Faithfull Hand Planes. What's the Catch?

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Forum topic by Benvolio posted 04-06-2013 12:26 AM 6877 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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144 posts in 929 days

04-06-2013 12:26 AM

So these planes have patchy reviews on the net but what’s there is generally positive.

The description on the manufacturers say the sole is machined flat and the sides square.

The problem is: all these planes seem suspiciously cheap (£62 for a jointer: – £35 for a number 4). Also sold in suspiciously unwoodworkery outlets like amazon.

So what’s the catch? What is it I’m missing? Would this plane coupled with an upgraded iron perform like the noble Wood River?

Or if I ordered it, would I be disappointed? Like an iron ingot falling through my letterbox with `some assembly required` stamped on the side.

I mean, I know there’ll be no bedrock adjustment and I’m sure the cap iron & frog will need a good flatten, but really, compared to similar tools of the same price bracket (I’m thinking Silverline) that are just unusable – how does this plane come across so well?



-- Ben, England.

5 replies so far

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1286 posts in 1996 days

#1 posted 04-06-2013 04:12 AM

I imagine it would probably be just fine assuming you would spend some time getting it tuned up. I don’t know if it has an adjustable frog but even if it doesn’t, it should perform quite well. I have yet to see a plane that would not work as long as it held the iron firmly and the iron was sharp.

There are some quite wonderful planes available today. Perhaps the best that have ever been made. That said, a plane is just a jig to hold an iron at a set orientation. About the only real performance gain for any plane was the invention of the adjustable mouth. (And arguably a chip breaker)

There is a lot of marketing hype in planes going back to the time when professionally made planes were first introduced. The Bailey pattern planes worked quite well but marketing dictated that people with discerning tastes must really need a Bedrock. Even the metallic planes themselves were marketed to replace those wooden planes that had performed perfectly well for the previous few hundreds of years.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

View reggle's profile


40 posts in 1242 days

#2 posted 04-10-2013 01:49 AM

when i was at collage i used the faithful no4 and it was pretty good. i think just like the new Stanley planes you just gotta tune em up to get good results .faithfull also do some good marking and measuring equipment.

-- reggle/england/Nothing like a good piece of hickory

View CharlieM1958's profile


16048 posts in 3216 days

#3 posted 04-10-2013 02:42 AM

I don’t claim to be an expert… only an observer.

In all the reviews I’ve read of really expensive planes, the only advantages they seem to have are that they are prettier, and they perform perfectly right out of the box. If you don’t mind a little setup work, you’ll probably be perfectly satisfied with a Faithful.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View RussellAP's profile


3046 posts in 1284 days

#4 posted 04-10-2013 02:56 AM

I agree with Charlie, and would add that they are machined to precision as well. That’s the money right there.

These Faithful planes look an awful lot like the old Baileys, did someone buy an expired patent and find a Chinese company to mill the steel? We wonders.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View Loren's profile


7967 posts in 2646 days

#5 posted 04-10-2013 03:21 AM

You can’t find used planes?

Planes are not that complicated. I can make one in a couple of
hours out of wood and do fine work with it. Of course I
know you are just starting out so making your own is
not a good suggestion.

It looks like the faithfuls might be copies of later Record

Baileys and Bedrocks have been out of patent for decades.
Making iron planes requires a lot of setup and industrial
commitment, so the marketing power has to be there
to sell 1000s of units.

Honestly, 62 pounds sterling is like $100, which is twice
what I can buy a used Bailey #7 with a chipped tote in
the states for. I know you have VAT and all that and that
people in N. America have it easy in terms of tool pricing.

Still, I look at used machinery in the UK often on ebay
and it looks to me like there’s an abundance of good
used tools there (I lived there as a teenager but wasn’t
interested in tools at the time).


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