Small Bevel-Up Smoother vs. Low-Angle Block


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So, I finally have a job where I have the ability to purchase a couple new planes a month (if I so desire), and one of the ones on my list is a low-angle block plane. But, in looking at the offerings from Lee Valley, I came across this Small Bevel-Up Smooth Plane: http://www.leevalley.com/US/wood/page.aspx?p=67691&cat=1,41182,52515

Based on the dimensional information, the Small Bevel-Up is very close to size, and almost the exact same functionality as, the low-angle block. So, I'm really leaning towards the Small BU Smooth plane, and I'm just wondering if there's any benefit a low-angle block plane will provide that the small bu plane wouldn't, and I'm just not seeing it? Additionally, has anyone used the Small BU Smooth plane. If so, what were your impressions.

Additional information: I already own a standard block plane.

Thanks in advance.

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Both being low angle they should do well on end grain. I have the LV Low Angle Block plane and I have the optional rear tote and I have used it many times like a small smoother. I would say that the Small BU would be a good deal especially if you already have a block plane.

-Gary

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The LABP is a largish block plane, that can be used as a smoother. The small bu smoother is a small smoother that would be usefull for some trimming tasks and end grain. Both can be used with different angled blades to get best result on different types of wood. The small BU smoother seems like a very useful plane, but I'm not sure I would want it instead of a block plane.

Because the LABP (which I have) can be used without a handle it can be used one-handed for little trimming tasks (although I know some folks find it a little to big for this). The small BU smoother (which I don't have) has a bit more registration in front of the mouth and is abit heavier, so it will be nicer to use for general smoothing and for shooting.

There's a lot of crossover between the two, but depending on the task one may excel more at some things and the other at different things.

If you don't already have any planes and you want a smoother/general purpose bench plane my advice is to get one of the larger LA/BU smoothers or a No. 4 or 4.5 (perhaps even a 5 1/4W or LA jack). If you want a block plane, get a block plane - something that can be used one handed is nice to have and though its a bit large for some folks the regular old LV LABP is a great block plane with a lot of versatility (though admittedly I do have my eye on a dx60)

Also, if you are willing/able to get more than one plane at the moment, perhaps consider one of the larger bench planes and then supplement it with the realtively inexpensive apron plan for small one-handed trimming.

So I guess my question is. What are the main tasks you want to do with this plane? Ask yourself that question and lets us know. That can really help guide the descision.

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