You don’t always need the heavyweight tools to bring the necessary elegance to the workpieces.
Often times, you will need to rely on a much smaller tool to ensure the perfectly smooth finish and thus add the required grace.
One of these smaller tools is the block plane. Most of them are designed to have blades at a lower angle than usual and have the bevel of those blades facing upwards.
By putting it in your palm and running it through a plane, you can cut off the unnecessary edges of the workpiece.
Understandably, picking the right kind of tool is essential to ensuring a smooth workday.
That is why we are here to discuss the best block plane options available in the market today, so that you can pick the most suitable one for you easily!
Great Neck Saw LSO 3-1/2"
5 out of 5
STANLEY Hand Planer 12-220
5 out of 5
KAKURI Woodworking Japanese Block Plane
4.5 out of 5
WoodRiver Standard Block Plane
4 out of 5
Stanley 12-247 Block Plane
4.5 out of 5
Top 11 Best Block Planes For Beginner & Expert 2021
1. Great Neck Saw LSO 3-1/2" Block Plane for Woodworking
The brand of Great Neck has been in operation for more than a century! Since 1919, it has maintained a superior quality while also keeping the price point of its tools reasonable. A great example of such an impressive combination is their LSO block plane.
This woodworking block plane will make it easier for you to provide a smooth finish to your projects. Use it to get rid of the grainy textures that compromise the elegant appearance of your wooden pieces.
It has been built as a compact tool of only 6 inches that will fit easily in your palm. Besides, it has a contoured shape for an easy grip.
As a result, you can carry out the finishing jobs comfortably through some effortless strokes across the wooden workpiece with this miniature adjustable plane.
The blade of this block plane is hardened and tempered. This cutter is an inch in width which can be adjusted based on the cutting depth you need for all of your different projects.
These blades are made from durable steel and thus can last for a long time without any rust formation.
Its base is made of die-cast aluminum while the frame is built from polished steel. Along with a long-lasting construction, this tool also has the benefits of being machined and painted accurately.
- Hardened and tempered cutting blade
- Frame made of polished solid steel
- Base built from die-cast aluminum
- Compact size and adjustable depth
- Contoured shape for an easy grip
2. STANLEY Hand Planer 12-220
With an experience of over 150 years, Stanley Tools has surpassed many expectations over the decades including crossing borders in terms of accuracy and reliability.
In their huge collection of products building up since 1843, this hand planer belongs to the large lineup of block planes.
Similar to the previous device, this one is also adjustable, but in more ways than one! Along with offering flexibility in the depth of cut, you can also adjust its thickness and evenness of shavings. As a result, you can use it for a wide range of projects and achieve the intended effect easily.
Even with all these adaptable features, the block plane does maintain its accuracy with the precision-ground sides and bottom present in its base. You will find the 21° resting angle of its cutter ideal for carrying out the cross-grain planning.
The gray base is built from cast-iron while the body is coated with durable epoxy for long-lasting protection. Don’t worry about strains or cramping because the finger rest on its front will ensure comfort and control.
With all these features, this gets the crown of the best Stanley block plane. The 7 inches’ length is adequate for any light-duty job as well as crafting.
- Manually adjustable with machined sides
- General-purpose planer for all light-duty jobs
- 21° cutter angle is ideal for cross-grain planing
- Depth of cut and alignment are fully adjustable
- Cast-iron base with a long-lasting proxy coating
3. KAKURI Woodworking Japanese Block Plane
Kakuri Corporation is a Japanese company that has been providing woodworking tools for skilled craftsmen since 1946.
Because of their in-house manufacturing of these tools, they can deliver devices made with the utmost care and superior quality. One of their globally popular tools among woodworkers is this block plane.
The heavy-duty body of this tool has been made from high-grade oak wood. This kind of wood is well-known for its resistance to wear and tear.
It is also less susceptible to water damage and warping due to sunlight. Along with high durability, it also has an attractive wood grain texture.
