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  1. #1
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    Default Lie Neilsen or Veritas?

    I am wishing to purchase a small number of hand planes not necessarily all the same brand. I am looking at primarily performance and the quality of blade steel.
    I am considering a low angle Block and low angle Jack plane as well as a trimming plane.
    Does anyone have any suggestions as to who makes a superior plane in these 3 models?
    Many thanks in advance

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  3. #2
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    Veritas and Lie Nielsen both make premium tools. Both work extremely well. Either would satisfy you. However ...

    When you work with them alongside each other, what you have are Stanley designs built to the max but with the foibles of Stanley (LN), and Veritas designs, which are also built to the max but with better ergonomics. LN for the romantic, and Veritas for the modern user.

    Then there is the steel. No contest - Veritas is out a mile ahead with PM-V11. LN has A2, which works well but is still not in the same class.

    Block planes - read my review for an insight: Back to Tool Reviews



    LA Jack planes: I like both LN and Veritas. The Veritas is slightly wider (by 1/4") and the better plane for shooting. Again, it comes with PM-V11 and the LN with A2 steel. The Veritas also has a proper Norris blade adjuster, a depth stop for the mouth plate, side blade stops, and the LN has none of these.

    Trimming planes? I think that you mean side rebate planes? I have the LN set of right-and-left, which I purchased about 20 years ago. At that time Veritas did not have the set. I don't think that there is much to choose between the makes here. The LN adjusts with a trigger and the Veritas with a wheel.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek
    Visit www.inthewoodshop.com for tutorials on constructing handtools, handtool reviews, and my trials and tribulations with furniture builds.

  4. #3
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    The answer will depend on which criterias you use to judge superiority by. The following is my take on things but please take into account that it is coming from a novice and not an expert on handplanes.

    LN I would summarise as generally staying true to proven designs and taken up several notches in terms of quality of manufacture and materials used. Think of them as Stanley Bedrock planes on steroids. Their company motto is "Heirloom Quality Tools" and it is not a mere idle boast IMO. Their tools screams quality. Many say that the QuangSheng/Luban/WoodRiver planes are just as capable. I can neither confirm nor deny this as I've no experience with them. One thing I know for sure where they don't live up to is their resale value on the 2nd-hand market. I've seen many LN planes reach well over their RRP price even before the pandemic increased demand due to low availability.

    The Veritas planes I regard as being more innovative. I interpret their strategy as they want to produce the best performing plane and not necessarily the best-looking plane that will appeal to traditionalists and collectors. As such, their resale value doesn't seem to be as strong. Their strategy has resulted sometimes in just small additions/tweaks to a proven design, e.g. adding grub screws to limit the lateral movement of the blade, all the way to a "clean-paper" re-design. Their innovation has also extended to experimenting with blade steels. I don't know if they were the first to use PM-V11 blades but they've certainly popularised it. I, for one, am a fan and I'll choose the PM-V11 everytime given the option.

    To summarise, I prefer the classic look and heirloom quality of the LN planes but the first plane I bought was was the Veritas LA Jack which I chose over the LN version purely based on its feature set (above-mentioned grub screws; wider PM-V11 blade which is interchangeable with their BU Smoother and LA Jointer). Whilst the Veritas LA Jack remains my workhorse, I wished that I had the chance to compare both in hand before I made my decision. The one thing the spec sheets cannot tell you, nor anyone else for that matter, is how the plane feels in your hand. There's something about the LN planes that somehow feels better in my hand. And it's not just an ergonomic or comfort thing either. It's hard to put into words, but the LN planes somehow feel "special" when I pick it up. It could be just the Placebo Effect, but as wise member pointed out to me not too long ago, it doesn't matter if it's the Placebo Effect because the end result is still a positive one.

    IMO, the shooting planes from both companies perfectly encapsulate their different approaches. LN's version is a beefed up Stanley #51 and is so close to the original that it's even compatible with the original Stanley chute board (#52). The Veritas offering looks almost alien in comparison. They've gone for a grounds up design and added features absent from the LN and Stanley offering. They made the rear tote adjustable, included their blade locating grub screws, opted for a BU design (supposedly the lower angle is better for endgrain and it's why the original LAJ planes were sometimes called butcher block planes), made the mouth adjustable including a limiting stop to prevent the mouth from accidentally hitting the blade, and reshaped the lever grap to make it more ergonomic in case the user wants to grip the plane closer to the blade. IMO, it's an ingenious design.

