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Thread: Grizzly Premium Hand Planes?

  1. #1
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    Grizzly Premium Hand Planes?

    In market for first #5 hand plane. Internetting and YouTubing all the options - Stanley, WoodRiver, Lie-Nielsen, Veritas, Kunz, TayTools, Jorgensen, Quangsheng, and finally, Grizzly. I have no interest in scouring eBay or antiquing for a used option to restore. A buddy gave me 5 old planes and I’m discovering A. They were cheap when they were new, and B. The expense (and time) required to restore these is way beyond their value.

    I am not a plane expert, only now discovering the joys of hand planes. I am leaning towards the Grizzly option. Not the entry level line, but their Premium line. Grizzly T33283 Premium #5 Jack Plane specifically. https://www.grizzly.com/products/gri...k-plane/t33283

    Seems like a nice balance of money:value. I can’t afford and probably wouldn’t appreciate a Lie-Neilsen, but want something beyond a Home Depot Stanley.

    Anyone have experience with Grizzly’s Premium plane line? I gather it is a newer offering, very little in way of hands-on reviews by someone who knows what to look for. Am I on the right track? Any better options at this price point?

    Thank you!

  2. #2
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    There are frequent postings here in the Classifieds for "already restored" decent hand planes. If you become a Contributor, you'll have access to the Classifieds as well as images and private messaging. Just click on the Donate button up near the top of the page. The ask is only six bucks a year.

    To your specific question, not familiar with Grizzly's offerings; own LN, older Stanley and Veritas plus a recent purchase of Rockler's router plane. Woodcraft's Woodriver product seem decent if I can judge from the quality of the butt chisels I own, but I have not tried their planes.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  3. #3
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    Thank you, just hit the Donate button.

  4. #4
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    Here is a very nice Stanley #5 on eBay, currently at $15.50 https://www.ebay.com/itm/38681390449...Bk9SR8ba8tK9Yw

    And a buy it now one for $50 https://www.ebay.com/itm/37528085188...3ABFBMxNry0r1j

    No way would I pay more than twice the price for a Chinese import plane over a vintage Stanley.

  5. #5
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    I have a Woodriver plane I picked up at an estate sale that looks to have never been used. A number 5 jack plane that was made to look like the old Stanley Bedrock planes. It is a well made very good looking plane.

  6. #6
    Soba makes planes for lots of retailers
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSnKkSDb8aw

    Type "soba planes" into google and see what you get.

  7. #7
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    But the new Grizzly’s look so pretty… ;-)

  8. #8
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    Prices have skewed a bit and I have not adjusted my "formula" in a while. I used to say that if what I am looking at is close to 60% of the cost of a "real" one, save some money and buy the "real" one. For example, if the <insert name here> No. 5 I was looking at was $40 and a Lie Nielsen or Veritas was $100 I would buy the <insert name here> product. If the <insert name here> product was $55 - $65 I would save my pennies and buy the LN or LV version. This method has had me send only a few odds and ends down the road. Nearly all of my choices using this "formula" are still with me and have provided years of service.

    The choice between LN and LV is based on things outside this discussion. Both are very nice, lifetime tools. I can tell you from experience that buying the "real" version of anything after you have bought and tried the contender is more expensive than not taking that intermediate step.
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 02-27-2024 at 9:29 PM.
    "A hen is only an egg's way of making another egg".


    – Samuel Butler

  9. #9
    Whatever you decide, make sure you budget for sharpening supplies. And have a way to hold the wood.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kane Bragg View Post
    But the new Grizzly’s look so pretty… ;-)
    If you are buying a new plane, ultimately, I think it is really "you get what you pay for". Sure, the Grizzly may look pretty "new", but so do many other planes. Here's a video showing a very detailed comparison betweeen Woodriver and Qiangsheng Luban (which has been a popular cheaper Chinese plane). If you really want to watch through the video, it shows some minor differences in machining and tool quality. At this point, the Qiangsheng No. 5 is only about $30 cheaper than the WoodRiver. I suspect the Grizzly manufacturing quality is not going to be anywhere near the Woodriver. It will work for sure, but with some potential compromises.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5a7IJu4hDWM

    The Lie-Nielson and Veritas used planes normally demand a premium price of about 80-85% of retail (not a huge savings, but some like to buy these). There are definitely "restored" used planes that are definitely affordable.
    Last edited by Aaron Inami; 02-27-2024 at 11:03 PM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kane Bragg View Post
    In market for first #5 hand plane. Internetting and YouTubing all the options - Stanley, WoodRiver, Lie-Nielsen, Veritas, Kunz, TayTools, Jorgensen, Quangsheng, and finally, Grizzly. I have no interest in scouring eBay or antiquing for a used option to restore. A buddy gave me 5 old planes and I’m discovering A. They were cheap when they were new, and B. The expense (and time) required to restore these is way beyond their value.