On the other hand, its blade is built from Japanese high carbon steel. This is simultaneously a durable, safe and environmentally friendly material which makes it an ideal choice for such tools. Compared to other similar metals, it can be recycled more easily.
The blade comes with a razor-sharp edge. If it happens to lose this sharpness at some point, you can restore it with the help of a whetstone. It makes an ideal option for chamfering corners and can also be used for an angled shave.
Even though this wood block plane has been manufactured and packaged in Japan, you will find an instruction manual written in English to help out the global woodworkers.
- Japanese design of wooden pull plane Kanna
- Comes in a handy size of only about six inches
- Ideal for chamfering corners and angled shave
- Heavy-duty wear-resistant body is handcrafted
- Durable blade can be sharpened with whetstone
4. WoodRiver Standard Block Plane with Adjustable Mouth
WoodRiver is a brand of woodworking tools operated by WoodCraft Supply. It brings you this standard block plane which has been built based on a classic design.
It took inspiration from styles like the chrome-plated Knuckle Cup design. Features like a #18 standard angle and the Stanley #65 low angle have also been added here. Both of them are highly popular among woodworkers around the globe because of how comfortable they make the job.
The classic design has been improved with the inclusion of a stronger base casting. This simultaneously removes the original weak points and improves the blade’s bedding area.
Just like the previous one, this wooden block plane also has its blade built from the durable materials of high carbon steel. It has been hardened to Rc60-64 to ensure the maximum edge retention and can be ground to a 25-degree bevel. You can adjust it easily whenever necessary with the rear adjustment knob.
The mouth can also be adjusted to ensure a smooth operation. Besides, it can be fine-tuned for the work in progress - it can create coarse or whisper-thin shavings!
Even though it comes at an expensive price point, the cost makes sense to many because of its premium features. That is why many experienced woodworkers consider it to be the best block plane for the money!
- Blade made from durable high carbon steel
- Adjustable mouth ensures smooth operation
- Classic design with knuckle style lever cap
- 20° bed angle and 25° blade angle
- Comes at an expensive price point
5. Stanley 12-247 Woodworking Block Plane
Another commendable option from Stanley Tools is this block plane of model 12-247. It is a more affordable choice compared to the previous Stanley block plane we discussed. But a lower price point does not mean a lower standard in quality!
The gray base of this block plane is built from cast iron. It contains precision-ground sides and bottom whose polished shafting will help you achieve perfectly straight and flawless surfaces on your wooden workpiece.
The body also bears a durable epoxy coating that ensures long-lasting protection for the tool.
Its cutter usually rests at an angle of 21 degrees which makes it ideal for cross-grain planing. You should have no trouble using it since there is a finger rest at the front which makes the process comfortable and also provides you with greater control.
Depending on the current project, you can adjust the cutter manually for maximum effectiveness.
You can change the evenness and thickness of shavings as well by only loosening up the clamping wheel.
Enjoy working with this handheld tool that measures only 6⅝ inches with a cutter of 1⅝ inch length.
- 6⅝-inch long plane with 1⅝ inch cutter
- Manually adjustable for different thickness
- 21° resting angle is ideal for cross-grain planing
- Comfort and control ensured through finger rest
- Cast-iron base with precision-ground sides and bottom
6. Big Horn 19317 Contractor Grade Block Plane
For more than two decades, the Big Horn corporation has been focusing on both manufacturing and providing woodworking hand tools at an inexpensive price point.
They aim to make each product suitable for both beginners and advanced woodworkers.
This particular block plane has become popular among them because of the features it provides at a very competitive cost.
It is very easy to work with due to the convenient design it has adopted. You will find its body of 6¼ inches’ length to be compact enough for fitting in one hand.
The cutter blade incorporated into its design measures 1¾ inches in length. It is built as a contractor-grade tool which means you may not rely on its durability too much.
Nevertheless, it does offer a cutter blade that can be fully adjusted based on both alignment and depth of cut.
