Scraper Plane vs Smoothing Plane

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Forum topic by SPHinTampa posted 04-20-2011 05:41 PM 3870 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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566 posts in 3109 days

04-20-2011 05:41 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question plane

I have a Veritas small scraping plane that I really like for both removing milling marks and getting down to a final surface on smaller projects.,41182

I was considering getting the larger version for a couple of bigger projects.,41182,48945

My intent would be to use it to get to a final smooth surface on both large glued up panels and veneered table tops.

However, I was was wondering about using a low angle smoothing plane instead.,41182,52515

I understand the mechanical difference between the two options but not how they differ in practical application. I am wondering if any of the hand tool experts out there would be able to enlighten me.

-- Shawn, I ask in order to learn

6 replies so far

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 2498 days

#1 posted 04-20-2011 06:14 PM

I have a scrapper plane, but I prefer using a card scrapper. IMO, getting the angle right with a scrapper is a “feel thing”. You can feel when it is right. You don’t get the same feel experience with a scrapper plane.

However, your question was more about scrapper versus smoothing plane. IMO, it is harder to get a smoothing plane perfectly adjusted with just the right depth of cut. However, if you get the smoothing plane properly adjusted and the blade properly sharpened (very important), you’ll get better results with a smoothing plane on most (not all) surfaces.

On a smoothing plane, your goal should be nice, full width shavings that are so thin you can read print (12 pt font) through them.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Sgt374's profile


36 posts in 2018 days

#2 posted 04-20-2011 08:16 PM

There’s no satisfaction like like using a finely adjusted plane. There isn’t much a bevel up smoother can’t handle since you can change the effective cutting angle with a quick change Of the micro bevel. I feel the smoother would be more versatile all around the shop. Take shallow cuts keeping an eye on grain direction, the smoother would work with a veneered table top.

View tdv's profile


1139 posts in 2493 days

#3 posted 04-20-2011 11:32 PM

I love my planes too I have a Stanley scraper plane (spokeshave type) that I rearely use card scrapers I do use a lot but a sharp plane can do most things I use a bevel down smoother with a slightly crowned blade & for wild grain I put a back bevel on the iron I can adjust it to remove dust it’s great

-- God created wood that we may create. Trevor East Yorkshire UK

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566 posts in 3109 days

#4 posted 04-21-2011 04:57 PM

Thank you for your comments.

I am going to start with the smoother plane based on this input.

-- Shawn, I ask in order to learn

View SouthpawCA's profile


263 posts in 2656 days

#5 posted 04-21-2011 05:51 PM

I have the larger scarper. What I use for the smoother is my jack plane with the 50 degree iron. In the instructions for the scraper plane Veritas states the scraping plane is not used in place of the smoother.

I recently used my smoother (the jack with the 50 degree iron) along with the scraper on a piece of curly maple. On the same board I sanded to 320 grit and then tacked the board. I then added a few coats of blonde shellac. The difference between the 2 processes was clearly evident. The curl on the sanded side was dull and didn’t pop. However, on the smoothed and scarped side, the grain popped and was beautiful.

-- Don

View Dchip's profile


270 posts in 2675 days

#6 posted 04-21-2011 06:11 PM

It’s all about the level of tear-out, no?

Scraper plane won’t cause any, while a low-angle smoother will cause very little to a lot, depending on the angle of blade vs. wood. A low angle blade is for end-grain (shooting, flushing a dowel, etc.) but a high-angle blade can be swapped in for tricky grain to reduce tear-out. The angle of the scraping plane is past 90 degrees when compared to the same axis as the smoother, which probably won’t run more than 60 degrees for the highest angled blades (unless you add a micro-bevel).

This is my experience with the two, there are others that know more.

-- Dan Chiappetta, NYC,

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