Metal planes; Stanley or Record

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Forum topic by rilanda posted 08-10-2012 05:38 PM 2533 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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129 posts in 937 days

08-10-2012 05:38 PM

Record 077A bull nose plane complete with box

Record 077A Bull nose plane

Stanley 90 Bull nose plane

Stanley 90 bull nose

Bull nose plane unknown manufacture.

Bull nose plane unknown manufacture.

I would like to start a discussion regarding the merits of the tools produced by the Stanley Company of America and the British Company Record of Sheffield. The pictures are of The Record 077A; Stanley 90 and a much smaller bull nose plane of unknown manufacture its only identifying feature being a number 75 on the clamping bar. I own all three of these planes, the Record I inherited and have owned for 10years, it is used regularly and I find it a nice plane to use, fitting easy in the hand, easily adjusted with a fine adjustment screw. The Stanley 90 I bought new in the 1970’s, it fits easily in the hand and is very easy to adjust with a fine adjuster, if I have any criticism it is I find it a little small for my fairly large hands. The last of the 3 bull nose planes is of unknown manufacture, I bought many years ago from a Car Boot sale for 50p. It was complete but in a shocking condition, the worst of it was the sole required truing up. The sole was trued up and the plane cleaned up as much as possible, the cutter adjustment crude in comparison to the others; tip & tap with a small light hammer. Although the adjustment of the plane leaves a bit to be desired it does have a redeeming feature in its size. It can be uncomfortable to use because of its size but it will easily fit into a door rebate (hinge side) to allow a binding door rebate to be eased without removal of the door. To summarize, my preference between the Stanley and the Record bull nose plane is about 53% in favour of the Record but I am very aware this is a personal preference, does anyone else have knowledge of the two planes I refer to; if so which do you prefer and why?

Scan from a 1934 Record planes catalogue reference the 077A bull nose it was the princely sum of 10/6d (52.5p) ($0.78) back then and a spare iron would have cost 1/6d (7.5p) ($0.11). Make you think don’t it.
Sorry to say I do not have a similar catalogue for Stanley Tools; I would dearly love; can one anybody help?

I have quite a number of metal planes of comparable types and I will again try to make comparisons of these planes in future forum subjects at later dates.

-- Bill, Nottingham. Remember its not waiting for the storm to end, but learning to dance in the rain that counts. If you dont make mistakes, you make nothing at all.

9 replies so far

View sikrap's profile


1073 posts in 2142 days

#1 posted 08-10-2012 05:42 PM

I don’t have any of the Record planes, so I can’t speak to them I believe the Stanley bullnose is actually a number 90 and I d have one of those. They are a very good plane for trimming rabbets and dados.

-- Dave, Colonie, NY

View rilanda's profile


129 posts in 937 days

#2 posted 08-10-2012 07:42 PM

Sikrap, Thanks for pointing out my error I have made the necessary correction.

-- Bill, Nottingham. Remember its not waiting for the storm to end, but learning to dance in the rain that counts. If you dont make mistakes, you make nothing at all.

View Brit's profile


5397 posts in 1625 days

#3 posted 08-10-2012 09:37 PM

I have a Stanley 90 that I bought off ebay, but I haven’t used it in anger yet. I would have preferred a Record 077A, but they tend to go for quite a bit of money if they are in good condition. I’ll post a link to this thread on the Handplanes of your dreams thread to see what others think. I know some of those guys will have both types and some other makes too.

-- Andy -- I don't mind going to work. It's the 8 hour wait to go home that I don't much care for.

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Don W

15752 posts in 1350 days

#4 posted 08-10-2012 09:43 PM

Stanley planes are much easier to find here in the States. I don’t have any Record Plane either, so its got to be stanley for me.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View ShaneA's profile


5508 posts in 1381 days

#5 posted 08-10-2012 11:21 PM

I only have a Stanley 92, and Clifton 400?....the record ones look amazing, but are quite spendy. Once the vintage planes approach the cost of new premium planes, I will/do choose premium like LV or LN.

