Basic Types of Handplanes

Topics Covered

  1. Stanley Handplanes, numbers 1 thru 8
  2. Block Planes
  3. Rabbet Planes
  4. Shoulder Planes
  5. Router Planes
  6. Scrub Plane
  7. Plow Plane
  8. Bullnose Plane
  9. Low Angle Jack Plane
  10. Final Thoughts

Stanley Handplanes, Numbers 1 thru 8

For the Stanley type planes 1 thru 8, I like the Photos and additional information provided by Lie-Nielsen. Check out the following Lie-Nielsen link: Lie-Nielsen Toolworks USA | Bench Planes

Stanley Type Planes 1 thru 4-1/2

  • Planes 1 thru 4-1/2 are generally used as smoothing planes. One of these would be the last plane (3rd plane) to touch the wood, before applying the finish.
  • Frog Angle = 45*
  • Blade (or iron) is installed bevel-down.

Stanley Type Planes 5 & 6

  • For planing wood to a given thickness & squaring up to the sides of the wood being planed, this would be the first plane used.
  • These planes are generally referred to as Jack planes (or Fore Planes).
  • Frog Angle = 45*
  • Blade (or Iron) is installed bevel-down.

Stanley Type Planes 7 & 8

  • After using the #5 or #6 as noted above, this would be the 2nd plane used.
  • These planes are generally referred to as Jointer planes (or Try Planes).
  • Frog Angle = 45*
  • Blade (or Iron) is installed bevel-down.

Block Planes

  • Two such animals are the Stanley 9-1/2 and the Stanley 60-1/2. And there are many others.
  • Both of these Block Planes have the blade installed bevel-up.
  • Stanley 9-1/2 parameters:
    1) length = 6-1/2″
    2) Blade Width = 1-5/8″
    3) Bed Angle = 20* (Standard Angle)
    4) Used for general repairs.
    5) Link to Stanley 9-1/2 — Stanley Hand Tools-12-138 No. 9-1/2 Block Plane

Rabbet Planes

  • The Rabbet Plane, used for cutting rabbet joints, is also seen referred to as a Rebate plane. Add an adjustable fence and you’ll see also the name Filletster Plane being used.
  • For the Rabbet Planes, two such animals are the Stanley #78 and the Stanley #192. And just like rabbits (the four legged kind) there are others galore.
  • Stanley #78 parameters:
    1) Length = 8-1/4″ to 8-1/2″, for older models (1973 or earlier).
    2) Length = 10″ for #78′s currently being made by Stanley.
    3) Blade Width = 1-1/2″
    4) Bed Angle = 45*
    5) Blade is installed bevel-down
    6) Adjustable fence & adjustable depth stop
    7) Two cutter beds, one for regular rabbetting and a second one up close to the nose
    of the plane (for Bullnose work)
    8) Link to Stanley #78 — Stanley Hand Tools-12-978 Bullnose Rabbet Plane

Shoulder Planes

  • The three Shoulder Planes listed here are by Lie-Nielsen. There listed by Lie-Nielsen for trimming & fitting dadoes, and rabbets.
  • All three of the above Shoulder Planes have the blade bedded at an 18* angle, and the blade is installed bevel-up.

Router Planes

  • Lie-Nielsen lists two, Small & Large.
  • Small Router Plane parameters:
    1) Listed for shallow mortise work
    2) 1/4″ square blade
    3) The Router is approximately 4″ x 2″.
  • Large Router Plane parameters:
    1) Listed for shallow mortise work
    2) 3/8″ square blade
    3) The Router is approximately 8-1/4″ x 3-1/2″.

Scrub Plane

  • The Scrub Plane is a thickness planer without a power cord. Used to hog out large quantities of wood. You use the Scrub Plane prior to using your Jack Plane, Jointer Plane, and Smoothing Plane.
  • Lie-Nielsen lists the one described here. It’s based on the original Stanley #40-1/2 Scrub Plane.
  • Lie-Nielsen Scrub Plane parameters:
    1) Length = 10-1/4″
    2) Blade = 1-1/2″ wide x 3/16″ thick
    3) Blade Radius = 3″
    4) Blade installed bevel-down.
    5) Link to Scrub Plane — Lie-Nielsen Toolworks USA | Scrub Plane

Plow Plane

  • The Plow Plane listed here is the Veritas Small Plow Plane. The catalog cut makes note that it’s close in size to the classic Record #044 Plane.
  • Function of this plane is to cut grooves and rabbets.
  • Veritas Small Plow Plane parameters:
    1) Didn’t see the plane length given in the online literature, but based on the given
    fence length, I estimate the plane length to be approximately 8″.
    2) Fence Length = 6-5/8″
    3) Fence position is adjustable
    4) Comes with a 1/4″ width steel blade
    5) 1/8″, 3/16″, 5/16″, & 3/8″ width blades are available
    6) Also available are tongue-cutting blades
    7) 45* blade bed
    8) Blade is installed bevel-down.
    9) Link to Plow Plane — Veritas-Specialty- Small Right- and Left-Hand Plow Planes

Bullnose Plane

  • Used to plane areas that cannot be reached by larger planes.
  • The parameters listed here are for a Veritas Bullnose Plane:
    1) Length = 4-3/4″
    2) Width = 1″
    3) Bed Angle = 15*
    4) Blade installed bevel-up
    5) Nose can be removed, for a chisel configuration.
    6) Link to Bullnose Plane — Veritas Tools – Specialty Planes – Bullnose Plane

Low Angle Jack Plane

The parameters for the plane listed below is for Lie-Nielsen’s Low Angle Jack Plane:

  • Based on the Stanley #62
  • Length = 14″
  • Blade Width = 2″
  • Blade Bed Angle = 12*
  • Blade installed bevel-up
  • Adjustable mouth opening
  • Listed by Lie-Nielsen for very smooth cutting on end grain, long grain, & figured woods.
  • Link to Low Angle Jack Plane — Lie-Nielsen Toolworks USA | Low Angle Jack Plane

Final Thoughts
I enjoyed doing this post. Felt like a kid in a Candy store.

I have roughly half of the planes listed above. Figure I will be referring back to this list, when I make future plane purchases.

Listed below are Links to sites I referred to in putting the above data together.

Lie-Nielsen Toolworks USA | Home

Veritas Tools

Stanley Hand Tools


The Superior Works – Patrick’s Blood & Gore: Preface

Stanley No. 192 Rabbet Plane – Handplane Central


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Until Next Time, Take Care