Rabbet plane = shoulder plane

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Blog entry by Maximillian posted 05-21-2010 04:27 AM 2534 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hi team
Can anyone tell me whether a rabbet plane is the same as a shoulder plane? For instance, the Stanley #93

-- Max, New Zealand

7 comments so far

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1286 posts in 3024 days

#1 posted 05-21-2010 05:42 AM

Generally, a rebate / Rabbet plane is fenced and a shoulder plane is not but it is not a hard and fast rule. It is more the use to which it is put. Throw in some regional naming variations and then you can really wonder which is which. Then you have side rebate planes too.

One other definition I have seen is that shoulder planes are bevel up like block planes and rebate planes are bevel down like bench planes.

Pretty mixed up naming world.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

View Tony Strupulis's profile

Tony Strupulis

260 posts in 3149 days

#2 posted 05-21-2010 05:47 AM

And rabbet planes have knickers to score the grain when going across the grain.

-- Tony -

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1286 posts in 3024 days

#3 posted 05-21-2010 06:01 AM

Yeah, but sometimes when they have knickers, they are dado planes. :)

Actually trying to pin down the definitions of some of this stuff can drive you absolutely nuts.

There have been some attempts to set up strict definitions but people turn around and call them whatever they like. If you look at some books like John Whelan’s The Wooden Plane it is really interesting. It can even vary by trade. Sash makers, joiners, coopers, shipwrights and such all using similar tools and calling them by different names.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

View a1Jim's profile


117120 posts in 3603 days

#4 posted 05-21-2010 06:02 AM

A shoulder plane is a type of rabbit plane but a rabbit planes blade goes all the way across the the body of the plane . a fillister plane has a knicker and a stop.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View dlmckirdy's profile


199 posts in 3159 days

#5 posted 05-21-2010 06:08 AM

Apparently, Stanley made these planes general purpose, so that they could be used as Rabbet Planes, Chisel Pllanes, or Shoulder Planes. The #90-#94 have the irons at a very low angle so that they can cut end grain. They also have adjustable mouths (sliding nose pieces) so that the mouth can be closed up for end grain or opened up up for deep (coarse) cuts with the grain.

See .

-- Doug, Bakersfield, CA - I measured twice, cut it twice, and it is still too short!

View Maximillian's profile


84 posts in 3307 days

#6 posted 05-21-2010 08:47 AM

Thanks chaps
I have the opportunity to get a #93. Can I use it for trimming renin shoulders and/or for shooting end grain?

-- Max, New Zealand

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1286 posts in 3024 days

#7 posted 05-21-2010 02:30 PM

Shoulder trimming… Like it was made for it. :)

Shooting end grain.. You could for pretty narrow stock. Only problem would be holding on to it. It is not a very thick plane and nothing on the side to hold on to.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

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