Block Plane Recommendation

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Forum topic by Hillsboro posted 08-04-2010 06:25 PM 3658 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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44 posts in 2920 days

08-04-2010 06:25 PM

Topic tags/keywords: resource tip question

I am looking to acquire a new block plane. The Lee Valley and Lie-Neilsen are clearly the Rolls Royce and Bentley of the class. However, I do have a budget. Stanley comes to mind of course, but the reviews I have read make me shy away from the new ones.

Recommendations would be most welcome.

Many thanks,

Phil Stevens

9 replies so far

View canadianchips's profile


2602 posts in 3020 days

#1 posted 08-04-2010 06:51 PM

If your on a budget look around at yard sales and flea markets.
Lots of good block planes out there.
I use a stanley 220 for many years.
My newer find is a craftsman with adjustable mouth. (This one looks like it was made by stanley, similar to 9 1/2)
Even a brand new plane might need the blade to be tuned !
If you think you will be planing a lot of edge grain look for LOW PROFILE, blade is at 12 degree.

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View FatScratch's profile


189 posts in 3326 days

#2 posted 08-04-2010 06:53 PM


I have a newer Stanley, which I bought before I knew about how nice the high quality planes perform. I outfitted the Stanley with a Hock iron and it performs quite well. The stock blade was terrible and would not hold an edge. I had to file away a few rough spots and make sure it was flat, but it was a learning experience. I have been using the plane with no real complaints for two years. If I did it again, I would buy a Veritas or Lie Neilson – they are ready to go straight out of the box and need no tuning. My time and satisfaction are worth the extra cost those tools provide; however on a budget, the Stanley at about $65 (including a Hock blade) performs quite well.

View Wolffarmer's profile


407 posts in 3261 days

#3 posted 08-04-2010 07:16 PM

I have an Anant Kmamal 60 1/2 block plane I got from Highlanwoodworking. It seems to work ok for me after sharping, I took the little adjuster thingy off from under the front brass knob as it seemed to let it slip and is pretty useless anyway. It is still adjustable but now doesn’t have the cute, useless leaver.

Probably my most often used plane. use it to knock sharp corners off a bit, and clean up sticks to make canes. Also sharpens pencils


-- That was not wormy wood when I started working on it.

View paratrooper34's profile


915 posts in 2975 days

#4 posted 08-04-2010 07:43 PM

If you can find a way to crunch the budget, the LN rabbet block plane with side nickers is a great investment. I used to have a Record 0110 and Stanley 220 and 60 1/2 but got rid of them when I got the LN one. It does everything I need it to do and with the side nickers, it rises above the others. I have used it for knocking off corners, trimming plugs, and sizing tenon cheeks; it is awesome. If you just can’t fit it in the budget, the ones I had previously are good planes also.

-- Mike

View BradHess's profile


63 posts in 3035 days

#5 posted 08-04-2010 10:07 PM

I agree with paratrooper34, however if you can crunch the budget Woodcraft has the Groz plane set on sale for the next 4 days for a set of the bench and block plane. These are knock off of the Stanley planes and look to be well made. I have not used them, just seen them in the store and handled them a little. They will probably need a good lapping and sharpening before use but should hold up fine after that.

The LN planes are great, but any tuned block plane will do a good jobs. I have a Stanley block plane that I use just as much as my LN block plane.

I saw your comment on Local Wood so I assume you are local. If you do end up getting the Groz planes and want to lap them I have a granite plate, just let me know via PM and we can setup something.

View Domer's profile


252 posts in 3390 days

#6 posted 08-04-2010 10:40 PM

The Wood River planes at Woodcraft are a step up from the Groz planes. They are LN knockoffs. They have gotten good reviews.


View jusfine's profile


2422 posts in 2949 days

#7 posted 08-05-2010 01:26 AM

I had purchased 2 Lee Valley planes that I really liked in the display case, but had to return them as I could not comfortably hold them for even a couple minutes (big paws).

This may sound goofy to some, but whatever plane you choose, spend 5 minutes in the store with it in your hands, see how comfortably it fits your hand.
If you have the ability to return it, take more time and sit with it for 30 minutes while watching TV, etc. and see how you like the balance and feel before cutting anything with it.

I was set on buying LN planes, but something about their handles is difficult for me to hold, my hand feels squashed.

I have a few tools that I won’t return as I have used them, but they collect dust because they are not comfortable to use. To me, that is a big factor in purchasing.

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View HarleySoftailDeuce's profile


320 posts in 3443 days

#8 posted 08-11-2010 09:26 AM

Check out Breese planes. There’ expensive, but very fine tools.

-- Paul, Bristol,Rhode Island

View knotscott's profile


8055 posts in 3399 days

#9 posted 08-11-2010 10:50 AM

I’d opt for a new or used Record or Bailey 9-1/2 or 60-1/2.

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

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