Best Block Plane For Beginner – Shoot out (2020)

Best Block Plane For Beginner – Shoot out (2020)

Best Block Plane For Beginner. In this video Rob Cosman reviews six of the most popular block planes to determine the best block plane for beginner. Rob talks about the uses of the block plane and what features beginners should be looking for in a block plane. Before purchasing your block plane watch this video to find out what is the best block plane for beginner.

00:00 Overview
04:00 Evaluation Criteria
16:10 Quality of Manufacturing
25:45 Ergonomics
29:58 Performance on Hardwood
33:25 Edge Retainability
34:35 Rob’s Overall Evaluation and Recommendation
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  1. Joe Walton on January 3, 2022 at 9:54 pm

    9:57 "I would say that’s excessive". What an excellent line…

  2. on January 3, 2022 at 9:56 pm

    Check out my mortise chisel shoot out review here:

  3. CrimeVid on January 3, 2022 at 9:57 pm

    I have a couple of more fancy block planes with all the adjustments, I never use them, I always end up using the ones with hammer adjustment ! like the wooden planes I was taught on. Everybody needs block planes, there is always a comedian that wants us to believe that a no 4 will do instead, no, it won’t.

  4. larrybud on January 3, 2022 at 9:58 pm

    The main thing to take away is the slop in the adjustment knobs and designs. If the blade isn’t advancing or retracting as needed when you turn the adjustment knob, that’s a no go. Whether the plate is aluminum like in the stanley really isn’t going to affect anything, and some may want a lighter plane when using and carrying around a block plane. Gap in the toe plate? If it’s making marks in the wood obviously that’s no good, but otherwise as long as it’s a flat surface you’re fine.

    What would REALLY be important is to know the quality of the steel for the blades.

  5. mario ramos on January 3, 2022 at 10:00 pm

    What wax are you using for the sole plate?

  6. Brian Heuer on January 3, 2022 at 10:01 pm

    I regret ever buying a Taytools plane. Luckily it was just a block plane and taught me the valuable lesson that you get what you pay for. Wood River from here on out for me.

  7. Michael Mennuti on January 3, 2022 at 10:01 pm

    I have one of those cheap Stanley block planes, and if anything mine has even worse machining. I had to grind down the rim on the adjustment thingy where the screw goes through, because it was substantially higher on one side making the whole lever cap uneven. The bed near the mouth had some strange distortion, maybe a problem with casting or something. Had I known any better when I bought it, I should have returned it, but I was completely new to woodworking at the time and didn’t know what I should be looking for in a plane. I’ll have to upgrade some day.

  8. Bruce E. Kierstead on January 3, 2022 at 10:01 pm

    Any of them are better than my grandpa’s Stanley 110 that I use occasionally. Only one adjust. Is it a collectable?

  9. The Meat on January 3, 2022 at 10:02 pm

    Wow, it’s like watching paint dry.

  10. Dan Aron West on January 3, 2022 at 10:03 pm

    Boy am I lucky. I thought I’d waste time watching this video in sourcing for something to watch. NOT AT ALL. What an interesting review. I never thought reviewing block planes would be so interesting. I’m lucky because I have that WoodCraft block plane and almost bought the Lie Nielsen. lol lol lol lol I really did. I’m kind of in the mindset of Paul Sellers in that I use my Lie Nielsen #4 a lot and seldom my block planes except for chamfering edges and the like. Great Stuff Rob but then again aren’t you ever always the master. Time Well Spent AGAIN.

  11. glen paul on January 3, 2022 at 10:03 pm

    I have some of my dad’s old planes that I’m refurbishing. He was a master carpenter for 45 years and i learned a lot from him. I was from Canada and sadly I wasnt able to get all his tools down to Texas after he passed away. I did get several of his antique wooden planes but I am missing his a block planes (and other specialty planes he had) so I want to buy one…but which to buy? Your review was absolutely excellent and comprehensive. You covered all the necessary and important criteria in your evaluations of each plane in a systematic and easy to follow manner. Based on your recommendation, I will buy the Wood River low angle block plane. I’ve watched several other reviews and they were essentially worthless and poorly done compared to yours…they were basically a waste of time. I noticed you did not have the Veritas plane in your lineup…wondered why? I want to thank you for doing such a great job reviewing these planes in such a factual and organized manner. I watch several other shows on woodworking but none holds a candle to yours. You are far and away the best on you tube.

