Replacing Blade for Stanley 60 1/2 Block Plane

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    Maybe I was daydreaming or half asleep, but I bid successfully on a Stanley No. 60 1/2 block plane. It arrived with almost no flaws, the adjustable throat, etc., working quite nicely. The only flaw was the original blade, obviously last sharpened by a drunk. I’d have to take off at least 1/2 inch just for starters. Considering the low price I paid, here’s a chance to try a replacement blade and still come out ‘way ahead.
    Options are new old stock Stanley blades. They didn’t make crumby blades for this plane. Then, Hock, Lie-Nielson, or St, James Bay Tools. No slackers there. I’ll cite Hock as a talking point.
    Hock is a heavier blade, that Hock claims reduces chatter. (We know what Prof, Sellers says about chatter: if you sharpen the blade and tune the plane, chatter is negligible anyway.) Of the two choices of steel, it’s a no brainer for me: I go for higher carbon almost every time. So what if it’s a bit higher maintenance as the years go by? It gets sharper and takes diligence.
    It’s the thickness that has me hung up. Web talk sometimes mentions fit problems with thicker blades than originally made.

    QUESTION #1: Has anyone run into fit problems using thicker, heavier HOCK blades on a Stanley — especially a Stanley with an adjustable throat? I’m just starting to understand tuning the adjustable throat. I like it.

    QUESTION #2: The same size comes with two different depth adjustment numbers of slots, purportedly keyed to the age of the plane? Has anyone run into the way to tell which of the two (eight vs three) goes with the 60 1/2?


    I haven’t used any Hocks yet on my own tools but I do know that I don’t usually like thicker blades personally as a thicker blade just means more steal to remove when sharpening.

    Less steal, quicker sharpening. That’s my preference.

    Philipp J.

    I cant comment on the Block Plane, however im using a O1 Hock in my 4 1/2.
    The Hock O1, typically of a Carbon Steel, sharpens nicely and quickly, takes a really nice edge and has good retention off it. Overall im quite happy with it.

    It is indeed a bit thicker then the Standard ones but if your angles are right it doesnt take any more time to sharpen then a thinner Blade, its more about the Steel itself then the thickness of it anyways.


    Same as Philpp J — can’t speak to the 60 1/2 plane, but I also have a Hock blade in my 4 1/2. Two thumbs way up; it was a great improvement over the original. If Ron Hock says his blades work fine with Stanley block planes, I would not hesitate to buy one.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 7 months ago by Edmund.
    Derek Long

    Jeff, I have Hock blades in my #4, one of my spokeshaves, and in my cabinet scraper. All three have been high quality products with no fitment issues. Yes, they are thicker than standard issue. I don’t think you’ll have a problem on a 60 1/2, though. It’s not like the thicker blade will have a yoke fitment issue like on a bench plane.

    Derek Long
    Denver, Colorado


    Thank you all. Hock blade it is.

    I’d get his book on sharpening, but what with all the times I watched Paul Sellers sharpen, and then mimicked him, I think I’ve got it. As for longer time sharpening, this one looks like it will be my go-to block plane, and sharpening calms me down during the day.

    The other Stanley bench planes (and what has turned out to be a great Millers Falls #9 (equivalent Stanley 4)), are doing quite well with their original Stanley blades.

    — Jeff (on a stormy day in Philly)

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