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Old Stanley hand planes date back to 1870 and are highly sought after in today’s market for their solid craftsmanship and overall quality. Sadly, they were also expensive to make and Stanley discontinued the patterns, opting for planes that were cheaper to produce. Now it seems Stanley has seen the error of their ways and is bringing back the old-style planes, complete with the trademark Sweetheart logo, mechanical precision, adjustment features, and top-shelf materials to win woodworkers’ favor yet again. We can only hope.

The line-up of five new Stanley Sweetheart premium planes includes a No. 4 smoothing bench plane, a No. 62 low angle jack plane, a No. 92 shoulder/chisel plane, a No. 60-1/2 block plane, and a No. 9-1/2 block plane. Each hosts a mechanical adjustment to open and close the mouth quickly (except the No. 92). Just loosen the knob, slide the adjuster to the desired setting, and then tighten the knob back to secure it into place.

The new planes also feature a thicker blade, constructed from A2 steel with the intent that it holds an edge longer than standard carbon steel. A precise machined base and solid brass knobs echo what Stanley hopes will be the hallmarks of heirloom quality hand planes.

We got a very brief look at these recently and they do look on the level. Stanley tried to meet or exceed all the old specs that went with the old planes and spent a great deal of time making the new offerings “right” for consumers today. We hope after we get a few in for test that this is the case. 

Expect to pay around $99 to $180 a pop for the planes, depending on the size and model.

Sweetheart Premium Hand Planes [Stanley]

 

8 Responses to Preview: Stanley Sweetheart Premium Hand Planes

  1. Jim K. says:

    I’d so love to see a shootout between these and equivalent Lie Nielsen and Veritas planes!

  2. PutnamEco says:

    Yeah, probably made in China, just what I want.

  3. Rick says:

    The reviews that I have read on these planes say that they are higher quality than their standard planes but the pale in comparison to Lie Nielsen or Veritas.

    Frankly I would rather put down a few more bills for the quality and customer service those two companies give.

    Oh, and they are Made in Mexico.

  4. fred says:

    We use Lie Nielson block planes in our business – and I also have several others in my home shop. They are very close to being perfect right out of the box and require little other than some blade honing. While I don’t think that the L-N ‘s are boutique hand-made planes (there are other small manufacturers out there who purportedly make some great planes in small quantities) – I do think that they are the results of careful manufacture, with attention to detail and a high degree of QC. While quality may not come cheap, we used to fiddle with other cheaper planes to get them to work – some were not worth the effort.

  5. Scott says:

    The question is are these worth the price charged?

    That these aren’t up to the level of Lie Nielsen or Veritas should surprise no one. Is the quality difference worth the price difference? Which ones deliver the best value?

  6. aaron says:

    in line with what Scott said, these things appear to fit into the useless category. for less $ you could buy a good, proven vintage stanely (or MF, etc) off ebay and spruce it up (won’t need much, depending). for a bit more you could get a quality new tool from veritas and LN. so what’s the point?

  7. Kevin says:

    From what I’ve read so far, even if they are not better than the leading contenders, the improvements made of the original have certainly got my interest….its a 5 star bargain surely!

  8. Francis Kuehn says:

    I have a Stanley Plane that is quite rusted. It has some sentimental value to me and I would like to clean it up. Can you direct me to a source that will provide instruction for this task?

    Thanks

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