Woodworking is a fun and useful hobby! The right building starts with the right tools, however, so choosing where you get your instruments can be a difficult choice!
Both the Lie Nielsen and Veritas manufacturers make high-quality products that are easy to work with and can create amazing wood projects. Lie Nielsen utilizes higher grade, but also more expensive, materials, while Veritas provides similar quality for a lower price.
Both companies work hard to create quality products, and the general consensus between members of the woodworking community is that you can’t go wrong with either company. Neither is the obviously superior option, so consumers can choose based on price and which tool suits their style of crafting better. There are subtle differences between tools from each company, however, that could be a pro or con depending on what kind of tool you prefer.
Why You Should Pick Lie Nielson
Lie Nielsen Toolworks was founded in 1981 and is located in the US. They make everything from planes to chisels, providing a wide range of tools for the everyday woodworker.
They focus on using high-quality materials like Manganese Bronze, Ductile Iron, and A2 Tool Steel. Their plane blades are built to be thicker than most other production planes. One of their selling points is that they don’t outsource jobs to make their products cheaper.
Lie Nielson is a local company that keeps its business in New England for a better product. Lie Nielsen’s tool quality does reflect in its prices, as its items are fairly expensive. Customers in other countries like Canada may find that their products are more expensive due to shipping expenses.
Some consumers feel that the extra money is worth the quality, as shoddy tools can make or break a project and poor quality products can actually be unsafe to use since they are prone to breaking. Consumers of Lie Nielsen tools describe them as useful, long-lasting, durable, and producing a great result in the wood shop.
You may want to shell out the extra cash for these tools, but Veritas is no slouch either. Crafting is very personal, so how you build your projects and how seriously you take your craft may be the best indicator of how much you want to invest in your toolkit.
Why You Should Pick Veritas
Veritas Tools, based in Ottawa, Canada, is the manufacturing branch for a company called Lee Valley Tools, which was established in 1978. Veritas brags about its high-quality manufacturing with a promised year-long warranty.
Veritas products offer a similar range of items to Lie Nielsen and also manufacture locally rather than outsourcing. The biggest difference between the two companies seems to lie in price. Lie Nielsen’s claim to fame is that you get what you pay for, but Veritas tools are neither cheap nor lacking.
Veritas can offer great tools at a lower rate than Lie Nielsen while still providing great products that get the job done. While the price may reflect the tool’s caliber, many consumers insist that the difference in makeup is not worth the $100 or $150 difference in price. If you don’t want to break the bank and still build some beautiful pieces, Veritas is there for you.
Summations of Both Options
Many of the differences between Lie Nielsen and Veritas are product specific, as each tool is designed slightly differently than the others. If you can, try to handle both tools in person so you can see those differences for yourself.
Neither is necessarily superior to the other in design, as different builders enjoy different aspects of a tool. Which to choose boils down in the end to the kind of builder you are, what specific product you’re choosing to buy, and what project you’re working on.
In general, however, the major difference lies in cost. Lie Nielsen utilizes higher grade but also more pricey materials, and this reflects in their tools. They are more costly overall but will perform incredibly and last you a lifetime.
On the other hand, Veritas can provide you with similar quality for a lower price. They don’t always use the ideal materials, but some woodworkers don’t see enough of a difference in standard between the two to justify the cost difference.
So, if you value class overall and are a skilled enough woodworker to notice and invest in the difference, choose Lie Nielsen. If you prioritize a good deal for a still good set of tools, then go with Veritas. Either company will give a working product you can be proud of, so don’t sweat the small stuff!
Tips for Picking a Hand Tool
If you’re new to the woodworking game, how can you choose the best tool? When buying a tool, especially an expensive one, do your research! Check what materials, like wood and metal, make up the tool.
Some woods are superior to others and provide a longer-lasting product that is less susceptible to breakdowns.
Metal quality can also be a big aspect of a tool. Not all metals are created equal, and some are stronger, more resilient, and cleaner than other metals.
You can also check the quality of a tool just by picking it up! Heavier tools are a strong indicator of better workmanship and better ingredients. Heavier tools also tend to last longer than light ones. This is subjective, though, so take it with a grain of salt. Some jobs require lightweight tools, as heavy ones can be more damaging to delicate mediums.
You should also look for tools that can multitask! Paying a little more for one tool that can do five jobs is better in the end than buying five slightly cheaper items that can only do one thing. Plus, the singular item won’t take up as much space in your toolbox.
You should also pay attention to the handle. An uncomfortable handle will stress out your hands over time. Handles that are not well attached to the rest of the tool also indicate poor quality. Overall, pay attention to your personal needs as a craftier, as no one creates in the exact same way!