As woodworking tools go, this is a planer you need in your woodshop
I have been using this Veritas Low Angle Block Plane for about 6 months now, and I must say its come in handy on so many more occasions than expected. It’s one of those tools that I wished I had a long time ago! I use it on every project in some way or another; whether for its intended use of working end grain, which it does effortlessly or to flush trim some small protrusion or other. If you only had one hand plane, it should be a sweet little low angle block plane like this.
About the Veritas Low Angle Block Plane
The Low Angle refers to the lower angle of the bed that the blade sits on (the low angle is 12° vs 20° of the standard block plane). Combined with the 40° angle I sharpened my iron at, it breezes through end grain while staying sharper longer. The plane originally came with a 25° angle on the blade but I found it dulls much quicker and for my taste the finish wasn’t that much better. The push stroke was a little easier with the lower 25° angle and I might revert back in a few months to try it again, now that I’m better with sharpening. I have to say on a side note that the PM-v11 blade material is noticeably better at maintaining sharpness compared to my A2 irons on my other Stanley block plane units. Pm-v11 is stands for “Powdered metal- version 11” and its patented solely to Veritas. Here’s a link if you want the nitty gritty: http://www.pm-v11.com/Story.aspx
As with all Veritas bench planes, you are getting an exquisite quality tool that is generational if cared for properly. The brass knob, the pivoting action, the way the mouth opens and closes, and even the way the screws turn just makes a joy to use. You get a feeling of confidence that it can handle the job you need it to do and that’s priceless. That being said, it’s not the cheapest low angle block plane you could buy to suit your needs. This retails for just under $200 CAD w/ the Pm-v11, and with that comes big expectations but so far it’s been money well spent and if I judge it by value of how many times I’ve reached for it, it’s one the cheapest tools I’ve spent money on. The taller profile of the Veritas has come in handy for my when I hold it in different positions, like when I pull it instead of pushing it.
Sample Project 1 with my Veritas Low Angle Block Plane
In this first sample project, I attempt to clean up the end grain of my table top that’s about 18” wide. The first pic is the saw cut, the video of plane in action to clean it up, and the final pic is the dressed surface. Just listen to how the blade shaves the end grain like it was #4 smoother!
Sample project 2 with my Veritas Low Angle Block Plane
Here in this video, I’m using my Veritas Low Angle Block Plane to quickly flush trim some VERY HARD end grain. This really shows how awesome this tool is! The wood is ash and purple heart, and the grain is all over the place as well there are gaps, so it would just eat up a different type of (metal) blade.
Final thoughts on the Veritas Low Angle Block Plane
I’d say the only rival to this Veritas offering is the Lie Nielsen version of the block plane. The LN is a little narrower and smaller and does feel better in your hand, but it does not come with the choice of metal which is an unplanned bonus for me. Also I don’t think I’d be able grip it in a “pull” position as comfortably and that’s come in handy a few times! In conclusion, if you happen to get your hands on one of these guys, you’d quickly realize what I did…that you want your low angle block plane within arm’s reach at all times! Whether in the shop and you have all your tools handy, or on site where you want to pack light, this will be your best friend.