I have a love/hate relationship with honing guides. I’ve used three and share my thoughts below.
I will say that the honing guide was most useful when starting out, as it removed a variable. With the guide, I no longer needed to worry about the angle, so I could focus on getting the blade sharp. Over time, I’ve stopped using it on chisels and my scrub plane blade; I now do those free hand. I know some folks obsess over the angle of their chisels, but I haven’t seen any difference that a couple of degrees makes. I still use the guide for my plane blades, and in particular my bevel-up blades where the angle is more critical. On to my review:
1.) Eclipse-style guide. There are lots of clones, as I’m not sure Eclipse even makes one anymore. These are easy to use. You do need to create a jig out of a couple of blocks of wood screwed onto a plywood platform in order to set the angle, but that’s a one time event. The machining is not great, but there are youtube videos that show how to modify it. They’re cheap enough that it’s easy to buy one and then decide to upgrade later on.
2.) Veritas guide. I’m in the minority on this view, but I really don’t like it. I find the setup very fiddly, and I could never get it tight enough. The plane blade or chisel always ended up shifting side to side. But I do know others that really like the Veritas guide, so YMMV.
3.) Lie-Nielsen guide. Operates much like the Eclipse guide, but the machining is a lot nicer, and it holds plane blades much more securely. Like the Eclipse guide, you do need to make the angle setting jig, and the distances are different than with the Eclipse guide. LN has detailed info on their web site on how to do this. The drawback is that it is very expensive, and you need special attachments if you want to do chisels (and there are 3 of them). However, they have attachments for small blades and skew blades that the Eclipse does not have.