    I am not a plane expert, only now discovering the joys of hand planes. I am leaning towards the Grizzly option. Not the entry level line, but their Premium line. Grizzly T33283 Premium #5 Jack Plane specifically. https://www.grizzly.com/products/gri...k-plane/t33283

    Seems like a nice balance of money:value. I can’t afford and probably wouldn’t appreciate a Lie-Neilsen, but want something beyond a Home Depot Stanley.

    Anyone have experience with Grizzly’s Premium plane line? I gather it is a newer offering, very little in way of hands-on reviews by someone who knows what to look for. Am I on the right track? Any better options at this price point?

    Thank you!
    Kane, if you are inexperienced, one plane looks like another. The issues which degrade performance are often not easily recognised, even by experienced eyes. My advise is purchase one decent plane and get to know and understand how and why it works. This will be the yardstick to judge others.

    If you are starting out in the world of hand planes, a good place to begin is a #5. Stanley and Record made excellent vintage era planes, but they may still need tweaking. Search for one that has been tweaked by an experienced user. In new planes, anything less than LN, Veritas, WoodRiver and Clifton will likely be a potential problem.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  12. #12
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    Over the last 3-4 years, I have purchased 3 Wood River hand planes (a shoulder plane, low angle block plane and #4 1/2 smoother) , a 1" Veritas bench chisel, a set of Wood River bench chisels, glass stones for sharpening planes and chisels, a set of LV cabinet scrapers, a tool for sharpening the scrapers, 2 spoke shaves, 1 Veritas, 1 used Stanley, and the list is longer but my memory fails me right now. Previously I had purchased a couple cheap hand planes at local hardware stores and found them nearly useless.

    I took a Rob Cosman hand plane class at the nearest Wood Craft before I began this buying spree and I had learned what a good, sharp hand plane was capable of doing.

    My current project is a walnut butterfly extenison table. I was overjoyed by ease I was able to pare details on the 5" tapered feet on the 4 legs. So overjoyed, it was easy to overdo it!

    As someone earlier suggested, buy one good plane. If you don't have some serious sharpening tools, stones or scary sharp, invest in one or the other. Learn to sharpen it and use it. You only flinch from buying a good tool once.
    Ken

    So much to learn, so little time.....

  13. #13
    Avoid the Grizzly. I looked into this once while contemplating a Jointer plane and did my research and found a whole lot of complaints about the soles not being square and general low quality. If you buy one, you'll likely have to spend a long time fettling one to get it to work right. And if you're willing to do that, just get an old Stanley, Sarge, Miller's Falls, Record, or something similar. They'll be a lot better quality and require the same or less work to get up and running. And after you've gotten it set up, you'll have a better quality plane.

    If you must buy new for whatever reason, I can only recommend Lie Nielsen, Veritas, Clifton, or Wood River. Wood River will be the cheapest. I've tried a Bench Dog from Rockler, and they're garbage. Grizzly says their premium planes are made in India, which is where Rockler's planes come from (and a whole bunch of other brands on Amazon), so I bet they're made in the factory to the same terrible specs. So I wouldn't expect any better. Wood River planes are made in China, but they're made to a higher level of quality. I believe they're relabeled Quangsheng planes, which are quite nice for the price. Lie Nielsen are of course made in the USA, Veritas are made in Canada, and Clifton are made in the U.K. So that's a large reason why you pay more for them.

    However, if you're dead set on buying a cheap new plane, then the Grizzly is probably the best. Not because their planes are better than the other cheap brands. You'll have the same issues with all of them. But Grizzly's customer support is better. So if you get one that's really bad, you can send it back.

  14. #14
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    I'm gleaning a general theme here. Maybe this goes back to my father's sage advice: Don't buy crap. (Other Kermitism: "Two things you spend money on: a good ladder, and a good pair of shoes." ...RIP Dad) So typical mission creep brings me to Wood River and Lie-Nielsen (or Clifton? - they look impressive). Hypothetical for your consideration: A $425 5-1/2 Lie-Nielsen or a $349 Rob Cosman prepped 5-1/2 Wood River? (I have a friends CA, so getting one is not an issue.) Given Glenn's 60%-Rule, I might as well buy-once/cry-once...
    Last edited by Kane Bragg; 02-28-2024 at 1:30 PM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kane Bragg View Post
    Hypothetical for your consideration: A $425 5-1/2 Lie-Nielsen or a $349 Rob Cosman prepped 5-1/2 Wood River?
    So you are solely buying a plane for the looks? Because a $349 custom Wood River isn't going to pull a better curl than a cleaned up $50 Stanley.
    Last edited by Richard Coers; 02-28-2024 at 1:51 PM.

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