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Forum topic by Posty posted 12-14-2013 03:02 PM 1458 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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67 posts in 1971 days

12-14-2013 03:02 PM

So obviously Christmas is coming and also my birthday is two days befor Christmas. So with that in mind I am able to get myself some larger priced items and the wife doesn’t have a problem with it. I have been getting into hand tools a lot more lately and I want to get myself some nice hand tools. Question I have is I have been looking at getting a low angle jack plane, either lei neilson, veritas or stanley sweetheart. Now with the stanley it is cheap enough to also get some saws or other hand tools. But with the lei neilson and veritas once I get the plane and an extra blade that’s pretty much all I would be getting. Does anyone have the stanley low angle jack and if so do you think it contends wih the premium versions? I would love to get some input as I am the kind of person that finds it hard to make up my mind without good persuasion. Thanks

16 replies so far

View Marcus's profile


1165 posts in 2260 days

#1 posted 12-14-2013 03:13 PM

Not an exact answer to your question, but I’ve never regretted a LN purchase and cannot say the same for stanley and veritas planes.

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2848 posts in 3678 days

#2 posted 12-14-2013 03:26 PM

One of these higher end planes is certainly worth it. But if that’s all you’re going to have to work with after then consider a Stanley, or on craigslist, a used stanley in good condition. Tuned up it will work well as they have for woodworkers for decades. Will it feel like a cadillac? Probably not, but you can still get there with your chevy and feel like you had a decent ride.

After that, you might have some cash to purchase a few other items you’re definitely going to need.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View a1Jim's profile


117420 posts in 3818 days

#3 posted 12-14-2013 03:29 PM

Go with your first inclination .

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View lepelerin's profile


495 posts in 2566 days

#4 posted 12-14-2013 03:42 PM

I only have one Veritas Low angle BU smoother (since this year) and love it. LN is ridiculously way over priced for my budget and in general IMHO. I got my Stanley #4,5,6 second hand for $40, I restored them. Simple as that and I’ve been very happy with them. Stanley have been around for years.
There are some planes experts on this forum, so maybe they will be more suited than me to answer your question.

However this is not the brand that makes fine works. Look at some really fine furniture makers out there and they do not all use LN, Veritas, .... Many years ago those brands were not there and see the quality of the produced work. This branding stuff seems to me more of a marketing strategy than anything else. Like a Must have or the ultimate … BS .

Good luck in your purchase.

View RaggedKerf's profile


425 posts in 2361 days

#5 posted 12-14-2013 03:51 PM

Don’t forget to look into WoodRiver. They are the sleeper here….yes they are made in China but I don’t think you will find better quality vs. price. Especially the latest models. I have the jackcplane and LOVE it. I did a review of it a while back and would link but I’m on my cell phone….

-- Steve

View TheWoodenOyster's profile


1317 posts in 2176 days

#6 posted 12-14-2013 04:17 PM

From my experience, LN planes are worth the money. When it comes to planes, you very much get what you pay for. That being said, your time is worth money, so rehabbing old planes adds value. I have never used a Veritas plane, so I cannot really speak for them. But, I have used millers falls, stanley, and LN. They all perform as you would expect based on their price. The Millers Falls works alright, the Stanley works good, and the LN works great. I know how to tune up a plane and I know how to sharpen an iron. Some people will claim that you can get LN quality out of an old rusty Stanley. I never have gotten those results and it isn’t because I’m an idiot. A rehabbed stanley will perform about 90% as well as a LN.

So in conclusion, you can make lots of different planes work well. If you want to spend twice as much for a LN, you will get that extra 10% of optimal performance. LN is not a must have, but it is by no means just a marketing stunt. I have never heard anyone say they regretted buying a LN.

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3889 days

#7 posted 12-14-2013 04:55 PM

You’ll get used to working with whatever you have. I have a couple
of L-N planes, including the low angle jack. Honestly, I don’t
understand why a lot of folks are enamored with the low
angle jack. I’ve grant you that it’s not too heavy, has a
low center of gravity and it’s very well made in the premium
version. If you want to mess with sharpening the iron to
steeper angles, ok, but be aware that the standard angle
it comes with causes tearout on most woods. If you
don’t mind switching out blades, fine. The adjustable mouth
doesn’t really compensate for the lack of a chipbreaker.

