Often called the 'Jack of all trades,' jack planes started their journey thousands of years ago. Far before modern civilization has come into play, woodworkers and crafters used to depend on this small tool to shape and smooth their creations.
In modern days, jack planes have gone through intensive evolution. You will find many jack planes available out there, from cast iron to bronze build, with adjustment knobs and carved handle to give them a more artistic look.
But choosing the best jack plane according to your work is the hardest nut to crack. To ease your struggle to run through every jack plane, we have narrowed down the list to the 10 jack planes on the market.
You will find all the nitty-gritty of these planes here, from their design and build quality to the functionality and the most useful features, followed by a detailed buying guide and a comparison chart.
Caliastro Iron Jack Plane
5 out of 5
GreatNeck C4 Bench-Jack Plane
5 out of 5
Amazon Basics No.4 Smoothing Hand Plane
4.5 out of 5
STANLEY No.62, Low Angle Plane
4 out of 5
WEN 6530 6-Amp
4.5 out of 5
Best Jack Planes for Woodworking : Our Top 10 Recommendation in 2021
Whether you want a jack plane for professional or DIY woodworking projects, the following list of carefully vetted jack planes will help you choose the right product.
1. Bench Plane No. 5 - Iron Jack Plane
Caliastro, a renowned name in the woodworking tools industry, the no. 5 jack plane seems to have a fusion of modernism in functionality and an antiquated feel in the overall build and finish.
In terms of dimension, this jack plane is pretty big with a length of 14 inches and a width of 2 inches, but this will perfectly fit in your hands, thanks to the solid wood handle and knob that are finished to glossy smoothness.
In line with the body width, it has a 2-inch High Carbon steel blade that allows you to run it on any coarse surface and shaves the surface like melted butter.
This high-performance blade doesn't come alone but with a sibling as a spare to be used in the future if you need it.
Unlike many other models available in the market, the blade adjustment nut is made of solid brass here, giving it an antique feel and higher durability at the same time.
Use this fine-tuning tool to adjust the blade's depth so that you can surf through any surface at ease.
To warn about the blade's sharpness, Caliastro advises everyone not to test the blade with their finger. If you do so, Caliastro won't bear the responsibility of your fingers falling off. It is that sharp!
Jokes apart, if you use the plane wisely and store it in a dry place covering with rust-resistant paper, it is most likely to serve you for years to come.
- The unmatched build quality to be the top choice for any woodworking.
- Comparatively bigger size to handle bigger projects quicker.
- High Carbon steel blade provides cutting edge sharpness over the years.
- Comes with a spare blade of the same quality as the original.
- Very durable with a high-quality wood handle and solid brass adjustment nut.
2. GreatNeck C4 Woodworking Jack Plane
The second item on our jack plane review is this higher-profile tool to handle your heavy-duty woodworking jobs.
Whether you are a professional woodworker or an amateur wood sculptor, the Great Neck jack plane will come in handy in any given situation.
It has a shorter length than the previous jack plane but shares the same width. The blade size is also similar to that to handle any planning job smoothly.
Hardening the steel to its peak is crucial for making jack plane blades as they will encounter rigorous usage for years.
This comes with no spare blade, but the stock blade is very sharp and durable, so expected to last longer than any other blade. You can sharpen the blade afterward if you feel so.
As the length is shorter, it will also be slightly lighter than many of its competitors to allow you to work for a longer time without straining your wrists too much. This is a great advantage for the professionals who works for a long stretch.
You will find the bottom surface extremely smooth and shiny to run it through any coarse surface. It provides great precision in any project, thanks to the wood handles on both sides of the plane.
The high-performance blade is adjustable both ways to give a better experience in a variety of planning jobs.
Every assistive tool like the adjustable knobs and others is present in the build to make it a sophisticated yet effective woodworking tool.
- Shorter length than many other planes allows it to fit into smaller places.
- A Flatter bottom ensures high precision planning.
