Truly a masterpiece of a hand plane

  • Advertise with us
Review by jayman7 posted 07-14-2011 05:37 AM 7086 views 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Truly a masterpiece of a hand plane Truly a masterpiece of a hand plane Truly a masterpiece of a hand plane Click the pictures to enlarge them

As you probably expect, I’m going to echo everyone else’s comments on this plane. I have to admit this is my first Veritas hand plane. Like most of you, I was hesitant to pay the hefty price tag but I finally bought it after oogling it for the past several years. During that time, I tuned up my fair share of two jack planes, two smoothers, and two block planes from ebay. They were a pain in the butt to tune up but I learned the inner workings of how a hand plane performs. Most of all, I learned to appreciate what a sharp plane iron really means. These old planes worked great already so I didn’t expect the quality of cut from my new Veritas hand plane.

The planed epitomized the word quality as soon as I took it out of the box. It felt just right in my hands and metal was machined smooth. A quick read at the instructions, and I had the iron set and ready to get to work. All the mechanisms glide effortlessly and were extremely intuitive to understand despite being substantially different from the common hand plane. The blade retracts and extends like a well oiled piston, the mouth adjuster can be micro-adjusted, and the blade couldn’t be easier to set up laterally. None of my other planes come close to this.

I thought my shavings were nice before, but the shavings from the Veritas are in another league. The plane glided through a piece of slightly curly hand maple like butter and produced the most gorgeous looking shavings I have ever made. I made pretty thin shavings before, but this is the first time they were even thinner in long continuous ribbons. The pictures speak for themselves. The surface felt like I waxed it. And this is right out of the box without touching up the blade one bit!! Granted, I only used it during a short night in the shop, but from what I’ve seen so far, I can’t imagine it disappointing me in the future.

This will be my go to plane for most operations, but I will relegate my other planes for slightly “riskier” operations such as cleaning up glue in joints, smoothing out rough-milled lumber, or if I’m just feeling nostalgic.

View jayman7's profile


218 posts in 4315 days

6 comments so far

View WayneC's profile


14359 posts in 4907 days

#1 posted 07-14-2011 05:41 AM

Nice review. How do you like the rear tote on it? Tried any end grain?

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Ken90712's profile


17888 posts in 3998 days

#2 posted 07-14-2011 03:56 PM

Nice score! Thay are amazing tools!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Cory's profile


760 posts in 4229 days

#3 posted 07-15-2011 01:30 AM

I’ve had my LAJ for 6 months and I’m thrilled with it. In fact, I love all of my Lee Valley and Veritas tools. I love how you can adjust the set screws on the sides to help get a straight blade. The throat adjustment on the front knob is sweet, too. I’ve only had to sharpen my iron a few times. Mostly I just lap it quickly before using it. A few swipes of wax on the bottom and I can cut through anything.

After buying, and loving, this plane, I also bought the medium shoulder plane, the no. 4 smoother, and some other Veritas items. They’re all top notch.

-- The secret to getting ahead is getting started.

View PCM's profile


135 posts in 3854 days

#4 posted 07-15-2011 04:48 AM

I have a number of veritas and lie-nielsen planes. They are certainly very comparable in their performance. The veritas usually gets the edge on bang for the buck, however, one should always try the model and see how it feels in your hand. My l-n low angle jack plane is extremely comfortable. In fairness, I bought it before veritas sold their low angle jack. I have the veritas medium shoulder plane and to me it is more comfortable than the L-N medium shoulder plane.

View lysdexic's profile


5348 posts in 3432 days

#5 posted 07-18-2011 01:34 AM

I’ve got the Veritas LA jointer, jack, DX-60 block, and medium shoulder plane. In the Bailey styles I have the Woodriver #4 and a type 16 Bailey #5 from Ebay. The Veritas planes are wonderful to use. I find the Veritas totes much more comfortable that the Bailey style totes. However, the WoodRiver handle is just too small and really is painful after a few minutes. The old #5 is better.

I do not like the aesthetics of the Veritas bevel down planes and would like to get a 4 1/2. I am torn between getting a new Lie Nielsen or learning to rehab an older Stanley-Bailey. regardless, I am apprehensive about the handles because (in my limited experience) the Veritas totes are more comfortable.

Or maybe I should get the Veritas LA smoother. Hmmm

Anyway, thanks for the review and agree.

-- "It's only wood. Use it." - Smitty || Instagram - nobodhi_here

View thiel's profile


410 posts in 4101 days

#6 posted 07-18-2011 05:04 AM

Great review.

Try it on a shooting board. Heaven.

-- --Thiel

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics