What would be a good general purpose hand plane

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Forum topic by OHpjmac posted 09-27-2009 09:51 PM 8800 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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14 posts in 3490 days

09-27-2009 09:51 PM

I would like to have a general purpose hand plane to use every now and then. What would be an all around planer to have?

13 replies so far

View knotscott's profile


7980 posts in 3339 days

#1 posted 09-27-2009 10:06 PM

If you don’t have any hand planes, I’d suggest getting a basic 6” block plane. They’re extremely handy. A #5 (14”) “Jack” plane can handle several of the jobs other planes do…it’s sort the general purpose blade of hand planes…”jack of all trades, master of none” sort of thing. A block and a #5 are the two I’d want to have if I had to thin the heard down to the two “must haves”.

I tend to prefer the older Stanleys, Millers Falls, or Record Planes, for their bang for the buck. If your budget allows, the Lie Nielsen and Veritas as very highly regarded.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View AaronK's profile


1506 posts in 3428 days

#2 posted 09-27-2009 10:06 PM

really depends what you plan on doing with it, but i’d say a jack/#5 or block plane.

View SwedishIron's profile


142 posts in 3604 days

#3 posted 09-27-2009 10:17 PM

I would say an old Stanley #4 bench plane would be a great place to start if one was looking for a single all purpose hand plane.

-- Scott, Colorado

View Roper's profile


1389 posts in 3676 days

#4 posted 09-27-2009 10:18 PM

stanley number 4 and a good low angle block plane. thats a great start.

-- Roper - Master of sawdust-

View pommy's profile


1697 posts in 3654 days

#5 posted 09-27-2009 10:25 PM

my jack of all trades is my fav no41/2 and block plane but saying that i carry most my tools with me everyday anyway

-- cut it saw it scrap it SKPE: ANDREW.CARTER69

View SwedishIron's profile


142 posts in 3604 days

#6 posted 09-27-2009 10:36 PM

as pommy points out.. a 4 1/2 is a great plane giving its weight and width… tough call.. I do own three #4’s.. and three # 4 1/2.. so its a tie w/ me. can’t go wrong w/ either. :)

-- Scott, Colorado

View rustedknuckles's profile


160 posts in 3715 days

#7 posted 09-28-2009 02:01 PM

#4 or #4 1/2 Record is my go to.

-- Dave- New Brunswick

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3857 days

#8 posted 09-28-2009 02:13 PM

a low angle block plane….......without a doubt!

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View OHpjmac's profile


14 posts in 3490 days

#9 posted 10-01-2009 12:18 AM

Thank you all for the replies. I will be buying a couple of different planes. I don’t know what I am doing, but I am sure I will learn.

View Timberwerks's profile


360 posts in 3124 days

#10 posted 10-01-2009 03:36 AM

Have you thought about giving Japanese planes a try?


View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 3849 days

#11 posted 10-01-2009 04:43 AM

As roman says above, “a low angle block plane……....without a doubt!”. Would be my plane if I only could have one mines a Stanley 60 1/2 and I really like it.
The second one would be a standard angle Stanley block plane.
The a Stanley 4 next, I have a #3 Stanley that I am partial to as I have been building small things lately.

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View TheDane's profile


5399 posts in 3626 days

#12 posted 10-01-2009 10:18 PM

My first plane: Stanley #5 Jack Plane … I didn’t choose it … my Dad gave it to me … but I use it on just about every project. I use it as a fore plane for rough preparation.

My second plane was a low-angle block plane. Mine is a lower quality Stanley ‘contractor grade’ tool that lives in my apron pocket … I use it a lot.

My 3rd plane was a Stanley No 82 Shoulder Plane. Since then, I have a acquired several vintage Stanley planes … a No 7 Jointer, No 3 and No 4 smoothers, and a Craftsman Filister Plane.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Jerry's profile


76 posts in 3116 days

#13 posted 10-08-2009 05:58 PM

Stanley #3, it just feels “Right” , its the one I grab when I have a little planing job to do. I also have upgraded it with a Hock chip breaker and blade that is scary sharp…Its a beautiful little contraption that you can work one handed like a little block plane or two handed for more power and control. Really a great “Do it all” size.

-- "The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives should be a Store, Not a Govt. Agency"

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