Buck Bros No.4 vs Harbor Freight No.4 Hand Plane, Which Is Worth It?
Buck Bros No.4 vs Harbor Freight No.4 Hand Plane, Which Is Worth It?
Today I compare the Buck Bro’s 9 inch No.4 Hand Plane($29.99 approximately) to the Harbor Freight 9″ No. 4 Hand Plane Set (Comes with one 9″ No.4 hand plane and an edge plane for $14.99).
Harbor Freight 9 inch No.4 Hand Plane and Trim Plane set: https://www.harborfreight.com/no-4-jack-and-mini-plane-set-92553.html
Buck Bros 9 inch No.4 Hand Plane: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Buck-Bros-9-in-Bench-Plane-120C4/100351888
Which one do I suggest for the money, and why? Check out the video and see!
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If you want a cheap plane that is actually able to do its job try the other harbor freight one with the weird knobs, that one actually holds the blade in place and can even remove the blade without losing its depth position, which is good because the steel is fair at best so it needs frequent sharpening
Thank you. I’m just getting started and finding out which budget options are worth my time is amazingly helpful. Liked and subbed.
edit: I went looking through your videos and couldn’t find the video on what it takes to get the Buck Brothers plane set up. Did I miss the video or did it not get made? Thanks again. 🙂
The Buck Brothers no 4 is more of a #2 iykwim.
No matter if you adjust the pitch lever, the rear knob, or the brass knob it just instantly gets loose on all three controls, the other possible position is tightened down and totally crooked. And as soon S you try to use it the blade gets pushed up in no matter how tight you set the screws
Good comparison for the budget minded. Thanks
I have the Buck Bros #4. I flattened the sole, rounded the corners of the blade, and flattened and sharpened the blade, and it works "well" – It’s the only plane I own so far, so I have limited comparison, but I did use a couple planes while taking a class from Roy Underhill, and those seemed much easier to use.
It never ceases to amaze me just how someone who has any knowledge whatsoever of tools and tool quality will go to Harbor Freight, pay next to nothing for a tool and then complain about how bad it is or how it doesn’t hold up like the more expensive tools do. It’s Harbor Freight! I wouldn’t buy an air gauge from them and expect it to be be as good as a Milton is for checking tire pressure let alone buy a twenty dollar plane then complain about what a piece of crap it was. You get what you pay for.
Where’s the next video?
The harbor freight #4 is different in that it is bevel up. Don’t know how that plays into the equation……..
I picked up the HF set and it is a piece of shit, but I was able to make a decent scrub plane out of it. Using my bench grinder and a cup of water for dipping, I ground an 8” radius camber on the edge and then honed it on an HF diamond block. I moved the chip breaker pretty far back from the edge. After reassembling the plane, I moved the iron back out of the mouth and worked the bottom a bit on sandpaper on glass (not really necessary). I tried trying up the frog, but don’t even bother.
I took the mini plane blade and made a spokeshave out of it.
Got the harbor freight set and was disappointed. I am in the process of tuning the main plane. The canter lever pin holes don’t even line up. I’ve jb filled them in and will drill the pin hole correctly. I did get the small plane to work, making .003" shavings. You need to sharpen and polish the blade, square the plane and adjust the bend on the red blade tensioner. The only good thing about this harbor freight plane kit is the knowledge gathered trying to figure out why it doesn’t work and what can be done to remedy it.
I bought a Stanley No. 4 Bailey and I’ve already spent 2 hours trying to flatten the sole. So, no, it costs a lot more. My time is worth money.
I did Wookworking as a Profession for over 20 years and as my hobby for 35 now truthfully I never cared much for the Buck Brothers branded tools as a whole i had tried a couple of their saws and was disappointed for the price those HF Planes can be tuned to. Work but its a awful lot of time and work for Hand Planes i usually stick to Vintage Stanleys the old Standby they worked for my Grandfather and my Dad
Lol I feel like in just based on names alone we are different parallel versions of Eric’s. I go by erok creates or Erok destroys for art and incense sculpting. Eric’s creative Is woodworking.
There needs to be an "Erik created" like a stone carver.
"airick makes" some d.i.y. tinkerer
Spend the money on a used Stanley or Craftsman and refurbish it. They are common at flea markets and garage sales. Also available on Ebay but more money. All my day to day planes are of this pedigree. Clean, flatten the sole, flatten and sharpen the blade (replace if REALLY bad), tune it up and then use for years with a solid plane. Most of the modern cheap planes are junk and don’t hold up.
For $30 you can get two or three Stanley #4s at garage sales or flea markets. The best ones will show signs of wear (not abuse or damage), means someone found them to be usable and/or tuned them already. I paid $7 for a nearly-new Record #3.