- A high-performance steel blade makes its way through any wood surface and holds its sharpness for a long time.
- Dual wood handles provide a better grip of the tool to make planning easier.
- Comes with a limited lifetime warranty to save your back.
3. Amazon Basics No.4 Smoothing Bench Hand Plane
This no 4 jack plane from Amazon Basics is one of our top favorites due to its classic look and easy functionality for both experts and beginners.
As it has filled all the criteria for being a low angle jack place, it will be highly effective for beginners who are just learning woodwork.
All these starts with a machine finished and polished bottom body to sustain for years. This highly durable tool can withstand immense strain at work and lets you do your job perfectly with its high-quality blade.
This plane's 2-inch blade is made of tough alloy steel to elongate its lifetime while providing quality planning. It smoothens out any rough surface coming its way, making it the perfect companion for any woodworker.
You will have adjustable knobs to fine-tune the tool to get the best result possible by altering the steel blade's height depending on the surface you are working on.
Dual wood handles are contoured to match your palm's shape so that you have a better grip over the tool during the work and don't catch wrist pain.
The darker finish on the handles gives it a more classic look, which compliments the overall build.
We would like to present it as a value for money tool that provides high performance at a reasonable price, making it affordable for many woodworkers out there.
- The 10-inch-long polished body houses all the necessary parts perfectly.
- Contains a bit thicker blade to handle all woodworking operations.
- Both the metal body and toughened alloy steel blade serve your purpose for a long time.
- Blade height can be adjusted as per your preference to get high precision planning.
- Contoured wood handles are polished to perfection and give the tool a more premium look.
4. STANLEY Low Angle Jack Plane
Made to win the heart of woodworkers and collectors simultaneously, STANLEY came back in the hand plane industry with this no. 62 low angle jack plane!
It charms everyone with its sleek look at first sight. Take a closer look, and you will discover the unibody build of the base and the frog, which gives extra strength to the tool.
This measures as long as 14 inches and is about 2 inches wide, which gives a pretty big tool to work with.
The magic of this tool lies in the mouth, which can be adjusted to your preference. We have tried this tool with different woods and got a fine shaving pretty much every time.
The cherry wood dual handles are highly ergonomic and easy to work with. There shouldn't be any wrist pain even if you work for so long with this tool.
Plus, the finish of the handles balances the look in contrast with the dark-colored body.
But we have found some issues with the adjustment knob, which is solid brass for better durability.
The opening and closure of the mouth vary from one tool to another, as reported by some other customers too, which can be a drawback for this plane.
If you can make the fine adjustments as required, it can be a must-have tool in your arsenal. You can have it as a collectible too. Sleek, efficient, and elegant!
- Unibody casting of the base and the frog ensures better weight distribution.
- Solid brass adjustment knob gives better precision control than similar models.
- The mouth can be closed up to one-sixteenth of an inch to allow working on any wood type.
- Cherry wood handles are great for ergonomic handling and add a bit of personality to the tool.
5. WEN 6530 6-Amp Electric Hand Planer
Tired of using manual jack planes on bigger projects? Facing issues with your wrist? Let WEN 6530 electric planer handle the stubborn woods, and your hands have better comfort.
This small but effective tool consists of a 6-amp electric motor that can run up to 17000 rpm to make the double-sided blade deliver 34000 cuts per minute.
That is a big number for such a small tool and comes in handy when you need to cut through a lot of wood per day, especially if you are a professional woodworker.
Another great feature of this electric planer is the depth adjustment, which can start from 0 and goes all the way up to one-eighth of an inch.
In the way of the adjustment, you get 16 steps to take a break to ensure fine shaving on any type of wood.
Don't forget the kickstand here that makes the planer safer by distance from the working surface when it isn't on duty.
This is a great feature for such a tool to have as it will save the workers from dangers and the wood from any unwanted planning.
The dust bag included with the package is something worth mentioning. It can be a good way to collect the wood shavings as the bag can be attached to any side of the planer.
