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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:




  1. Posted by Charlton on Sep 16th, 2012

    Thanks for the update on the PM-V11. I’ve been curious to know how these perform and your endorsement certainly means a lot. I have to say, though, this is probably the only time you’ll hear me say that I wish this Canadian company wasn’t so innovative. I’m constantly burning holes in my pocket because of Lee Valley. :)

    Kudos to LV on this development.

  2. Posted by Art Pence on Sep 17th, 2012

    Want to party with any of the irons you are replacing?

  3. Posted by tom on Sep 17th, 2012

    Maybe-; )
    when I replace them I’ll think about it and if so, I’ll let you know.

  4. Posted by Marvin on Sep 17th, 2012

    I wonder how this impressive cutting material compares with Hitachi’s cutting steels ATS-34 and ZDP-189? These are not powdered steel. Hitachi’s powdered metal for cutting purposes is Cowry-W, said on one web site not to be available in the United States.

  5. Posted by tom on Sep 18th, 2012

    thanks for the comment. I’m afraid I don’t have an answer for you. The PM-V11 web page shows us how the new steel compared with others used in the test with about 10 or 12 in total. Have a look and see for yourself. I think it’s important to note that this material was chosen not only for edge retention but for ease of sharpening. Clearly there are harder tool steels out there but would you be able to re-sharpen them on a water stone? I think this was the balance Veritas was trying to achieve and in my opinion they succeeded.
    I’d like to read more about the Hitachi cutting steel you suggested and will research it when I have some time. Thanks again.

  6. Posted by steel ingots on Sep 21st, 2012

    i read your your blog and i really like it. I have to say, though, this is probably the only time you’ll hear me say that I wish this Canadian company wasn’t so innovative. thanks to write this blog.

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