Are older planes really any better?

Most hand tool collectors and users go way back when they get Stanley bench planes. Older ones are usually more valuable and are often considered to work better, especially when compared to later-model, post-war planes. But this wisdom is almost totally wrong. Stanley planes did start to suck in the 1960s, but the planes they made in the 1950s and before may be the best they ever made. These late-model planes have improved features, thicker castings, easier adjustment and more precise machining. And, these planes are typically ignored by collectors, so you can get them cheap. Are you thinking about shelling out big bucks for a premium plane? Maybe first, you should check out a late-model Stanley.

Rex Krueger