Author Topic: Anyone have experience with Clifton planes?  (Read 8370 times)

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Offline ear3

  • Posts: 3594
Anyone have experience with Clifton planes?
« on: July 23, 2016, 10:28 AM »
The hand tool place I've started to go to, Tools for Working Wood, carries Clifton planes.  Just wondering if anyone here uses these and what their thoughts are?  I'm considering the large shoulder plane in particular, and am weighing it against the LV and LN models.  The price for some of the Clifton planes is actually higher than the LN equivalent, which is kind of surprising.
Kapex KS 120 w/UG Cart and Extensions • CXS Set • T18+3 w/Centrotec Installer's Set • PDC 18/4 • TS 75 • TSC 55 • HKC 55 w/250, 420 and 670 FSK rails • Carvex 420 w/Accessory Kit • Domino 500 Set • Domino 700 XL • OF 2200 w/Base Accessory Kit • OF 1400 • OF 1010 • MFK 700 EQ Set • LR 32 • MFS 400 w/2000, 1000, and 700 extensions • Rotex 90 • Rotex 150 • LS 130 • ETS-EC 150/5 • ETS-EC 150/3 • ETS 150/3 • Pro 5 LTD • RTS 400 • RAS 115.04 • RS 2 • HL 850 • Vecturo OS 400 • CT 26 w/BT module • CT Sys w/Long-Life Bag • MFT/3

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Offline Scott in Bend

  • Posts: 205
Re: Anyone have experience with Clifton planes?
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2016, 01:55 PM »
I think you would be much happier with LV or LN instead of the Clifton.  I had a Clifton 3110 Combo bullnose and shoulder plane and now have LN large shoulder.  The LN was more refined and the Clifton tried to be too many things.  Nothing really wrong with the Clifton, I just liked the feel of the LN better.

I don't have any LV large shoulder plane experience, but I do have a LV medium shoulder plane with the cool pivoting rear handle and it falls nicely in my hand.  So, based on that and if the LV large one is about the same, the LV would be worth a good look. 

Offline T. Ernsberger

  • Posts: 860
Re: Anyone have experience with Clifton planes?
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2016, 02:52 PM »
Wow you have taken the plunge into planes.  I did the same thing 10 years ago and now have way to many planes.  I would stick with Lie Nielsen being that you already have a couple of them.  The larger shoulder plane looks very close to the Lie Neilsen.  Lie Neilsen is one of those company's like Festool where the tools hold there value.  A couple years ago I broke my leg in half and if it wasn't my Lie Neilsen collection and Stanley bedrock collection I would have been screwed.  I was able to put them on ebay and get 85-90% of the value I had into them.  I have been rebuilding my Lie Neilsen collection since.  One plane you need to look at if you don't have it yet is the Ln60 block plane.

Offline bdiemer

  • Posts: 195
Re: Anyone have experience with Clifton planes?
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2016, 11:04 PM »
I use the lie Nielsen shoulder planes, but I would not right off the Clifton shoulder plane. It's a direct decedent of the Preston Planes, which aside from the infills were the hallmark of shoulder planes. Clifton planes have the same out of the box qualities as the big 2. Having the opportunity to grasp it and use it in a store is a big plus. I myself never met a combo plane that I liked.

Offline Mr Jones

  • Posts: 63
Re: Anyone have experience with Clifton planes?
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2016, 05:17 AM »
From my experience you can trust that a Clifton plane will be an excellent tool. I prefer mine to the similar Veritas plane that I have, although I love the little Veritas block plane.

Offline ear3

  • Posts: 3594
Re: Anyone have experience with Clifton planes?
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2016, 07:48 AM »
I ended up getting the Clifton 3110 combo.  Really liked the heft of it in my hand -- thing is built like a tank.

