best handplane

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Forum topic by airman posted 01-20-2013 01:03 AM 1342 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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51 posts in 2483 days

01-20-2013 01:03 AM

The Wood Show will be here soon and I have almost convinced myself to buy a good hand plane. Any thoughts as which one it should be? I’m not necessarily talking brand as much as which model. All suggestions appreciated

18 replies so far

View Alexandre's profile


1417 posts in 1458 days

#1 posted 01-20-2013 01:10 AM

Depends… A #4 Lie Nielsen brass is my dream…
with a pm-v11 blade.

-- My terrible signature...

View Loren's profile


7996 posts in 2914 days

#2 posted 01-20-2013 01:39 AM

Among bench planes, a fine #4 is a nice thing
to have as it used for final surfacing. The heavier
castings in premium planes add mass and the
thicker irons help make fine cuts. More
concentrated mass helps a plane take finer


View Francisco Luna's profile

Francisco Luna

936 posts in 2660 days

#3 posted 01-20-2013 01:56 AM

Low angle, bevel up Jack plne with 25, 38, 50 degrees and toothed blades.

-- Nature is my manifestation of God. I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day's work. I follow in building the principles which nature has used in its domain" Frank Lloyd Wright

View MonteCristo's profile


2098 posts in 1455 days

#4 posted 01-20-2013 08:18 PM

Lee Valley planes are good value. They are way better than big box junk and not as expensive as Lie-Nielsen. The latter are usually ranked tops among the widely available ones but they ain’t cheap ! Don’t go cheaper than Lee Valley as there is nothing more frustrating to use than a cheap plane !

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View rockindavan's profile


293 posts in 1903 days

#5 posted 01-20-2013 09:26 PM

If you don’t have a block plane, thats your best bet. I have the Veritas NX60 which is a marvelous piece of work. My brother has the DX60 which lacks the rust resistance but he prefers the patina.

View sikrap's profile


1118 posts in 2626 days

#6 posted 01-20-2013 09:47 PM

It depends greatly on what you want to do with it. A good block plane is almost a necessity. In that vein, the Lee Valley low angle w/adjustable mouth is a fantastic plane. If you can afford it, the Lie Nielsen rabbeting block plane is also a fantastic tool. If you’re looking at bench planes, its really dependent on what you want it for.

-- Dave, Colonie, NY

View exelectrician's profile


2326 posts in 1694 days

#7 posted 01-20-2013 10:08 PM

A refurbished Bedrock eagerly won with crazy bidding on ebay, will be your pride and joy for as long as you have it. I love to do the refurb part so saving a bunch in the process. Either way the plane becomes part of you with the sweat equity and care and attention to every detail.

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View PurpLev's profile


8523 posts in 2915 days

#8 posted 01-20-2013 10:14 PM

is this for actual use or just to “have”?

if it’s just to “have” than – any plane might do.

if it’s for actual use – than if you don’t have any hand planes a block plane would be a good place to start. any other hand plane sort of relies on yet another plane to work together (jointer + finish for example), but a block plane is very versatile and can be used in conjunction to machine work, as well as hand tool work (chamfering, end grain, cleaning up, rabbeting, etc)

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View airman's profile


51 posts in 2483 days

#9 posted 01-20-2013 10:45 PM

I plan on using it mainly for getting a straight edge and for smoothing. Is a block plane still a “best” bet and if so which one?

View JayT's profile


4309 posts in 1478 days

#10 posted 01-20-2013 10:54 PM

getting a straight edge and for smoothing

I’d be looking at a #5 then. It is long enough for some short jointing and still able to work as a smoother, as well.

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

View Don W's profile

Don W

17453 posts in 1834 days

#11 posted 01-20-2013 10:58 PM

Getting a straight edge on what? Typically a joiner is for getting straight edges (a #7 or #8). A smoother (#4 +/-) is for smoothing, and a block plane is for detail work, rounding edges, fitting joints etc.

I typically recommend starting with a good block, then move to a #4.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View OnlyJustME's profile


1562 posts in 1643 days

#12 posted 01-20-2013 11:07 PM

then again Paul Sellers uses a Stanley #4 size for just about everything. I would also recommend a nice #5 a.k.a. Jack plane though. It’s not called a Jack plane for nothing(jack of all trades). A jack plane (usually around 14” in length) with a small block plane would be a good start. whether you want to go vintage and rehab/tune it up or brand new is up to you. I like to save a few $$ and spend some time tuning up a vintage plane and getting to know it better. Of course i can’t afford the good new ones either but that’s besides the point. lol

-- In the end, when your life flashes before your eyes, will you like what you see?

View racerglen's profile


3112 posts in 2047 days

#13 posted 01-21-2013 12:07 AM

Love the thought Alexandre, a L/N with a L/V, Veritas blade….....................

-- Glen, B.C. Canada

View Kimchi4u's profile


18 posts in 1263 days

#14 posted 01-21-2013 12:41 AM

The best hand plane is the one you’re most comfortable using.

-- Project Coordinator at Nord Alta Construction

View Manitario's profile


2387 posts in 2150 days

#15 posted 01-21-2013 12:55 AM

If I had to limit to one hand plane, I’d buy a bevel up #5 from Lee Valley. I have used it for everything from dimensioning to final smoothing. It also is easy to get a couple of different blades with different blade angles to work figured wood. That said, if I was just buying a new dedicated smoother I’d go with a Lie-Nielson #4 or 4 1/2.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

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