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Forum topic by sandhill posted 12-14-2008 08:03 AM 3811 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2128 posts in 3917 days

12-14-2008 08:03 AM

Topic tags/keywords: veritas spokeshave lie-nielsen stanly

Can anyone tell me what the difference is between Stanly, LIE-NIELSEN or VERITAS spokeshaves besides the big price difference? I am finding that I want to start putting curves into some of my designs and I guess this is the tool that will do the job. Can anyone fill in the blanks and mysteries of this tool?

11 replies so far

View Catspaw's profile


236 posts in 3809 days

#1 posted 12-14-2008 02:15 PM

What’s the difference between a piece of wood that has been roughed out by machine, then finished by hand and one that has been completely done by hand? Once the hand work goes through the surface left by the machine, the finished surface is exactly the same. But the machine roughed piece will probably be cheaper. Some people think the one done all by hand is worth more because someone toiled and sweated to get there and there is something fundamentally symbolic about it. bah humbug.

Unless you know the exact composition of the steel and know that one knife has particularly better steel than another or the geometry of the knife to the handles or something is better or one blade was “hand-forged” and the other machine made, I’d say there is no difference.

I have no experience with those brand names of drawknives. Mine is an old, old fold-up. My modern Stanley hand plane is really, really good. I’ve used LN planes and they’re really good too. But I’m not sure spending a fortune on one is does anything for me except releived me of more money and some sort of bragging rights.

-- arborial reconfiguration specialist

View motthunter's profile


2141 posts in 3792 days

#2 posted 12-14-2008 02:24 PM

it is about the best blade, angle, stability, and of course usability.

All of the above work. The steel blades by LN and Veritas are better and hold an edge longer.. but it is comparing things with only slight differences.

-- making sawdust....

View Loren's profile (online now)


10372 posts in 3641 days

#3 posted 12-14-2008 09:49 PM

I’ve done a fair amount of work with spokeshaves. They are
best suited to working with riven wood – like wheel spokes!

Spokeshave is just one tool of several I use for curved work.
Good rasps, microplanes, and files are the most useful in
many ways to get a scraper-ready finish.

How rough hacking-out of the shape I use drawknives. I have
a micro-drawknife made by a fine blacksmith and it’s really a nice

I usually only break out a spokeshave if the grain is giving me
trouble and I’m making a mess of it with the drawknife. The
spokeshave serves as an intermediary tool between knife-work
and rasp-work.

I have a “chair scrape” too which is tool that looks like a spokeshave
with a 90 degree scraper blade in it.

The main thing with curves is to get the curve right without a lot
of tear-out. As closer to the final shape I use the files and scrapers
much more than the bladed tools because I don’t want tear-out.

Some woodworkers don’t like the cast-iron spokeshaves and prefer
the ones like the old wood-pattern ones. The presentation of the
edge to the work is different but the old ones may take a bit
more skill to set the depth right. You can probably get ones made
in Asia cheaply these days. Antiques usually have pitted blades
and that’s a hassle in this case.

I would steer you away from the costly boutique spokeshaves because
for the same amount of money you could get several tools that will
help you make nice sanding-ready curves.

View Planeman's profile


97 posts in 3571 days

#4 posted 12-15-2008 08:56 PM

“I would steer you away from the costly boutique spokeshaves because for the same amount of money you could get several tools that will help you make nice sanding-ready curves”

I’ll have to agree with Loren on this statement. If the edge is sharp, the blade setting is good (blade angle, gap, etc.), and the arrangement is rigid, you should be able to do a good job comfortably. Generally the “boutique” tools are pretty to look at and will do a very nice job, but a middle of the line tool will do the same job just as well if it is carefully sharpened and set correctly. The boutique tools usually come very sharp and the setting is carefully checked. Often the middle of the line tools need to be sharpened further and some attention needs to payed to the setting. And don’t dismiss the Chinese stuff. Inspect it carefully as to how well it is designed and made though. I am always a little suspect of the cutting blade steel quality of Chinese tools, however I must say I have sometimes found the blades better and sharper than the more expensive tools. I guess if I was making a living with or using a tool every day I might be moved to pay the price of a boutique tool, but probably not.


-- Always remember half of the people in this country are below average.

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3578 days

#5 posted 12-15-2008 09:22 PM

I f you want a fancy name on a tool and brass where steel would do and you need to tell the world you can affaord the best, then buy the most expensive you can buy.However if you just want a good job then buy the best one for the job. I suppose its a bit like a bic biro and a mont blanc pen they both write ok so if you must impress the world that you are wealthy then go ahead and do so otherwise buy sensibly.Also I do a bit or a lot of woodturning but I see gizmos and gadgets coming out all the time and I have bought too uinwisely but no more do I really need all those sharpening angle widgets no certainly not do we need all the labour saving new devices most of which are plain daft??? no! no! no!. Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 3917 days

#6 posted 12-17-2008 12:48 AM

Thanks everyone. Stanly it is I think around $17.00. I would rather spend the extra money on wood. LOL

View gr8outdrsmn's profile


60 posts in 3446 days

#7 posted 12-17-2008 02:16 AM

I was just about to ask this question when I saw this thread pop up at the top, haha. Thanks for asking it, and thanks for the info.

-- Don't take life too seriously, you'll never get out alive.

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 3917 days

#8 posted 12-17-2008 08:50 AM

I came across another thread here after I posted this that was very informitive on the same topic.

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4024 posts in 4057 days

#9 posted 12-17-2008 04:46 PM

I favor the Veritas Low-Angle at about 70 bucks, as you can flip the sole for work with curvy-ier work. Innovative design and more bang for the buck=Veritas.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View mmh's profile


3676 posts in 3715 days

#10 posted 12-17-2008 05:46 PM

I’m liking the Veritas as it has a nice feel. As long as the model you get has two extra dial type screws to help adjust the blade along with the basic screw, as I am having difficulty resetting the blade on the Kunz curved spokeshave that does not have these. If you have the funds for the Veritas or Lie-Nelsen, I’d go for them, but for economy sake, I would vote for a Stanley with two adjustable screws. I can understand the $$ issue and wanting more wood. Maybe Santa will give you a V or LN if you’re good (or really good when you’re “Bad”).

As for machine vs. hand work, speed and easy is always a benefit but then the noise can be a real issue. If I have the luxury of time and energy, I will use more hand tools as they give more pleasure in the task and you can shape intricate areas with more subtle curves but alas, it does take more effort. I’m not a purist, so I do use power tools, but it’s also a Zen thing. It’s not just the end result, but the journey to the destination. If you have the choice, then you can chose one or the other, or both. What ever you do, enjoy the journey.

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View Harold's profile


310 posts in 3841 days

#11 posted 12-17-2008 06:06 PM

The quality of the steel used in the blade is the major factor, I would suggest the lee valley spokeshave kits as the most economical way to get a excellent tool. It will also be “your” tool, shaped to your hand as well as your specific need.

-- If knowledge is not shared, it is forgotten.

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