brands for decent hand planes

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Forum topic by Biloute posted 10-03-2015 04:17 AM 695 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Biloute's profile


6 posts in 422 days

10-03-2015 04:17 AM

Topic tags/keywords: hand plane brand quality

I want to get a hand plane that’s decent in order to flatten rough sawn boards and could be used for other general purposes. I’d like to get a 5 1/2 jack plane for this. I was looking at Wood River because it seems to be a decent brand, but much less expensive than either Veritas or Lie Nielsen. However, their 5 1/2 is out of stock and they don’t know when they’ll have more. Their site said it probably wouldn’t ship until December 3.

I have a couple of projects to complete and can’t really wait that long to get started, as I might make Christmas presents for everyone from one of the projects. Are there any other middle-of-the-road brands like Wood River that I’m missing? I’m a student, so my budget isn’t that big, but I also don’t want to spend two days or more fixing a cheaper plane, or one that I found on eBay. I also don’t want to have to worry that something I buy on eBay isn’t exactly what I thought it would be (cracks that I couldn’t see in photos, etc.) or getting outbid.

6 replies so far

View Don W's profile

Don W

17880 posts in 1990 days

#1 posted 10-03-2015 11:36 AM

I’ve got a nice vintage 5 1/2 all tune up and ready to go,

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View Jackryan's profile


4 posts in 1298 days

#2 posted 10-03-2015 11:54 AM

The latest issue of Fine Woodworking has a review of Jack Planes in it by Jeff Miller.

-- Dave, Wi.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


13573 posts in 2041 days

#3 posted 10-03-2015 12:04 PM

Paning rough stock is arduous work, and weight matters. Consider a regular jack over a #5 1/2, it’s suited to longer sessions with rough stock.

But, that said, I’d jump at Don’s refurbs. He’s Yoda with refurbs…

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View Pezking7p's profile


3097 posts in 1074 days

#4 posted 10-03-2015 01:20 PM

You can’t go wrong with one of Don W’s planes. I second what Smitty said about weight. Slinging a heavy plane around all day will wear you out! Get a #5. Then save the extra money for more tools.

-- -Dan

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3848 posts in 1916 days

#5 posted 10-03-2015 01:31 PM

One of the older Stanley’s that’s already been refurbed by someone on a forum like this is going to be a much better deal. I do want to echo what Smitty said, swinging a 5 1/2 around is work for body builders. A regular #5 would be a lot easier to manage in long sessions.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View crank49's profile


3979 posts in 2394 days

#6 posted 10-03-2015 06:36 PM

Ditto what everyone above said.

-- Michael: Hillary has a long list of accomplishments, though most DAs would refer to them as felonies.

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