Home > Techniques, Tools and Schools > Sargent 409: A brief look

Sargent 409: A brief look

The Sargent plane admired for many years and mentioned in the post A Sargent in the House, is resting comfortably in a cardboard box by my side. Buying tools on EBay often seems to be risky, but generally I have had a great experience. Purchasing this plane was no exception and it arrived well packed and exactly as described.

Sargent 409

The plane has been cared for, cleaned and appears to be sharpened. It also appears that the sole has been flattened. Learning about the Sargent bench planes has been enjoyable and there are some great websites providing lots of information. Time Tested Tools is one of these sites.

There are certainly fewer Sargent planes in people’s tool boxes and the majority of mine are Stanleys. However I’m rather fond of this plane and find myself reaching for it over its Stanley cousin.

There are a few subtle differences and one major one that I discovered. Let’s take a closer look. If you are new to Stanley and Sargent Planes people typically make comparisons to the Stanley numbering system, the Stanley #4 and Sargent #409 and equivalent. The great thing about the Sargent system is that the 9 in the 409 is the length of the bed.

Taking the blades out of the planes The Sargent weighs 2lb 13.21oz, 2 lb 13.7 oz. not a large difference. With blades in there is a greater difference. I’ve a Veritas blade in the Stanley3 lb 12.7 ozone jand original in the Sargent 3lb 10ozSo if it’s not weight that drives preference what is it?

The front knobs are different . The Stanley having a higher profile and slightly narrower.

The totes are also different with the Sargent taller and at a slightly different angle although not significant.

All seem like subtle differences. The one change that takes a little getting used to is the adjustment of depth. The Stanley gets deep with a clockwise motion, while the Sargent is counter clockwise! Yes it has caught me once!

Sargent adjustment is opposite the Stanley

Overall there is nothing obvious that drives me to prefer one over the other, it’s just an observation that I tend to reach for the Sargent first.

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