Good value, but probably not the last block plane you will ever buy.

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Review by DylanC posted 10-26-2011 02:22 AM 5529 views 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Good value, but probably not the last block plane you will ever buy. No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

From the Stanley Website:

  • Ideal for planing end grain and plastic materials
  • 12-920 block plane has a fully adjustable cutter resting at 21°
  • Gray, cast-iron base with precision-ground sides and bottom
  • Finger grips machined into sides make single-handed use easy
  • Hardened, tempered steel gives precision-ground cutter edge durability
  • Cutter adjusts for depth and alignment, offering precise control
  • Durable epoxy coating for long-lasting protection
  • Quick-release cam-lock makes iron removal easy

I picked up this block plane at a local big-box retailer for $25 on-sale. It came with a canvas-type holster to either store it on your belt on in the toolbox. The “precision-ground” sides and bottom were flat enough out-of-the-box, but needed quite a bit of work to remove the deep marks left by the factory grinding. The adjustments seem pretty standard, but the locking lever doesn’t feel like it is really sturdy.

As I’m just a beginning woodworker and this is my first plane, I haven’t sharpened it yet. But I have given it a go on some scraps laying around the shop. I’m not sure that I’m qualified to rate the plane’s performance, but it seemed to work well enough for a factory edge.

As the title of the review says, it’s worth the $25 I paid for it, but I doubt it will stand up to a lifetime of use or meet the quality standards of more discerning woodworkers.

-- Dylan C ...Seems like all ever I make is sawdust...

View DylanC's profile


206 posts in 3475 days

4 comments so far

View PurpLev's profile


8574 posts in 4449 days

#1 posted 10-26-2011 02:57 AM

had that same plane, very good value, once sharpened it works great. I’m surprised you didn’t sharpen it as it’s a night and day difference – it really DOES need to be sharpened before use. and it will meet quality standards and stand up to a lifetime of use from my experience – no reason it shouldn’t as it is well made.

sharpen it! and flatten that sole (will take a while – that was the only pet peeve I had with it as it took several hours but like sharpening the blade – this is also required to make it work properly)

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

View MOJOE's profile


571 posts in 4070 days

#2 posted 10-26-2011 04:06 AM

Have the same plane and agree with PurpLev…...get that thing sharp, and then give it a whirl.

-- Measuring twice and cutting once only works if you read the tape correctly!

View ChunkyC's profile


856 posts in 4055 days

#3 posted 10-26-2011 07:41 PM

Too Funny! I was going to post a review of this very plane last night but my memory card for the camera was upstairs. Oh well.

The one negative thing about mine was that the sole wasn’t even close to resembling flat. I had to hone the sole for quite some time just to get it close. There’s still a couple of grooves in the sole that I just haven’t bothered with. I bought my quite a while ago, I think I paid close to $35 for mine.

Other than that, if you’re willing to put some work into this plane, it’s definitely worth the price. Mine will cut end grain razor thing all day long. I love it! I reach for this plane first almost every time. The exception being when I need to fine tune a tenon, I reach for my Lee Neilson rabbeting block plane.

Thanks for reminding me about the pouch that it comes with it. I had forgotten all about that. I wonder where mine is now…


-- Chunk's Workshop pictures:

View slickSqueegie's profile


94 posts in 3223 days

#4 posted 10-27-2011 12:54 PM

I have two of those and will not part with either one! and yeah, I agree, Sharpen it. you will love it.

This is the most used plane in my shop.

-- Come check out more of my projects at

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