A2, O1 or PM-V11

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Forum topic by trevor7428 posted 02-02-2017 08:37 PM 5081 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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266 posts in 1843 days

02-02-2017 08:37 PM

Topic tags/keywords: plane blades a2 o1 or pm-v11

I’ve never purchased a plane from lee valley before, but after I get my tax return. I think I just might. What blade do you guys prefer?

I looked up the details @ Lee valley

A2 is hard to sharpen/ holds edge longer.

O1 is easier to sharpen but doesn’t hold edge as well as A2

PM-V11 I guess is easy to sharpen and holds edges long.

Is the PM-V11 a must have? Or do you prefer A2 or O1?


-- Thank You Trevor OBrion

12 replies so far

View jmartel's profile


9073 posts in 3032 days

#1 posted 02-02-2017 09:11 PM

PM-V11 is definitely worth the money. What do you use to sharpen your cutting objects? That also determines which steel is easier to sharpen.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View KelleyCrafts's profile


4352 posts in 1621 days

#2 posted 02-02-2017 10:52 PM

I have two with PM-V11 and a bunch of old Stanley’s and I definitely enjoy using the PM-V11 steel better. Not much more money either.

-- Dave - - pen blanks - knife scales - turning tools

View TheTurtleCarpenter's profile


1053 posts in 1948 days

#3 posted 02-02-2017 11:53 PM

I have and use all three. I find no difference in ease of sharpening and know that if someone was to use their tools hard daily that then maybe would warrant PMV-11’s price diff. O1 is a great steel for average use in my opinion.

-- "Tying shoelaces was way harder than learning to Whistle"

View KelleyCrafts's profile


4352 posts in 1621 days

#4 posted 02-03-2017 12:06 AM

Turtle might have a point. I personally work with hard Arizona woods 90% plus of the time. The mesquite is much harder than walnut and the red eucalyptus is 50% harder than mesquite. It’s like stone. So if you’re working regular walnut and maple type woods then I think what turtle says rings true.

-- Dave - - pen blanks - knife scales - turning tools

View TheTurtleCarpenter's profile


1053 posts in 1948 days

#5 posted 02-03-2017 05:26 AM

Trevor, click on this link by Ron Hock.

If you decide on a bevel up plane, my advise would be to start in the middle with a 38* bevel in your choice of steel.

-- "Tying shoelaces was way harder than learning to Whistle"

View Lemwise's profile


91 posts in 1499 days

#6 posted 02-03-2017 09:50 PM

I use the King Deluxe 1200 and the Sigma Select II 6000 to sharpen my chisels and plane blades and on these stones O1 is the easiest to sharpen. I’ve found there isn’t that much of a difference between sharpening A2 and PM-V11. This could be because both my stones have a fairly friable bond and the continues release of fresh sharpening particles ensures they work fast and efficiently. Some also say you can’t get A2 as sharp as O1 or PM-V11 but in my experience that isn’t true. I can get A2 just as sharp as any other steel. All it takes is a steady hand and the right amount of pressure for each stone. I will say PM-V11 stays sharp a bit longer than A2.

I also really like the Quangsheng T10 carbon steel blades (T10 is the Chinese variant of W1, a water hardening steel) that come with the planes Workshop Heaven sells. These are hardened to 63RC and stay sharp a long time yet are still easy to sharpen. In fact, I like T10 more than O1, A2 or PM-V11. After losing most of it’s initial sharpness it feels a bit dull but it actually keeps going for a long time.

View OSU55's profile


2658 posts in 2872 days

#7 posted 02-03-2017 10:11 PM

I have all 3 types, all but one blade are for BU planes. A2 is least favorite due to its brittleness – the edges chip and then it takes longer to resharpen vs O1. PM-V11 has better impact resistance than A2, and wears/sharpens about the same as A2. Pmv11 performs well at lower bevel angles for end grain. I use my A2 blades in higher bevel angle applications where the edge chipping is less of an issue. The one bd blade I have is beveled at 30*, and chips out more than I like, but the sharpness lasts quite a bit longer than O1. I use it in a jointer/panel plane where the small lines from the chips dont matter. When buying a plane new from LV, getting the PMV11 blade is a no-brainer – its well worth the small cost premium. Swapping out all my blades for pmv11 is another story, and no, I wont be doing that.

View RandyinFlorida's profile


257 posts in 2950 days

#8 posted 02-05-2017 12:28 PM

Thanks for posting the question. I too am trying to make this same decision.

-- Randy in Crestview Florida, Wood Rocks!

View trevor7428's profile


266 posts in 1843 days

#9 posted 02-07-2017 11:05 PM

Thanks everyone for the reply. I have a worksharp and MKII to sharpen my planes and chesils. My tax return should deposit in my bank account by tomorrow. Lucky me, lee valley has a free shipping special right now.

(I would’ve been so mad if I my tax return came a couple days earlier and I paid shipping on a $700+ order, then they offer free shipping the next day)

Anyways, the planes I’m looking at are sold out of the PmV11 untilled the Feb. 28th or have limited quantity instock. So wondering what to do if sold out by the time I want to checkout?

-- Thank You Trevor OBrion

View TheTurtleCarpenter's profile


1053 posts in 1948 days

#10 posted 02-07-2017 11:20 PM

Order what you want and let it ship when stock is renewed.

-- "Tying shoelaces was way harder than learning to Whistle"

View HT1591's profile


17 posts in 1349 days

#11 posted 11-14-2018 03:10 PM

Little lait on this post. I got into hand tool woodworking about a year and a half ago. All of my Veritas plAnes witch includes low angle jack, jointer,small smoother, medium shoulder,nx60 block plane,jack rabbet, are all pmv11. I also have lie Nielsen 101 102 block planes rabbeting block plane all in there version of A2 and for some reason I prefer the A2 over the pmv11. In my opinion (maybe I’m doing something wrong ) I get a much sharper edge with A2 over the pmv11. I’m using a piece of plate glass Veritas honing guide and there specialty sharpening sand paper that goes up too about 10k grit.

View Manitario's profile


2816 posts in 3765 days

#12 posted 11-14-2018 05:03 PM

I have Lee Valley planes and have used all three of the different materials. PMV11 is a game changer, easy to sharpen like O1 but stays sharp longer. Would never go back to any other material.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

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