To match with the bag, sawdust can be directed as per your preference by toggling a switch on the planer.
- The double-sided razor-sharp blade makes up to 34000 cuts and is powered by a 6-amp motor that runs at 17000 pm.
- The blade's depth can be adjusted within a wide range, including 16 steps, for better precision.
- Kickstand and dust bag are some seriously useful features in terms of safety and cleanliness.
- Not too heavy on your hands, not too light to be unstable at work either.
6. Grizzly Industrial H7566
One of the best items on our low angle jack plane review, this modern-looking, strong, and durable tool can handle any level of the woodwork without losing the sharpness for so long. This makes the 14-inch jack plane from Grizzly an impeccable choice for any of your projects.
The cast iron base's outer side has a mirror finish that looks sharp and houses all the parts to be comfortably run on any wood surface. This model is mostly used to give the finishing touch to any woodwork and make it look smoother.
To do that, Grizzly 14-inch jack plane houses a razor-sharp thick blade made out of toughened steel, paired to some other adjustment parts milled with precision.
This high-quality build ensures you get the perfect smoothness every time, no matter how tough or stubborn the wood surface is.
Having chip breakers on the plane allows you to easily direct the sawdust in a certain direction and make the planning job much easier.
Other features include solid brass adjustment nuts that can be used to control the lateral depth of the blade, depending on your work type.
The handle and the knob on this plane are made of hardwood, and both the finishes compliment each other perfectly.
Talking about the handles' grip, it is one of the most convenient tools to work with due to the contoured shape that the matches perfectly to the palm.
This is a pretty good value for money tool that any woodworker would want to have with a sturdy build.
- Highly durable and smooth cast iron base to complete finishing perfectly.
- A high-performance blade holds its sharpness for so long if used properly and cuts through any wood surface with ease.
- Solid brass adjustment knobs help control the cutting blade to get fine precision and are very durable.
- The wooden handle and knob are made to enhance comfort and will last the same as the tool.
7. STANLEY Adjustable Jack Plane
STANLEY has been making woodworking tools that have been praised by generations. In line with their year-old tradition in making these tools, this no 4 jack plane holds its appeal to the woodworkers to date.
One of the basic differences between this and other jack planes on our list is the polymer handles claimed to absorb heavy impact. The polymer handles in this plane are ultra-strong and durable.
The cast iron base in this plane is metallic grayish and combines perfectly with the rest of the parts. The blade seems to be shorter in height but covers 2 inches in width to give large cuts.
The blade's cutting depth and alignment can be adjusted manually using the adjustment knobs to have better precision or distinct precision levels for different types of works.
After trying the blade on different wood surfaces, we have decided that the blade has gone through intensive hardening to be tough enough to cut through rough would surfaces without putting much stress on your hand.
The cam-lock here features a quick-release button to remove the iron sharply in case you are in a hurry. It saves a lot of time, especially when you are busy with larger projects.
- Shorter length, the cast iron base houses all the parts perfectly and feels easy to work with.
- A precision-milled base gives better smoothness than the tools of the same category.
- Adjustment knobs are fine-tuned to make even the smallest level of adjustment a breeze.
- The quick-release button helps undo the cam-lock to remove or change irons swiftly.
8. Shop Fox D2674 2-Inch by 14-Inch
Though the base's upper surface doesn't look so great, this 14-inch jack plane from Shop Fox works like magic while smoothing rough surfaces, whether for polishing or jointing.
But the base's bottom surface is finely finished to be very smooth to handle the planning job demanded by expert professionals. This high-quality planing tool is made of ground cast iron to give it a heavier base to work with.
This heaviness results in better stability, which is crucial for precision work. But it doesn't cause any pain to your wrists even if you work for along time, thanks to the weight distribution.
The alloy steel blade is made for slicing wood and standing still where the cutting depth can be finely adjusted with adjustment knobs.
