Hand Planes For Woodworking – Types & Sizes

Hand Planes For Woodworking – Types & Sizes

Bench planes come in many styles and sizes. This discussion clears up the differences between the many types of hand planes. Should you use wooden or metal planes? Is a No. 4 Stanley the best size for smoothing? We go through many of the considerations when choosing hand planes and progressing with your tool collection.

Follow us to learn more about hand tool woodworking:

Hand Plane Guide – With VIDEO



  1. Ian Grant on February 12, 2022 at 10:20 pm

    As a beginner, simplifying the amount of #5 Stanley’s would be a big help! I see you can get a new one with plastic handles, but many look for something older. I also see Craftsman, Record, Clifton, Juuma, I.Sorby, Woden, Preston. I’d have to admit it’s a bit overwhelming…

  2. Peter Bertrand on February 12, 2022 at 10:25 pm

    Thanks for posting this. I generally use Japanese planes (mostly because here in Japan, it’s virtually impossible to find western planes) and have gotten quite used to the different style, but my most used plane is my old Stanley block plane. Your video has me thinking of looking to build some western style wooden planes. Or buy one, whichever comes first.
    Your video is very insightful into the differences and I learned quite a lot. As I do from many of your videos.

  3. Sebastiaan Mollema on February 12, 2022 at 10:25 pm

    Nice complete explaination! Very complete, i do enjoy my simple #4 stanley plane :p

  4. Laurie Savage on February 12, 2022 at 10:25 pm

    Thanks for this video, I just bought a long wooden jointer because I couldn’t afford a metal one and this has been a good starter.

  5. pfswalter on February 12, 2022 at 10:27 pm

    I have question I have acquired a wooden plane in smoothing plane style but it have a curved bottom from front to back think it might be for barrel make but if you could shed some light on this. Cheers Walter Matthews

  6. Kevin Etchells on February 12, 2022 at 10:27 pm

    I loved this. It was pampering to my carpentry geekdom and also reminding me of the League of gentlemen. Brilliant!

  7. Brian Austin on February 12, 2022 at 10:28 pm

    I love that you have the stove going during the video 👍🏻

  8. Kiki Lang on February 12, 2022 at 10:28 pm

    What about wooden planes that are built like a metal plane. I have a plane that has a wooden body, but a metal inset that Iron, and it adjust like a metal plane.

  9. Bernie NUFC on February 12, 2022 at 10:29 pm

    Genius, why are you not my neighbour, i am that billio 😀
    So now i take a step back and take on board what you have said, probably saved me a lot of grief, subscribed, cheers malc

  10. Gary Hendrick on February 12, 2022 at 10:30 pm

    3:57 Gnats nadger, one of the lesser known imperial units equal to 0.0254mm

  11. Thom Wolfe on February 12, 2022 at 10:30 pm

    I’ve patched wood planes to close the throat up a bit, as Jim Paulson mentioned, but I’ve also completely replaced the bottom for a few that were dear to me and I didn’t want to replace them.  I flatten the plane on a jointer, glue a new sole using the hardest wood I have lying about, then carefully chisel out a new throat from the top and coat the entire sole with super glue, which hardens it and helps preserve it.  I’ll finish it off by sanding with wet/dry paper on glass until it’s completely flat.

  12. Scott Brown on February 12, 2022 at 10:30 pm


  13. Thomas on February 12, 2022 at 10:30 pm

    You have the best presentation, videography is excellent and well spoken. I’m just beginning to use my dads old Great Neck plane I found in his workshop. I want to start making wooden planes, you have inspired me. Thankyou.

  14. archiethreelegs on February 12, 2022 at 10:32 pm

    Thanks for the video, I’m looking forward to you doing one about restoration as I’ve just got a job lot of very cheap wooden shoulder (rebate?) planes with a view to having a go at some time.

  15. Jim Bo on February 12, 2022 at 10:33 pm

    My favourite plane is wooden with a cow horn shaped front handle. It has no cap iron, no adjusters, no tote. The throat is wide open. It’s easy to adjust with a hammer. I don’t know why it is so superior. Maybe it’s the type of steel in the iron. The sole is not flat! In front of the blade it is a bit worn away. I am loath to flatten it. It cost me £15.

  16. Robert Brunston on February 12, 2022 at 10:34 pm

    Thanks for the info. 🙂

  17. Tom Low on February 12, 2022 at 10:37 pm

    Just came across your video and found your videos very informative and very well presented. Keep up the good job!

  18. Dave Bardin on February 12, 2022 at 10:38 pm


    This is such a deep subject. I say start with the metal plane that can handle most jobs.The #5 and then a little block plane. With those two you can do most any job.

    My first wooden plane was a coffin smother and I loved learning it. The lessons of the bed and the subtle adjustments let me do anything with any wooden bench plane.

