Groz Hand Planes

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Review by WhiskeyWaters posted 04-01-2011 11:12 PM 21882 views 4 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Groz Hand Planes No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

A cross-pollinated review from my “other” blog –

In the woodshop today, I spent some quality time with a set of 3 Groz planes. The block plane (unsure what the Stanley No would be), the Jack Plane and their Jointer. I’ve been pleased with the results throughout this year. I sharpen the blades about once a quarter or during long breaks, and when they see an enormous amount of use.

Here’s a shot of the block plane at work today:

Groz planes are manufactured in India and you can pick them up at Woodcraft or other retailers. The planes take some setting up to get dead right. You have to flatten the sole and sharpen the blade to get them working correctly. I did not have to fix the machining of the frog, screws and such. I spent three to five hours in August getting these three set up. I followed this method set the planes up. Since then, I have only sharpened the blade.

You’ve seen most of the results – the Clock project was milled with the Jack plane. Here’s a good shot of two matched boards for a bookcase I’ve been guiding along:

The student used the Jointer plane to get the parts flat.

I think these planes are nearly perfect as student planes – they are real tools that really work at a decent price. The set-up time is substantial, but once properly set up, the planes take abuse well. If a student drops or otherwise mangles one, the cost means they are replaceable under a minimalist budget. The build quality means the tool should last. The results speak for themselves.

In my home shop I’m replacing most of my India/China planes with L-N and Veritas stuff. Their equipment just sings in a way this Groz probably never will.

If someone out there uses a different brand/type of hand plane for their woodworking students, I’d love to hear…I just put together next years “tool wish list” and while ”The Works” was on the list, I don’t necessarily think we’ll receive it. So tell me what my options are!

-- make it safe & keep the rubber side down.

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14 comments so far

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#1 posted 04-01-2011 11:39 PM

Nice job with the pics and description. It sounds like these had the benefit of setup by a seasoned veteran. Was there much fettling or adjusting to be made?

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

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213 posts in 5049 days

#2 posted 04-02-2011 01:46 AM

Good question – I worked long and hard to get my Footprint planes running sort-of-ok. These guys were far less work and I don’t think the person who owned them before me did anything special. I ran’em through the set-up process early in the year and will spend a decent portion of this summer fixing/working all my tools. I’m no seasoned veteran, so I am assuming the build quality is higher than your average India plane.

I teach special-needs kids, and they struggle to understand (as well as I do at times) the finagling that goes into setting a plane up. I usually adjust the plane for the work at hand, each time, every time.


-- make it safe & keep the rubber side down.

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5777 posts in 4475 days

#3 posted 04-02-2011 02:17 AM

Thanks for the review. I have the little block plane as well as the #4 and #5 bench planes. The jointer is my next Groz purchase. I agree that they do take quite a bit of time to set up, but once set up they work well… Unlike you though, my #5 needed quite a bit of attention with a file getting the frog flat, but once done it REALLY cuts nice…

So far I have planed pine, walnut, pecan, curly maple, and mesquite with them…

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

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1532 posts in 3936 days

#4 posted 04-02-2011 04:00 AM

I picked up the #5 when Woodcraft had it on clearance. I coworker followed suit and spent hour working on the sole. Once he got that set up, he liked the results. I, on the other hand, still have mine on my office floor.. I’m trying to convince him to set mine up.. It just seems like if you purchase an introductory hand plane, it should be at least ready to go out of the box..

FYI, the link to set up the planes should be:

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

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141 posts in 5232 days

#5 posted 04-02-2011 07:52 AM

I bought the number 4 and 5 on sale at Woodcraft years ago. They were my first planes when I first started and wanted to figure out if I wanted to get into hand tools. I could never get them to work well. I finally bought the least expensive Lie-Nielsen plane, the little bronze block plane, just to see if it was the tool or me that was the problem. It was the tool.

Since then, I have only bought Lie-Nielsen and Veritas hand planes. I did not throw the Groz planes away, though. I put a severe curve on one of the blades and set up the jack as a scrub plane. That’s all I use it for.

-- Disappointment is an empty box full of expectation.

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864 posts in 3911 days

#6 posted 04-02-2011 02:23 PM

Out of the 14 planes I have ,the #3 Groz had the second flattest sole. The flattest was a Millers Falls,10C, that was dead flat, It took very little time to flatten the sole on the Groz,The only Groz, I have.
I don’t have any LN’S. Once tuned up the Groz is a decent plane,it’s almost as good as ,the one Record #4 I have
Even though I don’t own any LN planes I think once tuned up my Millers Fills planes are probably just as good.

-- E J ------- Always Keep a Firm Grip on Your Tool

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1287 posts in 4302 days

#7 posted 04-03-2011 02:36 AM

There is another plane made in India sold under the name Anant. Anant has two lines of planes. They have the Anant line and then the Anant Kamal line (higher quality). Highland Woodworking carries them, but I have seen them in other catalogs also. Even the Kamal tools are reasonably priced. In addition, they also make reproductions of the No. 78 and the No. 52 as well as some spoke shaves and bull nose tools. For student planes, these might also be an alternative. Here is the link to them on the Highland website:


-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View WhiskeyWaters's profile


213 posts in 5049 days

#8 posted 04-03-2011 03:09 AM

Thanks Doc – I haven’t seen an Anant in either the high-wuality or low, though I have heard of them. What set-up time are we looking at with the Kamal, do you know?

