Friday, September 21, 2012


PM-V11. Sounds like a new music video station, no?
I know I’m a little late on this post but I wanted to share my two cents about the new steel alloy from Veritas. So what is PM-V11?
PM refers to the process known as powder metallurgy, whereby molten metals are atomized into small particles, which cool and harden into a fine powder that is then heated under pressure to form an ingot.
So what’s an ingot?
An ingot is a material, usually metal, that is cast into a shape suitable for further processing.
This mixture of metals combined into a proprietary alloy, yields a steel with a very fine, uniform grain structure that is much more durable than steels produced using ordinary manufacturing processes. So, what does all that really mean to hand tool users?
Blades made from PM-V11 are highly resistant to dulling yet are as easy to sharpen as A2 tool steel and blades made from PM-V11 will hold an edge up to two times longer than one made of A2.
I was given a PM-V11 replacement blade for my Veritas bevel-up Jack plane last Spring and can say that I was absolutely blown away. If you frequent these blogs you’ll know I generally prefer O1 blades over A2. Why? I always felt I could get a sharp edge in less time than on an A2 iron. In use, I never found issues with my O1 irons dulling any more quickly than an A2. Well all that has changed since using the PM-V11. Seriously. What a difference. I was able to polish a fine edge without any difficulty and found the longevity of the edge was much longer. That’s an understatement. I found the longevity of the edge to last MUCH-MUCH longer!! We’re talking EverReady bunnies over here! This sh**  holds a serious edge!
I use water stones for 90% of my sharpening needs and the PM-V11 was just as easy to resharpen once dull.
Now I’m not saying you should run out and replace all of your irons with PM-V11 tool steel but, in the future, whenever I have the option when buying new, I’ll choose the PM-V11 steel every time. It really made a noticeable difference.
For my everyday, go-to planes, ie: Jack, low-angle block and Smoother, I will make the investment and change them over to PM-V11. The time I’ll save sharpening for me, justifies the expense.
Lee Valley offers replacement blades in PM-V11 for most of their existing planes.
If you’d like to find out more information on the new PM-V11 tool steel and read extensively about all of their test results,
go to
and for replacement blades for your favorite Veritas planes check out: