I am finally at the point where I would like to start using hand plans in conjunction with the power tools (final cleanup after the table saw, jointer, or planner).
From talking with others and some web research, it appears that the following planes would be a good, well-rounded start.
Jack Plane #5 1/2
Smoothing Plane #4
Low angle block plane #60 1/2
So, first question: Are these three planes a good base?
Second question: which brand? I have looked at Lie-Nielsen, Clifton, Veritas, Stanley, and others. Many people say Lie-Nielsen is the best, but then I have also heard that Veritas is designed better and cost slightly less. Stanley I have heard is good, but adjustment is difficult.
Totally confused – can anyone give me some guidance? What brand do you think is best and why? Which plane(s) should I be looking to get first?
Thank you very much for your time,