My personal opinion
I have put a slight camber on all my hand planes. I haven’t been overly happy with the result. Yes, it’s easier to push the plane, but I just can’t see how a cambered blade can deliver a truly flat surface.
Now I realize that many top woodworkers who have forgotten more about woodworking than I will ever know swears by cambered blades, but I’ve also read articles by other equally skilled and experienced woodworkers who prefer the straight edge. All seem to agree on slightly relieving the corners which I also do and it makes perfect sense to me.
Another gripe I have with cambered blades is that it is difficult to get a full width shaving on stock which is equal or less width than my plane blades. I recently refurbished and old #4 plane and after sharpening (with a straight edge) and honing it nicely I gave it a try and it took a beautiful full width shaving. Much better than with my other planes that all have slightly cambered blades. I get the impression that English woodworkers are not so much into cambering. Please correct me if I’m wrong.
What do you think?
This is probably a subject where there is no absolute truth and probably works fine for advocates of
either alternative, but I would like to know if there are any strong opinions on the subject out there.
-- Mike, an American living in Norway.