It seems to me a universal problem with hand tools. I don’t really know who owns who these days. I don’t know who’s out there that might have been involved in making these. I do know that they should all be ashamed. No country seems to be exempt from the demise but as it is with many things seemingly unchangeable, mostly its based on some sort of premise that they have a good name. As it is with Stanley planes and saws, gauges, sliding bevels, such like that, the workpersonship (I know, it’s not a word.) is truly shameful as is the quality control, labeling, packaging and everything surrounding the tool. This is representative of Sheffield’s tool making. Not the whole of it, obviously, but anything Stanley. Working on this as a brand new from the plassy-bag start would likely take about 40 minutes to an hour. Even the ground bevel was equalled only by something like a vintage can opener.
The difference for me was I knew what the standard was and I knew how to fix the shoddy work. The cast iron lever cap fit where it touched, had deep pock marks along the leading edge and had a round to the same edge too. The ground bevel should never have been sent out as is. If you had a grinding wheel it would have been quicker to fix but why should anyone have to go out and buy a grinder to fix a new product.
Unfortunately the Veritas equivalent is now £90 otherwise I would send you there. It is indeed getting harder and harder to find the right tool and it all revolves around one issue. It’s not the materials, nor is it the production methods, it’s using unskilled and uncaring staff, supervisors and managers. Funny thing is though. They are not ashamed at all!