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Forum topic by rbterhune posted 10-26-2014 05:08 AM 1213 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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176 posts in 3995 days

10-26-2014 05:08 AM

Topic tags/keywords: plane

I am looking to purchase a block plane…

Can you provide some pros and cons for the most common models…e.g. 60 1/2 or 9 1/2?

Where/how are they best used? I see so many in addition to the ones above…they all seem to have the same purpose but if that is the case, why so many types?


7 replies so far

View Fettler's profile


206 posts in 2771 days

#1 posted 10-26-2014 05:34 AM

You likely want an adjustable iron low-angle block plane. This is the most utilitarian plane and great for end grain. I suggest the Woodriver low angle adjustable which is a great value.

-- --Rob, Seattle, WA

View Don W's profile

Don W

19618 posts in 3341 days

#2 posted 10-26-2014 11:52 AM

They all do about the same. Get a low angle with an adjustable mouth. Unless you’re going to spend a lot, vintage is best.

Either way, make sure you have the means to sharpen it. That’s the most important piece.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View bondogaposis's profile


5789 posts in 3125 days

#3 posted 10-26-2014 12:16 PM

My old Stanley 60 1/2 gets used on every project. It has a thousand uses. Chamfering, getting into small places. Minor, touch up work, end grain. The small blade is easy to sharpen too. For many years it was my only plane. I recommend finding a vintage one, the new Stanleys are crap.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View OSU55's profile


2647 posts in 2763 days

#4 posted 10-26-2014 12:48 PM

A low angle with adjustable mouth, like the Stanley 60-1/2, is the best place to start. My experience is vintage requires about the same amount of tuning as a new 12-960. Whatever plane you get, being able to sharpen the blade is the most important part. All kinds of other tuning is for naught until you get a truly sharp edge. I explain my sharpening method in my blog on this site.

Get an extra blade or extra plane. One will be sharpened at 25°, giving a cutting angle of 38° (the blade bed is 13° on a 60-1/2) for end grain. The other will be sharpened at 32°-37° for a cutting angle of 45°-50° for most other work. The low angle 38° edge will cause tear out of edge and face grain.

View sikrap's profile


1121 posts in 4133 days

#5 posted 10-27-2014 01:43 AM

The 60 1/2 is a low angle. The 9 1/2 is a standard angle. If you can only get one, I’d recommend the 60 1/2. The low angle is better for end grain. Yes, there are many, many different models and there are often subtle differences in size, blade angle, etc. If you’re looking for vintage, a Stanley 60 1/2 can be had for around $30-$40. As mentioned earlier, STAY AWAY from the new Stanleys. If you want new, the Veritas will be over $100 and the Lie-Nielsen will be about $165.

-- Dave, Colonie, NY

View jmartel's profile


8925 posts in 2924 days

#6 posted 10-27-2014 01:47 AM

I have a Craftsman badged Stanley #65. It’s a great plane.

As was said, go with an old stanley. New ones just aren’t nearly as good.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View rbterhune's profile


176 posts in 3995 days

#7 posted 10-27-2014 02:40 AM

Looks like there is a consensus that the low angle plane is the one to go for. As OSU55 suggests, two blades may allow 2 planes in one. I appreciate all of the feedback.

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