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Make Precise Cuts and Get a Smooth Finish With the Best Block Planes
Woodwork provides a lovely finish to any living space. Most people still prefer adding a wooden component like a rack, a cabinet, or a sofa – the choices are endless. Whether you are a professional woodworker or a home-based DIY artist, having the right tools can help you improve the quality of your wooden furnishing. Block planes are also an essential addition to your woodworking gadgets. They are used to improve and refine the finishing of your wood-based projects. A block plane also adds precision to the cuts so you can have premium-quality professional results. We have shortlisted and reviewed the top block planes in 2023 that can improve the quality of your wooden furnishings.
A high-quality block plane adds precision to your woodwork. It also provides you with an ergonomic grip during use.Show contentsBest Block Planes Worth Considering in 2023
Buying Guide to Finding Block Planes
Before picking a product, it is essential to have adequate knowledge about it. Block planes are a long-term investment; therefore, you need to consider everything before starting woodwork. Our buying guide will help you pick a worthwhile product.
Important Considerations for Purchasing a Block Plane
The most important considerations you must remember before purchasing a block plane are listed below.
Block planes generally come in 2 types of angles – standard and low. The base of both these angles is different. The elevation determines the thickness of cuts and precision in the quality of the product that you are making. A standard curve helps make thin cuts and a glossy finish. On the other hand, low angles remove a lot of material but are not as smooth in finishing.
The standard length of a block plane is 6 to 8 inches with 2 inches in width. This length helps you fit into smaller and compact areas. Other than this, the size provides an ergonomic grip which makes it easier to control when using. A 7-inch length is suitable for all professional and home-based setups.
It might sound unconventional, but the adjustability of your block plane depends on the material you use. This feature allows you to change angles and adjust them according to the requirements of a particular project.
The material of your block plane must be durable and long-lasting. You can find block planes in wooden and metallic bodies. A metal product might be incredibly durable, but it does not offer an ergonomic grip in most cases. On the other hand, a wooden product provides better comfort during use. Still, it might not be durable for professional use.
What Are the Angles of a Block Plane?
Block planes mainly differ in terms of angles. These angles determine the blade strength and also determine the quality of the results. Standard and low angles are two types of angles for you to choose from.
Standard block plane angles
Standard block planes come with 20-degree angles. The bed angles combine with the blade angle to create a 45-degree elevation. Common angles help you create thin wooden pieces to create a glossy look. This angle is perfect for new woodworkers and new users because it does not remove a lot of material in the first place.
If you are looking to improve your skillset, opting for a block plane with a standard angle can do wonders. Although they are perfect for newbies, they might not be suitable for professional use where much cutting and transitioning are required. A standard block plane comes with an ergonomic handle, so you get a comfortable grip and do not add a lot of strain on your hands.
Low block plane angle
Another variant is a low block plane angle with a reduced bed angle. You get a 12-degree angle which creates a 37% elevation. This allows you to pass more material per pass, allowing you to get the job done much faster. Since block planes with a lower angle remove more material, they are not a top choice for beginners. You can use these planes in a professional setup to get things done much quicker. However, if you are an experienced DIY woodworker, it is possible to shift to a low-angle block plane.
What Is the Material of Block Planes?
Block planes are made of either a metal or wooden base. Here are the key characteristics of both bases.
Wooden block planes
Wooden block planes are mainly preferred by home artists and woodworkers looking for an aesthetically pleasing additive in their toolbox. They are pretty accurate and run much smoother on a wooden surface. Because of their material, wooden block planes ensure a glossy finish. However, they might be hard to adjust for people who do not know the basics. Experts recommend gaining some information and experience about the product before purchasing a wooden block plane. Oakwood is the most common and sophisticated product used in making block planes. Though insanely accurate, wooden block planes might not be as stable as metal ones.
Metal block planes
Heavier than their wooden counterparts, metallic block planes are mostly preferred by professionals. They are mostly made of carbon steel and cast iron. Since metal block planes are used for professional use, they come with a sturdy body to provide you with more stability. They come with adjustable angles so you can use them according to the requirements of the product. Metal block planes are perfect for newbies because of their flexible properties. However, they might be a bit heavy as compared to wooden products. Most of these planes also come with an ergonomic handle, so there is no added strain on your hand when you use them. Professionals even claim that once you use a metal block plane, you will stick with it throughout your career.
Benefits of a Block Plane
The block plane you pick serves certain benefits to your crafting routine. Here is a list of perks you get by adding a plane to your toolbox.
When working on a product, it is essential to look for precision. A high-quality block plane helps you achieve precise chamfers. It cuts accurate slopes of all kinds, whether you opt for long grain or end grain. This precision and accuracy help you add a professional touch to your product.
Better grain management
A high-quality block plane can tackle grains in a much better way. End grains can look quite prominent and can be encountered easily. However, with a well-honed, low-angle block plane, it is easier to cut grains and make sure you end up with a smooth finish without any rough textures.
