Hand planes have been in existence for thousands of years. Back in those days, it was made of mostly wood where the cutting blade is held in place with a wooden wedge.
Indeed, a planer tool that can smoothen or shape wooden materials faster than the hand plane have been produced, but woodworkers cannot overly replace the hand plane. Although the hand wood planer depends on hand/muscle power to function, many woodworkers still refer to it as their “best assistant.”
Hand planes are used to flatten, smoothen and also remove excess layers of wood. For this to happen, the blade of the hand plane must be adequately sharpened whether it is new or not.
You do not have to stress so much about what tool to use to hone or sharpen your hand plane. You only need tools as simple as just sandpaper or a sharpening stone.
The hand plane is made up of different parts, which include;
- The blade; which cuts wood.
- The handle is also known as the tote; for grip.
- A mouth; from which the cut-out wood exits from and the blade extends.
- A knob; which allows another hand to hold the plane for guidance.
- An adjustment knob; which enables the user to control cutting the depths of the wood.
- A cap iron; which strengthens the iron and curls the wood chips that come out from the mouth.
- The sole; the part underneath the hand plane.
- The lever cap; which secures cap iron and hold the iron firmly to the frog.
- The frog, which contains the iron at a proper angle, and the user can adjust it, though the plane iron has to be removed first. Thanks to some improvements, some planes allow the users to adjust the frog without removing the iron.
Choosing a hand plane depends on the type of woodwork task at hand, but choosing the right-hand plane for that task can be confusing as well. Whether you are a first time DIYer or a professional, here is a review to guide you on your next search for the best hand plane.
They are categorized mainly through size and designed to perform different tasks. There are the block planes; smaller in size and used for general purposes, smooth planes; designed primarily for shaping and trimming wood, bench planes; mainly used for shaping flat surfaces and the jointing plane; a daily tool used for putting joints together.
Planes are also made of different materials such as wood that is the wooden plane, a wooden body with a metal casting that is the transitional plane. This metal is the metal plane and metal with very thick wood used to make the handle and hold the blade.
Below is a review of the top 5 best hand planes for all woodworkers put together after much consideration to help and guide you on your next search for the perfect and best hand plane for your next woodwork project or task.
Our Favorite Choice Of Hand Wood Planer Summary:
5 Best Hand Plane Review In Details:
1. Stanley Low Angle Sweetheart Jack Plane
The first and premium item on the top 5 best hand plane tools is the Stanley Low Angle Sweetheart Jack Plane. Stanley is well known for their quality production of hand tools and razor-sharp knives.
The price of their products also gives people the opportunity to purchase quality products for their woodwork applications, little wonder why this hand plane made it to this list. Stanley understands and puts to heart the interests of woodworkers when producing their tools, thereby making available tools that make woodworking more straightforward and faster with more refined finishes and at very affordable prices.
This Stanley hand plane has been designed with two handles to enable the user to have a perfect grip on the tool and accurate glides on the wood material. This hand plane is regarded as the best hand plane because of its unique and quality features.
Starting from its versatility and accuracy, the manufacturers made this hand plane from a quality ductile iron. The iron notwithstanding, this hand plane has been designed to be lightweight such that the user can easily take it anywhere with ease.
The mouth of this hand plane is adjustable and ensures a fast but smooth fine planing when in use. The iron/blade is made from A2 steel, which thankfully can be used when out of the box without sharpening it first.
Though the A2 blade might be hard to sharpen, it stays sharp for a long time once sharpened. It’s very flat sole allows the user to slide through the wood, thereby cutting out excess junks of wood accurately. However, you need to set up the hand plane properly to enjoy the services of this hand plane.
- The Stanley Low Angle Sweetheart Jack Plane has a limited lifetime warranty.
- It weighs 6.27 pounds, lightweight.
- Handle and knob made from cherry wood.
- 2.5 inches wide, 2″ high and 14 inches long.
- Length of 355 mm and width of 50 mm.
