Lie Nielsen No. 4 Bronze Bench Plane

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I've heard that older Stanely planes are better than modern planes. Why do people think the older Stanely planes are better?


Many woodworkers and collectors favor the pre-war (pre WWII) planes. The quality of these planes are generally considered to be better than the ones produced in more modern times.

There are a number of reasons why the quality of the older planes is superior.

The older planes all came with rosewood knobs and totes. The modern planes come with plastic handles. Any woodworker should understand the benefit of fine wood compared with plastic.

The quality of the components on the older planes is generally much better. The depth adjuster on older planes are always made of brass while modern planes have plastic depth adjusters. The lateral adjustment levers on the old plane are very solid while the modern planes have cheap looking stamped versions.

The body of the plane on the modern planes are not considered to be produced as well as the older version. The machined surfaces are now flattened with a belt sander while the older ones were milled.

The irons, including the cap iron on the olders ones are considered to be of higher quality than the modern versions.

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