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A2 Plane Blades- Am I the only one who doesn't like 'em?

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Forum topic by BigRedKnothead posted 03-19-2013 05:51 PM 1140 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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BigRedKnothead

5376 posts in 678 days


03-19-2013 05:51 PM

Topic tags/keywords: plane blade

Surely I’m not. I’ve wrestled with a some A2 blades, both Hock and Veritas, I just don’t like them. Difficult to sharpen. Don’t get as sharp. Tend to chip and get toothy.
Not crazy about the square top on the Hock, but their O2 blades seem to give me the best results. Even better than Veritas O2. Just curious if I was the only one.

-- Red -- "That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse." W. Whitman


11 replies so far

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Don W

15278 posts in 1263 days


#1 posted 03-19-2013 05:54 PM

I haven’t tried the A2. I just can’t buy into the hype. I’ve heard to many story’s like yours. I just ordered 3 O1 Hock irons for my new infills. I want to try an A2, I’m just not committed enough to buy one.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

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Loren

7743 posts in 2343 days


#2 posted 03-19-2013 06:13 PM

I think I have an A2 iron in a Knight Toolworks plane I bought
many years ago. I concur that the steel is hard to sharpen.
Mine is frozen or something…. I don’t recall chipping to
be a problem. I don’t use the plane much – it’s at York
pitch so it’s kind of for special occasions.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

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Jorge G.

1526 posts in 1171 days


#3 posted 03-19-2013 06:26 PM

You are not alone, I hate all of mine and wish I had gone for the O2 blades. If you get an A2 blade where the back is not flat, you are in for a lot of grief. I rather have a softer steel that you just hone on a frequent basis than these A2 that take forever to sharpen.

-- To surrender a dream leaves life as it is — and not as it could be.

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Don W

15278 posts in 1263 days


#4 posted 03-19-2013 06:38 PM

Now see what you’ve started!!

:-)

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

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OggieOglethorpe

904 posts in 806 days


#5 posted 03-19-2013 06:46 PM

I like them on my most often used bench planes. I have a simple, repeatable sharpening setup, and I like the longevity of the edge. I haven’t seen a chipping issue.

On the other hand, I greatly prefer O1 for chisels for the extra sharp edge I can keep touching up, as well as specialty plane irons I need to freehand sharpen.

Since A2 irons usually only come with premium planes, if I bought a new plane, and an A2 iron came with a back that wasn’t flat, I’d probably return it.

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doorslammer

104 posts in 2265 days


#6 posted 03-19-2013 07:04 PM

+1 for me. O1 may give up a little in edge retention, but is super easy to sharpen and gets a keener edge IMO. When trying to sharpen A2 on fine grit water stones, they just seemed “gummy” to me.

-- Aaron in TN -http://www.amwellsfurniture.com

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BigRedKnothead

5376 posts in 678 days


#7 posted 03-19-2013 09:20 PM

Appreciate the feedback guys. I had a feeling I wasn’t the only one. I have A2 blades on both the Veritas planes I received this winter. I almost sent them back until I realized it was just the blades I didn’t like.
I think they lure us in with “stays sharp longer.” I don’t mind sharpening a little more often if its quick and easy. Not sure what I’ll do when I buy a really nice set of chisels one day;-)

-- Red -- "That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse." W. Whitman

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Brandon

4144 posts in 1647 days


#8 posted 03-19-2013 09:37 PM

PMV11? :-)

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

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BigRedKnothead

5376 posts in 678 days


#9 posted 03-19-2013 11:30 PM

Right Brandon, I wanted to try PMV11, but they were on back order when I got my planes. And they don’t offer PMV11 for Bailey’s blades yet.

-- Red -- "That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse." W. Whitman

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paratrooper34

760 posts in 1647 days


#10 posted 03-20-2013 01:17 AM

I have two A2 blades. One was a replacement Veritas blade for my Record T-5 that I used on a shooting board. The factory blade did not hold an edge for very long, especially when using hard woods. The A2 blade holds an edge much, much better. It was a pain in the butt to lap the back and it took a little longer to get an edge on it. But after I got it done, it held up well and with stropping between uses, it even further stretches time between honing and I find it is a good upgrade.

My new LN 51 has an A2 blade and it was easy to lap the back on it. Obviously, the LN blade is better quality in that regard. It was pretty easy to sharpen as well as all it required was a microbevel.

Having said that, all my other bench planes have factory or Hock O1 blades and I am fine with them. I see no reason to upgrade to A2 for those planes.

-- Mike

View nwbusa's profile

nwbusa

1017 posts in 982 days


#11 posted 03-20-2013 01:46 AM

Most of my Veritas planes have the A2 blades. I like them. They sharpen up with acceptable ease on my DMT diamond plates, and they hold an edge very well. Understandably, my irons didn’t need much lapping to get them flat, but even the little bit I did do wasn’t that bad.

-- John, BC, Canada

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