Best Block Planes


Block planes are one of the most sought-after woodworking equipment. If you’re a woodworker, you’re well aware of how crucial the quality of your tools is to your workflow, pleasure with your craft, and, most importantly, the end result. Lacking a dependable block plane can add to your concerns and perhaps compromise your final product. As a result, selecting a razor-sharp and easy-to-use block plane that will serve you well in the long run is critical.

Being a woodworker, you need a block plane that is a great investment for your future work and doesn’t become useless after a couple of weeks. That is exactly what we are going to help you with.

Below is a list of the seven best block planes you can find on the market. These are selected on the basis of user experience and will turn out to be a great choice for you.

For your convenience, we have also added a buying guide at the end that will further help you make the best possible decision. So, without further ado, let’s get into the list.

Here Are The Four Best Block Planes To Buy in 2021

1.   Stanley Bailey No.60 Block Plane

The first one on our list is the famous Stanley Bailey No.60 Block Plane, which many users consider the best overall block plane. In this model, the block and frog are cast of iron that adds to the accuracy and durability. The base consists of precision machines that ensure that you get a smooth and accurate planning surface. As the body is made of metal, so it moves effortlessly and makes sure it is easier to control and is durable. The mouth of this model is also easily adjustable that allows you to set the perfect blade sharpness for a variety of wood. The entire unit is 6.5 inches long and 2.125 inches wide, and the blade is 3mm in length.

You can expect to use this product countless times without having to worry about any durability or quality concerns. As it is made up of metal, it can be one of the models for people who are just starting out. It is sure to produce some of the cleanest and most accurate cuts on wood.

Pros:

  • It comes with a precision base for making exceptionally sharp and accurate cuts.
  • It is made up of iron casting, which adds to its accuracy and durability.
  • The mouth adjustment allows you to work with different wood types.
  • It has a 3mm thick blade and a heavier body making it excellent for beginners.

Cons:

  • The level cap might sometimes slip out if not careful, which can be a safety hazard.

2.   Senkichi Wood Block Plane

If you’re on a budget but still need something with a quality build, then the Senkichi Wood Block Plane is one of the best block planes for the money. The frame of this block plane is made up of wood, and it is Japanese-made. Lightweight but extremely sharp, this block plane can compete with the best sellers in the market much more expensive than it is. It is approximately 5.5 inches long and has a width of 2 inches. However, it’s a bit smaller than the usual block planes you will find. This makes it excellent for outdoor woodwork or small jobs, but this might not be the ideal block plane if you are looking for something to work on larger surfaces.

This block plane is recommended for intermediate to expert level woodworkers. It requires some setting up before use, and the beginners might get confused with it. Properly suited to an experienced planner, it is one of the best tools on the market that comes at a reasonable price.

Pros:

  • It is set up with a friction fit that makes it much easier to insert and remove the blade.
  • Whether it’s for fine cuts or chamfering, it is excellent for all sorts of operations.
  • It does not need any wedges or pins to be used.
  • Affordable and light wooden body excellent for small and outdoor projects.

Cons:

  • Inserting the blade can be difficult to do because of the tightness.
  • It may not be better suited for people just starting out.

3.   WoodRiver Low Angle Block Plane

This is one of the premium block planes on our list. It comes with a classic design and has its bed set up at a 20-degree angle with its blade on 25-degrees. Chrome plated, made up completely of metal, and quite aesthetic, this block plane is easy to hold and does an amazing job. The blade is made up of high carbon fiber steel and is exceptionally sharp for precise and thin shaving. 7.8 inches in length and 3.4 inches in width, it offers perfect performance for small to medium-sized projects. The classic design knuckle cap makes it a durable yet easily adjustable tool. This tool is excellent at its job, but as the blade is made of carbon fiber, it might require regular sharpening.

You can fine-tune the tool for adjustments according to your projects or cuts. The mechanism of this tool is hardened and made in a reliable manner for durability and longevity. Overall, if you’re looking for a long-time premium product, then this can be your excellent tool.

Pros:

  • Based on a classic design, keeping aesthetics and durability intact.
  • 20-degrees bed angle and 25-degree blade angle for thin and precise cuts.
  • Chrome knuckles caps and a superior grade high carbon fiber steel bade.
  • It can be easily adjusted to different forms of projects depending on your requirements.

Cons:

  • It might require frequent sharpening, depending on how much you use it.
  • It comes with no instructions in the box, so you might have to consult the internet for how to use it.

4.   Stanley 12-220 Block Plane

It’s no surprise you will find more than one Stanley product on our list as it is a company well known for making reliable and excellent tools. Another amazing Stanley product is the Stanley 12-220 Block Plane. It is an inexpensive yet durable planner and serves as a general-purpose planner. It has a cast iron base and a precisely built side and bottom frame. The depth and alignment of the blade are easily adjustable for any kind of project. The blade is also epoxy protected, so it stays safe from rust or corrosion in the long run. The sturdy build will make sure you make some of the cleanest and most precise cuts that you can be proud of.

The weight due to the metal frame adds to the durability and makes sure it does not slip during operation. It is an excellent general-purpose tool best suited for light-duty jobs, totally adjusted for depth of cut and alignment.

Pros:

  • A general-purpose planner is adjustable for a wide variety of projects.
  • Precisely built and durable frame with machined sides and bottom.
  • It has a cast iron base that adds to the momentum.
  • The epoxy coating protects your blade from erosion or damage in the long run.

Cons:

  • The device can be hard to operate for beginners and comes with no instruction manual.

The Block Plane – Tune Up and Use – Most Useful Hand Plane In the Shop

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Features to consider when buying a block plane

Angle

Block planes come in two types of angles in their blades; one is standard, and the other is the low angle. You need to be careful whether you want a standard or a low-angle blade, as choosing the wrong one can shave off more or less wood than desired and might ruin your project. The standard angle blade meets the plane at a 45-degree which is mostly used for shaving off very thin pieces of wood. On the other hand, a low-angle blade comes into contact with the wood at a 37-degree angle which removes much more wood from the plane. So, keep the thickness and angle of the blade in mind when choosing your ideal block plane.

Material

You can choose from metal or wooden block planes. Metal planes are much heavier than wooden ones and can help you gain momentum that can make planning easier. Metal ones are also easier to adjust. On the other hand, wooden ones are more aesthetic and lighter and can add more accuracy. Wooden planes can be difficult to adjust and might require a bigger learning curve. For beginners, it is recommended that you start with a block plane made out of metal instead of wood.

Length

Block planes usually come in six to eight inches in length and one to two inches in width. If you are working on smaller areas, such as a hinged door, then you might want to go with a smaller model. Smaller planes can be handy for tight spots, but they can be difficult to control when working on larger ones. So, also consider the type of projects you will be mostly working on when choosing a block plane.

Blade thickness

The overall rigidity of a blade is determined by its thickness. Choosing a very thin blade for heavy-duty projects might damage or bend in the long run, therefore creating irregular cuts. This can negatively impact your output, so it’s always better to opt for a thicker blade when choosing your tool.

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Kevin Nelson

I will always have a special place in my heart for woodworking. I have such fond memories working on projects with my parents on the weekends in the garage growing up. We built tables, shelves, a backyard shed, 10' base for a water slide into the pool, 2 story fort playhouse with a fire pole, and so much more. This woodworking blog allows me to write helpful articles so others can enjoy woodworking as much as we have.

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