For a while I scouted eBay looking for a vintage Stanley router plane. My criteria was that it was complete, unbroken, with at least a 1/4" blade included. Couldn't find one for less than $75 starting bid. Once bidding started, well over $150-200, and more!
I figured if I was going to be paying that much I may as well go new. Over time, I ended up buying the Veritas mini, small and medium routers, in that order. I found that I have use for all 3 in different capacities, due to their sizes.
A couple extra comments on the Veritas line:
- I don't recommend that you get the mini, as the blade is not compatible with the blades for the small and medium routers (which share the same blades). As its name implies, it is very small, to the point that I can only put a couple fingers behind it, and causes hand fatigue over long sessions. The small router isn't much bigger, which effectively negates the need for the mini in my opinion.
- The blades for the small and medium routers are compatible with Stanley #71, from what I understand.
That Cowryman plane, I've seen it on Amazon, and I'm intrigued by it's very simple design. Just a plate metal base, and the blade is straight. Typically, sharpening angled hand plane blades can be a bear of a task. But from the looks of the Cowryman, it's got a straight blade, which would make the task much easier. If you read the reviews, there appear to be issues with the set screw design, so you may have to fiddle to keep it from slipping. Also, does the Cowryman you linked allow multiple blade sizes? That big one apparently comes with a 3/8".