Stanley H.1204 Handyman plane would be a great comparsion
is it worth the money- no
can it be made working – yes, with considerable effort
is it good value for the money- hell no
the main reasons
frog is poorly miled and don’t even fully contact the bed casting
depth adjustment is plastic
no spring plate under the latch
i had to mill my handyman plane myself (with a router and a jig) to make it usable, because it seemed like factory reject
Good review, but "Bros." is pronounced "brothers," not "bros."
I have one of those Bucks. The blade was ground crooked-to get a straight cut, the tilt lever was all the way to one side, even after taking advantage of the generous free play. The sole was way out of wack. I honed the sole and reground the blade, and with some effort you can do some actual decent work with it, but there’s so much slop in it that it’s a waste of time. I tried using it thinning a cedar board and I couldn’t get the cap tight enough to keep the blade from shifting, and cedar is s-o-f-t. You can find Stanley #4s in junk stores any day of the week for $10-20. ((Yeah, some cost more. Pass those by and keep digging.) Take ’em apart, clean any rust, sand the sole and hone the blade and you’ve got a FAR better plane than the Buck. Either way, you’re going to have to learn how to sharpen the iron…why not spend that effort on something that will be a hundred times nicer to use?
Wish I saw this before buying the harbor freight one.
Some success! Cleaned up the terrible milling, squared up the shaving break as there is an adjustment control attached to it from the back. Way too much time, but a nice bit of fun. It is possible to get .001" shavings!
I’m grateful for the flea market stanley bailey and craftsman I got cheap at flea markets.
If you don’t even try and true it how can you be so negative you are not at all objective
Thanks. Helpful. I didn’t see your video on tuning up the Buck’s plane.
I’ve tried both and both are excellent boat anchors. Buy an old used Stanley Baily plane that is still in good condition and learn to tune it properly and it will last a life time.
The Buck Bros handle broke the first time I tried to use it.
My local Home Depot didn’t have the Buck Bros plane in stock, but the Harbor Freight had both their #4/mini block set & their "#33 Windsor".
I bought one of the HF #4 combos, and started trying to assess what I’d need to do to get it to work. I found on the #4, the mounting holes in the main casting where the frog is attached, were drilled crooked, the frog wasn’t milled flat (it was visibly twisted too), & the lever cap cam profile is so poorly shaped that it will need to be ground down more to get it to function lightly enough to allow any adjustments of the depth of cut. Oh yeah, the sole isn’t flat, the chip breaker isn’t flush to the iron, & the iron is dull as the day is long, but those were all expected…
I started thinking about all the work needed to get it to functional, and decided to head over to my nearest Woodcraft store and splurge on a Woodriver #4, but didn’t make it there before they closed (Sunday). Harbor Freight was just down the street, and I got to thinking that surely the same machining errors couldn’t be duplicated on all of theirs, so on the way home, I got another combo pack, and took it apart to check.
It didn’t have the same errors in machining the casting, the adjusting screw worked out of the box correctly, the lever cap actually worked properly, and so did the lateral adjustment lever. I picked up some sandpaper while there too, and swung by a local Floor & Decor to scoop up some pieces of whatever polished granite floor tile they had on clearance, just to see how small of a budget I could get by with on making this new #4 functional.
So far, I’ve spent $14.99 on this plane set, $1.95 on a granite floor tile, $7 on sandpaper, & $4 on big Sharpies to mark up the tool and check my sanding progress. I’m betting that less than 2 hrs of tune-up will be needed to get this one in shape to use, and afterwards, I’ll return the other one, since it’s still less than 30 days out of the package, and I’ve not done any grinding or honing on it to alter it yet.
I agree with your assessment about the handles, but much of that is likely due to our hands being larger than what the HF plane handle was designed for, barring the casting seam which can be sanded down. The handles can be replaced or carved as desired, if the rest of the plane turns into a decent tool.
I stripped the paint off of mine, the wood for the knob and tote seems to be beech.
I would have to agree with your assessment. I have a buck bros, after a few hours of tuning I have it working well. Have you gotten a stanley #4? If so how does it compare?
I own stanley planes,, I recently bought a #4 type 6, it was made around 1892, it’s almost 120 years old its beautiful and solid. I paid $30 plus $10 shipping so for the life of me I don’t know why anyone would spend money on these pieces of jumk, when you can find quality tools for about the same price.
Buck "Brothers" not Buck ‘Broes’…
Is the video on the true cost out? Never seen anyone else else do a video like that
Before I watch my bet is on the buck bros.