Quangsheng Luban No.92 Shoulder Plane
It's been a while since I've attempted to "review" anything so it was a joy to have the chance of getting my hands on the Quangsheng Luban No.92 Shoulder plane. This was kindly provided by Workshop Heaven via a UK Woodworking Forum pass around. I can't stress enough how sensible this process is. Instead of listening to the chosen few you get a very rounded view of typical end users experiences, excellent! As with all "reviews" always take them with a pinch of salt. As we all know, we as humans are subject to our own bias and even reviews that seem only to deal with numbers and data can present them in an unrealistic way. Mine will be no different.
I hope the video conveys some of the points. Needless to say not all folks work the same so at least you can see how I use a shoulder plane. I also decided to contrast it against my Stanley No. 92 Sweetheart.
On the slightly trivial matter of looks the Luban wins for me. It has a strong Preston design flavour and looks very business like. The surface of the Luban seems nice too although you might just spy in the picture below that around the transition between the black surfaces and the metal there are some keen edges. More on that later. The surface finish on the stanley is not so good but not preventative of use.
The blade within the Stanley is an A2 steel which I have no problem with although I much prefer the high carbon steel of the Luban. The quality of the steel within Quangsheng blades is something I have enjoyed before. The only issue I had was the blade did not present squarely in the mouth. I just skewed my honing a bit to get things working which only took moments.
Both the planes have adjustable mouths. The Luban is quick and easy to set. Removal of the cutting iron could not be more easy on the Luban. A thumb wheel allows for fast removal without the need for a tool. Depth of cut adjustment is good too. The Stanley however is a nightmare taking much longer to remove the blade and adjust the depth of cut.
For the "in use" demo please do take a look at the video. To sum it up though, as much as I like the Luban I did not find it that comfortable to use. As you read earlier those transition points on the surface did not feel so nice in use. The Stanley, for all it's faults, of which there are many, was the easier to use and for me that is the big driving factor. If I had to choose I would probably go with the Stanley just because of ergonomics. However an alternative option is on the horizon, more on that soon.