View Johnnyblot's profile


318 posts in 1059 days

#6 posted 08-10-2012 11:58 PM

RECORD acquired the 77A from Edward Preston. They went on to produce several of Prestons planes. Taking a leaf out of the STANLEY book??

Here is my E Preston Bullnose:-

I’m a big fan of WODEN. The Steel Nut and Joseph Hampton Limited (trading as Woden) in Wednesbury, Staffordshire was also absorbed into Record.
When you look at a Woden Plane and a Record there is very little difference. But Woden seem to be a better quality casting. They are both the same blue in colour. [the dark blue of the RAF roundel [supposedly]?

There was recently on Ebay a Woden #6 Fore Plane, still in its box with attached labels, leaflet and original decals. It went for £90 [approx $170 ?]. It was gorgeous.

If I were to find a Record or a Woden with its decals intact I’d have em in a heartbeat. Otherwise Stanley planes are good enough for me. Yes I’m that sad, I make no bones about it.


-- Gossamer shavings just floating around the back yard….-Bandit

View jamesicus's profile


132 posts in 1475 days

#7 posted 08-11-2012 03:08 AM

I started my apprenticeship as a truck cab and body builder at Oswald Tillotson’s ,Burnley, Lancashire (northern England) in 1947. Woodworking hand tools were hard to fiind in hardware stores (Ironmongers shops—Brit.) and most of mine were old used tools such as wooden bench planes, Warrington pattern cross-peen hammers, hand saws, various types of chisels, try squares, marking gauges, boxwood rulers, etc. of a variety of makes mostly of pre-WWII manufacture, purchased from some of the older craftsmen. The first old craftsman I worked for particularly liked American tools: Stanley Bailey bench planes and bevel edged chisels in particular – North Bros. spiral ratchet screwdrivers – Disston saws – and he constantly extolled their virtues and quality. Due to his influence my subsequent tool kits always included such tools. I also used numerous Marples tools which were held in high esteem by most apprentices and craftsmen . Stanley Bailey planes (of American or British manufacture) were favored by most of the older craftsmen although several used Record planes. My first introduction to, and use of, woodworking hand tools was during Public School Woodworking Class (Towneley School, Burnley, England) starting in 1940. By mid-war in 1943 I had become reasonably proficient in the care, maintenance and use of most of them.

As I mentioned, new woodworking tools—especially American made—were in short supply in British hardware shops immediately following the end of WWII. It was not until 1948, when importation from America resumed and British manufacturing had recovered from wartime damage and production demands, that new tools were available for sale in any quantity. Even then, availability was uncertain.

I probably used more Stanley hand tools than any other make. They were readily available (after 1948) and were renowned for their durability and excellence in my time as an apprentice. I mostly used Stanley planes, nail hammers, paring chisels, boxwood rules, marking gauges, try squares and bevels.

The first post-war Stanley Tools catalog I remember was the 1948 No. 34 edition that contained their usual array of woodworking tools.

View Johnnyblot's profile


318 posts in 1059 days

#8 posted 08-11-2012 08:57 AM

James- Great story. I’m sure those tools were of a high quality. I once bought a #4 Stanley just because it had USA cast into the sole. When you look at Lie Nielsen tools they just ooze quality my #5 1/2 L-N is my most favourite plane.
But of course there was a great allure for anything that came from America in the years after the war. Britain, as you know was bankrupt after being at war for nearly 6 years. Everything we made was to be exported, hence the phrase ” Britain can make it, she just can’t have it.”
I have great respect for my fathers generation that fought in WW2 and your generation that helped to build the peace (?) we enjoy today. Even if the rest of our society does not seem to.
By the way I was born in 1960.

(from the real North of England) lol

-- Gossamer shavings just floating around the back yard….-Bandit

View jamesicus's profile


132 posts in 1475 days

#9 posted 08-11-2012 06:03 PM

Good information John – and spot on. Bill: I don’t like to ask people to click away to access information, but in this case the information (and pics) I wish to include is too much for me to type here : and so here is the link to my vintage toolbox page. Note that some of the Stanley tools I (and othersti in the trade) used were made at the Stanley plant in England (opened in 1938) although all of my Stanley planes were US made. BTW, John, I was born in 1929.


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