Great starter value

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Review by BerBer5985 posted 03-23-2012 03:43 AM 14940 views 1 time favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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I bought this to try when I first started out in hand tools as my first hand plane, basically because it was $12. I figured if it was horrible for $12, it would make a great paper weight. My expectations were not high. Let me be clear from the get go, this is not a LN or LV plane. It may compare with an older stanley, on stanleys worst day of milling, but not horrible for $12. Also, please keep in mind that this review is strictly based off the fact that for $12 and a little time, you can get decent performance for the occassional hobbyist.

Ok, first I flattened the bottom which was pretty square from the getgo. Did not need a lot of lapping to get flat. It’s roughly the size of a #3 hand plane, almost like a large block plane with a handle. Tonight I sharpened the blade and flattened the back which also was surprisingly flat from the mill. Just a note that this plane is made in india, and not china. The first obvious difference between this and stanley, lee valley, etc is the blade adjustment. It does not have a chipbreaker, but only a cap which tightens with a knurled screw. The blade is a dual adjustment very similar to a spokeshave. Its almost a hybrid between a plane and a spokeshave. After sharpening and getting it adjusted, I was pleasantly surprised by the results for $12 and about an hour of time. It’s no Bedrock, but what do you want for $12?? Here ya go:

-- Greg, Owner, Quality Carpet One,

View BerBer5985's profile


445 posts in 3221 days

18 comments so far

View IrishWoodworker's profile


159 posts in 4878 days

#1 posted 03-23-2012 06:51 AM

Yup I have the same one…I have the run of planes LV, LN, BR, Stan, Record etc etc. In my years of woodworking I have realized that it doesn’t really matter what plane you have or use. Of course any plane needs to be tuned up to work, and the higher ends come “Pre-Tuned” with better materials at times. But the majority of planes no matter the manufacture can be used efficiently if you know the mechanics behind it.

-- Dont just dream it, get up and live it!

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1057 posts in 3077 days

#2 posted 03-23-2012 01:37 PM

Wow I have that one too nice review

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2298 posts in 3170 days

#3 posted 03-23-2012 01:59 PM

I have an old Stanley block I inherited from my grandfather, but no other planes. I have wanted some for a while, but didn’t have the cash due to a baby on the way. I scoffed at the HF ones (amusingly, while I was in there to buy their F-style bar clamps) as most likely being a major letdown. At this price I will have to go pick one up as a starter.


P.S. Just looked, it is on their website for 9.99, if they have it in store, I’ll bring my 20% coupon!

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View gavinzagreb's profile


210 posts in 3120 days

#4 posted 03-23-2012 02:03 PM

I have the original of that design, made in Germany.
I just blogged about it and mentioned harbour freight have the same design. Actually there are small differences.
Check it out.

View StumpyNubs's profile


7817 posts in 3601 days

#5 posted 03-23-2012 04:43 PM

I did a blog about this plane a while ago. Since then I have noticed that the new Stanleys sold at the big box stores have that dual adjustment like a spokeshave. I really like it.

The plane itself is great. It has a wide mouth, so it’s not perfect for a smoother. But it will work, as the photos show. How long the blade stays sharp will be key. I am not sure if they used high quality steel.

I plan on grinding a big radius on my blade, opening the mouth even more, and using it as a scrub plane. I think it may just be perfect for stock prep!

-Jim; aka “Stumpy Nubs”
Watch Blue Collar Woodworking ...the greatest woodworking show since the invention of wood- new episodes most Sundays!

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View BerBer5985's profile


445 posts in 3221 days

#6 posted 03-23-2012 06:59 PM

It’s completely worth it for $12 in my opinion. StumpyNubs, I thought the same thing last night as I was fiddling with it. I thought the size of it would make an ideal scrub plane. I have an old stanley #5 with a chip out of the side that I regrinded the convex bevel on and it would decent, but it’s very heavy. So with Lee Valley doing their free shipping thing, I took the plunge and bought myself a scrub.

-- Greg, Owner, Quality Carpet One,

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7817 posts in 3601 days

#7 posted 03-23-2012 10:38 PM

Yah, a #5 is too big to be a scrub plane. And even though you can use a small one like a #3, or this one from HF, a real scrub plane is a different animal. No chip breaker and a thicker blade for starters…

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View NormG's profile


6506 posts in 3805 days

#8 posted 03-24-2012 01:50 PM

Great tool purchase, with a little time to tune up, it serves your purpose

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View Dwain's profile


616 posts in 4660 days

#9 posted 03-25-2012 05:34 PM

AS with all things Harbor Freight, wait for a month, and it will go on sale. Keep your handy 20% off coupon and boom! You have an $8.00 plane rather than a $12 dollar one. I have one and think it is a great deal. I was really suprised at the quality of the knob and tote. I also remember a contributor at Woodnet who was considering making higher quality blades for this specific plane. It’s an HF Gem.

-- When you earnestly believe you can compensate for a lack of skill by doubling your efforts, there is no end to what you CAN'T do

View Viking's profile


882 posts in 3996 days

#10 posted 03-26-2012 12:46 AM


I was at HF a couple of weeks ago and had a few 20% coupons in my pocket and used one to buy this 33 plane out of curiosity. I have not had time to flatten the sole or sharpen the iron but out of the box it cuts pretty well. I really like the adjustments.

-- Rick Gustafson - Lost Creek Ranch - Colorado County, Texas

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135 posts in 3764 days

#11 posted 03-27-2012 05:03 AM

I have this plane also and like it. Use it alot. Can’t go wrong for 12 bucks.

View Ben's profile


302 posts in 3131 days

#12 posted 03-27-2012 05:22 AM

I was in HF last week looking at this. I almost bought it, but being I was shopping with a budget, I put it down and went for more immediate needs on my list. I’m pretty sure it will be on my list next trip. It was priced at 9.99 when I was there, but even at twelve it’s worth picking up. At that price, even if it ends up ornamental it isn’t much of a loss

-- Welcome to downtown Coolsville, Population: US! --Hogarth Hughes

View John's profile


341 posts in 4599 days

#13 posted 03-28-2012 12:54 PM

picked one up Sunday for $8 after 20% off $9.99 – it just looks too cool not to get it – the fit and finish is much more than I expected and much better than any Groz plane I’ve touched. There’s probably no way to get a replacement iron as it looks quite specialized, but for less than 2 cups of starbucks Joe, it’s practically disposable. The tote is smallish and more of a 2.5 finger grip than 3 in my meathooks.

-- John - Central PA -

View StumpyNubs's profile


7817 posts in 3601 days

#14 posted 03-31-2012 03:19 PM

I just modified mine into a scrub plane. I love it already. The process will be on the next episode of Blue Collar Woodworking.

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View Ben's profile


302 posts in 3131 days

#15 posted 03-31-2012 03:35 PM

I bought one yesterday. I need to sharpen the blade, but out of the box it did ok when i tried it on some scrap pine. (I had to play with it at least a little bit) Seems like it will be a decent little plane once I take time to sharpen and tweek it a little bit.

-- Welcome to downtown Coolsville, Population: US! --Hogarth Hughes

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