Test Drive Five Popular Hand Planes Types

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Blog entry by Keith Cruickshank posted 11-11-2008 04:03 AM 2972 reads 2 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I know that most of us covet that next slick power tool. I’m like that too. But I’ve also come to appreciate hand planes for their ability to make quick work of tasks that can’t be done easily by machine. In this video we take a look at five types of hand planes that are commonly found in wood shops.

By the way, if you’re a regular WoodTreks viewer, you know that usually I’m behind the camera, featuring some of America’s top artisans. But to mix things up, in this video, I step in front of the camera to give this brief overview of these common plane types: 1) the all-purpose Jack Plane, 2) the utility player Block Plane, 3) the invaluable Shoulder Plane, 4) the oft overlook Smoothing Plane, and 5) that sometimes essential Jointer Plane. Now I’ll admit that this is not an official list of the best or most useful planes to own. But it’s a good place to start the conversation. So I’ll agree right up front that these picks are only my opinion (not strongly held BTW). Feel free to pipe in with your thoughts, which I’m sure are equally valid.

For a direct link to this video go to: An Introduction To Five Top Plane Types

For related videos that might be of interest try these too:

1. Use a Smoothing Plane to Prepare Wood For Final Finishing

2. How to Use A Hand Plane

3. How to Tune Up A Hand Plane

-- Keith Cruickshank, - on-demand woodworking videos

5 comments so far

View ajosephg's profile


1880 posts in 3527 days

#1 posted 11-11-2008 06:29 AM

Thank you for these links. Great info for a hand plane beginer

-- Joe

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 3929 days

#2 posted 11-12-2008 08:09 PM

Good show. thanks

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1567 posts in 3531 days

#3 posted 11-13-2008 11:35 PM

Kieth, thank you for your videos, I have watched most of and found them to be well done, enjoyable and informative, as is this video on planes. I check here and woodtreks often for new ones, keep them coming!

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View Festool4's profile


78 posts in 3745 days

#4 posted 11-25-2008 07:31 PM

Yes, I have learned a great deal from these videos as well. Thank you

-- Festool4

View talltree's profile


2 posts in 1146 days

#5 posted 03-04-2015 05:39 AM

Keith, I have enjoyed your videos tremendously. I want to comment on a plane most are unfamiliar with – the Stanley 113 compass plane. I have always had a difficult time smoothing a radius. No matter how hard I try to make it true, somehow the sanding process always leaves it a little off. And it was no fun using a router to do the job. Well, I had a pair of beds I designed for a customer, with radiused head and foot boards. I thought why the heck not, and bid for the Stanley 113 on Ebay.

From the get-go, I found it to be a completely remarkable plane. It made a very true radius from what came off my bandsaw, and fast! It adjusts to just about any radius you might need, either convex or concave. One of Stanley’s better planes, for sure.

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