Gonna use it some and see how it goes.  TFWW has a generous 6 month return policy, so I can get some mileage out of it and be sure.  Actually it was sort of the return policy that tipped me over the edge to get the plane yesterday -- I had gotten a couple of different rasps for the small detail work I've been doing, and realizing one of the them wasn't all that useful, I brought it back with me and got a significant credit towards the plane. 
Kapex KS 120 w/UG Cart and Extensions • CXS Set • T18+3 w/Centrotec Installer's Set • PDC 18/4 • TS 75 • TSC 55 • HKC 55 w/250, 420 and 670 FSK rails • Carvex 420 w/Accessory Kit • Domino 500 Set • Domino 700 XL • OF 2200 w/Base Accessory Kit • OF 1400 • OF 1010 • MFK 700 EQ Set • LR 32 • MFS 400 w/2000, 1000, and 700 extensions • Rotex 90 • Rotex 150 • LS 130 • ETS-EC 150/5 • ETS-EC 150/3 • ETS 150/3 • Pro 5 LTD • RTS 400 • RAS 115.04 • RS 2 • HL 850 • Vecturo OS 400 • CT 26 w/BT module • CT Sys w/Long-Life Bag • MFT/3

Offline waterloomarc

  • Posts: 107
Re: Anyone have experience with Clifton planes?
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2016, 08:31 AM »
TFWW is a stand up outfit. I used to order much more from them than I do know but they were always great to deal with.

Re LN holding their resale values: I was watching an auction that closed yesterday. Dang thing went for $20 more than it does new from the factory! Then they wanted $10 shipping on top of that!! Some guys have all the luck.

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 3536
Re: Anyone have experience with Clifton planes?
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2016, 09:42 AM »
I ended up getting the Clifton 3110 combo.  Really liked the heft of it in my hand -- thing is built like a tank.

Gonna use it some and see how it goes.  TFWW has a generous 6 month return policy, so I can get some mileage out of it and be sure.  Actually it was sort of the return policy that tipped me over the edge to get the plane yesterday -- I had gotten a couple of different rasps for the small detail work I've been doing, and realizing one of the them wasn't all that useful, I brought it back with me and got a significant credit towards the plane.

Wow!  I've bought stuff from them and didn't realize that was the policy. Didn't need to return anything anyway.

Offline ear3

  • Posts: 3594
Re: Anyone have experience with Clifton planes?
« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2016, 02:16 PM »
???  Do you know where he started the bidding at?

TFWW is a stand up outfit. I used to order much more from them than I do know but they were always great to deal with.

Re LN holding their resale values: I was watching an auction that closed yesterday. Dang thing went for $20 more than it does new from the factory! Then they wanted $10 shipping on top of that!! Some guys have all the luck.
Kapex KS 120 w/UG Cart and Extensions • CXS Set • T18+3 w/Centrotec Installer's Set • PDC 18/4 • TS 75 • TSC 55 • HKC 55 w/250, 420 and 670 FSK rails • Carvex 420 w/Accessory Kit • Domino 500 Set • Domino 700 XL • OF 2200 w/Base Accessory Kit • OF 1400 • OF 1010 • MFK 700 EQ Set • LR 32 • MFS 400 w/2000, 1000, and 700 extensions • Rotex 90 • Rotex 150 • LS 130 • ETS-EC 150/5 • ETS-EC 150/3 • ETS 150/3 • Pro 5 LTD • RTS 400 • RAS 115.04 • RS 2 • HL 850 • Vecturo OS 400 • CT 26 w/BT module • CT Sys w/Long-Life Bag • MFT/3

Offline Christopher Fitch

  • Posts: 71
Re: Anyone have experience with Clifton planes?
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2016, 12:03 AM »
I have the entire set of Clifton planes - All bench planes and all shoulder planes.

I also have many Veritas (including their shoulder planes) and Lie Nielsen planes. You can't go wrong with any of them.

If you can wait a day or so, I can post pictures and thoughts about them.

