Could someone recommend a good block plane I could buy? Preferably not Veritas as I can’t justify the expense seeing as I won’t be using the plane that much. At least the one I was looking at was around £160.
I was looking at these two:
The first is a no 9 1/2 and the second is a no 60 1/2. Not sure what these numbers represent.
The 9½ has a 20° bed angle and an 41mm wide iron, the 60½ has a 13.5° bed angle and a 35mm wide iron. Both are bevel up planes.
I’ve got a “Deluxe” low angle block plane of the Axminster brand and I find it pretty good: no real issues and the iron is ok too.
The planes you’re looking at should be similar. Of course the machining and finish isn’t as superb as Veritas or Lie-Nielsen, but it’s good enough for me.
The main use for that plane in my shop is to work on small end grain surfaces and to chamfer the edges of stock. For that it serves well.
So you probably won’t be disappointed, if you don’t expect too much in finish quality.
In my opinion the low angle 60½ is a bit better on end grain because the resulting cutting angle (38.5° as sum of the 13.5° bed angle and 25° angle of the iron) slices easier through end grain.
For work mostly on end grain, I’d take the 60½ (or a similar low angle plane).
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