Lie-Nielsen 102 Low Angle Block Plane?

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Forum topic by Willeh posted 01-18-2013 12:23 AM 13612 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Willeh's profile


228 posts in 2517 days

01-18-2013 12:23 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question plane

Looking at picking up a decent block plane to replace the POS Home Depot Stanley block plane (That does not have any sort of adjustment) that i am currently struggling with..

Read the article in Fine Woodworking recently that proclaimed the LN 102 to be the best overall and best value above the LN 60 1/2 and a couple of the veritas planes.

I like the idea of its small size, I also like the price at $115.

The FWW article mentions that while it doesnt have an adjustable mouth, it doesnt really need it anyways, it performs just as good as the ones that do.

Just wanted to ask your opinion, since there doesnt seem to be any reviews on them on LJs.

Should I buy or should I look elsewhere?

-- Will, Ontario Canada. "I can do fast, cheap and good, but you can only pick two... "

21 replies so far

View bobasaurus's profile


3539 posts in 3362 days

#1 posted 01-18-2013 12:30 AM

I would lean towards getting one with an adjustable mouth. It really makes all the difference when planing weird grain. The Veritas LA block plane (with adjustable mouth) is $140… I have one and it is fantastic.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View mbs's profile


1657 posts in 3118 days

#2 posted 01-18-2013 12:32 AM

I have the veritas too and I like it. I haven’t used the LN before

-- Sorry the reply is so long. I didn't have time to write a short reply.

View bladedust's profile


209 posts in 2444 days

#3 posted 01-18-2013 01:03 AM

I have the LN 60 1/2 and the 102. Both are great and do exactly what they’re supposed to do. I can’t speak to the need of adjustable mouth since I haven’t had an opportunity to use the 102 on extremely figured wood yet.

If you decide on the 102, they make a less expensive version made out of iron for $95. Either way, you can’t go wrong with a LN or Veritas, both great products.

-- ok, is it cut once measure twice, cut twice measure once???? I know....I'll just keep cutting until it's long enough.

View JohnChung's profile


416 posts in 2252 days

#4 posted 01-18-2013 03:07 PM

If this is your first block plane, I would go for an adjustable low angle block plane. The adjustable mouth is
critical for minimizing tearout. For high figured wood, the bevel HELPS too.

LN 102 is an apron plane. I don’t own it and can work with my LV std. block plane. If you intend to do A LOT of trimming an apron plane is well suitable. Block plane not quite.

View mandatory66's profile


202 posts in 2309 days

#5 posted 01-20-2013 06:32 AM

I have both the LN 601/2 and the iron 102. I just purchased the 102 about 3 weeks ago & have been using it an a cabinet of drawers I am currently making. The 102 is quite a bit smaller than the 601/2 but I find that I reach for it more often than the 601/2. It’s a pleasure to use.

View paratrooper34's profile


915 posts in 3130 days

#6 posted 01-20-2013 11:36 AM

Willeh, I suggest LN’s rabbet block plane, which is more versatile than the 102. It can do anything a block plane would be used for plus, it can handle some joinery tasks such as cleaning up tenons and making rabbets. The 102 is a nice little plane, but since it has a curved sole and a blade that does not extend to the outside of the sole, it is limited in its applications.

You are correct in stating you do not need an adjustable mouth on a block plane. Sorry guys, I just don’t see it. I never use a block plane for smoothing tasks and a sharp blade takes care of anything I ever ask it to do. I guess if you use a block plane for smoothing, you might want an adjustable mouth. But for common block plane tasks, an adjustable mouth isn’t required.

-- Mike

View hokieman's profile


191 posts in 3932 days

#7 posted 01-20-2013 04:05 PM

Ditto on what paratrooper advises. I have the same plane and it can do everything the 102 can and more. Yes, you don’t have an adjustable mouth (which is nice) but it can do a lot more than your general block plane. As for Lie Nielsen, theor quality is unsurpassed and their customer service is outstanding. When buying a toll get the best.

View JohnChung's profile


416 posts in 2252 days

#8 posted 01-20-2013 04:09 PM

Hokieman, could you elaborate on this statement?
“Yes, you don’t have an adjustable mouth (which is nice) but it can do a lot more than your general block plane.

I am not sure what this statement is referring too.

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3337 days

#9 posted 01-20-2013 04:10 PM

You’d have to pry my LN rabbet block plane from my cold, dead hands.

-- jay,

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3337 days

#10 posted 01-20-2013 04:14 PM

John…he means that with the rabbet block plane, you can use it to clean up material all the way the shoulder, much like a shoulder plane…sometimes even on the shoulder itself. So in many cases, it functions as both a large shoulder plane and a regular block plane. There a few times when I opt for my no. 92, but if the LN can do the same job, I choose it, largely because I never like the feel of the 92 in my hands.

-- jay,

View JohnChung's profile


416 posts in 2252 days

#11 posted 01-20-2013 04:29 PM

Ah, I got it now. The rabbet block plane is a versatile tool. Could even be used for shooting IF fitted with a jig on the side of the plane. I own a shoulder plane so at times I do combine it with a block plane when cleaning up the tenon.

View Dan's profile


3630 posts in 3058 days

#12 posted 01-24-2013 06:38 PM

I have the LN #102 and I love it… The mouth not being adjustable is no issue at all. I can get ultra fine shavings from my LN 102 with the mouth the way it is

This is my go to block plane and I wouldn’t want to be without it. Perfect size and fit for one hand use.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3826 days

#13 posted 01-24-2013 06:55 PM

I rarely use a block plane. Usually just for making small
chamfers if I don’t want to go to the trouble of clamping
the work. With a block plane I hold the board in one
hand and chamfer with the other.

I almost always reach for a #4 or a #5. I’ll use the #4
with one hand too sometimes though it gets heavy
to hold that way if there is a lot of work.

In terms of block planes, I love my old Knuckle cap
block planes. They serve just fine. The Stanleys
have a better design than the others like Millers
Falls because my pinkie doesn’t get caught in the cap.

View LeChuck's profile


424 posts in 3240 days

#14 posted 01-24-2013 08:59 PM

I have a Craftsman/Stanley #65, and personally, I really don’t like the knuckle cap. I think it makes it a real pain to keep the blade straight when putting it back in place. I need a smaller block plane myself and was really interested in the Lie Nielsen 102, but after seeing that the equivalent plane from Veritas (apron plane) has a lateral adjustment, I will probably be going for that one.

-- David - Tucson, AZ

View Dan's profile


3630 posts in 3058 days

#15 posted 01-24-2013 09:42 PM

LeChuck- I agree with you on the knuckle cap. The knuckle cap on my Stanley #18 is kind of a pain to snap down because it does as you said it moves the iron.

On the other hand my Stanley #65 has a knuckle cap that is designed a little different and I have no problems with that one.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

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