all these planes in action and I would put any one of my Records up against any quality or high end plane. They perform exactly as a plane should. Setup/tuning was minimal due to good quality manufacturing. And finally, the price was perfectly acceptable to my budget.

Also Record made copies of what looks like darn near everything Stanley made. But I think they did it better. For instance, I had a Record 080 and a Stanley 80 – cabinet scrapers. The Record felt like it had more mass and it definitely had a much thicker blade. I also had a Record flat bottom spokeshave and the equivalent Stanley. Same comparison as the cabinet scraper. I sold the Stanleys and kept the Records.

The only downside of getting Record planes/tools: limited availability in the US. On Ebay UK, they are as common as Stanleys in the US. But, the shipping cost, if you can find someone to ship to the US, will be big bucks. Luckily for me, I am in Germany, so the shipping from there is tolerable. But you will see them here and there on Ebay US and from different used hand tool dealers. To me, they were worth the price of shipping because they were still way less than the premium ones and I knew I was getting a good quality tool.

Hope this helps you out.

-- Mike

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7147 posts in 2799 days

#2 posted 07-27-2010 10:57 AM

I’ve had several Record and Bailey planes. It really depends on the era they’re from, but overall I tend to prefer the Records. The blue is cool, and they seem a bit beefier than they’re Bailey counterparts. Millers Falls is another that can be very good too. I’d have to say that the LN, Veritas, Clifton’s are in a different league for design, metallurgy, and precision, but all will work well with a sharp blade and good setup.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View MikeS's profile


92 posts in 3270 days

#3 posted 07-27-2010 04:52 PM

Thanks Guys. I have noticed that Record seems to have a good following and wondered how they compare. When I am back in the market for additional tools, I can put Record on my list.

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