LumberJocks

WoodRiver Ultimate Cabinet Maker's Kit (planes)

  • Advertise with us
Review by Wally331 posted 05-28-2015 03:43 AM 6971 views 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
WoodRiver Ultimate Cabinet Maker's Kit (planes) WoodRiver Ultimate Cabinet Maker's Kit (planes) WoodRiver Ultimate Cabinet Maker's Kit (planes) Click the pictures to enlarge them

I bought this kit about three years ago and have since used these planes on just about every project done since. I’ll split up the review into three parts- one for each plane in the set, then I’ll follow that up with general comments.

#4 Smoother- This plane has been my go to plane since receiving the tools. Out of the box it definitely needed a honing and a good wipe down of the cosmoline covering the tool. The blade was nearly perfectly flat- didn’t take much work to bring the polish across the edge. The iron holds its edge well though the steel is pretty darn hard. I’d prefer something like O-1 but its fine as is. Adjustments are fine and smooth- nearly as best as can be expected. Overall 5/5 rating on this tool.

#6- this is basically the plane that built my workbench- 4 squared 16 2×4’s without flinching- maybe one sharpening in there- though the blade was half dull when I started. Same as the #4 all she needed was a good honing and wipedown. A little wax on the sole goes a long way, and this tool has the heft to push through just about anything. I prefer it very much over my no.7. Again the adjustments are great, fantastic fit and finish as well. 5/5.

low angle knuckle cap block plane- This plane started out pretty finicky. Constant issues with the cap popping off and it was super frustrating. Only took a few hours of use to adjust where you apply pressure when pushing the plane and it is no longer an issue whatsoever. She’ll cut see through shavings in the hardest or softest woods, both end grain and long grain. Excellent plane other then the slight learning curve. 4/5

With two of the planes being rated at 5/5 and 1 at 4/5 the only other factor is price. Buying these three in a set saves you about $50, and as a starter set is everything you need. Using these three planes you can build 80% or more of anything you can imagine. Overall excellent value for the price and I happily recommend them. Only thing I’ve been upset about is that they are not made in USA. But if your looking for great planes on a budget take a look at these.




View Wally331's profile

Wally331

350 posts in 2197 days



14 comments so far

View Handtooler's profile

Handtooler

1628 posts in 2304 days


#1 posted 05-28-2015 04:12 AM

Thanks for this thorough review. I’ll certainly consider the WoodRiver planes should I add to my stable.. In picture #2 what is the router plane, Stanley # 71?

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343 bassboy40@outlook.com

View bbasiaga's profile

bbasiaga

1240 posts in 2167 days


#2 posted 05-28-2015 05:19 PM

Can you share a pic and/or dimension of the iron on the block plane? I am curious if it is compatible with a stanley no. 65.

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View soob's profile

soob

269 posts in 1380 days


#3 posted 05-28-2015 07:26 PM

My biggest complaint about the Wood River planes is that they’re too nice to use as beaters.

View woodenwarrior's profile

woodenwarrior

238 posts in 2367 days


#4 posted 05-29-2015 12:50 AM

I would agree. I only own the low angle block plane but with a well honed iron, it will give a glass smooth surface across end grain on white oak. It Is VERY finicky like Wally stated. However, once you get used to using it that evens out.

-- Do or do not...there is no try - Master Yoda

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

13776 posts in 4269 days


#5 posted 05-29-2015 01:52 PM



Can you share a pic and/or dimension of the iron on the block plane? I am curious if it is compatible with a stanley no. 65.

- bbasiaga

If you are looking for a replacement blade for the 65, I installed a hock cutter in mine and it is my favorite block plane. Even over my LN 60.5 and 9.5.

http://www.hocktools.com/products/bl.html

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View bbasiaga's profile

bbasiaga

1240 posts in 2167 days


#6 posted 05-29-2015 10:26 PM

Thanks. I did see the Hock. I am sure they are impressive. Just hoping there was something out there for less money. I only spent $20 on the plane. If I end up needing a new blade, I’d like to do it for less than the cost of the tool! May not be possible though.

-Brian

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View Dedvw's profile

Dedvw

176 posts in 3053 days


#7 posted 05-30-2015 01:30 AM

It really seems like Wood River has hit the quality/performance/price that makes woodworkers very happy.

View NickyP's profile

NickyP

179 posts in 1895 days


#8 posted 06-01-2015 12:26 AM

I too bought the number 4 and the number 6 Wood River planes along with the small block plane in the bundle that I got on sale for 15 percent off. I found this to be a tremendous deal at just over $300 and now I feel as if I have the planes needed for all of my woodworking needs, at least for the time being (I also bought the Wood River #5 plane prior to this purchase).These planes are great products at a fraction of the cost of the ones that they’re copycating. I would buy them again without hesitation. I’ve used all of them and love how they all work.

-- -- "Never underestimate the power of a kind word, a good deed, or a table saw."

View mandatory66's profile

mandatory66

202 posts in 2302 days


#9 posted 06-02-2015 03:52 AM

I have a Wood River #3 and a #4 1/2, I find the toe on the #3 is shorter than on a Stanley which makes it hard to start when planing an edge. The 4 1/2 is a solid functioning piece of iron which I like a lot, in fact so much that I have just ordered a 5 1/2 which is on back order. I have several LN planes which are finished better, but not much. Glad to see you are satisfied with the Wood Rivers as well.
As an aside note I recently purchase a LN 610 which is a Jack Rabbet plane it is about the size of a stanley 5 1/4 and bevel up. In the short time I have it I am surprised at how often I reach for it. I now leave it on the bench at the ready. This plane does not get much notice as the other LN planes,it seems like it’s been relegated for special service like Rabbets and raising panels but I find it to be very useful.

