First hand plane

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Forum topic by ryanl posted 10-29-2017 05:22 PM 1656 views 0 times favorited 40 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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13 posts in 812 days

10-29-2017 05:22 PM

Topic tags/keywords: hane plane plane woodriver smoothing plane

Looking at a first hand plane purchase. Any thoughts on which plane would be a good first choice. Included some links of planes I’m looking at or any other suggestions.

Looking at:

Ultimate Cabinet maker's kit

No 4.

No 5

No 6

40 replies so far

View bondogaposis's profile


5604 posts in 2953 days

#1 posted 10-29-2017 06:44 PM

No 5, I’d restore an old Stanley and save some money.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4250 days

#2 posted 10-29-2017 07:20 PM

If saving money is not a priority for you
any of those options will do. If you don’t
have a sharpening system already you’ll
need one to get great results from your

I use a #5 and a #4 the most for general
dressing of lumber and fitting parts. I am
not particular about the #5, any old Bailey
pattern plane will do. For the #4 a premium
plane is worth the investment because the
added mass and attention to detail help
make adjusting the plane for very fine cuts
a lot easier. I can take or leave the Bedrock
style frogs but I like the quality machining
and thick irons of Lie-Nielsen planes. Veritas
also makes a good #4 plane with some cool

Veritas makes some cool handles that attach
to their block planes that look to me like they
would work really well for “converting” the
block plane into a small smoother. I am not
a big block plane user but some people use
one a lot.

View Just_Iain's profile


305 posts in 1018 days

#3 posted 10-30-2017 04:38 PM

Just for a comparison, here’s Veritas’s (Lee Valley) starter set.,41182

and Lie-Nielsen’s

-- For those about to die, remember your bicycle helmet!

View WayneC's profile


14358 posts in 4699 days

#4 posted 10-30-2017 04:41 PM

What kind of woodworking do you do?

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View jonah's profile


2092 posts in 3901 days

#5 posted 10-30-2017 04:49 PM

I’d recommend a block plane before a bench plane, honestly. Get a Stanley 60 1/2 off ebay and learn to sharpen it.

If you want a bench plane, a #4 or #5 (or 4 1/2 or 5 1/2) is great.

View Tim's profile


3859 posts in 2563 days

#6 posted 10-30-2017 05:02 PM

Unless you have more idea of what you’d like to do with a plane, I’m with Jonah. You’ll probably get more use out of a block plane at first, especially if you have power tools already. Though I did buy a #5 as my first hand plane and had a lot of fun learning to use it.

View jonah's profile


2092 posts in 3901 days

#7 posted 10-30-2017 05:22 PM

It’s impossible to overstate how important having a sharp iron in a plane is. Having a dull or unevenly sharpened one is so frustrating, but a good, sharp iron cuts through wood like butter. It’s the same with chisels. I thought I sucked with chisels but it turned out I just had dull, crappy chisels.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile (online now)


16319 posts in 3220 days

#8 posted 10-30-2017 06:13 PM

First plane = jack plane. It can do all kinds of things, from rough stock prep to jointing of shorter stock to what you’ll believe is final smoothing. Then you’ll get a smoother and know what a smoother really does. More than half of the hours spent with planes in your shop will include a well-fettled jack. My .02 and worth half what you paid for it. :-)

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View TheFridge's profile


10859 posts in 2088 days

#9 posted 10-30-2017 06:28 PM

I have a couple refurbished Stanley’s. 2- 5’s and 1- 4 ready to go if you interested. 50$ apiece. I can post pics if you’d like.

If you decide to go new I’d go Lie Nielsen personally. Ridiculous resale value for one. Just my opinion.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View OSU55's profile


2497 posts in 2591 days

#10 posted 10-30-2017 06:39 PM

This may help. A #4 is really the most universal. Look up Paul Sellers to see a #4 put to work

View HokieKen's profile


11983 posts in 1740 days

#11 posted 10-30-2017 08:34 PM

4 or 5 would be my preference. Or maybe a 4-1/2 if I was only going to use one.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View gargey's profile


1013 posts in 1377 days

#12 posted 10-30-2017 08:54 PM

You’re not gonna have much fun until you have 3:

-A jack plane of sorts (#5, #62, etc). Lets you waste away a lot of material quickly.

-A jointer (#7). Lets you get perfect straight edges and flat boards.

-A smoother (#3, #4, #4 1/2, etc). Lets you clean up a surface with no tear-out or grooves from the edge of the blade.

The ability to reach for them without having to adjust makes work oh-so-much more enjoyable (and quick).

View Dustin's profile


705 posts in 1342 days

#13 posted 10-31-2017 01:13 PM

I’m with Jonah and Tim: my first plane was a 9 1/2 bought specifically for a task at hand (I had glued a second layer onto the edge of a table top for a thicker appearance, and wanted the block plane to even it out). I love using that thing, especially on end grain (I’m told a low angle block is better here, but mine performs quite well). A few passes with that is way easier than sanding end grain to me, and I don’t have to worry about rolling over the edges like you might if you were trying to sand, say, the edge of a table top with a ROS.

I also picked up a No 3 smoother, and like it pretty darn well. Recently used it to finish up the surface on some tapered legs I cut, to kind of “crisp” up the edges where the taper starts after using my belt sander.

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

View Kirk650's profile


679 posts in 1350 days

#14 posted 10-31-2017 01:47 PM

I find that I use a #4 the most often. I have 3 of them, each set for a different cut. The LN bronze 4 is set for the lightest wood removal.

View Carloz's profile


1147 posts in 1193 days

#15 posted 10-31-2017 01:55 PM

I have this set. These are good planes and are much better than vintage Stanleys whatever starswereshinierthen purists may say. Even though I also bought with 20% off for the set Woodcraft would send one plane at a time with several months gaps and charge my credit card for each plane as it shipped. When I checked they actually charged me full price for each plane but I was too lazy to call them so -$60 in my wallet.
The blades however were all horribly concave on all three planes, which points to a defficiency in their technological process. I managed to flatten two of them on my DMT stones but the widest blade was too difficult. I ended up asking for the blade replacement, which they sent immediately, I am still to check it out.

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