    Then I went right to a skewed rabbit and almost committed suicide. That rabbit drove me beyond nuts.

    When I started this though I had my grandfather to help me. So much was by mouth and not written. Now we have good books and the internet. Thus I’m watching you.

    You sir do a fine job. Well done. Cheers……….

  19. 07 Roadking on February 12, 2022 at 10:38 pm

    Id love to see a video of someone replacing the sole of a smoothing plane at the moment ive just finished gluing a pc of rosewood on the sole of my horned smoother it was missing half of it evey things is glued up ready to cut a new mouth im just a bit sketchy on doing it correctly any help would be greatly appreciated !!!!!!

  20. codemannc704 on February 12, 2022 at 10:40 pm

    Great video!  I really would like to see (2) plane restoration videos, one for metal and one for wooden.

  21. ImprovisedSurvival on February 12, 2022 at 10:41 pm

    This is my first video I have watched from your channel and I really appreciate the knowledge you are passing along here. Liked and Subscribed. One thing has me curious, why didn’t you mention any of the Japanese style wood planes that are pulled instead of pushed? I’m not new to woodworking, but started with power tools and got spoiled. Now all my power gear is in storage and I have been starting to use hand tools due to my lack of work space available. I have a few cheap metal planes that I am just starting to get comfortable with, but keep viewing those "Senkichi Kanna" hand planes on Amazon. I am also not working with quality wood, I have been hijacking old oak pallets. Another reason why I have not invested in expensive planes yet, don’t want to chip a blade or gouge a surface.

    Thanks from Chicago!

  22. Robert f Sautters on February 12, 2022 at 10:42 pm

    Just bought a 13in. London-made panel plane, for $200 ,beautiful infill,thick iron and a great user!

  23. Andrew Garratt on February 12, 2022 at 10:42 pm

    I’m very shocked you don’t have a transitional plane 🙂 a lot of people talk crap about them…but I think they are great.

  24. ugaladh on February 12, 2022 at 10:46 pm

    there are hundreds of guys out there doing woodworking and tool videos, some are easier to listen to than others, some are too opinionated to explain different sides of an issue. This is a good video giving different views of metal vs wood, easy to listen to. Earned a new subscriber, I look forward to checking out more of your videos.

  25. Zulham Syahputra on February 12, 2022 at 10:47 pm

    my uncle always use hand made planer

  26. 07 Roadking on February 12, 2022 at 10:50 pm

    P/S great videos I probably should have left it alone but the mouth was way to big to do any work with and id love to get this old girl back in proper working order !!

  27. Tob Ias on February 12, 2022 at 10:50 pm

    Thanks for this great video… I jut love my wooden planes. Maybe it’s because I am german and we have used wooden planes for hundreds of years, maybe cause I don’t want to use the planes from the colonials haha 😂.
    Just joking.

  28. zentex99 on February 12, 2022 at 10:51 pm


  29. TheEndlessVariables on February 12, 2022 at 10:51 pm

    great video. very detailed and professional, I like that you don’t speak with the expected "tutorial tone" you see on most DIY, woodworker channels. people try to hard to seem like they’re on TV. this feels much more like a great cooking show. Nice work

  30. Conrad smith on February 12, 2022 at 10:52 pm

    I know that this video is very old, but I must say that this is one of the simplist most effective video of planes on the Internet. I must try getting a few of those little old wooden planes, they are just so cute and I like that they polish the wood as they go. Thanks.

  31. colmhain on February 12, 2022 at 10:54 pm

    I’ve watched several of your videos in a row, in no particular order, and I don’t remember which one gave me the idea that you do NOT recommend a single iron wooden plane for smoothing?

  32. Jakob Folmar on February 12, 2022 at 10:56 pm

    What’s the first plane I should get for jointing? There’s so many it’s crazy.

  33. David Clark on February 12, 2022 at 10:56 pm

    Very informative and well made video and some good comments.  Thanks.

  34. shonuffisthemaster on February 12, 2022 at 10:58 pm

    great video. you do a good job of explaining the pros and cons.

    do you have any suggestions on planes for kids or getting kids into woodworking in general? I am trying to get my nephew onto hand tool woodworking, and he is verry intrested but we have run into a problem with the size of most tools.

    he is 8 and theres no denying most adult sized planes are too big for him to use strength wise. I have him on a shallow set generic #3 right now and thats ok but dosent fit him perfecrt I also have a cheap stanley 60 1/2 (the crappy contractor grade one, got it for a few $ in a set) which is also ok but not great.

    i was considering making a wooden smoothing plane that would fit him, but also dont want to get him.into something that might be too frustrating to learn in the begenning. I wish #1’s or even #2’s were more common and didnt cost an arm and a leg!

