Stanley gets delivered,.... Stanley gets returned.

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Blog entry by Rick Boyett posted 10-13-2010 03:14 PM 2193 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

In my last posting, I said that I had ordered a new Stanley Sweetheart No 62 low angle jack plane. I was really looking forward to testing this and putting it into the regular rotation for my hand tools.

Unfortunately the plane that was sent to me had issues right out of the box. Mostly cosmetic. Among the issues were:

1. Tote was loose and had a small crack.
2. Paint was peeling off the base of the plane from under the tote.
3. Paint pealed off the base and stuck to the cap.
4. Flaws in the body (or perhaps the paint) behind the tote.
5. Cap is aluminum and felt kinda flimsy. The cap screw bottoms out when securing the blade.
6. Paint is peeling off the bottom of the cap.

I did try the plane out for a while but I ended up sending ti back to I feel like this isn’t one of the planes that was made before Stanley addressed their QC issues.

I will say this in its favor.

The sole of the plane was flat. REALLY flat. I used a precision straight edge and feeler gauge to test it out. I couldn’t get a 0.0015 feeler gauge under the straight edge.

The mouth of the plane closed completely when the blade was deployed. There have been complaints in the past that the mouth wouldn’t close. It simply isn’t the case here.

It performed pretty well out of the box. I got some nice shavings from black walnut. I’m sure I could have gotten even better if I had fully tuned the plane. The blade was pretty sharp, right out of the box, but I know I could have honed it more for a better cut. Also, I didn’t test the flatness of the blade.

Past reviews have mentioned that the integrated frog has machining issues that led to the blade having a skew. I had the same problem with Stanley’s no 9 1/2 block plane. There were no such issues on this plane…

I’m not writing a full review because I didn’t fully test the plane. Also, I feel that this is probably one of the flawed planes that Stanley originally released. I also think there is a chance I got a refurb’ed plane from Amazon.

So I think my recommendation here is “buyer beware”. I suspect that these early planes are still out on the market. I haven’t heard anything about Stanley recalling these early planes. It would probably be best to buy the plane from a retail outlet so you can check the plane out before hand. Otherwise, it is probably best to buy a Veritas. That’s what I’m planning to do…

BTW, you can see photos of the plane on my flickr page.

9 comments so far

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 4454 days

#1 posted 10-13-2010 03:37 PM

thank´s for the update Rick
I gess we just have to wait a while before we find the answer from Stanley…LOL


View swirt's profile


7133 posts in 4310 days

#2 posted 10-13-2010 03:44 PM

That’s disappointing. Do you know if this was directly through amazon or was it a secondary seller on Amazon?

Looking at the photos it struck me that indeed the painting looked like some kind of rush job and the plane was assembled before the paint cured fully. The other thing that struck me was the grain direction on the tote ... no wonder it cracked, it was purely horizontal. Stanley started making this plane in 1905… it is not like they just jumped into the plane business yesterday. All of the totes on my pre-war stanleys all have diagonal grain for strength. How is it possible that a company 100 years later has completely forgotten that and other lessons of plane design. Just plain lazy or foolish…not sure which.

-- Galootish log blog,

View Canadian Woodworks's profile

Canadian Woodworks

702 posts in 4408 days

#3 posted 10-13-2010 03:53 PM

The world is messed up when a company makes a product for 100yrs and it gets worse….. kinda sad actually.

-- Paul Lemiski, Ontario Canada, Custom Wooden Rocking chairs and tables

View doorslammer's profile


108 posts in 4908 days

#4 posted 10-13-2010 04:35 PM

To me there’s just not that much more of a leap in price to go to the Veritas or LN and be much more confident in the quality.

-- Aaron in TN -

View Rick Boyett's profile

Rick Boyett

167 posts in 4551 days

#5 posted 10-13-2010 05:07 PM

@swirt I ordered directly through Amazon for $151.89. Fortunately making returns to Amazon is stupidly easy.. :)

@doorslammer: Tru Dat. I was hoping that Stanley would be offering a very good value here. Maybe they do with the QC fixes but those older tools appear to still be out there. I’m going to go ahead and order a Veritas low angle jack plane. I’ve been wanting one for my shooting board.

View swirt's profile


7133 posts in 4310 days

#6 posted 10-13-2010 10:50 PM

Interesting. The one listed on Amazon right now for that price is sold through Hartville Tool

While the others I see on Amazon ship from Rockler or from Global Industrial

Makes me wonder if one seller is more likely to have “fresher versions” of the plane than other sellers.

It would be nice if Stanley makes an improvement to a line such that one run is better than another if they could label it as such. V2 V3 etc They wouldn’t want bad experiences with V1 mucking up sales of future versions.

As Paul said, it is sad when a company makes a product for 100 years and gets worse at it.

This company had all the resources to get the new release of these right the first time, but couldn’t be bothered to get it right. Forgiveable with a small startup company that might lack the resources …. just plain stupid with huge corporation like Stanley.

-- Galootish log blog,

View jim C's profile

jim C

1472 posts in 4437 days

#7 posted 10-14-2010 02:55 AM

A quote

“The world is messed up when a company makes a product for 100yrs and it gets worse….. kinda sad actually.”

Maybe because the politicians that WE elected, messed us up, and because of our malaise, allowed them to ship our industries abroad, we are saddled with offerings of inferior products that reflect our now empty wallets.
If I ran Stanley, I would offer what they are producing now,(for those with limited funds) as well as an “elite” brand that would rival Festool/Bosch and the products Stanley was famous for in the “old days” for those that choose to spend on total quality.
These days, I only buy quality tools made in the U.S. (whats available like Klein) or German/Swiss/Japanese.

View Marc5's profile


304 posts in 4681 days

#8 posted 10-14-2010 03:22 AM

Its to bad Stanley went this route. When it was announced they were offering the sweetheart planes people couldn’t wait to get their hands on one. Unfortunately it seems they have missed the mark The more I read about these planes I am glad I did not buy one. I am not a Lie Nielson prima donna but it seems you want a superior plane out of the box there is no better. Guess what? Made in America Wake up Stanley!

-- Marc

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 4447 days

#9 posted 10-14-2010 06:44 PM

Sorry about your misfortune. I didn’t run into those issues, thank goodness, and the plane was much cheaper at 75 dollars now. I agree for as much marketing as went into this campaign of return to the “SweetHeart” quality, they sure messed that up bad. Reviews for the 9 1/2, shoulder, and no. 4 are all horrible. Newer reviews of the 60 1/2 (including my own here) are quite positive. I am sorry you ended up with a lemon.


-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

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