Veritas - Low Angle Block Plane (Rating: 5)

When you start looking at a hand plane you can tell pretty quickly if it is well made. This one is. The throat opening adjusts easily, and can close up tightly for fine shavings. The depth adjustment, and angle adjustment is combined into one knob, and is easy to work. Once you dial in your setting there are a pair of set screws that hold the side of the blade in alignment. The blade lock knob is larger diameter than my other planes, which makes it easy to hold the blade steady with minimal force. The frog is built into the handle, so you don't feel like you need three hands to adjust the blade.

With a bed angle of 12 degrees, this plane tackles end grain without issues. What surprised me is how useful it is for general planing tasks such as fitting drawers and trimming doors. It did great on tricky grain in quartersawn oak. I don't use it much for chamfering, because I have more accurate ways to do that. However as a general purpose small plane it works great.

I am not normally much of a hand tool guy, but with this plane I just may be.