Stanley - 12-920 Bailey Block Plane (Rating: 4)

For a while i have been curious about the all hand plane movement. So i decided, I had to start somewhere, so i read a little them i jumped in. I ordered the 12-920 from Amazon for about $35. The unit came in perfect condition. The overall first impression is that the unit is well build and surprisingly heaving. Quick check and as suspected it did need to have bottom flatten and the blade seriously sharpen. That took a little bit of time but i have to say that is the first one i did so not bench mark here. Long story short, one finished with a good water smoothing at 400, the unit a perfectly square and flat, Same for the blade, a little work and it's very, very sharp. Please note that it's imperative to do those steps before using the 12-920 with any hope of a acceptable result. Mine was about .025" off on flatness at a couple of points.
So now it's all set (or as set as it will be with me) : do it perform well? Well it does. I applied the Paul Sellers technique of "sneaking on the wood" (please interpret that with all the respect for that master) and sure stuff : got shaving like cigarette paper (.0005/.0004") both long grain and end grain. I used it on a couple of project already and it kind of the wonder weapon i was looking for, which mean for me : i couldn't have done the job properly without it. Not having any super fancy plane to compare with i can not claim any comparison (specially blade quality and sharpness retention). Clearly many part are stamped and not machined, the machined part are not the finest i saw and the lateral blade adjustment is a little jerky at time. At the end of the day the value result is great, in my view : with a little elbow grease you get a very nice, functional tool that did not cost you hundred. I'll recommend that item.