Hand Tools Archive

Re: Carpenter XHP - I'm a believer

Wiley Horne
Hi Joe,

Someone’s instrumental chemistry test has given a strong hunch that it is. But we have been tip-toeing around your question out of respect for Lee Valley and Rob, and also because it is not known for a fact, nor do we know LV’s heat treat regime.

Some months back, David Weaver undertook testing of PMV 11 against a number of other steels. He wanted to test PMV 11 in an actual wood-planing exercise, as opposed to LV’s planing of an engineered material. David began his testing skeptical of PMV 11, but by the time he was done he had high praise because the LV steel had handily beaten the others, including a CPM 3V iron that I sent him.

He was sufficiently jazzed about the PMV 11 that he went and bought some Carpenter XHP plate steel and made a half-dozen or so home-brew irons out of 0.10” thick stock. Those turn out to be great irons also.

The interesting thing about both David’s home-made irons and the PMV 11 irons, is that they sharpen more readily than they should, given their edge longevity when planing wood. Derek did some chisel testing that found the same thing.

As a result of David’s work, I ordered one of LV’s Stanley/Record replacement irons for a vintage 605, and am awaiting a 1/8” thick PMV 11 iron for an LN5.5. LV makes the 1/8” thick irons for its own Veritas planes, but based on the slot width (0.44” or so), they should fit LN planes.


© 1998 - 2017 by Ellis Walentine. All rights reserved.
No parts of this web site may be reproduced in any form or by
any means without the written permission of the publisher.