Levels corner joints
Unfinished edges and sharp corner joints can be unforgivable and cause injuries as you use them. With the help of a block plane, you can corner different joints providing a sleek finish. Besides, low-angle block planes are also valuable for curving to machine marks without hampering the wood quality. Easing sharp edges is the final touch to any furniture.
Woodworkers need ideal tools to create high-quality products with a professional finish. Block planes are an everyday essential in your toolbox that can improve the quality of your crafts. It is either made of wood or metal with a sharp blade that provides accurate cuts to woodblocks. It also ensures that your product has a smooth finish with no sharp edges. We have reviewed the top block planes in 2023 that you can add to your equipment box. Before buying a block plane, always consider things like material, angles, length, and adjustability.
Best Block Planes Worth Considering in 20231
Stanley Block Planes– Best OverallBuy on AmazonCheck Price on Walmart
Stanley block planes have a heavy-duty solid body that can be used in all kinds of personal setups. Made from die-cast alloy, it has a solid heavy-duty body, so you have a durable experience. It measures 3.9 x 2.17 x 6.26 inches, which is convenient and allows you to store it easily. The weight of the block plane is only 0.01 kgs, so you can easily carry it from one place to another.
This block plane is fitted with replaceable fine cut blades, ensuring an ideal product for confined workspaces. Another feature is that the thumbscrew for quick blade release allows you to use the product without any tools.Pros
- It is made from a heavy-duty, durable material
- Convenient and lightweight
- Has replaceable body
- Not suitable for professional use
Kakuri Block Planes– Runner UpBuy on Amazon
Kakuri Japanese wooden planes allow you to make smooth chamfers by polishing the wood. It measures 5.9 x 2.1 x 1.6 inches, ensuring an easy-to-handle mini size for all home-based setups. Weighing only 0.25 kilograms, it is convenient to store and does not require high-end surfaces.
Further, the blade is made from high carbon steel, so you have a product with longevity and durability. The external body is made from oak wood which adds class and makes it a gorgeous piece.Pros
- It has a gorgeous body
- Convenient measurement and lightweight body for easy storage
- Perfect for home-based setups
- Not suitable for heavy-duty, professional use
Amazon Basics Block Planes– Honorable MentionBuy on Amazon
Amazon Basics store offers a high-quality bench hand plane for domestic and professional use. Measuring 9.8 x 4.8 x 2.5 inches, it weighs only 2.66 pounds, so you get a lightweight but convenient product at your convenience. Additionally, it is a universal bench hand plane allowing you to make precise cuts.
Moreover, the steel alloy blades make it a durable product so you can produce quality cuts. It also highlights an impact-resistant plastic handle, ensuring a contoured grip. Additionally, the body is made from cast iron with adjustable gear, so you get professional-quality stability.Pros
- Lightweight and convenient size
- Promotes precise results
- Ergonomic grip for comfortable use
- May be a little complicated for DIYers
Mityvac Block Planes– ContenderBuy on Amazon
Block planes by Mityvac come with a high-quality iron casting body that helps you do precise woodwork. It comes with an adjustable mouth presenting you with a perfect tool for coarse or fine work. Additionally, it comes with brass adjustment screws ensuring durability during use.
It is suitable for model makers, craft applications, and other simple wooden jobs, so you have a convenient model for home use. It measures 3.7 x 10.47 x 2.64 inches, providing an ergonomic grip without hurting your hands.Pros
- Suitable for hobbyists and home-based woodworkers
- Has an ergonomic grip
- Perfect for fine finishing
- The blade can lose quality over time
Senkichi Block Planes– Also ConsiderBuy on Amazon
Senkichi block planes are perfect for scraping wooden surfaces. Available in brown color, this plane comes with a double edge. It measures 1.5 x 2.13 x 5.51 inches which makes it easy to use and compact in size to store without a lot of space.
Weighing only 0.14 kg, this plane provides you with an ergonomic grip allowing you to complete your tasks without any discomfort.
Moreover, it is available in standard and limited-edition versions which differ in color. These block planes come with a sharp blade so you can achieve a glossy and professional finish.Pros
- Comes in different versions
- Has very sharp blades
- Has an ergonomic grip
- Plane will need to be conditioned before first use
People Also AskedQ: Do all block planes come with a handle?
A: Mostly, however, metal block planes have a handle for ergonomic grip because of their weight and body. Wooden block planes are much lighter and do not require a handle.Q: How can I change the blade of a block plane?
A: Back off the height while adjusting the screw. Once the screw loosens up, you can take it out of the plane and replace it with a similar model.Q: How to maintain a block plane?
A: The block plane you pick must be cleaned regularly. Make sure to scrape off the shavings after using and polish the blades with linseed oil.The Pop Wood Review Team’s product reviews and comprehensive guides are here to help you select the best gear and tools to efficiently complete top-quality woodworking projects. The content is created by The Pop Wood Review Team. Popular Woodworking’s editorial staff is not involved. Popular Woodworking is reader-supported: When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.