    Apologies for the long-winded reply. The short version is: for the LAB, I reckon it's a tie (I own the LN); for the LAJ, brain says Veritas but the heart says LN (I own the Ver but would like to change to the LN); by trimmer I assume you mean a shooting plane. I own the Veritas and I'm very happy with it but I cannot say if it's better than the LN as I've no experience with it.

    Lastly, it looks like you're in Brisbane. In that case, you're welcome to come around and try out my LN LAB, Veritas LAJ, LN #5 1/2, and Veritas shooting plane. Or any of my other planes for that matter.


    Cheers,
    Mike

  5. #4
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    Mike, only Veritas sell PM-V11 steel. The name is Rob Lee's little joke ... PM stands for powder metal, V stands for Veritas, while 11 comes from Spinal Tap ("turn it up to 11").

    Before Veritas brought out their shooting plane I purchased the LN #51. Here is my review ...

    http://www.inthewoodshop.com/ToolRev...tingPlane.html

    Later, I worked with Lee Valley to road test their shooting plane, and one came to live with me. Here is a review ...

    http://www.inthewoodshop.com/ToolRev...tingPlane.html

    Regards from Perth

    Derek
    Visit www.inthewoodshop.com for tutorials on constructing handtools, handtool reviews, and my trials and tribulations with furniture builds.

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by derekcohen View Post
    Mike, only Veritas sell PM-V11 steel. The name is Rob Lee's little joke ... PM stands for powder metal, V stands for Veritas, while 11 comes from Spinal Tap ("turn it up to 11").

    Before Veritas brought out their shooting plane I purchased the LN #51. Here is my review ...

    http://www.inthewoodshop.com/ToolRev...tingPlane.html

    Later, I worked with Lee Valley to road test their shooting plane, and one came to live with me. Here is a review ...

    http://www.inthewoodshop.com/ToolRev...tingPlane.html

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

    Thanks Derek. I've visited your site several times and I've read pretty much all of your reviews. I find it to be a great source of information and I've learnt so much from your blogs. And I know that you were consulted by Rob during the development of some of his tools and we probably have you to thank for some of their refinements. So, thank you for your work and for sharing your knowledge and experience.

    As for the PM-V11, I suspected as much (not the Spinal Tap bit) but I wasn't sure enough to claim that only Veritas sells PM-V11 blades. Henry Eckert offer PM-V10 blades. I've only got their Rabbet Block Plane but I've not used it enough to feel qualified commenting on the qualities of the steel. It's the plane and not necessarily the steel that I've not taken a liking to.


    Cheers,
    Mike

  7. #6
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    Mike, the HE planes (marketed by David Eckert ... Henry is his son, who is about 12 years old) chose a name similar to Veritas' PM-V11 for obvious reasons. Their V10 steel is CPM-10V steel, as I understand. Not the same at all.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek
    Visit www.inthewoodshop.com for tutorials on constructing handtools, handtool reviews, and my trials and tribulations with furniture builds.

  8. #7
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tomartomau View Post
    I am wishing to purchase a small number of hand planes not necessarily all the same brand. I am looking at primarily performance and the quality of blade steel.
    I am considering a low angle Block and low angle Jack plane as well as a trimming plane.
    Does anyone have any suggestions as to who makes a superior plane in these 3 models?
    Many thanks in advance
    It really won't make any practical difference what you get. If you're at the beginning of this and you go deep, you'll go a different route at some point, but what you need is experience go find out what you do or don't like. Just get something decent - LN, LV or china made (luban or whatever) and start the incremental learning process to get familiar with the tools - and to get familiar with sharpening efficiently.

    The little bits that you'll see fascination with on the forums (which honing guide, which type of adjuster, which set screws or no set screws, etc) don't really amount to anything compared to you investing in getting in the middle of the process.

    I would add one thing to what you're doing - a cheap loupe or hand held scope to see the very edge of whatever you're sharpening. I have gotten a lot of tools from people to set up, refit, etc (not tools of this type, but wooden planes, some expensive or vintage, etc). I have received a tool that had a uniformly sharpened edge from only one person, and it was lacking a little in clearance (disregard that). It is so easy to sharpen well, but it's also so easy to sharpen a whole bunch of a blade other than the part that's hitting the wood first and wonder why things aren't working well. You don't have to sharpen to 1/4000th of a micron, either, you just need to complete the job and learn to do it relatively quickly so you don't avoid it.