Offline ear3

  • Posts: 3594
Re: Anyone have experience with Clifton planes?
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2016, 04:22 PM »
@Christopher Fitch How does the Clifton shoulder plane compare to the Veritas and LN?  I'm all set now with the large Clifton, but at some point I imagine I might want to get a smaller shoulder plane, and so would love the perspective of someone who's used all three makers.

I have the entire set of Clifton planes - All bench planes and all shoulder planes.

I also have many Veritas (including their shoulder planes) and Lie Nielsen planes. You can't go wrong with any of them.

If you can wait a day or so, I can post pictures and thoughts about them.
Kapex KS 120 w/UG Cart and Extensions • CXS Set • T18+3 w/Centrotec Installer's Set • PDC 18/4 • TS 75 • TSC 55 • HKC 55 w/250, 420 and 670 FSK rails • Carvex 420 w/Accessory Kit • Domino 500 Set • Domino 700 XL • OF 2200 w/Base Accessory Kit • OF 1400 • OF 1010 • MFK 700 EQ Set • LR 32 • MFS 400 w/2000, 1000, and 700 extensions • Rotex 90 • Rotex 150 • LS 130 • ETS-EC 150/5 • ETS-EC 150/3 • ETS 150/3 • Pro 5 LTD • RTS 400 • RAS 115.04 • RS 2 • HL 850 • Vecturo OS 400 • CT 26 w/BT module • CT Sys w/Long-Life Bag • MFT/3

Offline Christopher Fitch

  • Posts: 71
Re: Anyone have experience with Clifton planes?
« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2016, 10:31 PM »
    I'll go through everything I have and make some comments about them. (Hopefully all these show up)

    Here's what I have:
248461-0

  • Veritas Miniature Shoulder Plane - Tiny but it does work. You need a magnifying glass to check your adjustments. About a 1/4" wide.
    248467-1
  • Clifton 400. Works but it's fiddly. I don't use it...mouth is too small and it's hard to adjust. I could file the mouth open just a bit.  Also I have the next plane which I use alot more. Almost a 1/2" wide.
    248463-2
  • Lie Nielsen Bronze Shoulder Plane. Great little plane. Makes great shavings. Sadly it appears that it is no longer made. About a 1/2" wide.
    248465-3
  • Clifton 410 - Very good plane. Depending on the size of what I'm trimming, this is the first one I grab. About 5/8" wide.
    248469-4
  • Veritas Medium Shoulder Plane - Very good plane - Requires some adjust to a different grip. About a little short of 3/4" wide. You can adjust the mouth on this with the screws on top and on the front. Have never needed to do that.
    248471-5
  • Clifton 420 - Very good plane. Usually the second plane I reach for when I need one of these. About 3/4" wide.
    248473-6
  • Veritas Bullnose - Very Nice plane. You can adjust the mouth opening with the thumb screw or turn it in to a mini chisel plane if you take the front nose off. I like this one a bunch.
    248475-7
    • Clifton 3110 - Nice plane - First Shoulder plane I ever bought. Though it does try to do alot, I've had good success with it. About 1 1/8" wide. Allows for good wide cutting without the high mass of the large shoulder planes from others. Good for someone who needs a shoulder plane occasionally.
      248477-8
    • Veritas Large Shoulder - Big Plane - nice but like all large shoulder planes - it's heavy - About 1 1/4" wide. I don't use this much. Have not really had the need. Mine came with wood knobs but I received brass knobs later for free (Thanks Lee Valley!).
      248479-9

    So here's my thoughts
    ** First I have handled and used a Lie Nielsen medium shoulder plane. My uncle has one and we compared my Clifton 420 with the LN.
    Here's my thoughts: Clifton 420 feels better in the hand and has a smoother feeling and smoother edges than the LN. LN is a really solid plane and has an adjustable mouth. Both are good.
    Here's his thoughts: He said similar comments about the feel of the Clifton and liked it better in his hand.

    It's hard to pick between these two since they both are top notch. The adjustable mouth on the LN is nice but the Clifton feels more comfortable to me. Also, I've never had a need for opening the mouth on the Clifton.

