Unfortunately our abysmal attendance record on the west coast has caused the Woodworking Shows and others to abandon the west coast this year. If there is a show in your area I would recommend you go and get a few of these tools in your hand. Even with little or no experience, the difference is immediately obvious with a swipe or two at a chunk of wood. There are folks on the Handtool Subforum that can talk to these subjects better than I. You will find those who prefer a cleaned up and tuned older (and inexpensive) used tool to a new tool. There are also folks like me who don't enjoy recovering older tools and just want a new one or one that someone else has already restored. I have both.
I lean toward Lee Valley because I like the advancements that make a ham-handed gent like myself work these things like an old pro. I also do most of my sharpening via power and finish up by hand which makes some of the hand tool aficionados roll their eyes but, 'whatever works best for me' is the direction I usually go ;-) Others prefer Lie Nielsen for their new take on proven designs. In the used part of my collection I have some Millers Falls that were restored by someone else and purchased at the low end of the prices you mention. They have been great to use but, I love my Veritas (Lee Valley) tools. In the "cheap stuff I bought before I knew better and then got rid of" category is the usual array of Groz, the bad Stanleys and some other no-name plane that I fought for awhile. Some folks really like to fettle hand planes and I have seen folks make usable tools out of the most unlikely characters. If you are one of these, garage sales and flea markets are your friend.
A Chevy Vega and a BMW M3 both have the same general function . . .
Originally Posted by Guy Bratt
Last edited by glenn bradley; 10-01-2015 at 12:45 PM.
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
- Arthur C. Clarke