Which of these would be better for end grain?

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Forum topic by Purrmaster posted 01-04-2013 11:09 AM 2640 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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915 posts in 2120 days

01-04-2013 11:09 AM

I’m thinking of picking up a new block plane for working on end grain. My Stanley Sweetheart block plane is pretty good but… it sucks on end grain. I can get some end grain work done with my Veritas jack plane but not much.

I was looking at these:

The Veritas low angle block plane:,41182,48942

And the Lie Nielsen low angle block plane:

Can anyone say whether either of these would be better on end grain than the other?

This isn’t a “must have” purchase for me so I can take my time reading reviews. But l looked through all the hand plane reviews here and didn’t see any for the Lie Nielsen.

The big difference between the two as I can tell, feature wise, is the Veritas has an adjustable mouth. The Lie Nielsen does not (but they do make one with an adjustable mouth nut it costs considerably more).

If there’s one thing my Veritas jack has taught me it’s that a really good plane is a pleasure to use.

22 replies so far

View Handtooler's profile


1578 posts in 2159 days

#1 posted 01-04-2013 12:08 PM

I’m glad you ask. I want to add one to my wish list. I’ve tried my two Cratsman standard block planes similar to the Stanley 60 1/2 and 18, one with and one without an adjustable mouth. Although they both work edge and flat grain well end grain presents somewhat of a problen particularly with Pecan and Cypress.

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343

View Purrmaster's profile


915 posts in 2120 days

#2 posted 01-04-2013 12:22 PM

I know what you mean. No matter how sharp I get the blade on the Stanley it just doesn’t doesn’t do end grain. The Stanley block plane isn’t bad but it’s been kind of a disappointment.

View NiteWalker's profile


2737 posts in 2604 days

#3 posted 01-04-2013 12:31 PM

Go for the veritas, it’s a dream to use.

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

View sikrap's profile


1121 posts in 3386 days

#4 posted 01-04-2013 02:00 PM

If I was going to buy one of those, I would opt for the Lee Valley. A low angle plane is always going to work better on end grain.

-- Dave, Colonie, NY

View ksSlim's profile


1276 posts in 2917 days

#5 posted 01-04-2013 02:06 PM

Low angle, super sharp and very light cut.
Result should be almost shiny end grain.

-- Sawdust and shavings are therapeutic

View Kreegan's profile


1452 posts in 2173 days

#6 posted 01-04-2013 03:24 PM

I have the Lie-Nielsen low angle adjustable mouth block plane. It works great on end grain. It is a bit pricey though. If I had it to do over again, I’d prolly go with the Veritas, largely because you can buy those optional grips for it and use it like a low angle #3.

View Purrmaster's profile


915 posts in 2120 days

#7 posted 01-04-2013 08:40 PM

You mean use it like a smoothing plane?

The Lie Nielsen I was looking at is also low angle. But it doesn’t have the adjustable mouth. Which may or may not matter. I don’t have enough plane experience to know.

View waho6o9's profile


8207 posts in 2604 days

#8 posted 01-04-2013 09:39 PM

I appreciate the fine machinery of my Veritas low angle block plane,

shaves as good as anything on the market me thinks.

Yeah buddy

View Francisco Luna's profile

Francisco Luna

943 posts in 3420 days

#9 posted 01-05-2013 10:38 AM

Block planes were not designed for end grain work BUT detailing work. There is a misconception. IF for some reason I’m in the field and the only tool I have at hand is a block pane, well, I’ll try it for endgrain work. But that is not the task the tool was designed for.

Much more mass is required and the help of devices like the “shooting Board”. The Mitre plane is the right tool for that task, history can’t be wrong!

-- Nature is my manifestation of God. I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day's work. I follow in building the principles which nature has used in its domain" Frank Lloyd Wright

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1567 posts in 3592 days

#10 posted 01-05-2013 10:53 AM

I own the Veritas low angle block, also just added the knob and tote and yes it works like a #3 smoothing plane. I would purchase this again.

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View Purrmaster's profile


915 posts in 2120 days

#11 posted 01-05-2013 09:36 PM

A miter plane is what you want to use for end grain then? I had always been under the impression that’s what block planes were for.

View TechRedneck's profile


768 posts in 2884 days

#12 posted 01-05-2013 09:51 PM

I have the Veritas LA block. It works fine on end grain when used with a shooting board.

A shooting board will keep the edge from blowing out. Keep the blade sharp.

The optional tote and knob are on my list.

-- Mike.... West Virginia. "Man is a tool using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.". T Carlyle

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1567 posts in 3592 days

#13 posted 01-05-2013 10:20 PM

If you will be using shooting boards then a low angle jack plane is an good choice for larger/wider boards or hard woods.

I have also seen the low angle block plane used although I haven’t tried this. It would probably work well on thinner stock. I found this at

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3675 days

#14 posted 01-05-2013 10:27 PM

Try working end grain with a standard bench plane with a finely
set, very sharp iron and a fine mouth. The mass of a
heavy plane body helps avoid chatter while also helping
the finely protruding iron to stay in he cut. Success
with planing end grain is not only a matter of bed angles.

With a shooting board as shown above, the low angle
jack plane has a friendlier design when holding it by
the sides because the high frog of a standard plane
is not in the way… and also the balance is nicer
that way with the weight of the iron and lever
cap concentrated so close to the sole.

View DKV's profile


3940 posts in 2531 days

#15 posted 01-06-2013 12:03 AM

Tim and Loren have the right idea. Weight, sharpness and shooting board. No better way to do end grain.

-- This is a Troll Free zone.

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