I bought a couple of these a while ago for a peg shaper I was trying to make (like a violin peg shaper). Since then I’ve bought a few planes and I remembered I had these irons.
Well, I’ve been using one in my #4 for about a month now. I deburred it (its a little rough around the edges), flattened the back, sharpened it, and stuck in the plane. Honestly I haven’t noticed any difference between the cheapie Buck Bros iron and the original Stanley iron. Maaaaybe the original Stanley holds an edge just a bit longer, but it’s hard to quantify.
I’m not under any illusions that the Buck Bros is equal to the Stanley iron. The metal can’t possibly be as good as the old Stanley. And it’s also not as long. It is however just a wee bit thicker than the Stanley. And it is also straight and sits flat against the frog everywhere (which is more than I can say for any old Stanley iron that I own).
But the bottom line is that it works in a pinch, it seems to work fine, and is only 3 dollars *shrugs*. I like how I can practice sharpening and experiment with angles and micro bevels and such, without wasting the metal on my original Stanley iron 🙂 .
P.S. In the photo is my homemade plane screwdriver made from a crusty old spade bit ^_^