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by derekcohen View Post
    Mike, the HE planes (marketed by David Eckert ... Henry is his son, who is about 12 years old) chose a name similar to Veritas' PM-V11 for obvious reasons. Their V10 steel is CPM-10V steel, as I understand. Not the same at all.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

    Wow.....I did not know that. I'm not sure whether I'd regard that as clever marketing or outright dishonesty. Going on how I feel upon hearing the news (slightly duped), I'm leaning towards the latter. I guess I have to shoulder part of the blame for not doing enough research, but in my defence I did make an effort by seeking feedback from owners of the plane. Perhaps I should have taken the lack of response as a sign of the plane's unpopularity and deduced that there must be a reason why. I would hope better coming from an Australian company. As the saying goes, "No good deed goes unpunished". I tried to do the right thing and support a local manufacturer, and this is what I get. Oh well, lesson learnt....

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by derekcohen View Post
    Mike, the HE planes (marketed by David Eckert ... Henry is his son, who is about 12 years old) chose a name similar to Veritas' PM-V11 for obvious reasons. Their V10 steel is CPM-10V steel, as I understand. Not the same at all.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek
    V11 is a little bit more practical for woodworkers - the free carbides are carbon and chromium - all can be cut with normal sharpening stones.

    if V10 is 10V steel, the only thing it should really be middle and finish sharpened with is diamonds - loose 1 micron diamonds in a honing guide would be a good idea for a beginner after a cheap imported diamond hone of 8x3-ish. Grinding will be a problem for beginners unless it's tempered soft on purpose. It's possible to sharpen vanadium steels slowly on softer abrasives, but the carbides in the steel matrix literally have to be broken at the edge. diamonds will cut right through them and leave a groove that looks like a plowed field without breaking them.

  11. #10
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    In answering your question PM-V11 without a doubt is the superior steel. As its specifically designed to hold an edge, but at the same time easier to sharpen compared to A2 blades.

    If however you're constantly working with Australian hardwoods, i'd go with an A2 blade as they hold their edge better.

  12. #11
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    If however you're constantly working with Australian hardwoods, i'd go with an A2 blade as they hold their edge better.
    Definitely not! See the Veritas shooting plane review, link above.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek
    Visit www.inthewoodshop.com for tutorials on constructing handtools, handtool reviews, and my trials and tribulations with furniture builds.

  13. #12
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    I just wanted to thank you all for your replies initially as I have a lot of gratitude for the overwhelming feedback. I will read them all thoroughly as there is a lot of valuable information and links to look at and I will post what I think is the best fit for me. Also, thank you for the offer to try the planes out, I will approach Carbatec first and see if I can try their display models first.

  14. #13
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    Default On Bevel upness or downness

    I saved this intensely illuminating video after it advised by another member.

    It is, or was to me, an excellent intro as to why the blade bevel is designed as it is. It also highlights some of the downfalls of BU planes.

    Personally I really like BU planes. They look modern and they fit my fat hands well. They pack away nicely and I enjoy to ease of setup. BUT these are personal, and probably not very rational!

    It also shows some of the reasoning behind the LN/V brigades and why each group may choose as they do (??).

    It would be wise to watch this vid:


  15. #14
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    I've found you can only glean so much from reviews and opinions of others. When you hold and use the tool yourself you'll know. Case in point I have a Veritas DX60 block plane that I almost never use, preferring the LN 102 I have it just fits the hand so much better.

    A common line of thinking on forums is LN for bench planes and Veritas for joinery planes, I mostly agree.

    Im have quite a few tools from each company and like most of them. The good thing about these two companies is that unless you get something quite obscure (chisel plane?) you are able to recover a good portion of your purchase price should find that something doesn't work for you.

    Happy shopping

    Rowan

  16. #15
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    Thanks everyone for your input. I make mainly boxes and some cabinets and drawers from time. to time. I don't profess to using hand tools for every stage of manufacturing as I use a stacked dado set for rebates, raised panels etc. I wouldn't use a scrub plane as I have a combo jointer/thicknesser. I however would like a kit that can help refine my joinery such as making joints flush, taking small amounts off rabbets etc.
    I have watched the bevel up vs down also.
    So far, as currently owning a Stanley no3, I like it's size but I don't hear a lot about that size, so I am prepared to purchase these as to compliment my woodworking;
    Bull nose plane(to clean up rabbets both along and cross the grain)
    No 3 Bench Plane
    Block Plane (to break edges) and tidy up.

    Stock is really low at Carbatec and Lie Neilsen website seems not operational.
    Money is not really an issue, I just want to get the purchase decision right and not purchase things I don't need.
    The Bull nose plane from Veritas, the front can be removed from what I have read and can get right up into corners.

    Any further advice is appreciated and thank you all again.

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