the average guy would say that LNs are the best made for the money these days but the old one work well to.. the new steel being used in the new irons do hold an edge longer but the old ones do get as sharp as the new stuff. provided ypou use the sam method to get there. the newer planes in certain brands have refined there adjustment and builds to better maintain the quality of cut with the least amount of effort..some of the older planes made you earn your shavings more than the newer models..as for brands go you will get many opinions on that.. here is what i think and i am sure others will differ, and this doesnt necessarily mean all model of the brand either..
L-Nelson, Veritas(lee Valley), old stanleys.
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