  12. Jim Bo on January 3, 2022 at 10:06 pm

    I think beginners need better tools and materials than the more experienced. I am not surprised by the recommendations. I personally prefer the Stanleys because they are lighter. My recommendation would be to buy a Stanley and when you want better buy a better blade for it. When you are more experienced and wealthier buy lie Neilsen or similar. I’ve been at it over half a century. Unless you are a hand tool only person, sanders overcome many of the difficulties planes present. I use my edge sander a lot to flatten and to square off. My thicknessing sander does not tear the grain.

  13. Daniel Moerman on January 3, 2022 at 10:11 pm

    Hi rob. I guess I would have enjoyed this more if you had included the Veritas low angle block. It’s expensive, but I also have one of the old stanleys, and the difference is astronoomical!!

  14. Richard Roby on January 3, 2022 at 10:11 pm

    I am in need of an upgrade from my Stanley Bailey block plane but the Woodriver is on back order. I am about to order the Veritas over the Lie Nielsen due to the blade size. Any reasons I should reconsider?

  15. Fusion Boricua con Juan Ma on January 3, 2022 at 10:12 pm

    No Veritas. Why?

  16. Ungar Linski on January 3, 2022 at 10:12 pm

    Where is the Stanley Sweetheart made?

  17. john anderson on January 3, 2022 at 10:13 pm

    Excellent Excellent Review!!!! Thank you…

  18. Jeff McLaird on January 3, 2022 at 10:15 pm

    Good review … personally though I think I’ll keep saving up my money for a Clifton.

  19. Keith Sargent on January 3, 2022 at 10:16 pm

    If someone asked me which plane I would recommend I would tell them to start with the Lie-Nielsen. It’s expensive, but worth every penny. I purchased a Stanley block plane that was horrible out of the box and 10 or 12 years later I learned how to tune a plane. Now my Stanley works as well as my Lie-Nielsen and I have restored about a dozen planes purchased on Ebay. It has become something of a hobby for me.

  20. Bob D. on January 3, 2022 at 10:19 pm

    Rob I noticed that you don’t set your blade going in one direction. Not saying what I do is better but what I do is when I have to back the blade off I come back past where I want the blade and always set the blade depth on the advance. This removes the hysteresis in the adjustment mechanism . As you noted the Stanley Sweetheart has excessive play in the adjuster. If you set the blade to the desired depth when retracting the blade all the slop in that adjuster will allow the blade to retract when you use it. But if you set the depth when advancing the blade the adjuster slop is removed and the adjuster is backing up the blade so it can not move. I have found that almost all my old Stanley planes have this issue, and some other brands that are copies of the Stanley designs. Have you encountered this or is it just me and my planes. If you have do you think it matters what direction you set the blade in?
    Also, why no Veritas block plane in your evaluation.

  21. big Kiv on January 3, 2022 at 10:21 pm

    Just got the Henry Eckert No 65 (Aussie Plane maker) you want a good plane…. about as good as it gets in my opinion. Almost a 5mm blade has enough weight to make it a great small smoother on all timbers, especially Aussie hardwoods. Can;t get the Veritas and Lie Nielsen is Aussie at the moment and in the end don’t really care now … I doubt they would be any better than the Henry Eckert planes…. Also us Aussies have HNT Gordon planes and spokeshaves … prob some of the best quality going around … I still own a Veritas Skew block plane which is a great bit of kit…

  22. Reid Moule on January 3, 2022 at 10:23 pm

    What brand is the wax stick you are using?

  23. Richard Bergmans on January 3, 2022 at 10:25 pm

    Do you have same beef with Veritas, it seems you never even mention it, while this is an Canadian brand right?

  24. Dreyn 77 on January 3, 2022 at 10:25 pm

    No brand is going to reward you for buying 1 plane out of their SET of planes.

    Do you understand that concept rob?

    Buying 1 unit doesn’t make you into the special customer.

    A SET of planes is a set.
    They’ve spent a lot of time making the SET of planes.
    Once you get the SET things make sense.

