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- 3* as received but 4*+ after fettling, not 5* thoughAs all the other reviews say, it’s a great little plane and if you’re not snobby about Chinese, for every day use why spend 3x more for Lie Nielsen when you can have this, almost as good ( I too also own Lie Nielsen so can compare). Why 3* then?
Well as others have said, it’s a solidly made heavy plane...great size. But:
1. It’s coffin shaped and you would expect that when viewed on plan, one long edge should be a mirror copy of the other. Well on mine, that is not the case. Whereas the from three quarters of the sole does mirror on both sides, when you get to the back, it no longer does...in fact it is curved in a way that one side is parallel to the other. I can’t see it matters in the end or I would have sent it back but it does show lack of quality control by Luban. It would have been rejected by Lie Nielsen.
2. I like the soles of my planes to be as flat as possible and although one can argue that on a short plane like this it is less important, nevertheless, as someone that loves quality tools, I set about checking for flatness and lapping. Flatness certainly wasn’t bad but it wasn’t flat either. It had a hollow at the centre front, by the blade slot and at the back...all were over the middle third of the width. It probably took about an hour to lap most away so now it is flat except I couldn’t get rid of the hollow at the back. I decided this didn’t matter as the remainder of the sole is now good, but nevertheless, it’s a bit disappointing.
3. My main disappointment though relates to the blade and the way it sits. After honing, I went to set the plane up only to discover that I couldn’t get the blade to appear evenly across the sole opening. I checked the bevel for squareness and it was fine, so it had to be something else. What I found was that one side of the blade towards the back was fouling on the side of the body and that was stopping it moving as far as it needed. It wasn’t too difficult to grind an area about 6x15mm in the side down and smooth it off...and that certainly helped but the blade was still fouling. Rather than making the whole blade slightly narrower I decided to grind a slight hollow on the edge of the back of the blade where it was still fouling. Rubbish having to do that but it barely shows, doesn’t reduce performance and meant that the blade does now just about adjust correctly. Only just because I realise that there’s a limit to how far the blade can be rotated like this because the depth adjusting slots sit quite snugly in the adjusted and there’s not much play. So it’s a shame and I’d like to be able to have more lateral adjustment as usual but it’s about workable.
So overall, I think the above let this brilliant little plane down. Items 1 and 2 aren’t real issues but item 3 is and again demonstrates poor quality control. Given that all the other reviews are 5* I can only assume I had a one off poor product. Am I glad I bought it? Yes. Would I buy it again? Yes. I sort of had expected something like this and was surprised at how many 5* reviews I’ve seen. Had I bought this for ‘best’, then I’d feel short changed. But I didn’t. It isn’t Lie Nielsen but then it isn’t that cost either. So be prepared to do some fettling and it’ll be fine. As they say, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. And as an alternative, would I save a bit of money and buy a Stanley etc type alternative. No way. The inherent quality of this apron plane is far superior to others except the genuine premium planes, so it’s well worth buying this with your eyes open!
Seller response: This one should have, would have and still could be replaced under warranty. QS planes should only require a few minutes fettling to be ready for work, if you get one that needs any more than that please let us know and we will be happy to help.
- Would reccomendI used to own the lie neilson version but it got stolen from my tool box on a building site and couldn't afford to replace it at the time. Several years later I decided to treat myself to a new one but discovered this and after reading a few reviews I decided to get it. A waited a while to post a review to properly use it and get a feel for it and I really like it. The only difference between it and the lie neilson is the depth adjustment screw, it's not as good quality as the lie neilson but for actual use once the blade is locked in place it's not an issue so would definitely recommend it.
- High quality itemFeels great and costs so little. Worth every penny and probably the best cost/quality ratio there is at the time
- Firs one is taken fro meI have booth LN and this one. I have to buy another of QS and i will probably buy few more for each blade angle one.
It have very fine mouth and once you find what it can do all other block planes are not so useful anymore.
Incredible value for the money
- This tool feels like it grew from my hand!arrived today. excellent service and delivery. Straight from the box ,without sharpening this tool takes lovely shavings. can't wait to hone it and see what results i get. Ergonomically ,one of the best tools i have had in my hand. a thing of beauty.
- Definetly as good as a Lie NielsenI haven't been able to justify the purchase of the Lie Nielsen 102 although I have had access to a friends for several years and absolutely love it!
Having purchased four other Quangsheng planes over recent months I decided to try the Luban 102 and it is ever bit as good as the L.N. if not better.
The plane body is beautifully cast and finished, the adjuster works much better than the L.N and the blade, whilst not at all sharp out of the box, honed easily to a mirror finish giving the finest shavings ever!
Ergonomically perfect, this sits in the palm of your hand as is beautifully weighted.
In the market for a beutiful bit of kit which will help enhance any project? This is for you 11/10.
- Never out of reach when working wood.I was looking for a block plane that was large enough to be fully functional with fine blade adjustment, yet small enough to be tucked into a pocket for use on my Carpentry & Joinery college course, and this little beauty seemed to offer what I was looking for.
After reading the positive reviews I did agonize for a while not only about buying a new tool but also about buying something made in China when I usually buy vintage or used tools to avoid the modern PRC-manufactured tools that the big brands seem to sell.
When the package arrived I opened it with some trepidation and much anticipation but my initial impressions were, that it was a quality tool, well engineered, well manufactured and if it worked as good as it looked then it would be an absolute steal.
I have waited to review until I had an opportunity to allow the tool a to earn it's keep and I can only say that it is an absolute joy to use; fits perfectly in my hand to break sharp edges, sort those tricky local high spots and it excels at end grain - the adjustment being sensitive enough to cut from fine shavings down to dust.
I would have no hesitation in recommending this tool based on my experience and it has been quite a talking point at college for both my fellow students and our lecturers who are often taken aback when I explain exactly what it is and how little it cost, unable to believe that given my affinity to vintage tools, their restoration and use that this little Luban isn't some rare tool that I have brought back to life which is testament to the quality of the product.
Based on this I have looked to Quangsheng Luban for my shoulder plane requirements and look forward to reviewing those in due course.
A definite 5 star tool and one that I will cherish and would not like to be without.
- AmazingThis very handy little plane is a triumph to engineering, every aspect of it is perfect. Once honed the plane can take translucent end grain shavings with ease. I think every woodworker should own one.
- a superb piece of engineering small and perfecta superb piece of engineering
small and perfect
- GorgeousThis Luban is a complete joy. The blade is thick and firmly bedded. There is no lateral adjustment lever but the blade is easily adjusted by a slight tap on the side of the blade. In use it is very controllable and allows small shavings to be made for tiny adjustments.
Quangsheng Luban No. 102 Bronze Apron Plane