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Discussion Starter #1
I'm in need of a replacement iron for my SB #7 as it only has about a 1/8" of steel left before I hit the cap iron screw hole.

I'll probably get one from Lee Valley (blade + cap iron) and had kind of forgot about the PM-V11 blades they started selling a while back.

I read a lot about them when they were first released and they sounded really good. I know a few of the members here bought PM-V11 blades and or chisels, but I don't recall really seeing anybody review them.

If I recall correctly, they are reported to be near the best metal tested for wear and impact and yet are slightly easier to sharpen than A2 steel.

They are currently about $9 more than comparable blades made with O1 or A2 steel.

Anyone care to share their experiences? Do they seem to wear better/stay sharp longer? What has been your experience sharpening them?

Nine dollars isn't very much money, but I'm just curious what others experience has been with them before I make a decision.
 

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I purchased a PM-V11 iron for a Stanley No. 5 some months ago. Mostly I was interested in trying this out myself.

Today I happened to be trying to flatten a turning blank of ash, about 3 1/4in x 3 1/4in.

I started with my trusty Stanly No. 4 with original Stanley blade. It was working. I then decided to switch the the Stanley No. 5 with the PM-V11 blade. A big difference. The PM-V11 was cutting with little effort.

I think my Stanley No. 4 needs to be sharpened.

From the articles I have read, the PM-V11 is not sharper than other HSS, but it holds the edge longer. I may have been experiencing the PM-V11 edge lasting longer than the original Stanley iron.

I need to sharpen both at the same time and then do a better comparison.

I have to say if the difference is the edge lasting longer, this is worth my money.

The PM-V11 blade is also thicker, which should contribute to less chatter.
 

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When I bought my Veritas low angle block plane, I bought it with the PM-V11 iron, and an O2 blade ground at a 35 deg angle. I have a Hock iron in one of my #5 Stanley's, a Stanley Sweetheart in the other #5 and a Pinnacle iron in my 4 1/2 Stanley Smoother. When they are freshly sharpened, I can't say that any one of them stands out in performance. I tend to put off sharpening longer than I should, and I haven't done any formal testing, but I think that the PM-V11 may stay sharp a bit longer. I'm not sure that it is significantly long enough to justify the added cost. My habit is to use a plane until the iron is dull, grab another, do the same, then when I run out of planes, I go on a mad sharpening binge. I do the same thing with hand saws. If I were more disciplined, I could own fewer tools!!
 

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I'm glad to hear of good reports on the PM-V11 as I just received my
new Veritas med. shoulder plane today. I look forward to using this on a upcoming project.
 

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Not to bump this thread at all, but is it advisable to purchase the PM-V11 Cap Iron with the Blade..?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for sharing your experiences. I think I'm going to go with the PM-V11.

If it lasts just a little bit longer than O1 or A2 steel it will be worth the extra money in the long run. I tend to use planes way past the time they really need sharpening because I hate to stop in the middle of something. I'm even worse this time of year when my water stones are staying warm in the house and I'm out in the cold shed working(100 yards away).

Maybe I just need to acquire a few more duplicate planes like Wrangler - I kind of like your strategy!
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Not to bump this thread at all, but is it advisable to purchase the PM-V11 Cap Iron with the Blade..?
Not bumping at all, it's right on topic.

Just to clarify, the cap irons are not made of PM-V11, they are A2 steel.

That being said, everything I've read says that replacing the old SB cap iron will give you another level of improvement, primarily from stiffening the iron even more and lessening any vibration (chatter).

I plan on ordering a new cap iron with the blade.
 

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On the flip side of the edge lasting longer, it will take more effort to sharpen the pm-v11 steel. I tend to remember popular woodworking article a while back on this subject. I'll see if I can find it when I get home tonight.
 

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I don't know about those particular cap irons, but some cap irons for new, thicker irons have a little piece that goes down in the slot of the iron so the old depth adjuster will work with the thicker iron. Since I still use only the old, original, thin irons, I'd say the thicker cap iron is not needed with a thicker iron, unless you need it for the adjuster to work.
 

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I don't know about those particular cap irons, but some cap irons for new, thicker irons have a little piece that goes down in the slot of the iron so the old depth adjuster will work with the thicker iron. Since I still use only the old, original, thin irons, I'd say the thicker cap iron is not needed with a thicker iron, unless you need it for the adjuster to work.
I would tend to agree with you; but, since I have not replaced any cap irons, i have no reference. With properly sharpened irons, chatter has never been an issue for me with a Stanley plane.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
You've changed my mind, I'm just going to get the iron for now and save the ~$30 the cap iron would cost. I can always pick it up later if I think I need it.

BTW - if you didn't see the post in the General Woodworking section, Lee Valley has free shipping until Jan 6 for orders over $40.
 
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