New Stanley Planes Hold Their Own

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Review by Redbeardedwoodworker posted 11-25-2017 06:01 AM 8741 views 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
New Stanley Planes Hold Their Own New Stanley Planes Hold Their Own No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I’ve been meaning to post this for a while. 3 years ago I decided to try a new Stanley Bevel Up Jack plane and it blew me away. Out of the box it was flat in all the right places, botom was square to the sides and it makes a surface to rival my Lie Nielsen smoother.

I then bought a new Stanley block plane and had the same experience. It’s a great plane that is flat and true and as much as I hate to say it, since I spent about $150 more on it, it is more comfortable in my hand that my Lie Nielsen Rabbet block plane. Don’t get me wrong, the Nielsen planes are great, well built planes, but for everyday block plane use, the Stanley is the one I reach for most of the time. It just feels great in my hand and consistently does a great job.

So last year I was looking for a shoulder plane and of course looked at Lie Nielsen and Vertias first, but decided to try the Stanley just to see. Again…blown away by this little guy. I have had it for a year now and have done nothing to it, except sharpen the blade. It was perfect out of the box. The shaving in the picture was taken tonight. Just picked it up off the shelf and ran it across a board.

The first picture is the set of planes that I use on a regular basis. I consider the new Stanleys just as good as the 2 Lie Nielsens that I have, I just wish Stanley had a bigger line of planes to choose from, Basically all you can buy new is the block plane, a #4, the low angle jack and the shoulder plane.

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43 posts in 1488 days

10 comments so far

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13512 posts in 3291 days

#1 posted 11-27-2017 02:54 AM

Thanks for the review. I’ve been wondering about the new Sweetheart planes.

-- Rick M,

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172 posts in 2152 days

#2 posted 11-27-2017 04:20 AM

Nice to know they compare so well. I have a SW #4. It’s my only plane. when i happen upon the right settings after sharpening for 30 seconds with a diamond fine + extra fine (nothing fancy) it feels like squeezing foam out of a sponge and I can’t imagine how it could get better than that. But, given limited experience I feel like I need a reference point so I think about wood river / lie nelson for the next one to compare.

View don1960's profile


227 posts in 3598 days

#3 posted 11-28-2017 07:25 PM

I have had the Stanley Sweetheart #4 for a year or so and agree with you about the quality. Also have a Veritas #6 and a Woodriver #5 1/2.

As you, I didn’t have to do anything other than sharpen the blade to get all of them to work equally as well as the others. The Stanley holds it’s own against anything out there. I can get .0008” shavings off any of them with a glass surface as a result. Took me a Looonngg time and watching countless videos, and hours of practice to be able to finally sharpen a blade properly, but once you figure it out, it’s a life changing experience. Yea, maybe a little dramatic, but it is a wonderful thing.

-- -- Don from PA

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Kaleb the Swede

1934 posts in 2881 days

#4 posted 11-29-2017 05:53 PM

I have the low angle jack plane. It cuts amazingly. Also I broke the handle by twisting it too hard (I always do something stupid like that). I emailed stanley to ask where I can buy a new part for it since it was my own stupid fault. They replied with an email saying that they are sending a new part in the mail. Even they know that it was my fault they still sent the part, free of charge. Pretty cool I think.

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

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1013 posts in 1687 days

#5 posted 11-30-2017 12:06 AM

These posts are erroneous.

Everyone knows woodworking results are proportional to the amount paid for the tool times the “user coefficient” X.

X = ( distance from large city ) x ( how much the person dislikes hanging out in large groups ) / ( haircuts per year )

View jimintx's profile


934 posts in 2496 days

#6 posted 12-03-2017 04:49 PM

I need to shop for a some of these!
I could use the block and the no. 4. and in fact several – as my plane collection is weak to useless :-(

What model numbers should I look for for these planes?

Thanks for the review, and the followup comments.

-- Jim, Houston, TX

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594 posts in 2457 days

#7 posted 12-04-2017 04:23 PM

I’ve got 3 of them myself and they’re all good planes. The only “problem” I have had is with the Number 4. It’s got a norris style adjuster and I just don’t like that style. There’s nothing functionally wrong with it, I just prefer the bailey style depth adjuster with a separate lateral adjustment.

-- Trust me I'm an engineer.

View Dedvw's profile


176 posts in 3792 days

#8 posted 12-05-2017 02:56 AM

I’m from Maine and I want to like LN sooo bad. They are just too small for my hands and uncomfortable to use. You can see in your picture how small their block plane is.

View Ted78's profile


415 posts in 2911 days

#9 posted 12-05-2017 10:08 PM

Look at that, My user Coefficient X is off the charts! I don’t typically pay anything like double digits for tools though. .25 or around around $3.00 is the sweet spot. I’m sure if I just dropped a few grand an an ebony and ivory handled, hand forged, damascus steel, gold filled screwdriver I could easily make three or four Bombe Chests a week. I’ll just stick with what I have though and make some door stops. maybe a paperweight.

-- Ted

View woodbuster's profile


11 posts in 2917 days

#10 posted 12-09-2017 12:57 AM

Stanley must have cleaned up their act on the “Sweetheart” tools since their introduction a few years ago. It is pretty unusual to see a favorable review, no less multiple ones, as above in other hand tool forums. I won’t go further, since I don’t have any Sweetheart tools except a couple of their socket chisels. Also glad to hear they are offering customer support, which was minimal before. There are some surprisingly low prices for these tools if you shop around, especially in stores that may sell a lot of regular Stanley products but are clueless about real woodworking hand tools.

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