This is the best low angle block plane you can get. The low angle of 13.5-degree it rests on works well for end grain and face grain.
You can adjust its mouth knob for different kinds of wood, which means it will be a fine tool for versatile projects.
- 6-¼ inch long block plane with a 1-⅜ inch cutter
- Blade can be adjusted fully in depth and alignment
- 13.5° resting angle is good for face and end grain
- Mouth knob can be adjusted to suit different woods
- Contractor-grade tool available at an affordable cost
7. Caliastro No. 60-1/2 Adjustable Mouth Low Angle Block Plane
Another good option for low angle block planes would be this one from Caliastro. The blade is bedded at an angle of only 13.5 degrees.
It measures 4.25 inches in length, 1.3 inches in width and ⅛ inch in thickness. The tool itself, on the other hand, is 6.1 inches long and 1¾ inches wide.
Because of its low angle, the woodworking block plane can offer more versatility for you since you can adjust it effectively according to different project requirements. You will be able to tune it based on your personal specifications as well.
The blade is also quite durable since it has been hardened and tempered before incorporating it into the device.
Remember to not use your fingers to test its sharpness. Use paper instead to see how it performs as a pre-mounted blade.
Like the blade, its mouth can be adjusted easily and precisely too which makes this tool ideal for coarse cuts or the finishing work. Its single-piece base and frog cast have been built from iron which ensures durability and accuracy.
- 6.1-inch plane’s blade is bedded at 13.5°
- Fully adjustable mouth for coarse cuts
- Hardened and tempered blade is ready to use
- You can tune the blade to personal specifications
- Durable base and frog cast from iron for accuracy
8. Shop Fox D2672
Shop Fox is a line of machinery tools that was introduced about two decades ago by a company named Woodstock International. Among their extensive collection, there is this low angle block plane of model D2672.
The entire block plane stands at a size of 6-⅞ inches by 1-⅝ inches. Its body has been built from cast iron which offers multiple advantages. This material is simultaneously durable, lightweight and inexpensive.
Additionally, it has incredible dimensional stability and its machining speed can be adjusted better than steel, sand castings or similar materials.
Because of its low angle structure, the block plane stands out as a really good choice for trimming with or across the grain resulting in perfect fits.
If you have never tried woodworking before or are at the beginner stages, this can make a great option for you to learn how to fine-tune the wooden plank in progress.
All these features along with its precision milling and accurate adjustments make it the best block plane for beginner woodworkers. This is also one of the economical choices which add to its appeal.
- Built with the size of 6-⅞ inches by 1-⅝ inches
- Made from the durable material of cast iron
- Precision milling and accurate adjustments
- Low angle block plane ideal for trimming
- Comes at a pretty affordable price point
9. E.C. Emmerich 649P Adjustable Block Plane
The German company named E. C. Emmerich is one of the leading manufacturers in the world of woodworking hand tools.
It has been at the forefront of this industry for 163 years! Its lineup of almost 400 premium practical tools includes this block plane of model 649P.
It is considered to be a pocket plane because you can carry it in your pocket while going somewhere for a small planing job.
Besides, it is quite lightweight at just 14.6 oz which should feel very comfortable to both carry around and work with.
The blade is perfectly sharp and can be used right out of the box! You can just start using the iron blade without even honing it!
It also has an exclusive depth control that can be adjusted for setting the blade for any precision cut you may need. The plane works great for grain and trimming jobs as well.
You can use the adjustment knob as a palm rest while working. The blade is bedded at an angle of 45-50 degrees and you can sharp it at 25 degrees.
In total, the block plane has a length of 150mm or 5.9 inches while its blade is 39 mm long which equals 1.54 inches.
