In Chris Schwarz Blog, Handplane Techniques, Handplanes

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The new line of premium Stanley planes should be available in January or February 2009, according to Stanley officials. The planes were originally planned for a November 2008 release, but a company official said they needed to fine-tune the finished appearance of the tools , plus Stanley ran into a couple mechanical snags.

The premium line of planes , two block planes, a smoothing plane, shoulder plane and low-angle jack , are aimed to compete with premium planemakers such as Veritas, Lie-Nielsen Toolworks and Clifton. You can read a detailed write-up of the specifications of the new Stanley tools in this earlier article.

Stanley’s premium chisels are still being fine-tuned, and no release date has been set, according to the official.

Meanwhile, Stanley officials are working on the packaging and released the updated renderings shown here. You can see how these new planes incorporate the famous Stanley “Sweetheart” logo into the tools. As soon as we have photos of the tools, we’ll post those as well.

– Christopher Schwarz

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Showing 7 comments
  • Old Baleine

    I have more old Stanley iron than we need, and won’t be buying any of the new.

    I remember the good ol’ dark days of yore, when my tool needs were provided for by names like Kaune, Brode, Leach, Zimmer, Taran, and Lie-Nielsen.

    Personally, my loyalty is too deep to the independent entrepreneurs and innovators who worked diligently over the past twenty-five years or so to provide me with tools for me to send twenty-five cents of my money to a certain mega-borg garage door and gate hardware manufacturer. Especially one who perceived me to be such an insignificant neanderthal that they would go so low as to attempt to stifle my interest in ressurecting a craft tradition through legal action against a fellow.

    Surely you remember the Alamo, Feral Brewer?

  • Anonymous

    Hmmm what does the knob on the back side of the #4 control? Does the #4 have an adjustable frog? If so, then why the adjustable mouth?

  • Larry Gray

    The designers clearly spent some time looking at the Lee Valley catalog, so it’ll be interesting to see how Stanley prices these. If they approximately equal LV’s prices, buyers may think, "Well, heck, for that money, I can buy a Veritas." If they undercut LV’s prices too far, they risk being viewed as a wannabe imitator.

    But that said, I do wish them well. It would be wonderful to see a proud hand plane marque like Stanley regain some if its former glory.

  • J.C.

    Schweet! It’s about time! BUT, are they made in the U.S.? If they are tnen I’ll buy one of each! If not, I’ll buy the ones that fill a hole in my kit. They’re late to the dance but welcome just the same. Bravo, Stanley.


  • Steve Witt

    I think they have a very tough fight ahead of them. Unless there is a significant price difference with Lie Neilsen and Lee Valley tools there isn’t much incentive to give them a try.

  • Shannon Brown

    Glad to see a release date. My wife was going to get me a LV low-angle jack plane for my birthday, but told her to hold off until after the Stanley comes out. The other planes look interesting, but it would be hard for me to justify buying them because I already own comprable planes (although my #4 sucks, but that’s what my #3 and 4 1/2 come in at).

  • Tom Knighton

    I think it’s great that Stanley is trying to get back into making the quality tools they used to make. I’m just hoping that these tools don’t miss the mark. I’d hate to see them be not much better than Stanley’s current planes but with a Lie-Nielsen price tag.


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