Another Hand Plane Question...corrugated vs. flat

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Forum topic by CRAIGCLICK posted 04-18-2018 01:54 PM 735 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View CRAIGCLICK's profile


117 posts in 677 days

04-18-2018 01:54 PM

I’m sure y’all are getting REALLY sick of all of my questions by now, so I apologize for the barrage if what are probably elementary questions.

I’m seeing a lot of hand planes on ebay that are corrugated…like they will be selling a no. 5 flat and a No. 5 corrugated. The difference is obvious from looking at the sole…but what is the practical difference between the two? Is the function the same? Is one preferable over the other?

Thank you for the help.

-- Somewhere between raising hell and amazing grace.

6 replies so far

View JADobson's profile


1448 posts in 2715 days

#1 posted 04-18-2018 02:31 PM

No difference whatsoever. I’ve heard some people say that the corrugated ones are easier to flatten if they need it and that they are easier to push. If they are, its so negligible as to not matter.

-- No craft is very far from the line beyond which is magic. -- Lord Dunsany — Instagram @grailwoodworks

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5242 posts in 4564 days

#2 posted 04-18-2018 03:57 PM

I have both, and I can’t tell a bit of difference in use.

-- [email protected]

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4252 days

#3 posted 04-18-2018 04:07 PM

It has a function in theory but in practice not
really. It’s supposed to reduce surface suction.
You might notice a difference if you were planing
pine all day. The resin can smear on the plane
sole and make it hard to push and I believe the
corrugations help with that.

My first jack plane was corrugated so I just kind
of like them because that’s what I’m used to.
If you see a good price on one, corrugations
are fine.

View CaptainKlutz's profile


2216 posts in 2098 days

#4 posted 04-18-2018 08:36 PM

Using full width of plane on surface of board, almost no difference between 2 versions.

As Loren suggested, corrugated versions pick up less resin on soft pine. In my case, I dislike using corrugated plane on any board with resin pockets or even glue residue. Over time the residue collects in grooves, and eventually; get globs/patches of sticky stuff rolling under plane that redeposit on board. Just makes more work to clean up. For any work with resinous surface, should be cleaning/waxing bottom as you use plane for long periods, so again flat or corrugated makes little difference in how plane works.

One area where flat bottom can be preferred: jointing/planing edges on boards less than actual plane width.
I find corrugated bottoms are harder to keep perfectly level, as board edge can sneak into a groove. Skewing plane at angle reduces the chance for riding into an edge due groove. Is not a serious problem, just something to be aware of while trying to joint 90 degree edge with corrugated plane without using a jig or other means to keep plane square to face.

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

View wrenchhead's profile


234 posts in 3768 days

#5 posted 04-18-2018 08:51 PM

I have used both and could never tell the difference

-- I could quit if I wanted

View corelz125's profile


988 posts in 1580 days

#6 posted 04-19-2018 12:21 AM

As JADobson said they are easier to flatten. I much rather flatten a corrugated #7 or #8

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