Veritas or Lie Nielson - which & why?

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Forum topic by bluekingfisher posted 06-06-2014 09:11 AM 4751 views 0 times favorited 41 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1333 posts in 4265 days

06-06-2014 09:11 AM

Having had my interest recently rekindled, Ok, obsessed having been bitten by the hand plane bug, I have bought a few planes of late, both Veritas and Lie Nielson, such is the fickle mind of a hobby woodworker.

Despite liking them both I tend to like them for different reasons.

I much prefer the traditional look of the LN. However, I believe the engineering and final finish of the Veritas to be a degree higher. IMHO.

I have read of individuals trading in or selling one brand to be replaced by the other, that doesn’t really tell me much as it could just be the individuals, like me being of fickle mind rather than a there being specific advantage of one brand over the other.

Any thoughts on the topic?


-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

41 replies so far

View knockknock's profile


473 posts in 3458 days

#1 posted 06-06-2014 12:31 PM

In my opinion, generally across the line. Lie Nielsen makes the best planes in the traditional form. While Veritas makes more innovative planes that have features designed to make the plane more versatile and easier to use.

Personally I prefer the versatility of the Veritas planes. As an example, the Veritas bevel-up jack rabbet plane, is an excellent edge jointing plane. This plane has an adjustable mouth with a limiting set screw for coarse to fine shavings, along with an under-slung fence to balance the plane on the edge square to the face (note: I have added a larger wood face and shorter rods to the fence). Using the Veritas jack rabbet plane, I can easily go from a wavy rough hand-sawn edge, to a smooth square edge. So I get two planes in one, a large rabbet plane and a small jointer.

-- 👀 --

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7758 posts in 3006 days

#2 posted 06-06-2014 01:37 PM

I like the innovative features of the Veritas planes. Both have outstanding workmanship and should prove to be nice to work with. I really like the PMV11 blades you can get on the Veritas, I have a #4 smoother and it’s unbelievable how long it can hold an edge for. I may be a bit biased, while I have used a couple different Lie Nielsens, I actually own a few Veritas.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

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594 posts in 2831 days

#3 posted 06-06-2014 01:43 PM

I’m interested to see how this plays out since the price point is so similar on a lot of their tools. I’m in the market for a could nicer western style hand saws and a shoulder plane. I’m leaning towards Veritas based on what I’ve read so far but I’m always interested in hearing a lot of opinions before I buy.

-- Trust me I'm an engineer.

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1333 posts in 4265 days

#4 posted 06-06-2014 01:51 PM

Interesting that you should both find the Veritas more attractive for your woodworking.

Thanks for the input


-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

View Marcus's profile


1165 posts in 3305 days

#5 posted 06-06-2014 01:51 PM

I own both, bought each because I like one over the other for a certain reason. I bought a bronze smoother from LN…liked the weight/look/feel of it. Bought a Veritas scraper because I liked the blade size and features of it. I dont think you can go wrong w/ either.

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594 posts in 2831 days

#6 posted 06-06-2014 02:31 PM

I should probably qualify my opinion on Veritas over Lie Nielson. I’m leaning towards Veritas saws because of the price point compared to the Lie Nielson and this article. The shoulder plane price is a wash but those PM-V11 blades are very appealing for the same price.

-- Trust me I'm an engineer.

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1165 posts in 3305 days

#7 posted 06-06-2014 05:11 PM

I ended up w/ a Veritas dovetail saw for the same reason that mrasmey states…money. It works fine, and I dont feel I am missing out on much vs a LN.

That LN is sexy though…damn this addiction!

View Redoak49's profile


5418 posts in 3274 days

#8 posted 06-06-2014 05:57 PM

I have both brands and what others are saying is correct. My most recent purchase was the LV medium should plane. I bought it for one major reason and that was the pivoting lever cap. My hands are not what they are used to be and arthritis makes things difficult to grip at times. This plane fits in my hand and the lever cap thing really makes a difference.

If I had it to do over, I would sell my low angle Lie-Nielsen plane and get the LV one with the extra handle. It would make life much easier.

However, it is great to see that such fine tools are being produced here.

