what block plane

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Forum topic by Karda posted 06-26-2020 06:29 AM 839 views 0 times favorited 47 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2368 posts in 1362 days

06-26-2020 06:29 AM

Hi i have a modern Stanley block plane I want to replace. I want to replace it with vintage Stanley,Sarget or MF. What is a good tool and what isn’t. On ebay I have seen alot of Stanley 110s and 220s. This is the one I have now

47 replies so far

View Andre's profile


3641 posts in 2615 days

#1 posted 06-26-2020 06:40 AM

I have most of the old stanley’s, IMHO the best block plane I own is the Veritas DX60 then the LN Brass 102 and a
LN 60 1/2 rabbit.

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

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5963 posts in 1383 days

#2 posted 06-26-2020 07:07 AM

I’d agree that either the LN or especially the LV models are much superior in metals, and build quality as the Stanleys, and other similar’s of the time.

If you want to stay in the older market, that is fine. There like now, a lot of differences are present in what they excel at, if they excel at anything. You will get replies saying the knuckle planes were the best, some like myself like the 9 1/2 layout, though I prefer it stretched to a 15 or 17 even.

Probably you will get the most love from the 60, 61, 62, lovers, they are the low angle blocks, and they do have a lot to love.

I’m not sure how you can get along without a sampling of all 3 types here.

Sometimes it’s about what exactly you want to do, as some tend to do one job, but hardly any of them do all jobs.

-- Think safe, be safe

View Dajur's profile


36 posts in 69 days

#3 posted 06-26-2020 07:52 AM

I only own a cheapo Harbor Freight plane that barely works. I would like to get a few planes for my shop, but man are they expensive. Maybe down the line if I can start selling some of my work I’ll splurge for a good plane or two.

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Don W

19655 posts in 3376 days

#4 posted 06-26-2020 10:00 AM

I usually suggest finding a vintage Stanley, Sargent etc with an adjustable mouth. To me, the adjustable mouth isn’t important in of itself, but most vintage block planes with an adjustable mouth were built well and work well.

Although as the article states, I still think the #220 style were the most underrated planes on the market and there are millions of them available reasonable.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View bandit571's profile


26186 posts in 3492 days

#5 posted 06-26-2020 12:45 PM

Take your pick…...

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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274 posts in 406 days

#6 posted 06-26-2020 01:39 PM

Being a working carpenter for years, it was hard for me to justify spending huge bucks on Lee Neilson or Veritas stuff. I always drool over it, but have never been able to convince myself to drop the bucks.

I do, however have a few vintage Stanley planes (3c, 4, 7, 78, 271) and a very nice Millers Falls #57 low angle block plane. Some I chased down on eBay and a couple I inherited. Also, I have a cheapo, unbranded small block plane that I inherited. I use them all all the time now that I have stopped remodeling and working on jobsites and work exclusively in my shop doing finer woodworking things.

My Miller’s Falls has the stock blade and is in decent shape, considering it’s probably 80+ years old. I literally grab for it almost every day. It is a solid, accurately machined chunk of iron that cuts so cleanly and accurately! It has sold me on vintage Miller’s Falls tools! I am not sure I could justify replacing it with anything other than maybe a low angle skew block plane of some kind… But, in the meantime, I just skew the whole plane, if I need to.

I would say that an adjustable throat is actually a handy thing to have. I adjust mine all the time for different cuts. I like threaded depth control (my MF has this, over the unbranded cheapo that you gotta knock the blade around). I also like that my #57 is heavy, for it’s size.

Don’t get me wrong, I would love some Lee Neilson or Veritas planes in my shop (I am not too proud to not take donations, BTW. LOL). I think the blades of these high end units is better than many of the vintage models. In some cases, the blades are thicker and stiffer. The bodies are probably machined to tighter tolerances (especially when compared to old user planes that have been beat around). So, if you got a few extra bucks in the plane fund, they are definitely worth a look!

-- John F. SoCal transplant, chewer uppper of good wood

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167 posts in 669 days

#7 posted 06-26-2020 02:49 PM

I’m in the vintage Stanley camp… Stubborn I guess! My go-to blocking planes are a 9 1/2, an 18, and a low angle 65. Actually rarely used, but when needed…

Regards, The Kentucky Toolsmith!

-- "Good enough" is just another way of saying "it could be better"...

View BurlyBob's profile


7713 posts in 3074 days

#8 posted 06-26-2020 03:27 PM

I don’t think I could get along with out my 60 1/2. I use it more than any other plane I’ve got.

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14562 posts in 1947 days

#9 posted 06-26-2020 03:34 PM

65-1/2, 9-1/2 and Millers Falls 07 are my users. If I were going to keep only one, it would be the MF 07 (Stanley 140 equivalent). The skewed blade and removable side plate make it the most versatile block plane IMO. I would probably consider the Veritas version though if I were in the market today. The vintage skewed block planes tend to bring a lot of dough so I’d probably just throw a little extra at it and order a new, modern one.

The 65-1/2 would be my next choice. I like the low angle and I like the adjustable mouth. I prefer the 65-1/2 to the 60-1/2 just because the blade is wider but I think either are great choices. The vintage LA block planes don’t have a lateral adjuster though so you might prefer the standard pitch if you don’t like having to tap your blade into alignment with a hammer.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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5805 posts in 3160 days

#10 posted 06-26-2020 04:57 PM

Stanley 60 1/2 is hard to beat. Get a vintage one, new ones are crap.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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2368 posts in 1362 days

#11 posted 06-26-2020 05:29 PM

Thanks for your input. i noted the #s you suggested, now i know what to look for I want a basic block plane nothing fancy but one that works unlike the one I pictured. I only have it because i inherited it. I can only get very thick shavings and then they break off and clog the throat after a few passes. besides I like old tools. Don article is very good, I saved that.

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2368 posts in 1362 days

#12 posted 06-26-2020 05:37 PM

Hi I was just looking at planes on ebay and found these they need some work. Are they sound and worth the trouble thanks Mike

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14562 posts in 1947 days

#13 posted 06-26-2020 05:54 PM

The 220 is a good plane Mike. I like the way the lever cap tensions and I like the depth adjuster. 110 is probably functional but not something I would want. The big thumbwheel to tension the cap is a PITA and I think a pretty common failure point. There is also no depth adjuster on there so get your hammer ready anytime you need to make a lateral or depth adjustment (note the 220 lacks a lateral). But, if the price is right, you can have the 220 and get the 110 for free and make your own decision :-)

IMO, a 220 in decent shape is a $20-25 plane. Not because it’s not a good plane but just because they are so common.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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2368 posts in 1362 days

#14 posted 06-26-2020 06:02 PM

thanks ken. I am accustomed to hammer adjustment thats what I have now. i thought Id take a shot looks liuke a good deal if the price is right

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1025 posts in 463 days

#15 posted 06-26-2020 06:31 PM

If you’re interested I have a Craftsman 187.37052 DD made by Stanely so basically a 9-1/2. Its new old stock and never been used. I haven’t tuned or sharpened it yet but I could do that quickly. Its a later model with the green finish and while not a top quality block its got lateral, depth, and mouth adjustments.

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