- About 6 inches long in total with a 1.54-inches blade
- Blade sharpened at 25° and bedded at 45° angle
- Adjustment knob can also work as a palm rest
- Open design allows a clean tap on blade sides
- A lightweight tool with detailed craftsmanship
10. Honoson Hand Planer-5621
If you are looking for a hand planer that is smaller than usual, you can try the block plane provided by Honoson. It also looks a lot brighter than most other options with the vibrant red color all over its body.
Along with the bright appearance, it also brings better performance for your projects through a lightweight and flexible design. The whole plane measures only 5.3 inches in length with a blade that is 4 inches long.
So it should fit in your palm better than usual and thus help you to carry out the work more smoothly.
In case of flexibility, you can adjust both the depth and alignment of its cutter based on your project requirements.
There is a black knob in the middle which you can use to manually adjust the blade. Remember to tighten up the screws before working with it after adjustments.
This block plane portraying exquisite workmanship is mainly made of 304 stainless steel. As you may know, it is a very durable material because it fights against rust or corrosion.
Additionally, the blade is built from 65 manganese steel which is simultaneously wear-resistant and incisive.
Therefore, you can work effortlessly and effectively with this flexible block plane which comes at a very economical price point.
- Mini size measures 5.3 inches in length
- Body is made of durable 304 stainless steel
- 4-inch blade made of 65 manganese steel that made planer more durable.
- Adjustable depth and alignment of cutter
- Comes at a very economical price point
11. Kunz 12-102
Since its inception in 1992, the German brand of Kunz has built an extensive range of planes made for different woodworking categories and expertise levels.
Like our top ten block planes, this particular model of 12.102 is also made to be a pocket plane that you can carry around anywhere without trouble.
That is why it follows a lightweight design that weighs only 310 grams or 11 oz. Besides, the entire plane is sized at an overall length of just 5-⅛ inches.
So it can easily fit into your pockets or small bags without causing any strain. You can easily complete all the final touches with it.
The body of this block plane is made from fine grey-cast stress-annealed iron. Even though it is quite a durable material, the body has been enhanced further with a green epoxy resin coating.
This layer provides better protection against corrosive fluids, abrasion and extreme temperatures.
Its blade of 1-⅜ inches is sharp enough right out of the box to cut soft wooden materials.
Even then, it would be safer to hone the blade before making the final cuts. You will find it a moderately affordable price point and thus save some money on your monthly budget!
- 5-⅛ inches long with a blade of 1-⅜ inch length
- Pocket plane great for softer wooden materials
- Sharp enough blade to use right out of the box
- The lightweight design of only 310 g or 11 oz
- Comes at a pretty affordable price point
Comparison Chart of Top Block Planes on The Market
Great Neck Saw LSO
Die-cast Aluminum, Polished Steel
Cast-iron, Epoxy Coating
High-grade Oak Wood, Japanese High Carbon Steel
High Carbon Steel
Cast-iron, Epoxy Coating
High Carbon Steel
E. C. Emmerich
304 Stainless Steel, 65 Manganese Steel
Grey-cast Stress-annealed Iron, Epoxy Resin Coating
Block Plane Buyer's Guide
Block planes come in mainly two varieties in terms of angles. The first category is considered to be the standard one whose design includes a blade pitched at an angle of 20 degrees.
For the other one, its angle is much lower at just 12 degrees and thus this variety is known as the low-angle version.
Even though 20 degrees is the standard angle, many prefer to work with the low-angle block planes because these tools can sever the end grain more easily.
These are also much faster and very comfortable to work with at the same time. It can fine-tune miter cuts on the trim or shave down corners of a swelled door quickly.
The most important part of a block plane is its blade since this bit slices through your wooden board and ensures a perfectly smooth finish for it. That is why the sharpness of this blade matters a lot.
Many brands may claim their product to have such a sharp blade that you can use it right out of the box.
However, go through the block planes review from previous users to see if it is that effective.
All block planes are supposed to be very small such that their size can fit right into your pocket. At the very least, it should fit well into your palm since that is how you will be using it.
They are supposed to be only seven inches in length or smaller which can fit into almost anyone’s palm or pocket.