Like the previous one, it also incorporates a quick release lever cap to make the iron change easier and quicker. With micro depth adjustment and lateral adjustment feature, you can tune the tool perfectly aligned and smoothen any rough surface to your choice.
Though the finish on the wooden handles and knobs could be better to make it look more premium, it offers quality performance, which is justified at this price point and can be a tool of choice for both professionals and beginners.
- Built from ground cast iron to give the characteristic sturdiness for better durability.
- Incorporates a toughened steel blade for butter-like smoothness through any wood surface.
- Shaves any rough surface to smoothness depending on the fine adjustment controls that are easy to use and stays in place for longer.
- Provides a pretty solid feel and performance at this price point, which is a great plus for this category's tool.
9. WoodRiver #5-1/2
More of a short try plane or panel plane, WoodRiver 5-1/2 is one of the most popular choices among beginners despite its incredibly high price.
This plane's base is made of CR40 grade alloy steel cast that gives the tool a better weight distribution for even smoothness all over the surface.
Though the cutting blade is made of high-carbon steel and gives clear shavings, it needs to be re-sharpened repeatedly to retain the performance, which might be a headache at times.
You can easily set the tool into different configurations by using the lateral adjuster that works with the help of a guide bearing. It allows you to precisely set the cutting depth and get the finish of your preference.
This wider bottom plane performs better when used on any pre-machined timber to smoothen the surface but if you want to work on a non-machined timber, better find a no 5 jack plane to get your work done perfectly.
Also, this plane's price is a great concern as the competitors are providing pretty much the same features at a much lower price range. But it is always up to you how much you wanna spend on your plane.
Other features like hardwood handles, low cap iron, and lever cap add a bit of beauty to the tool and make it more comfortable to use.
- CR40 alloy steel casting is almost unbreakable to give it a longer life than its competitors.
- A sharp blade is made of high-carbon steel to give maximum performance and last longer.
- The wider bottom works better on pre-machined timbers.
- Lateral adjuster helps the blade make its way through any wood surface with fine precision.
- Includes contoured and polished hardwood handles for better comfort.
10. Mini Brass Wood Jack Planes
It is clear from the very name that the last tool on our list of the best jack planes is smaller in size than its partners to allow it to make its way through smaller surfaces. A must-have tool for any professional or DIY woodworker.
This plane's body is quite different from other tools due to the combination of solid brass and hardwood to make the base block.
It houses the toughened steel blade to cut through tiny areas where the bigger planes don't have access.
As a result, this mini brass wood jack plane has won the heart of thousands of woodworkers and is considered a comfortable tool to work with due to its lighter weight and easy-to-handle build.
Relative to the size, this plane's price very affordable, making it the perfect choice for those who either don't wanna invest a large amount at the beginning or need a smaller tool in addition to the larger siblings.
The smaller brass handle gives moderate grip, but we didn't find it to be very comfortable. As the tool is small, it doesn't put that much pressure on your hand either. Everything else is quite a in place to make it a tool of choice.
- A combination of solid brass and hardwood gives this tool unmatched durability.
- Smaller size allows it to penetrate tiny surfaces to get the finishing done much easier.
- The steel blade is toughened to the standard level for optimum sharpness and performance.
- Fits easily into any storage due to the smaller dimension.
Comparison Table of Top 10 Jack Plane
Caliastro Bench Plane
Amazon Basics No.4
STANLEY Jack Planer
WEN 6530 6
Cast Iron and plastic
Grizzly Industrial H7566
STANLEY Hand Planer
Shop Fox D2674
Mini Brass Wood Jack Planes
Brass and Wood
Jack Plane Buying Guide
While year-old veteran woodworkers have learned how to choose the right jack plane for their work, newbies might not know intricate details, which leads us to make a universal buying guide for anyone willing to buy their first jack plane.
Considering all the factors, this guide will help you choose the right plane for diverse projects.