Now all that said, the plane feels good in the hands and
the frog isn’t in the way of using the plane on its side.

I’m not anti-low angle. I plan on getting a low angle jointer
sooner or later which I’ll probably leave set up with something
like a 38 degree bevel on the iron. I do like the way the
low angle jack balances on the edge of a board and this
is why I think I might like the jointer.

View JohnChung's profile


416 posts in 2315 days

#8 posted 12-14-2013 05:19 PM

I have a LV LAJ plane. It is worth it and a better plane compared to the current models. Try to get all the blade configurations. It would allow u to handle more situations.

That being said. What is your current project? If it is a small box a block plane would suit you better.

View JohnChung's profile


416 posts in 2315 days

#9 posted 12-14-2013 05:23 PM

As to the price of Veritas and LN well….... It is expensive period. But if you want quality tools and just
want to forget tweaking with old planes then go for it.

I have a mix of Veritas and LN down to Stanley and cheap chisels. It is generally your budget and work needs :) But I would spend more money of wet stones if money was an issue. Stones are #1 on my list then tools. No matter how good the tool is, we always need sharp tools.

View Posty's profile


67 posts in 1971 days

#10 posted 12-14-2013 06:25 PM

Thanks for all the replies. My projects are small to medium. I have a groz small block plane and a Stanley. They work good as long as I keep them sharp. I have been wanting one of the low angle jacks due to its versatility and ability to just change out a blade for a different purpose. I have leaned towards the veritas due to the set screws and if I purchase the other smoother down the road I can interchange blades. This plane is going to be my go to plane for most jobs and I plan on getting the other smoother for fine finishing. I also have a good sharpening system and am going to be getting a worksharp 3000 and doing the mods that stumpy has come up with. I also like not having to mess with ch up breakers or adjustable frogs. One less thing to mess with when fully cleaning or tuning. I have rehabbed a couple of planes and that is the reason why I want a premium plane, it was a lot of work and just seems like after all the work I put into them there is still a little room for improvement but I cringe when I think of working those planes even more. It’s hard on the hands.

View lepelerin's profile


495 posts in 2566 days

#11 posted 12-14-2013 09:24 PM

“They work good as long as I keep them sharp …” ... Sorry but it made me laugh.
Veritas , LN, or whatever brand … a plane will only be good as long as you keep the blade sharp.

View Tim's profile


3812 posts in 2202 days

#12 posted 12-15-2013 12:58 AM

As far as I can tell, LN tools are cheaper than vintage Stanley tools were when they were new. Vintage Stanleys cost a week’s wage or more for the average laborer. You will have to eventually be able to tune any new premium plane too as they will wear and get dull as leperlin said. But it does take some time and patience to learn how to tune them.

Also the reviews on the new Stanley Sweetheart reissue planes are mostly pretty bad. Not horrible, but not a great value for the money they are asking.

View Posty's profile


67 posts in 1971 days

#13 posted 12-15-2013 06:27 AM

Thanks guys. I have settled on the veritas. It has some nice features and the blades can be fitted to their other low angle smoother.

View JohnChung's profile


416 posts in 2315 days

#14 posted 12-15-2013 11:24 AM

@posty- If you are going got the LV Jack buy all the blade configuration including the tooth blade. It has saved me many times. Enjoy your shavings this Christmas…..

View bigblockyeti's profile


5319 posts in 1961 days

#15 posted 12-15-2013 01:01 PM

My father bought me a Veritas #4 smoothing plane for Christmas a few years ago and it’s one of the best tools in my shop, ranks right up there with my Unisaw! The Lie Neilson stuff is more expensive, but having not used any of it personally, I cannot contest the additional cost, though I can imagine it would be difficult to beat Veritas by as much more as the price suggests. I have found zero faults with my plane and look forward to getting a #6 or bevel up jointer sometime in the hopefully not too distant future.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

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