  35. Lego Man 12345 12345 on February 12, 2022 at 11:00 pm

    After being bored with metal planes, I started with wooden planes, turned it from a turd into an ultra fine smoother with a mouth you can’t see light through (I inlaid a piece of boxwood to close the mouth) but its working beautifully!

  36. Pat on February 12, 2022 at 11:00 pm

    I have other planes but the Record No. 4 is I suppose part of my childhood and I always go back to it with the memories of the houses the family were renovating, the sound and smell of newly planed shavings of the wood they called ‘deal’ – European Redwood- so mine is maybe 70 years old and that dark blue, second is a Clifton No.3 – so heavy, dark green and with the stamped iron, bought new in a mad moment and never regretted, low angle block planes, well loved and handy, then there is that huge and accurate quansheng No. 8, it might be a ‘rip off’ but it is a bloody good plane for the money, I can peer at the Clifton equivalent through glass cases and buy the odd lottery ticket

  37. knightlylad on February 12, 2022 at 11:00 pm

    One thing you didn’t mention is that hand planes are excrutiatingly addictive, once you start there is no end in sight, a nightmare! Hence my subscription, thank you.

  38. Joe Dov on February 12, 2022 at 11:05 pm

    The #3 also feels the best to me.I have a really nice old Hudson forge #3 love it

  39. MrAntny777 on February 12, 2022 at 11:06 pm

    A big thank you sir. I appreciate all of your videos, and your well established attention to details. Cheers!

  40. Jacob Formosa on February 12, 2022 at 11:08 pm

    anyone know about blosta tool i found an old toothed plane with blosta and 45 marking.

  41. Nicolás Daverio on February 12, 2022 at 11:09 pm

    Thanx a lot richard, very enlightening. I’m a beginer myself but a have a few old wooden planes from my grandpa and they’re not in wood shape. I found that some planes come with a "cierre de boca" which would roughly translate as mouth closure. It’s a second wedge oposite to the main one that goes straight down to the sole and you can tap it once you’ve flaten the base. Have you heard of something like that?

  42. Vincent Rolfe on February 12, 2022 at 11:10 pm

    Is 1/8" or more enough distance from the lead cutting edge-iron of the #5 jack to the chip breaker enough to prevent accordion folding of the chips? What is normal distance with a higher pitch on the iron? Thanks

  43. CatherinePuce on February 12, 2022 at 11:11 pm

    Interesting video but from comment from my father. The wooden plane are better for the long planes like the jointing plane. Metal jointing plane are just too heavy for his taste.

  44. Blood, Sweat, Sawdust on February 12, 2022 at 11:12 pm

    As if I didn’t already have enough planes.  Now, you’ve convinced me to build a wooden smoother.  🙂

  45. ronin4711 on February 12, 2022 at 11:13 pm

    I hate to give thumb down just because I didn’t like the episode but, I have to say that I’m more confused now than before watching this.
    From personal experience, to start woodworking with a set of wooden planes is very daunting because their setting is so limited, like you said for a specific task and not multi tasking like a Stanley #4 that you can change it on a whim.
    I’m an avid Paul Sellers fan for all his work and postings on YouTube.
    Mr. Sellers with his vast experience, uses a #4 or a #4.5 Stanley style plane and throughout all his videos the biggest plane he used was a #5 Stanley, even when he build a workbench in 12 episodes, to our amazement, there was no Jointer plane used.
    I can see the "romance" of using a wooden plane, I even own 2 European and 2 Japanese which I find them equally difficult to adjust, I just don’t trust myself using them on "any" serious work of mine, don’t have the necessary training and the patience to learn it (I’m too old for this).
    I thank you for keeping our interest in them (wooden planes, of course).

  46. mystang 89 on February 12, 2022 at 11:14 pm

    Would you know where I could go to find out the type of plane I found. It looks like a long wood plane that has an adjuster in it like a metal plane.

  47. Rodney Transier on February 12, 2022 at 11:16 pm

    I just recently discovered your videos and am glad I did. I am new to woodworking and looking to soak up every piece of knowledge I can. You explain things very well and with an enjoyable accent as well. (Here in corn country in the U.S. you don’t hear an English accent very much) Keep up the good work and I look forward to watching more of your videos!

  48. yaşar Mevlüt on February 12, 2022 at 11:17 pm

    Темно в мастерской нет выразительности

  49. vanopnt on February 12, 2022 at 11:18 pm

    In the cupboard videos you use a low angle plane for _everything_, yet to never bring it up in other videos. Looks like it can shoot, smooth and take some width off. I know nothing about low-angle planes alas and would love if you talked about that one a little.

  50. Apentogo on February 12, 2022 at 11:19 pm

    yes indeed i do not understand the different hand planes and their usages from this
    …..scrub planes are for removing alot of material….<-thats all i got so far aside from the obvious self explainatory stuff