- Iron made from A2 steel; 3/16 inches thick and 2 inches wide.
- Silver in colour.
- Allows for accuracy.
- Quite adjustable.
- Comfortable to hold.
- Has good value for its cost.
- Woodworkers can use it on woods of all types.
- Assembly might take time.
2. KAKURI Woodworking Japanese Block Plane 42mm
Like every Japanese hand plane, the 42 mm Kakuri woodworking Japanese block plane finishes the wood surface by being pulled, not pushed. This system of use allows for a cleaner surface and a sure smooth and accurate cut because the user will be able to apply the same amount of force.
The Kakuri woodworking Japanese Block bench is the best budget hand plane. So if you are looking for the best but cheapest hand plane, the 42 mm Kakuri Japanese hand plane is the one for you.
Its blade is made with Japanese carbon steel of very high quality. The blades, when sharpened, can remain sharp for a long time with the use of a whetstone.
Woodworkers can also adjust it but with the help of a hammer. Its lightweight allows it to be easy to carry around and for cutting or finishing the corners of a work surface.
It can even be operated with one hand. The wooden body of this hand plane is heavy duty and very resistant to termites, dust and wear.
Despite the size of this tool, it is pretty surprising how powerful, durable and sharp it is. It is so sharp that it can cut through woods of any kind. This hand plane was also handcrafted by Japanese craftsmen and with purely materials from Japan.
- It weighs about 1 pound (8.9 0z).
- 6.5 inches long, 3.39″ high and 1.89 inches wide.
- Size 42 mm.
- Made from Oakwood.
- Razor shape blades.
- Blade made of high carbon steel from Japan.
- Very sharp blade.
- Very smooth and accurate scrape.
- Easy and comfortable to hold.
- Less muscle power needed.
- Easy to use.
- Very durable.
- The wedge for the blade is not so tight.
3. STANLEY No. 4 Sweetheart Hand Plane
Here, another Stanley product makes it amongst the best hand planes. As stated earlier in number 1, Stanley produces the best set of woodwork tools and at very affordable prices.
They have created woodworking tools such as power tools, measuring instruments, power cables, jigsaws and circular saws, etc., most of all the hand planes. They fill the gap between budget economy and valued/quality hand planes.
Many woodworkers refer to the Stanley planes as their favourite brand of hand planes, but this has not stopped the Stanley brand from producing quality and budget-friendly tools for their customers.
This Stanley hand plane is one of the best hand planes because of its many features. One of these many features is its razor-sharp blade made of A2 steel, which has an improved edge retention.
It also has knobs made of brass, and its handles are made from cherry wood. The blade is about 1/8 inches thick and produces less chatter or noise. Its frog and base are put together in one piece to ensure accuracy when in use.
This hand plane has an adjustable mouth sole and makes it possible to have smooth and excellent fine shaving. It also has an adjustment lock on the side of the hand plane, which ensures that the hand plane stays in place while in use.
The user can also adjust its throat plate to allow the user to use it on different types of wood, and it is of the Norris type.
- The Stanley No. 4 Sweetheart hand planer has a limited lifetime warranty.
- Weighs 5.79 lbs., lightweight.
- Handle made from cherry wood.
- Frog and base in one piece.
- Knobs made of brass.
- Made with ductile iron.
- Iron made from A2 steel; 1.8 inches thick.
- It has a dimension of 13.1 inches by 6.8″ by 3.2 inches.
- Norris made adjuster at the side.
- Very adjustable.
- Comfortable to hold.
- Good value for the money.
- Iron might be hard to replace.
4. Taytools 469614 Smoothing Bench Woodworking Planer
This list of the best hand planes cannot be complete without Taytools 469614 smoothing bench hand plane. They are also one of the best quality producing companies though small.
This hand plane is most suitable for smoothening surfaces and ensuring flat and smooth finishes. Its body parts are mostly made of solid, almost indestructible materials, especially the frog.
This feature promises longevity and durability. The frog can also be adjusted to the liking and comfort of the user.
