I bought two planes last week. One was brand new, the second was secondhand from eBay. The new one came boxed and wrapped in waxed paper while the secondhand one arrived well wrapped in recyclable second- or third-time used box with crumpled newspaper print.
Unpacking the new Stanley came from me thinking I should not dwell on past Stanley failings but see if they are making the better #4s I have always enjoyed through six decades of working wood. I have several planes from the 1950s and 60s that I use daily in my work and daily for me is generally a six-day week.
Looking over the plane I saw several flaws. The frog itself was misaligned, the abrading of sole and sides looked to be abraded with something like #80-grit.
Plastic handles, tote and know, almost always break in the winter of the temperature drops below freezing so I can never recommend any plane with plastic handles anyway.
This plane came in at £56 and would need quite a bit of abrading to get it working and feel right. Would I recommend it? No! But more than that, the side of the plane had received some kind of impact that mushroomed the metal both on the side of the plane and then too the sole. I took some swipes with the plane and and found half a dozen furrows in the surface of the wood caused by the indent. I’m sending it back. Additionally, these planes might give you the impression that they are still made in Sheffield, UK. They are not. One tiny rectangle affixed to the box as a sticker states UK Importer.
The joint lines along the plastic handles will need filing level otherwise they will blister your hands.
This indent badly affected the sole. It would only take a couple of file strokes to remove the swell on the steel but should I?
My second plane cost £16.85 and came in at £20 with delivery. All wooden handles, beech, not pretty, but a plane that would be in use in a few minutes.
All of the components are there and in need of no repairs. It has almost a full blade length so good for about 20 years if used six days a week full-time.
This was the better buy of the two planes. Metal clean up, sharpening, a little sanding and some shellac on the handles and it will be a nice enough plane.