Block Plane

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Forum topic by Bryan posted 08-13-2012 03:22 PM 2084 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Bryan's profile


51 posts in 3059 days

08-13-2012 03:22 PM

I am looking to buy a decent block plane not sure what to get, used, new. I want the most versitiable one made. Not sure about low angle or standard, i like the Lie nielson one that they call a rabbet block dont like the price, just to many choices, also like the apron plane by lee valley I have no idea what t get help me out, if anyone has something they would like to sale lets talk otherwise reccommend something

17 replies so far

View hhhopks's profile


654 posts in 2579 days

#1 posted 08-13-2012 03:31 PM

Get the used ones. They are dirt cheap.
Once you get to know how it all works then you might want to consider the fancy ones.

-- I'll be a woodworker when I grow up. HHHOPKS

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 4095 days

#2 posted 08-13-2012 03:41 PM

Lee Valley’s low angle block plane IMO, is about the best bang for your buck. Not cheap but not exorbitantly priced and I think they give the option of the A2 steel iron thats cryogenically hardened.

2 cents.

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

View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 2390 days

#3 posted 08-13-2012 04:33 PM

I would second Moron in going with Lee Valley’s block plane. Cheap planes are a pain in the butt and will put you off handtools. LV is reasonably priced for a quality plane. Lie-Nielsen is great too but more expensive. Many others are cheap versions of these that look nice but don’t work as well.

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View Bertha's profile


13551 posts in 2895 days

#4 posted 08-13-2012 04:56 PM

I’d buy a Sweetheart era Stanley #220. Ebay for about $30 or so. I don’t have this Lie Nielsen lust that’s so common here. I own quite a few and I don’t believe them to be superior to a older Stanley. Now, some of their rare reproductions are a good value, BU Jack, etc.
If you’re not willing to tune an old one, the LN 9 1/2 is only $165.00 with a bronze cap. I can’t really think of a more versatile block plane, you won’t have to fool with it, and it’s a bargain (I think).

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Don W's profile

Don W

19014 posts in 2769 days

#5 posted 08-13-2012 05:08 PM

I’ve got a few blocks I’ve restored.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View hhhopks's profile


654 posts in 2579 days

#6 posted 08-13-2012 05:24 PM

If I don’t want to fuss with the plane, then Don W’s route is the way to go.
He is a known planeaholic on this site and has probably restored more planes many of us ever will combined.

DW, those planes look good.

-- I'll be a woodworker when I grow up. HHHOPKS

View rockindavan's profile


299 posts in 2837 days

#7 posted 08-13-2012 05:34 PM

FW just did a article on the block planes out there. Might be worth picking it up. Four planes were picked as best overall. Two from Veritas and 2 from Lie Nielsen. Can’t go wrong with any of these but I love my NX 60. I would suggest not buying a used inferior quality block plane. You will never regret the money spent on a LN or LV.

View jusfine's profile


2422 posts in 3127 days

#8 posted 08-13-2012 05:45 PM

I would highly recommend the Veritas Apron plane.

It is one of the planes I reach for most often for cleaning up small areas (and I have a few to reach for).

You won’t be disappointed.

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View bandit571's profile (online now)


21771 posts in 2885 days

#9 posted 08-13-2012 07:16 PM

All six of my block planes cost about the same as ONE of the LNs/LVs. IF I combined what I paid for all six, that is. Latest one was $16.00, COUNTING shipping.

Not exactly my cheapest plane, plus I had some tune up to do. Just a Sargent made Dunlap Low angle that was sold by Sears. Seems to work just fine.

IF I ever pay over $100 for just a little block plane, it bloody well better be able to plane wood, by itself. I could just get TEN more Dunlaps, though. That sounds more like fun…..

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View pierce85's profile


508 posts in 2764 days

#10 posted 08-13-2012 07:34 PM

I use both an old Stanley 220 and an expensive LN low angle block. The LN block is clearly the overall better plane in terms of adjustablility, feel, ergonomics, and so on, but my 220 performs just as well with a little encouragement – so I agree with Al (Bertha). The key is having a properly tuned plane and a devastatingly sharp blade – one that cuts your finger before it hits the blade.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5128 posts in 4162 days

#11 posted 08-13-2012 07:59 PM

I’ve got a stupid Eng. made Stanley LA 12-620 that I’ve fettled and sharpened. Paid all of $10.00, and it is a well used plane. You can’t have it. Well….....for a price ya can, but it wouldn’t be cheap. Didja see the smiley face?


View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5128 posts in 4162 days

#12 posted 08-13-2012 08:00 PM

That’s a bevel up by the way.


View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15701 posts in 2820 days

#13 posted 08-13-2012 08:37 PM

Try an old Stanley #18, especially if Don W. has one for sale. The right size, fully adustable, excellent tool. Rabbet block is skew angle, and for blocks it’s just as easy to do that with your wrist. :-)

Good luck, and welcome to the wacky world of block planes. Man, there are a TON of them out there…

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View NiteWalker's profile


2738 posts in 2778 days

#14 posted 08-13-2012 10:09 PM

I went through this very decision not too long ago. Not wanting to spend a lot fo time rehabbing a used block, and the fact that I wanted a low angle, led me to the veritas low angle block plane.

I don’t regret the purchase one bit. In fact, I was so impressed with the quality, I bought the veritas low angle jack plane too. Next will be the bevel up smoother. :)

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View Don W's profile

Don W

19014 posts in 2769 days

#15 posted 08-13-2012 10:49 PM

If you have the disposable income the LN or veritas are a very good choice. I really don’t think you need to spend that kind of money to get a quality plane that works well though. I’ve got both veritas and LN planes, and if I hit the lottery, I’ll have a few more, but that won’t stop me from buying the good old vintage planes either. They can be made to work just as well.

There are a few cases were buying the veritas or LN just makes more sense because the price of the vintage is just as high (we’re talking users, buying vintage is alway a good choice). Block planes don’t fall into that category though. The Stanley, The Sargents (some sargent block planes are my favorites), The Millers Falls, and even some of the quality made craftsman are fine planes.

The nice thing about the Veritas and LN is they hold their value very well. Vintage hold their value or increase but you need to know what your buying, like any antique.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

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