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Top 17 Best Hand Planes For Beginners Of 2022

Dart Hill
  Dec 1, 2022 7:19 PM

Have you considered taking up woodworking as a hobby? The equipment and tools necessary to begin working with wood are among the first items you'll need to decide on and secure. In light of this, do you have any recommendations for good starter hand planes?

It is generally agreed that a hand plane is one of the most fundamental and important equipment for every woodworker to have on hand. Wood can be made more attractive and usable for woodworking by using a hand plane to shape, straighten, and smooth it. If you don't have the money for power equipment like planers, jointers, and sanders, then you should definitely invest in a few good hand planes. However, it's vital to understand that various hand planes excel at certain woodworking tasks. Here is a rundown of the best hand planes for novices, covering a range of different models.


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Buying Guide

Types of Hand Planes

While all hand planes share the common feature of shaving off superfluous wood with a blade, the many varieties of hand planes each excel at a particular set of tasks in the woodworking trade.

Bench Plane

The bench plane, so named because of its primary location at the workbench, is a two-handed plane with a front knob and a rear handle. The bevel of the razor blade is angled down at a 45 degree angle. Most bench planes feature an adjustable blade depth and a chip deflector positioned above the cutting blade. There are more than 20 distinct hand tools that are classified as bench planes.

Block Plane

A block plane is a common tool in the world of woodworking, and it can be used for a wide variety of tasks, including removing mill markings, squaring up small stocks, beveling an edge, planing a line, and even sharpening a shop pencil. The bevel on a block plane is inclined at an angle of roughly 20 degrees, as opposed to the 45 degrees on a bench plane, and it points upwards rather than downwards. The ease and adaptability of block planes have made them extremely popular.

Joinery Plane

The grooves and cuts made by joinery planes are what hold the joints together in high-quality woodworking. Some examples of these planes include rabbet planes and dovetail planes, both of which are called after the sort of joint they create. Shoulders and blades of varying sizes equip these hand tools to make precise cuts and notches around the edges of a wooden board. There are several different types of specialized joinery planes for making grooves and notches of varying widths and depths, both along and across the grain of the wood (cross-grain).

When butting two pieces of wood together, as the wood strips in a butcher-block cutting board, a jointer plane is used to create a flat edge.

Molding

Often referred to simply as a "moulding plane," this tool is responsible for shaping and smoothing off the edges and corners of wood trim and moulding. This traditional hand tool was widely used in the construction of the elaborate moldings that adorned the interiors of early European churches. The creation of unique trim typically necessitates the use of multiple molding planes. For example, a large curved plane might be used to first create a wide contour along the length of a trim board, and then two or more smaller planes might be used to cut grooves or rounded beads to finish the trim.

Metal vs. Wooden

Hand planes have a specific use in the workshop; namely, the construction of furniture. Hand planes can be crafted from either wood or metal, however metal hand planes are more commonly used since they last longer and produce more consistent results. On the other hand, wooden planes are preferred by some for aesthetic reasons and are used for more specialized tasks.

The heavier metal planes can be advantageous for some woodworkers since they reduce the need to exert excessive force while removing wood. A metal plane's blade depth adjuster is more user-friendly than its wooden counterpart's. Powder-coated cast iron is commonly used in the construction of these tools, which also feature metal or wooden grips for increased durability.

Planing upright wood with a metal plane can be tiresome, but a wooden plane is easier to use because it is lighter. For those who prefer to work with conventional tools, finding an antique wood plane that is more than a century old might feel like a major victory. Nevertheless, a wooden plane's blade depth is typically adjusted using a mallet, which is a time-consuming process. However, the extra effort is appreciated by those who are skilled with wood planes.

Low Angle

Low-angle planes are made of metal but are lighter than other metal planes; they are shallower in depth and typically have thicker, more easily-adjusted blades. A low-angle plane is a great option for beginners in woodworking because it is simple to set up and control.

Stanley-Bailey

Woodworkers have a high regard for the Stanley-Bailey plane, which you can obtain if you look hard enough. Modern day Stanley still produces and sells excellent quality hand planes, but the name Bailey is no longer associated with the company. Leonard Bailey, a renowned woodworker, designed the first Stanley-Bailey planes in the middle of the 1800s, and they remain highly sought after by collectors today for their ability to make clean cuts and smooth shavings. Stanley-Bailey produced bench planes, joinery planes, and molding planes, among other styles.


FAQS

What hand plane is good for beginners?

You can't go wrong with a #4 smoothing hand plane or a #5 jack plane as your first all-purpose hand planes. When you've mastered the basics of operating a hand plane, you might wish to go out and get some specialized planes.

What is the difference between a block plane and bench plane?

Block planes are ideal for planing against the grain or end grain since the bevel of the cutting blade faces up. When using a bench plane, it is best to cut with the grain, therefore make sure the bevel is facing down.

When do you use a hand planer?

In order to achieve a smooth finish on a piece of wood, a hand planer is used to remove very fine shavings from the surface. They work wonders on the jammed edges of doors, the rough end grain of lumber, and for creating tapered shapes.

Can you use a planer to take off paint?

Yes, but with a catch. Cutting into painted wood will quickly dull your blades, which isn't disastrous but is inconvenient. The planer will function as intended unless you are dead set on utilizing a certain piece of wood and don't mind spending the time necessary to resharpen it.

How much can a planer take off?

Planers can be adjusted so that the cut is as shallow or as deep as you like, but the maximum thickness that can be removed with an electric planer in a single pass is roughly 1/8 of an inch.


Conclusion

If you're new to woodworking and have no idea what to look for, picking out the best hand planes for beginners might be a daunting and complex task. If you want to make your wood project seem nice and smooth without resorting to power tools, you'll need a hand plane. The best hand planes for beginners are worth purchasing because they are so much cheaper than other power tools like electric sanders and power planers.

One of the first things you'd have to think about when shopping for a hand plane is what you'll be using it for. Because there are many varieties of hand planes, finding one that works for your purposes is crucial. In addition to this, you should think about the hand plane's frog, blade angle, blade thickness, general design and ergonomics, and the material used for the blade and the body.


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