As I posted awhile back LN no longer offers O-1 in their planes. Which is a shame because LN made a good O-1 iron for their line of planes and I prefer the Bailey style adjuster to the Norris style of the LV planes. More than likely that preference is just "because" but whatever it is what I prefer. BTW. I have a LV #4 and use it, it is a very nice plane with good features but....I ordered a LN #4 the other day with the A-2 iron.
Last night I finally got around to prepping the LN #4 for use. After an hour of working on the back of the A-2 iron I remembered I had a new in the box with chip breaker LV 2" PM-11 iron on the shelf. Out it came and on to the 3mu diamond "stone". BTW, I knew that starting on the 3mu stone would work because I've used several of the new LV irons and they are all perfectly flat and only need polishing. After no more than 30 seconds on the 3mu stone and a few strokes on the 0.5mu "strop" I had a good back.
Like I said earlier I had already spent over an hour on the back of the A-2 running through my diamond stones going so far as to dig out the Extra-Extra Course one and all the A-2 did was laugh at the effort by skittering across the stones. I guess the bottom line of why I don't like A-2 is not just the time it takes to get a good edge it is also the "feel" on the stones. I just do not get good feed back while sharpening A-2 and much of my sharpening depends on how the iron feels on the stone. Maybe if I worked more with A-2 I could develop that feel but the question is why......What does A-2 bring to the table that would make the effort worth while?
One other thing I found interesting: The LV chip breaker doesn't seem to work with LN planes. Not a biggie, my new LN #4 now has a LV PM-11 iron and a LN chip breaker with the LV chip breaker screw (I like the LV chip breaker screw, it is knurled and has a shoulder) and is a really sweet working plane. Damn I can be picky :-).
The iron on the left is the A-2 LN after more than an hour of work. The one on the right is the LV PM-11 after maybe 1 minute of work.
A better image:
I expect it will just be SOP, order a LV PM-11 or O-1 iron when I order a new LN plane. Adds to the cost but I'm too old to spend time flatting backs on irons. That's the bad news, the good is I don't need any new planes, of course need and want are two different things.