Stanley - Sweetheart No 9 - 1/2 block plane (Rating: 3)

I must say that when I first read about the Stanley's Sweetheart line I was a bit apprehensive. When thinking of a Stanley I normally think of what your everyday box store carries or an old plane I might find at a garage sale and not a high end woodworking tool.

I needed a new block plane and thought why not try the Stanley Sweetheart 9 1/2. Out of the box the plane has a nice weight to it, feels good in your hand, and looks great. The thick A-2 iron cut better than I thought out of the box and cut really well after a little honing.

After reading a few other reviews most of the complaints I read about were of the inside housing being skewed. After taking mine apart I did notice a little but not enough to cause the iron to not sit properly. The biggest complaints that I have is in the lateral adjustment. If I have the blade advanced to far forward I have to turn the lateral adjustment knob back two and a half times back to get the blade to withdraw and then another two and a half turns to get the blade to start advancing again, that is just way to much play. The other complain I have is that although you can adjust the mouth very easily it does not adjust enough. Trying the plane on a piece of slightly figured oak I kept getting tear out that I think would have been resolved if I could have closed the mouth up tighter to the blade.

All in all I am pretty happy with the plane and although I will not be replacing my other planes with the Sweetheart line anytime soon, I do see the plane getting used in my shop.

Chris Adkins