Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Stanley 78 vs Record 778. Our impression

During a visit to a friend of mine, Michele, owner of a Record 778 plane, we enjoyed to compare it with my Stanley 78 in order to verify technical differences and performances.
Both planes are suitable for cutting rebates up to about 3 cm wide.
Looking to two planes, leaps to the eye the difference between parallel guides. That of Stanley (left ) is supported by only one circular bar , unlike the Record that provides two circular bars support.
In both planes there is  a stop on the right side for rebate depth adjusting.
Another difference  regards the depth adjustment system: The Record 778 has a comfortable wheel for finest regulation,
while in Stanley 78 the task is
provided by a coarser lever, easy to  move downward accidentally during the pushing action , compromising the blade adjustment. The blade sits on the bed with a double contact, on the top and on a machined
area just above the mouth. We measured the extension of this area, important for the good stability of the cutting edge. For Stanley 78 this portion was about twice than the the Record one . If we look  at the two parallel guides more closely, we see that the Record guide has three holes useful for adding an auxiliary  wood fence, important to increase the plane stability while planing .
Unfortunately, both guides were out of square (more for Stanley 78)  but for Record 778 the gap can be easily correct,
adapting the auxiliary hard wood fence.
Both planes also have a spur just before of the mouth, for  cutting cross grain  rebates (but we have not tried to). We then sharpened blades with  25 ° bevel and 30 ° microbevel and tried the  planes  on a well flat and square pine board (Michele in the pic).  We not  found very different performances (we even tried to exchange blades to highlight any differences in steel quality ) .
The Record 778 seemed to us better prepared in technical solutions , especially for the two supporting bars, the possibility to add a larger hard wood fence and the more accurate 
and easy to operate cutting depth adjusting system. However its cost in online auctions significantly exceeds that of  a Stanley 78.