    The Stanley user uses the high angle block plane inplace of the rob cosman low angle block plane.
    The Stanley low angle block plane is used for other jobs.
    Its a chisel at a low angle.

    The sweet heart is OLD-FASHIONED style NOT 2021 evolutionary style.
    Its an OLD low angle chisel thing.

    Do you understand that concept rob cosman?

    Keep taking stuff out of context.
    Keep saying these things you say cause I’ve heard only what you say, for the last 25 years, and I’ve heard nothing else from Stanley.
    In Australia your 2 planes are always sold out.
    20 years of nothing for sale.
    Stanley IS for sale and nobody buys them thanks to male gossip.

    Perfect male gossip.
    So every Stanley plane gets STOLEN by thieves.

    Every day Stanley planes are stolen and every day Stanley replaces them and they’re stolen again.

    Keep gossiping Rob cause Stanley IS making a fortune selling block planes to big retail who don’t care what you think.
    The cost of theft gets applied back onto every thing for sale.

    Its been impossible to buy your 2 planes but Stanley planes are easy to buy.
    They’re perfect tools for reality.
    We’re surrounded by thieves.

  25. silentscribes on January 3, 2022 at 10:27 pm

    Great Video!

  26. Harry Chisholm on January 3, 2022 at 10:27 pm

    Thanks, nice to know the good points to look for.

  27. Konstantin Ivanov on January 3, 2022 at 10:30 pm

    Have the new Stanley SW( first batch that was on the market)and on mine mouth closes all the way up but I had problem with lateral adjust.All the other points you made were accurate. Guess QC wasn’t that great .Made it work fine but for the money it should work right of the bat I think.

  28. theeddorian on January 3, 2022 at 10:30 pm

    If you go with the Lie Neilsen, then instead of the 60 1/2, the 60 1/2 rabbet is what I would prefer (do). It does everything the regular 60 1/2 does, and it does rabbets and tenon cheeks as well. It costs $10 more.

  29. David Jennings on January 3, 2022 at 10:31 pm

    Hey Rob – I do appreciate that LIe Neilsen make good planes, but they are expensive. However I have had my Stanley 601/2 block for over 45 years and it has served me very well on any number of different figured hardwoods. I admit that over the years I have fettled it a few times but I have to say it has always performed very well even on Pernambuco and Purpleheart as well as curly Maple and extremely figured Yew. I know the blade is thin but they were back then and I admit I have upgraded the blades in my other Stanley bench planes but there are not too many available for the 60 1/2 so I have learned to work with it and have never had a problem with the lever type cap and the mouth opens and closes perfectly. Just my opinion – Great video though keep it up and keep safe.

  30. Horatio Beaker on January 3, 2022 at 10:34 pm

    Your mastery of tools combined with your excellent teaching style combine to make your videos both profoundly enjoyable and easy to apply at our own benches.

  31. Bill Kelly on January 3, 2022 at 10:34 pm

    This was a great review. Thanks, Rob. I wish I had looked at this in December. Arriving at our ski home in Utah for the winter, I discovered I had forgotten my block plane ( I have a Lie Nielsen and a Veritas). Figuring I just would need something functional in a pinch, I bought the cheap Stanley based on Amazon’s reviews. Cheap isn’t cheap if it’s worthless, which the Stanley is. The Wood River that I drove down to Sandy to buy at Woodcraft is excellent, not quite as nice as my Lie Nielsen, but superior to my Veritas. The blade holds its sharpness well, and I’ve been working in maple, poplar, pine, and walnut. Thankfully, I remembered my Shapton stones.

  32. larrybud on January 3, 2022 at 10:35 pm

    no wonder why my cheap big box store plane sucks, there’s no adjustment knob to change the depth of cut. It’s brutal to try and get right.