View Schemula's profile

Schemula

2 posts in 1242 days


#10 posted 06-26-2015 08:16 AM

I have a Stanley SW 12-136 and a Stanley SW 12-139 coming in the mail tomorrow, but I just kept having a weird feeling about the purchase. I’m just starting out, so, I have little doubt that the Stanley SW are better than I am at this point and I thought they seemed reasonable for the money. But I just picked up this Cabinet Maker’s Set tonight using the 10% off email coupon they have which made the prices $84 for the Low Angle Block, $121 for the #4 and $163 for the #6. Continuing to read everything I can, I feel like I made a better choice. I will return the Stanley planes unopened and start my journey with these guys. I was going to need to add a longer plane sooner than later anyhow. Thanks for the review. It was on point and on time. Excited.

View G5Flyr's profile

G5Flyr

60 posts in 1905 days


#11 posted 07-12-2015 02:37 PM

What a GREAT review Wally! Thanks for posting. I am in agreement – word for word! I’m glad to see so many LJ’s in agreement too. I bought mine in March of 2012 and I have always wondered what other people thought of this set. BTW – I’ve had the same issues with the L/A block plane. I thought it was just me being a klutz. I was considering the purchase of a No. 7 for jointing and flattening long boards and large panels but the No. 6 has done the job on long and wide stock (to my satisfaction) without a problem.

One word of warning for anyone considering buying Wood River planes on the USED market: Make sure you are getting the Wood River version 3 (V3) planes. According to one of the guys at my local Woodcraft the first two production runs were not good. In fact, I THINK the 1st run never made it to the shelves (not positive about that). Issues such as sides not square to the sole, soles way out of flat and poor finishing were quite prevalent. Most of the bad ones were recalled due to a lot of returns from dissatisfied customers, but there could be some floating around on the secondary market.

Like many of you I wish these were made in the USA. That would push the price closer to the LN’s though.

-- G5Flyr

View CyberDyneSystems's profile

CyberDyneSystems

288 posts in 2360 days


#12 posted 07-16-2015 08:07 PM

Great review, and backs up what I feel about these planes.

NovaDave, as it happens I have some from all three versions of the Woodriver planes,
The story about the Version 1 not being on the shelves is absolutely false. They were on sale at my Woodcraft for some time (two years?) before the 2 was released.

I did at the time of buying know exactly what the differences between the 1 and 2 were supposed to be, but as of now I have forgotten these details and only recall my own impressions as opposed to Woodcrafts statements. I recall that the handles were a big part of it, and improved QC.

I picked up the Version 1 #3 new for a song when the #2’s came out and WC was liquidating them. I wish I had bought the #5 they had at the time, as its was truly a bargain.

I also have a V2 #6, and a V3 #4 1/2.

The version one has two problems;
-The handle is the biggest issue. Very hard to wrap my hand around, strange angle and the quality control is poor.
-The steel is just not up to snuff. It is hard to get an edge on it, and it does not last as long as i’d like.

fit and finish of the rest of the plane was superior to most any I have come across. Massive bedrock/Lie Nielsen style bodies, thick solid blade, chip cutter and cap. I’ve had that plane since about 2007 or 2008.

The #6 version 2 improved on the handle considerably. They are using a much better handle shape and the quality is better. The steel seems to take an edge easier and hold it longer. IMHO the V2 is very good.

With the V3 #4 1/2 it’s kind of apples vs. oranges in that it’s such a wide heavy plane to compare, but I don’t see a huge amount of improvement in this update.

I’d consider it very safe to buy used Version 2, just be sure to get a good price on them to make it worth the trouble fo not buying new. I’d want to spend in the neighborhood of 45-50% off the price of a new VIII

-- Without the wood, it's just working

View Schemula's profile

Schemula

2 posts in 1242 days


#13 posted 08-09-2015 12:14 AM

Quick follow up to my experience. The low angle block plane is a bit of a weak link in the set. The cap pops up pretty easily in use and it’s a little annoying to have to stop and reset and snap it back down. I don’t think it’s just me as I have read about this elsewhere. I might also feel that a 4 1/2 and a 7 would really be more in line with what I really needed since I plan on using the 6 like a 7 anyhow. Not quite buyers remorse. The 4 and 6 are impressive for the price, though the issue with the block plane takes a little of the shine off the value.

View Aidan1211's profile

Aidan1211

198 posts in 998 days


#14 posted 07-07-2016 05:35 PM

Stanley’s older offerings are a better buy, keep your receipts, I bought a couple to “try” and was pretty astonished at how much difference existed between the old guys and the newer ones. I’m not a huge stanley fan (Millers Falls) but the old planes pre about 1960 are excellent tools and the prices are at the lowest they have been in years and represent a lot better value than the newest planes stanley has put out. As far as the Woodriver line I hear for a lot of different people out in tool land that if they are tuned (Same process as the old planes) they are hard to beat. But again for the price you can have twice the stable for the money. I love older planes because simply put they perform as well as the newest most expensive models on the market and still represent an excellent value.


I have a Stanley SW 12-136 and a Stanley SW 12-139 coming in the mail tomorrow, but I just kept having a weird feeling about the purchase. I m just starting out, so, I have little doubt that the Stanley SW are better than I am at this point and I thought they seemed reasonable for the money. But I just picked up this Cabinet Maker s Set tonight using the 10% off email coupon they have which made the prices $84 for the Low Angle Block, $121 for the #4 and $163 for the #6. Continuing to read everything I can, I feel like I made a better choice. I will return the Stanley planes unopened and start my journey with these guys. I was going to need to add a longer plane sooner than later anyhow. Thanks for the review. It was on point and on time. Excited.

- Schemula

-- its better to plan on the task at hand than actually doing it........ You look smarter.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com