Hand Planes & Hand Planing

Hand planes are one of the most fundamental tools for woodworking by hand.

There’s a lot of choice, and whilst it can seem complicated, it’s not.

We’ve created this page as a resource for all of our best content about understanding hand planes, and learning a good planing technique. We hope it’ll take out some of the mystery for you.


Get Started With Hand Planing – Understanding Bench Planes

This is a video post, where I go through your options when buying bench planes.
Should you choose wooden or metal, what lengths do you need, and which hand planes are the easiest to use or restore?


Keeping it Small, The Best Hand Planes For Smoothing

If you’re looking at buying a dedicated smoothing plane, then have a read through why I’d recommend going nice and small.
Any length of plane can be used for smoothing, but a smaller plane will excel.

Stanley No. 3 Smoothing plane


How To Control Tear Out – Even on A Cheap Bench Plane

This is a video series, taking you through the process of setting up the cap iron / chip breaker on your hand planes.
We start out by explaining how & why this set up can eliminate tear out when hand planing.

Using hand planes to smooth wood and avoid tearout


 

Beat The Router – Learn To Use A Fillister Plane

Joinery planes can feel like cheating. Once set up you can repeat your joints over and over with no need to mark out.
This post goes through the set and use of a fillister plane, for cutting rebates by hand.

A Fillister Plane Makes Cutting A Rebate Joint Fast & Repeatable


Hand Plane Review – The ECE Jack

Hand planes can be a big investment, and it’s not often you find a new tool that’s this good, at this price range.
If you’re getting started with hand planing, then give some thought to the ECE Jack plane.

ECE Hand Plane Review


 

Why The N0 5 Is The Hand Plane To Buy First

There’s one plane that could cover all of your hand planing needs.
Whether you like to keep minimal, or want to know where to start, this video shares my reasoning.

The Stanley no 5 bench plane

Flattening A Board With Hand Planes

Taking a board from rough to smooth requires you to choose where you want to remove material.
This post goes through my initial thoughts, when looking over a board for flattening.

How to use hand planes to flatten a board


How To Set & Adjust Wooden Planes

When Helen started in woodworking she learnt to use wooden planes.
Here she explains what she learnt, & how to easily set & adjust them.

Wooden Smoothing Plane

Hand Planing With Pace & Efficiency. Understanding Your Approach.

We don’t always need to aim for perfection. This post shows my technique for hand planing
very large boards, that don’t need to look great, but do need perfect references within a piece.

Hand Planing Wood, Choosing The Best Technique


Setting Your Planes Correctly – Cap Iron Fatigue

In a previous set of posts we went through the benefits of the cap iron and learnt how to use it
for controlling tear out. This post explains why it should only be used as and when needed.

Setting up for easy hand planing

Restoring Wooden Planes. Can You Live With A Wide Mouth?

Wooden hand planes can be bought quite cheaply, but can tend to be in bad nick.
Here we discuss wide mouths & whether it’s worth the effort of closing them up.

A look at mouth widths on different types of wooden hand plane