Do a bit of homework, rethink your work type and necessities, and choose the best plane possible according to your budget. Here are the factors you need to consider while buying a jack plane.
Types of Hand Planes
Under the hand plane definition, fall different tools are used for shaving off excess wood from any surface to give it a cleaner finish.
But once you dig deep down, you will find various types of planes having their distinct characteristics and working principles.
As of now, all the planes we have discussed fall under the bench plane category. The name came from the work type as bench planes are mostly used on a flat bench.
These planes mostly have a curved handle and a knob to have a strong grip on the tool. This allows the workers to work comfortably and keep the plane's direction straight while smoothing any surface.
You'll also find other types like joinery planes and molding planes used for different purposes, mostly cutting grooves and creating shapes and contours.
No matter how expensive your tool is or what brand you choose, you won't get the expected result unless you choose a plane that fits your work.
>> Block Plane
Metal Vs. Wooden Body
Hand planes are mostly made of cast iron or wooden body. Both the bodies have their distinctive characteristics, and the choice of which one to buy solely depends on your preference.
Metal bodied planes are often coated with rust-resistant powder or epoxy paint to save the body from getting caught by rust for better durability.
The metal base also increases the tool's overall weight to be more stable on the surface and give a better finishing. Plus, the blades' cutting depth can be easily adjusted on a metal-bodied plane by adjusting the knobs.
On the other hand, wooden-bodied planes are lightweight and allow users to work longer, causing less fatigue. They are also useful while working on a vertical surface as holding metal planes in that direction for a long time can be tiresome.
But, adjusting the blade depth is more complex on wooden planes, which you should consider.
Angle of the Blade
For efficient woodwork, the angle of the blade on any plane is a crucial factor to consider. The lower the blade is fitted on the body, the finer the cut will be, depending on the wood.
But if the blade sits on the body at a higher angle, it is more likely to scrape the surface rather than shaving it.
Most of the models available out there hold an angle of 45 degrees to the surface, which is completely fine for various jobs.
Thickness of the Blade
Many might not consider the thickness of the blade important, but it is. Using a thin blade will often result in a bend of the blade that might badly hamper the shaving.
Often there are risks of hurting yourself with shattered pieces of blade.
To have a better finish and work safely, select a plane that has a moderately thick blade as it can't bend or flex even under immense pressure.
Woodworking requires a great amount of physical energy to be exerted on tools and surfaces, which causes us to get tired quickly.
So, the tool needs to be something that will get the job done without compelling us to work in an uncomfortable posture for a long time.
Choose a plane with good weight distribution and dual handle configuration for better grip and even distribution of the exerting force.
This will allow you to work for a longer period without causing that much pain to your wrists and keep you energized even after completing monstrous projects.
People Also Asked
1. Why Is A Jack Plane Used?
A jack plane is mostly used for smoothing out rough wood surfaces that are mostly to be jointed.
2. Why is a Low Angle Jack Plane Used?
Low angle jack planes are commonly used for shooting miters and working end grain.
3. Which Hand Plane Should I Buy First?
When it comes to buying your first-hand plane, you should always go for a low angle plane that will help you shave the primary surface on any woodworking project.
4. What Is A No 4 Plane?
Jack planes are marked with numbers from 1 to 8 to indicate their lengths and widths. A no 4 plane is almost the medium point, so you should expect it to be moderate in length and width.
5. Do Electric Hand Planers Work Well?
Of course! They do the same job as the manual hand planes but take a lot less time and effort to get the job done.
6. At What Grinding Angle A Plane Blade Should Be Sharpened?
Usually, plane blades have a primary or grind bevel at 25 degrees & the honing or secondary bevel at 30 degrees. Keep that in mind while sharpening them.
We assume you know a lot better about jack planes after coming this far than you did before reading this write-up.
As long as you choose the best jack plane depending on your work type and budget, there is no way you can go wrong with these beautiful and effective tools, either indoor or on the go.