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I've used the LN and thought it was good, but not worth the extra trouble over their non-skewed block and rabbeting block planes. Just my 2 cents, but I would get the LN low angle block plane for any end grain and cross grain work and hunt down an old Stanley #78 duplex rabbet plane on Ebay. I plane across the grain when I make tapered shims and my non-skewed, (standard angle) block plane doesn't allow me to get close enough to the thin edge of the shim while still skewing without bottoming out on the work bench.
Sounds like the skew is what you need - the skew blade is harder to jig for sharpening, but a Tormek should make that easy.
I usually skew a plane whenever possible for a smoother cut whether with or across the grain. Low angle block planes are one of the greatest con-tricks ever foisted on the tool buying public. You get exactly the same result, and a lot cheaper, by buying a second iron (blade) for your standard angle block plane and sharpening it with a double bevel. Actually, no - when you've had a chance to use one, you'll realize they are different, and not equivalent to a sharpening technique.

You get exactly the same result, and a lot cheaper, by buying a second iron (blade) for your standard angle block plane and sharpening it with a double bevel. Seems to me that it would be easier to buy a low angle jack or block plane and just buy a second blade to sharpen to 30 - 35 degrees with a single bevel for a standard (or steeper) angle. I've never done this with a low angle plane, although I have increased the bevel on some of my standard angle block planes for dealing with fretboards and such. I read a very convincing article that made the case for low angle planes over standard angle planes by a furniture maker (I think is was Chris Becksvoort in fine woodworking magazine). Getting back to your original question, if you are hell-bent on buying a plane to make tapered shims, a bull-nose plane might be a better bet.
Packaging should be the same as what is found in a retail store, unless the item is handmade or was packaged by the manufacturer in non-retail packaging, such as an unprinted box or plastic bag.
My LN block plane lives on my workbench and is a wonderful all around plane for trimming, adjusting, smoothing etc. But the blade gets presented to the material as a shear cut, and a slightly lower blade angle, without having to rotate the plane body, or you can rotate it more and get curls like a spill plane.

The rabbet plane is designed for just that and will quickly cut a straighter, flatter rabbet with less effort due to the higher mass, longer sole, and larger throat opening.
Both makers are good - you can sometime find the older Stanley or Millers Falls skews very reasonably, but the blades don't compare.
Slightly angle the blade with the lateral adjustment lever and take light passes with the grain. To answer your original question, I have a planes by both and find them very close in construction and quality. Or, you could make a holder like the one in your pic with a thinner stop so the plane can pass over it.
Another idea would be to set the workpiece at the edge of the bench and plane towards the middle of the bench to get the benchtop out of the way of the plane body.

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