Hand plane

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Forum topic by buckbuster31 posted 04-08-2017 12:44 PM 1393 views 0 times favorited 41 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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254 posts in 664 days

04-08-2017 12:44 PM

What would be a good first hand plane? What number for general use?

41 replies so far

View waho6o9's profile


8434 posts in 2725 days

#1 posted 04-08-2017 01:02 PM
No. 5 Jack Plane
Jack Planes excel at a large variety of tasks, such as removing milling marks or the scallops of a scrub plane. The No. 5 is built for hard work and will quickly flatten surfaces for the finer set planes to follow.
14” long.
Blade is 2” wide x .125” thick.
Iron body only, 5-1/2 lbs.

No. 5 Jack plane because it’s for general use. Plus you deserve the best.

View Tim's profile


3812 posts in 2110 days

#2 posted 04-08-2017 01:04 PM

You’ll get a lot of different advice, and pretty much all of it can work. Without knowing anything more, you should probably get a block plane.

If you tell us more about what you want to do with it, you will likely get better advice to help you do that.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15582 posts in 2766 days

#3 posted 04-08-2017 01:05 PM

Second that: Jack Plane, a No. 5 in the Stanley numbering scheme.

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

View Jeff2016's profile


115 posts in 1012 days

#4 posted 04-08-2017 01:09 PM

Another vote for the #5 here. I love mine.

-- Proud owner of an electronics free workshop. Please check your cell phone at the door!

View BurlyBob's profile


5918 posts in 2414 days

#5 posted 04-08-2017 01:34 PM

Hand planes are like M&M’s, potato chips and fries. You can’t stop at just one!

View JCamp's profile


819 posts in 699 days

#6 posted 04-08-2017 01:55 PM

In ur mind think of the very common picture from the guy in the first lord of the rings movie saying “one does not simply have A handplane”
Go used an get a 4 An 5 to start with. Check eBay or Craigslist. U should b able to get both for under a $100 total Invest in some good sharpening stones with the money u save from not buying a expensive new one

-- Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might

View bandit571's profile


21307 posts in 2831 days

#7 posted 04-08-2017 01:59 PM

First time user? Depends on how much these fellows say you NEED to spend..meh

Stanley/ Bailey No.5 or #5c…..dime a dozen, $15-$35
Millers Falls No. 14, same as a Stanley No. 5, and about the same amount of $$
Stanley Bedrock No. 605, or No. 605c…..a little more pricey…..$50 and up
Ohio Tool Co. No. 0-5…....Same as the Stanley Bailey, and just as good. A little bit more rare ($$) then the above.
Then the high dollar stuff from WoodRiver, Lee Valley, L-N…...Mostly more “Bling” and a lot more cash

First time for a handplane? Stay away from those Low Angle Jack planes, at least until you have had more time with the “normal” bevel down planes. They are supposed to work better on end grain, but unless you will be making a lot of end grain cutting boards…..

Learn to tune and sharpen the plane, it will do you more good than just opening a fancy box.

Some will tell you that you will NEED to place an after-market, thick iron in any older plane…..have yet to find a need for one, and I have been using my stable of vintage planes for quite a few years with just the irons that were made for them. Save that “new iron” money for sharpening supplies, instead.

Now, I’ll turn this over to the LV and L-N sales guys…...

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View SignWave's profile


451 posts in 3183 days

#8 posted 04-08-2017 02:25 PM

The plane I use most often, i.e. for most different projects, is a block plane. Even if you primarily use power tools, it has many uses. It has, IMHO, the most “general use”.

Bench planes are great, but they propel you down the hand tool path further, because you will find out if you don’t have a great work surface and methods for holding your workpieces (i.e. a workbench with vices/holddowns). You’ll similarly find out if your work bench height is an inch too tall or too low, by way of your aching back, to the degree that you use your planes.

You need to think about how you’re going to use your plane(s). Do you want to learn to true a board on 6 sides, to the exact dimensions? Do you seek to avoid power tools altogether? If you’re committed to hand tool woodworking, then you’ll end up with a full stable of planes, so which one you get first is less consequential.

The one thing that you’ll need, regardless of what type of plane you get, is a way to sharpen the blade. Then you’ll need to develop the skill to use it.

Sorry for rambling, just some thoughts. Hope you get a plane that you enjoy.

-- Barry,

View canadianchips's profile


2608 posts in 3145 days

#9 posted 04-08-2017 02:47 PM

My first plane was a 220 block plane.
Still carry it in pouch
Still use it
My second choice would be a #5

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

View Fred Hargis's profile (online now)

Fred Hargis

5097 posts in 2641 days

#10 posted 04-08-2017 02:58 PM

You won’t go wrong choosing a block plane, a #4, or a #5 (or the equivalent in other brands). I would not make that first plane a LN/Veritas or something expensive. After, you may find this to not be of interest. Looking for the ones Bandit suggested on forums like this from some of the established regulars (these would be turn-key planes) would be a good start. If you can find a used one at a flea market and want to fettle it yourself, it’s a nice experience but maybe not so much for a first timer.

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

View diverlloyd's profile


3121 posts in 2005 days

#11 posted 04-08-2017 03:40 PM

I’m with bandit I like my # 4 and # 5 but I love using my bedrock 605. But the most used is my little block planes which I have around ten floating around. I would get a block plane and a older Stanley. I stay away from the handyman Stanley’s I just can’t keep one going well without a lot of hassle.

View TheFridge's profile


10351 posts in 1634 days

#12 posted 04-08-2017 07:43 PM

I m with bandit I like my # 4 and # 5 but I love using my bedrock 605. But the most used is my little block planes which I have around ten floating around. I would get a block plane and a older Stanley. I stay away from the handyman Stanley s I just can t keep one going well without a lot of hassle.

- diverlloyd

Technically you’re not with bandit because a bedrock doesn’t isn’t part of the handyman line.

Don’t bang it till you use it. Price may be you’re only concern but it’s not everyone else’s.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View bandit571's profile


21307 posts in 2831 days

#13 posted 04-08-2017 07:47 PM

Never read a word I printed to the OP, did he? Just about normal for a TROLL.

Welcome to come to the shop, anytime…...but you’ll never see a “Handyman” plane in this shop.

yep, still being a salesman for Lee Valley, Fridge? maybe save the money for reading lessons…

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View Aj2's profile


1730 posts in 1946 days

#14 posted 04-08-2017 08:40 PM

I think the perfect plane for a new hand tool woodworker is a low angle block plane.Lie Neilson or Lee valley both are good choices.Very well made with a good feel in your hand that will inspire most to do their best work.
Good luck

-- Aj

View Rrrandy's profile


212 posts in 627 days

#15 posted 04-08-2017 08:54 PM

I’m a power tool guy but I use this a lot.

-- Y'all need to locate a sense of humor. Borrow one if you can't find yours...

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