But first, a brief detour into why said items had hung about in the basket for a coupla months. Because at least two, maybe three, would be out of stock at any given time. Not obscure sundries, mind you, but actual tools. Used to be that was a rare occurrence, but now? Tsk. I fear the accountants are increasingly running the joint these days, and that's seldom good news in the long run.
But back to my little tool purchasing indiscretion.
Honestly, I ordered this on a total whim - and because I was curious. Sound familiar? Yeah. If I wasn't naturally a total coward, my curiosity would have probably got me killed or seriously maimed by now. Luckily a yellow streak a mile wide ensures I can get in trouble in a civilised manner via the medium of my finances instead. Yay.
So one "Rider" sorry, "Axminster" #19 (92) shoulder plane. Yes, it's a Stanley #92 knock-off. No, it's not hiding it hardly at all. Yes, as I write, it's out of stock. Ha-hum.
My only exposure to genuine Stanley 9X series planes was a late 1990s model #90 bullnose; it wasn't square and some genius had glued in the little set screw that regulates the mouth opening. First attempt to - gently - adjust same, resulted in half the screw head popping off like it was pot metal. Maybe it was. It went back (to Axminster, funnily enough) and I vowed never again. Based on that single experience, I have to say this knock-off is streets ahead of the genuine article. It's square, it's flat (enough), the machining is actually verging towards the finer end of the scale, and it works. And, at last, a Chinese copy isn't suggesting it's something else by default, because it actually has "Rider" written (faintly) on the side. A hint of progress. All adjustments adjust, although tolerances are such that all threads feel a little sloppy, but it's okay.
However, don't imagine you'll be necessarily able to clean up 3/4" housings with this (or dadoes, if you will), because this example at least, came out at 1/32" over at 25/32" wide (I think that's right anyway. Shoulda done it in them thar metricated thingies). But at least the iron is even more generous, allowing you to grind it "just so" to your preferred side protrusion. This shouldn't take long, as the other downside is the almost inevitable processed cheese slice characteristics of the steel. The edge was already gone after my four or five test cuts in some reasonably forgiving beech. Perhaps it's the factory edge and it'll improve as we get past the messed up steel as these things sometimes do, but it has that sticky feel on the stone that bodes ill.
It's not a Veritas Medium Shoulder plane (pretty darn sure that casting would be in Veritas' reject bin in short order), which I would still be my first recommendation and is worth the saving up for, in my opinion. But if your budget is really, really tight, or maybe you're looking for something that you can happily toss in the tool bag and take on site without being upset if it suffers, this isn't a dead loss. Definitely check it if you buy one, and throw it right back if it's not dead nuts on square (because I suspect those castings do plenty of moving). Oh, and prepare to get intimately acquainted with taking out the iron for sharpening, which is a right finicky business. So yeah, tight budget and lots of patience? Might be worth a gander.