  33. TheTranq on January 3, 2022 at 10:36 pm

    Just got the Low Angle Lie Nielson. excited

  34. Charles Hirst on January 3, 2022 at 10:36 pm

    Hi. I have had a Stanley 9 1/2 block plane for years. It has a different lateral adjuster to that in the video. I love it, it is my go-to plane for all those twiddly jobs (my No7 jointer plane ain’t so good at twiddly jobs!). I treated myself to the Stanley Sweetheart and boy, what a load of rubbish compared to the old plane. You commented on the lightness of the cap. That is because it is an aluminium alloy, and not a good grade alloy at that, more akin to a hard cheese than metal. The clamping screw comes out of the aluminium way too far leaving far too few threads engaged, it then tips over and the threads are shot – USELESS. WRT the older Stanley (a 9 1/2 too I presume) I take your point regarding the land on which the blade sits and the fact that the lever cap sits a little behind this. Despite the blade thickness (or perhaps lack of it) the method of clamping the lever cap down simply will not be able to provide anywhere new the force required to lift the blade tip off its land. I also have a Faithfull version (available in the UK and cheaper than the Stanley), and whilst I love my old Stanley the Faithfull is excellent for the price. My view, for what it is worth, is that a beginner should buy the plane they can afford but focus on getting a good edge on the blade – AND AVOID THE SWEETHEART!

  35. norm gallaher on January 3, 2022 at 10:36 pm

    Just a wonderful presentation, I have the old Stanley plane from my dad, you are right with your assessment. I have been considering the Wood River and this has made it easier to move forward with purchasing one.

  36. Alan Dust on January 3, 2022 at 10:36 pm

    First time I’ve seen one of your videos. It won’t be the last. Thanks

  37. James Crandall on January 3, 2022 at 10:37 pm

    Without disputing these rankings… I would note that my Stanley Sweetheart has almost no play in that lateral adjusting mechanism. On the another hand, my adjustable toe plate is a few thou proud of the sole. Luck of the draw perhaps.

  38. Jim Richards on January 3, 2022 at 10:39 pm

    Missing veritas.

  39. tommy conditionone on January 3, 2022 at 10:39 pm

    How can you not include Veritas in any plane shootout?
    Thank you for the great content in all of your videos by the way.

  40. Patrick Anderson on January 3, 2022 at 10:40 pm

    I have to concur with why did you not review a Canadian product?

  41. Steve on January 3, 2022 at 10:40 pm

    Just received my new Stanley Sweetheart low angle block plane. Either you had a bad one or they’ve rectified most of the issues you’ve complained about. The backlash on the blade adjustment is bad. And the lever cap could be a little longer where it contacts the blade, but the blade is really thick and I haven’t noticed any “chatter” while using it. The throat (mouth) plate on mine closes completely and the lateral adjustment mechanism is rock solid after you set the 3/32” hex key located next to the blade adjustment screw. None of the Stanley SW reviews that I’ve watched ever mention that hex key. Yours is no exception. I have pretty large hands so the ergonomics of the plane suit me well. I had wanted the Wood River low angle block plane but the ship date was 5 months out so I went with the Stanley. I think you’ve got the best woodworking hand tools show on YouTube but I think the Sweetheart plane deserves a little more credit than it got.

  42. Tony on January 3, 2022 at 10:41 pm

    Bias disclosure = thumbs up

  43. Swedish Holmberg on January 3, 2022 at 10:41 pm


  44. Cerberus on January 3, 2022 at 10:42 pm

    I wondered why Veritas wasn’t represented here.

  45. Wade Jackson on January 3, 2022 at 10:43 pm

    A well done review. Exactly what I was looking for. You’ve convinced me to buy a veritas.

  46. William Wheeler on January 3, 2022 at 10:44 pm

    Veritas? No Canadian representation?

  47. Richard Dyer on January 3, 2022 at 10:48 pm

    Hi Rob,

    I would’ve enjoyed this video more had I watched it prior to purchasing the rockler bench dog two hours ago. LOL. Fortunately it’s still new in the box and I can return it and spend a few extra dollars and get a good solid plane. Thanks for an excellent video!

  48. Jose Duarte Van Helsing on January 3, 2022 at 10:50 pm

    I miss the hand plane VERITAS

  49. Mark Jarman on January 3, 2022 at 10:51 pm

    Another honest fully detailed review perfect thank you. That Stanley sw is a real let down. You have saved me waisted money on that.

  50. Tony Oveka on January 3, 2022 at 10:53 pm

    Hi Rob, I have a question that has been bugging me for as long as I have been watching you’re vids along with every one of the other woodworking masters out there. What the hell do you do with all of the shavings that you produce? It looks like the workers of hand tools produce more chips and power tool people make more sawdust. Is there a use for them other than tossing in the trash?