I wonder if there’s just one plant out there which produces the Groz/Footprint/Anant lines using old Stanley/Bedrock/Bailey patterns, ala the Royal Enfield?


-- make it safe & keep the rubber side down.

View 8iowa's profile


1591 posts in 5004 days

#9 posted 04-03-2011 03:14 AM

Last year Highland woodworking in Atlanta had a close out on their line of std Anant planes. I bought the #7 jointer. It arrived just before the WIA Conference last October, so I took it with me to to the conference and showed it to Chris Schwarz. He was not impressed, although he told me that it was a good plane to fool around with to become famaliar with fixing up/tuning up planes.

I took it home and found, fortunately, that the sole was very flat. I did use the sandpaper on it as the factory machining was a little rough. The blade, which is probably on the soft side as Chris stated, none the less flattened and sharpened well enough to cut a hand held sheet of paper…... like schlipppppp. The chipbreaker needed work, and I never did get it perfect, but shavings don’t seem to become clogged. All in all it’s now a satisfactory plane for occasional work. It will probably eventually lead me into a LN, Lee Valley, or Clifton plane.

Apparently, Highland Woodworking is now closing out the Anant Kamal line as well.


-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

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213 posts in 5049 days

#10 posted 04-03-2011 04:44 AM

Thanks for the info 8iowa.

-- make it safe & keep the rubber side down.

View bubinga's profile


864 posts in 3911 days

#11 posted 04-03-2011 05:35 AM

If you have 400 bucks for one plane great,if you don’t
A common misconception among many new woodworkers is that you need an expensive plane to experience the joy of handplaning—the whisper-thin shavings, the tool gliding across the board, the glass-smooth, dead-flat result. Not true. You can get great results from a garage-sale find or an eBay purchase as long as you know what to do. Roland Johnson has rejuvenated dozens of Stanley Bailey planes and given more than 100 seminars on the subject. Here, he demonstrates how to tear down a plane to its bare chassis and rebuild it into a classic.

-- E J ------- Always Keep a Firm Grip on Your Tool

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407 posts in 4481 days

#12 posted 04-04-2011 02:53 AM

Among my planes I have a Footprint #4 and a Anant Kamel #5. Yes the Footprint is not great but usable. Sole was not to bad, blade is thin and soft but it will work. The Kamel was pretty good, nice thick blade, just needed a bit of tinkering and it works pretty good. I will have to check out Highland if they are closing out the Kamels. I would like a #7 to extend past the 1933-1940ish Stanley Bailey #6 I picked up at an estate sale for $10. I do get lucky occasionally.


-- That was not wormy wood when I started working on it.

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3372 posts in 3898 days

#13 posted 04-07-2011 04:48 PM

Woodriver is a good line of planes if you want out of the box usability without the painful price-tag. Other than those you have to decide what’s more important to you, your time or you money.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

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1 post in 1851 days

#14 posted 09-26-2016 06:44 PM

I’ve always been of the mind that most handplanes will perform quite well, if they are tuned correctly. I recently started using a #4 Smoothing plane made by Groz, which I purchased new over 10 years ago along with another plane. Unfortunately in a move back from another state, I misplaced these tools and just recently came upon them . I have a #5 that is still in the box, which I bought at the same time. After placing a quick final grind using a waterstone, I tested it at the bench on a piece of 5/4 cherry. The edge was completely rough.

Using this Smoother, I was able to bring it to a glass finish suitable for joining, within a minute. I checked the finish and applied my old favorite, the Bailey #7 and it produced a finish on a par with the Groz.

I’ve used friend’s planes, the high priced ones such as Lie Nielsen and my experience is that these are simply showpieces. They perform no better than any plane that has substantial weight and flatness. In fact they are just overpriced paperweights for many novices who are fooled into believing that high priced tools will turn a person into a skilled woodworker.

I know of many people who purchase all the latest gadgets and high prices fences, which end up sitting in boxes in their closets. I feel a bit of pity for these folks as they are often hoodwinked into believing that a $400 plane will outperform an old beater that they could purchase on an auction site or at a garage sale for pennies on the dollar compared to the sometimes out of sight prices that the premium woodworking outlets offer.

My advice to any newbie woodworker who wishes to get involved in the art of handplaning would be to go to a few garage sales and see what you can find. Perhaps you’ll come across an old Stanley, or a Shelton, or a Millers Falls that just needs a good cleaning and honing of the plane iron to bring it back to its useful life. The cost will be 1/5 of the money you’ll spend on a new fancy Veritas or Lie Nielsen and you’ll actually USE the garage sale find, rather than setting your other fancy plane in a showcase to catch dust for the next 30 years..

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