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Forum topic by Whitewalls posted 359 days ago 671 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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54 posts in 577 days

359 days ago

I have always seen cabinet scrapers in the woodworking magazines, and have always wondered if one is really needed. I think I may have finally found a reason to go buy one or two. I will need to do some small stock removal from a piece that is already to correct thickness. I’m not sure if I would just be better off to use my router and get as close as possible to the finished piece, then sand it with heavy grit sandpaper.

Thoughts and suggestions?

-- Jared, Northern IL

14 replies so far

View Loren's profile


7270 posts in 2252 days

#1 posted 359 days ago

Scrapers work very well. You do need to get a burnisher and
invest some time in learning how to prepare a scraper edge.

Some people scrape with broken glass. I do fine scraping
with single edged razor blades. They don’t last very long,
but they make a nice finish on small problem areas.


View paratrooper34's profile


760 posts in 1556 days

#2 posted 359 days ago

Whitewalls, personally, I don’t find a cabinet scraper a good choice for any kind of stock removal; they are just not capable of removing a lot of wood and only really excel at removing very little wood with each pass. They work best for localized tear out on difficult grained wood and evening up edge glue joints where there is very little to remove to make them even. I would say if the difference in the joint is 1/16” or less, I might use a cabinet scraper, but anything above that and I am using a plane. To answer your opening question as to if they are really needed; I would say no. I like mine and use it now and then, but I could get by without it for sure.

-- Mike

View pintodeluxe's profile


3279 posts in 1417 days

#3 posted 359 days ago

1+ on Mike’s comment. The only thing I use a scraper for is repairing tearout from the planer. Even then, sanding is faster. You can take 50 strokes with a scraper, with nice fine shavings coming off, but it seems to take forever to clean up a panel that way.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1396 posts in 965 days

#4 posted 359 days ago

Nothing leaves a finer surface than a scraper. Those who don’t like scrapers, don’t know how to use them.

-- Clint Searl.............We deserve what we tolerate

View chip73's profile


55 posts in 817 days

#5 posted 359 days ago

I agree with Clint. Had mine for a year and used very little the past couple of months I have invested more time in technique and now I use it all the time. And its a very inexpensive tool.

-- Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.

View Jorge G.'s profile

Jorge G.

1526 posts in 1079 days

#6 posted 359 days ago

You don’t get tired with a scraperplane, if you care about finish and avoid sanding as much as possible, scrapers are the way to go.

-- To surrender a dream leaves life as it is — and not as it could be.

View Dallas's profile


2857 posts in 1091 days

#7 posted 359 days ago

I agree with Clint…. A scraper is a Godsend at times, but you also have to realize it’s limitations.

I differ though on buying one.
I make my own out of the cheapo Dollar Store handsaws.
You need to make it true with a good file, but a good Kleintool screwdriver works nicely as a burnisher.

There are a lot of videos online you can view on how to use and work with your own.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View GT350's profile


265 posts in 585 days

#8 posted 359 days ago

I prefer a scraper to a sander for several reasons. It’s cheaper, I don’t have to buy as much sandpaper, it’s quieter and I don’t like a lot of fine sawdust. There are other reasons to like scrapers but those are my top reasons. I think there is a time and place for sanding and it may be faster but I find scraping more enjoyable. Now if I was only good at sharpening the darned thing.

View bondogaposis's profile (online now)


2446 posts in 955 days

#9 posted 359 days ago

Scrapers are very useful and they are cheap, there is no good reason not to own one or 2 or 4. Get one and learn to sharpen and roll a burr and you will wonder how you ever got by w/o one.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View JohnChung's profile


223 posts in 678 days

#10 posted 359 days ago

There is a misconception on a scraper’s ability to remove stock thickness. It can remove stock quickly but not as much as a scrub plane or a bench plane. It can do scallops on the surface pretty well. Mike is right on the 1/16” thickness rule.

I use a lot of salvaged wood. So a scraper does comes in handy

View Whitewalls's profile


54 posts in 577 days

#11 posted 359 days ago

Thanks for the info everyone. I was planning on using a router to bring the stock down as close as possible ANC then go from there.

Looks like I will be stopping by woodcraft or tickler on my way home from work this week. Darn I have to buy some more tools.

-- Jared, Northern IL

View waho6o9's profile (online now)


4757 posts in 1181 days

#12 posted 359 days ago

William Ng totally rocks on with the scraper. I’d suggest looking into
his web site as well. is also a fine site.

View nuttree's profile


244 posts in 1928 days

#13 posted 359 days ago

I have several scrapers with different profiles and use them all the time.

-- I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in. -John Muir

View Don W's profile (online now)

Don W

14666 posts in 1171 days

#14 posted 358 days ago

I like a scraper for finish a lot better than sand paper. But look into a scraper plane if your talking about larger area’s. Its all the advantages to card scraper, but easier on the thumbs. I think most use both for different instances, and each have a place in woodworking.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

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