What wood is the most difficult to hand plane and why?

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Forum topic by CanadaJeff posted 03-31-2009 01:33 AM 1289 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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207 posts in 3787 days

03-31-2009 01:33 AM

Just a random question. I’ve got over the power tool phase and have been starting to learn hand tools. Hand planing is definitely a learned skill. I was just wondering what people learn on to hand plane and what type of wood is really difficult to plane?

Any thoughts?

5 replies so far

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 3922 days

#1 posted 03-31-2009 02:24 AM


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2131 posts in 3922 days

#2 posted 03-31-2009 02:25 AM

Seriously, most of the highly figured woods are the most difficult. Although, with a hand plane you can change the direction that you’re planing to help prevent tearout.

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1170 posts in 3636 days

#3 posted 03-31-2009 02:51 AM

I like pine to learn on. It has taught me how to take strokes, how to set the blade on the plane itself etc…
The only other wood besides pine I have hand planed recently was maple.

-- San Diego, CA

View marcb's profile


768 posts in 3851 days

#4 posted 03-31-2009 03:40 AM

Just in general the harder the wood the harder it is to plane. Sharp edges are a must on the super dense exotics, hickory, etc.

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288 posts in 4017 days

#5 posted 03-31-2009 03:57 AM

Anything figured obviously, but I hate planing Oak and Ash…..


-- Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known. -Carl Sagan

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