4. Adjustable Mouth
Try to find a block plane that comes with an adjustable mouth. Having this feature will allow you to increase or decrease the space between the cutting edge of its blade and the leading edge of its mouth.
As a result, you can get thicker or thinner shavings and make heavier cuts more smoothly than the alternative.
Tools like this come in two kinds of materials usually - wood and metal. In terms of portability, wood scores better since it is much more lightweight than metal.
However, some advanced woodworkers prefer metal so that they can use its heavyweight structure to their advantage.
This material can also be beneficial because it is easier to adjust the blade depth for metal block planes.
In wooden block planes, you will need to use a mallet for doing it and thus it will be more time-consuming.
Being comfortable with the block plane’s design matters since you will be using it frequently to finish off projects.
These tools are typically operated with just one hand and thus its structure should have a spot where you can rest it properly.
Generally, they just have a single knob that controls the plane. In many cases, the adjustment knob also works as a palm rest.
Because of this design, you will be able to hold the grip without compromising your comfort level.
Block planes come in a wide range of price points. Of course, the cheaper options also come with a limited range of features and may not be that comfortable or efficient for your woodworking projects. However, you can still choose them if you are only learning or if you have a limited budget.
The most affordable options like these cost around or less than twenty bucks. On the other hand, the high-end block planes easily cost more than a hundred dollars!
You can find a sweet spot in the mid-range ones which come at a price point of around fifty bucks.
Advantages Of Using A Block Plane
Even though it is a very small tool that you can use anytime using just one hand, a block plane is quite versatile in its application!
With this single block plane tool, you can complete several woodworking tasks, such as trimming wood joints (for example, dovetails or tenons), creating chamfers on the plank or board edges, aligning end grain on boards and more!
Such versatility is why it became popular when block planes were first introduced in the 1800s!
These tools are the ideal choice for trimming a wooden board by cutting off its outer edges.
Compared to any other handheld tool, you can get it done with block planes a lot faster.
As a result, all of your projects can be completed in shorter timeframes and you can enjoy higher productivity!
Block planes are designed to provide more efficiency without compromising your comfort. That is why they come with a blade that is set at a shallow bed angle.
As a result, it can work through the end grain with higher efficiency. Additionally, you can just keep your palm at rest the entire time.
People Also Asked (FAQ)
1. What Is The Difference Between A Jack Plane And A Block Plane
Answer: Jack plane is another regular woodworking tool used frequently. It is meant to prepare the board before proceeding to truing or edge jointing.
Even though its job is similar to block planes, jack planes are much longer in size. The block plane is around 6-7 inches in length while the jack plane is 14 inches long.
2. Can You Use A Block Plane On MDF?
MDF or medium-density fiberboard is engineered by combining softwood or hardwood residuals with resin binder and wax.
It is a popular wood product because of its impressive density. You can use a block plane to complete the finishing of MDF boards.
Also Check: Which screws right to use on MDF?
3. What Angle Do You Sharpen Block Plane Blades?
From the low angle block plane reviews, you can see that their bed angle is around 12 degrees.
Their blade is typically sharpened at an angle of 25 degrees. Because of the bevel up design, the most effective angle for you to cut at would be 37 degrees.
4. Are Block Planes Beveled Up?
Yes, the bevel of good block planes is usually designed to face upwards. This is done so that its mechanism of creating smooth cuts on end grains works successfully every time with minimum effort from you. The bevel’s angle also contributes to the angle of its cutting edge.
As you can see, there are not many factors to consider while looking for the ideal block plane.
However, all the aspects mentioned in our discussions do matter a lot in the ultimate effectiveness and durability of these block planes.
Therefore, think about which product serves your objectives the most and enables you to stay within your budget limits.
The comfort factor will also play a role since feeling strain on your palm will prevent you from continuing the work.
In this guide, hopefully, you’ll find the best block plane that works for your projects and save more time for other tasks!
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