    ** If I had to buy one plane, I would probably pick the Clifton 420.
       If two, then the 420 and the 410.
    ** However, I can't discount the 3110. I've had that plane for a while and I still use it some.
    ** I like the Veritas bullnose.
    ** The Veritas shoulder planes are nice and you have the advantages of the removable knobs and the adjustable mouths along with
    set screws.

    Lots of choices - I certainly can't say mine are right but I'm not disappointed in what I have.

    Feel free to ask questions.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2016, 10:36 PM by Christopher Fitch »

Offline ear3

  • Posts: 3594
Re: Anyone have experience with Clifton planes?
« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2016, 06:04 PM »
Awesome -- thanks @Christopher Fitch And congratulations dude, you've kicked up some serious tool envy with those pics.
Kapex KS 120 w/UG Cart and Extensions • CXS Set • T18+3 w/Centrotec Installer's Set • PDC 18/4 • TS 75 • TSC 55 • HKC 55 w/250, 420 and 670 FSK rails • Carvex 420 w/Accessory Kit • Domino 500 Set • Domino 700 XL • OF 2200 w/Base Accessory Kit • OF 1400 • OF 1010 • MFK 700 EQ Set • LR 32 • MFS 400 w/2000, 1000, and 700 extensions • Rotex 90 • Rotex 150 • LS 130 • ETS-EC 150/5 • ETS-EC 150/3 • ETS 150/3 • Pro 5 LTD • RTS 400 • RAS 115.04 • RS 2 • HL 850 • Vecturo OS 400 • CT 26 w/BT module • CT Sys w/Long-Life Bag • MFT/3

Offline Christopher Fitch

  • Posts: 71
Re: Anyone have experience with Clifton planes?
« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2016, 12:26 AM »
Hope that helps ... As for tool envy...not trying to cause that...more like a warning if you fall down the rabbit hole.  [eek]

Honestly I have too many but you get going and it's hard to get off the buying train.

Good luck!


Offline troystaten

  • Posts: 1
Re: Anyone have experience with Clifton planes?
« Reply #14 on: September 02, 2018, 06:47 PM »
I know this one is an old thread, I have both Clifton and LN planes.  Both are really nice and have the important features in my mind (good quality blades, flat and square bodies and finely machined parts.  That being said I think the LN planes are slightly more finished for a lack of a better word.  As for the shoulder planes I have a Clifton 410 and the big LN and I like the adjustable mouth on the LN.  The Clifton has a very tight mouth so it really only works for very fine cuts (which is what it is designed for) so it is a bit more challenging to set up.  For the bench planes the LN's are made of ductile iron so they are less likely to crack if you drop one.  My Clifton #3 that I bought used on Ebay had a crack in the body that the seller did not disclose and I did not notice right away but it works well.  I think if your in the states and buying new the LN's are slightly better.  One other thought, the Clifton line is made by a new company or under control by one (they used to be owned by Cliko tools) and their planes might have changed since I got mine.  I did try and replace the body of mine but the current company says the new ones are slightly different than the older ones so not all the parts are interchangeable. 

Offline lwoirhaye

  • Posts: 178
Re: Anyone have experience with Clifton planes?
« Reply #15 on: September 02, 2018, 08:44 PM »
I read somewhere that there were some quality control issues with Clifton planes.   I wouldn't consider that a deterrent when buying a new plane from a seller that takes returns though.   Lots of manufacturers have made screwed up shoulder planes... they are just demanding to make properly.   I had a Stanley and it was wretched compared to the Record I got later.

Anyway, Clifton makes some nice looking planes. 

Offline IndyMike

  • Posts: 112
Re: Anyone have experience with Clifton planes?
« Reply #16 on: September 03, 2018, 12:10 AM »
Personally I love my Lie-Neilson planes - I have ... I think 5 of them so far :).
Mike