View jdh122's profile


1269 posts in 4103 days

#9 posted 06-06-2014 06:54 PM

I have not bought or used any Lie Nielsen tools. But one reason not yet mentioned for buying from Lee Valley is their incredible level of customer service. No questions asked returns, including free return shipping. Lie Nielsen may be just as good, like I said I have no experience with them.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

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1459 posts in 4270 days

#10 posted 06-06-2014 07:06 PM

I really like my Veritas stuff. I have not LN stuff, yet :) The thing I like about Veritas is that they try to move the ball forward, think of new features or improved ergonomics, etc. LN makes beautiful versions of classics, much like someone making Shelby Cobra replicas. LV makes the next generation, like current high end automobiles (Ferrari comes to mind…frequently, though not necessarily related to tools). Then you have Bridge City which is like next gen concept cars, like Bugatti, Maclaren, etc.

Can you go wrong with either? It only depends on your preferences. Do you like super tuned old school, or cutting edge, “it’s not been done before”?

-- Brian T. - Exact science is not an exact science

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5849 posts in 4870 days

#11 posted 06-06-2014 09:37 PM

Because of my health problems I can no loger hand plane ,but if I could I would buy neither lie nielsen, or Veritas as Unless you really are into buying the very best, or collecting for the long term as say an investment ,in which case you will probably never use them.
I consider these planes are very nice and well made but way, way, over price imho I would buy some cheaper used possibly planes and learn to use them. The old timers did not resort to this kind of psychological marketing techniques used by these companies,They made some really beautiful stuff without resorting to the emperors new clothes strategy where falsehoods are promised and certain people buy into that kind of thinking believing somehow only the very best most expensive will give the very best results . In other words very expensive planes don’t make furniture you do.Alistair p s I am sorry I mean no offense.

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

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11311 posts in 4933 days

#12 posted 06-06-2014 09:42 PM

I have L-N and no Veritas planes though I’ve considered
getting them. In the end I think Veritas makes sensible
design upgrades while L-N sticks to tradition. I also think
L-N planes are nicer looking but that’s simply a matter
of personal aesthetics. I particularly prefer the L-N
tote shape aesthetically. Functionally I’m sure there
is little difference.

If I were buying a shoulder plane the Veritas seems a
superior design. I have an old Record 073 which the
L-N is a copy of. One does have to be cautious in
use not to mash a finger sometimes.

View Tim's profile


3859 posts in 3247 days

#13 posted 06-07-2014 12:07 AM

Allistair, I’m not offended at all, just saying, I don’t think it’s fair to say LV and LN follow the Emperor’s new clothes strategy. Their stuff is cheaper now than the Stanley stuff was back in the day, and they are not at gouging prices. Now if you want to talk about the several thousands of dollars for a Bridge City tool or a Breese plane or something that may be a bit closer. The only reason you can get high quality vintage tools cheap now is because most woodworkers have moved to power tools and there is still a supply of vintage tools out there.

View Loren's profile


11311 posts in 4933 days

#14 posted 06-07-2014 12:54 AM

You can trust a jointer and a smoother from either of these
makers. These are the two most essential bench planes
for furniture work. Old jointers are prone to distortion
and while it is true you can flatten them, it can be a lot
of work and I think the ductile iron used today is probably
more stable. In any case, it doesn’t require a perfect
plane to do very high level work, it requires a craftsperson
who understands the process of sharpening and using

Most of my planes have been vintage ones and I did good
work with them. The premium planes are a pleasure due
to the thick irons, good mass and conveniences like
less backlash on the adjusters.

If you have a limited budget like most learning woodworking,
get some good stones and learn to use them. Sharpening
is by far the most essential skill to get figured out in getting
excellent results from edge tools. Once you are working
with sharp tools working the wood teaches the rest.

View Texcaster's profile


1293 posts in 2959 days

#15 posted 06-07-2014 01:06 AM

When we get to a high level of quality it doesn’t make much difference to me. Canon or Nikon, Gibson or Martin, it’s just personal preference. I have a Veritas DX60, a round bottom spoke shave, a squirrel tail and a small palm plane.

I’m also quite happy with my $14 Aldi Smoother and my three $7 Hong Kong smoother / jacks. Tools don’t make the craftsman.

-- Mama calls me Texcaster but my real name is Mr. Earl.

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