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Default What are the reasons so few modern planes measure up to the old one?

All this said, I never hear about anything other than Lie-Nielsen or
Veritas or Knight planes as examples of fine quality modern planes.
Are there others as well? Is Clifton any good? How about the new
Stanleys? Are wooden planes better/worse than metal ones?

I am still very new to this aspect of woodworking. Heck, I just made
my very first handcut dovetail joint last week. It took me a heck of
a long time to cut it and the pieces don't fit like a glove, let me
tell you! But it worked. And I can only see me getting better at it
as time goes on. I am planning on making a drawer, of sorts, as my
first "project" using dovetails. I know it will probably be a nasty
looking thing, but it'll be better than nothing.

I am beginning to find hand tools very interesting and that is why I
want to learn about such things as the quality of modern hand planes.
I guess I am being impatient. I need to scrounge garage sales and eBay
to get good deals because I don't have the money to plop down $250 for
a hand plane!

If I did that, the wife would have my left nut, too.