Stanley plane dating guide
Type studies are based on collections and old catalogs.
The employees at Stanley did not have the studies to go by and often used the parts that were at hand.
With increased prices, Stanley collecting has changed. Worn japanning (paint finish) and some rust and paint spots. Note the handles are not damaged, making this tool worth the full value of a good rating. This grade is for tools that have been taken care of and stored properly. Polished surfaces clean and bright or with uniform patina.
Collectors today are putting together smaller collections and choosing each new addition with greater care. If the handles were broken or cracked, the value would be reduced below that of good. The japanning will be 75% or better, and the polished surface should not be rusted or pitted. Damaged or missing parts considerably reduce the value of tools in this condition. The easiest way to think of values for Stanley tools—and for that matter, all antique tools—is to divide the pricing into categories based on condition. Some items are common and therefore lower in value; others are rarer or in higher demand and therefore more valuable.
Therefore, it is not uncommon to find even new condition tools that do not exactly meet the conditions laid out in the study.
Often, even on a new plane in the box, a cutter or cap can be a type or two behind or ahead depending on when supplies ran out.
The first serious hobbyists started showing up in the early 1970s.
Stanley tools can almost be collected by the model number.
Once you know the value of a particular tool model, you can buy, sell, and collect by condition. The “type” is the year or range of years in which a tool with particular features was manufactured.
But judging from the many old tool boxes and original shops I have visited over the years, the hobbyists of the 1970s were not the first Stanley collectors.
Stanley Rule & Level began making rules and other tools in 1857.There is no tool in the STANLEY® line better known and respected than the STANLEY® Plane.