This hand plane has a very suitable body mass and weighs 4. 11 lbs., lightweight, which allows the user to carry it around easily and without stress. It’s iron (blade) is 0.12 inches thick and 2″ wide. It has also been heated and hardened at an RHC of 55-60.
Not minding the thickness or amount of heat used to make the blade, it still has a razor-sharp feature. The sole and sides of this hand lane have been designed to be within 0.003 inches over the entire length of the sole.
Thanks to its finely shaped tote, the hand plane can be held comfortably. The knob and the tote are finely shaped, oiled, sanded, and hand-rubbed with sapele.
Cast irons are known to be complicated and strong; well, Tay tools made the lever cap of this hand plane with plated cast iron and the cap iron screws and the adjusting wheels with solid brass.
Considering the features of this hand plane, there is no doubt that it is durable and definitely should be an essential tool in the workshop.
- Weighs 4.11 pounds.
- Iron is about 0.12 inches and 2 inches wide.
- Blade heated at RHC 55-60.
- Bed angle of 45 degrees.
- Made of cast iron and wood materials.
- 9 3/4 inches long (sole) and 2 ½ inches wide.
- Cap iron screws wheels made from brass.
- Body and frog made of durable ductile iron.
- Flat and easy to sharpen, the blade.
- The plane might be quite challenging to set up.
5. KAKURI Woodworking Japanese Hand Plane 60mm
Unlike the western type of hand planes, the Japanese hand planes are used differently. The Japanese hand plane is pulled towards the user instead of the other way.
These hand planes are made with hardwood and are most times long-lasting. This Japanese block plan is ideal for any woodworker, be it a DIYer or a professional and for surface finishing of wood.
It has a large body size which allows the user to hold with both hands and allows the user to slide through wood smoothly. This large body does not affect the weight of the hand plane. It remains lightweight.
This hand plane is also made with quality materials from Japan. It might also please you to know that all products made by the Kakuri company are handcrafted and manufactured by the Japanese.
The blade of this hand plane is razor-sharp, and its sharpness can be preserved for long by using a whetstone (a hardstone used to sharpen or hone a tool). The blades are also adjustable, but they will require the use of a hammer. The user has to hit it with a hammer.
One of many advantages of this hand plane is that it is used by pulling. This allows the user to apply force accurately and evenly, thereby providing a high possibility for excellent and straight carpentry work.
Another added advantage is that the wooden body of this hand plane is not likely to cause damage to the work materials. It provides a cleaner work surface.
- This Kakuri woodworking block plan weighs 2.138 lbs. (34.2 oz), lightweight.
- Designed to last for almost a lifetime.
- Made from Japanese oakwood.
- The blade is made of high carbon steel from Japan.
- Size is 3.0 inches by 10.2″ by 2.8 inches.
- Wooden colour.
- Blade made with Japanese high carbon steel.
- Easy to carry.
- Razor-sharp blade.
- Easy to use.
- Users have to be really careful when using it.
- Hammer is required for blade adjustment.
With the features and pros of the hand planes listed above, there is no denying the stress-less and smooth woodworking experience every carpenter or woodworker would enjoy when using the tools. It is one thing to own one of the best hand planes, and it is another to care and know-how to take care of it.
The need to care for your tools, the hand planes inclusive cannot be overemphasized. Taking care of your hand planes helps to elongate its lifespan, and it makes every experience and time you spend working with it smooth, stressless, and enjoyable.
Be careful to set up the hand plane properly before use to avoid it being jerky and enhance accuracy. Sharpening the blade of most of the hand planes listed above might take time, but once it has been sharpened, it stays sharp for a long time.
For the Japanese hand plane, whetstones are recommended to be used for sharpening the stone and a hammer for easy adjustments. Even though hand planes are no longer as much as they used to be, they most definitely will come in handy for some woodwork applications.
Now that you know most of what should be known, I hope this review will be helpful enough to guide you on picking the best hand plane for your next woodwork task.
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