Three Mid-Priced Handplanes Tested for a Year

Three Mid-Priced Handplanes Tested for a Year

I tested three planes for year. Is one of them right for your shop and budget?
More video and exclusive content:
Tools and Links Below! (Scroll down)


Planes in this video:

Stanley Sweetheart No. 4: (affiliate)
Stanley Sweetheart Low Angle Jack: (affiliate)
Kunz Plus Smoothing Plane: (affiliate)
ECE Jack Plane: (non-affiliate)
ECE Jack in Europe: (non-affiliate)


Take your planing to the next level with these videos:

Hand tools for $100 #3: Fast plane restoration with BENCH GRINDER:

True Beginner: Learn to use your hand plane!:

True Beginner: Basic Sandpaper Sharpening

Will a premium plane really cut “out of the box”?:

Super-tuning the Stanley 12-404 plane:

Fast freehand sharpening: no jigs, no guides, no sandpaper:

Also, check out this playlist, All About Handplanes:


Make your own planes with the Specialty Plane Bundle! It includes:
– Router Plane
– Spoke Shave
– Low Angle Jack Plane
– Rabbet Plane
– Grooving Plane


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Wood Work for Humans Tool List (affiliate):
Gyokucho Ryoba Saw:
Dewalt Panel Saw:
Suizan Dozuki Handsaw:
(Winner of the affordable dovetail-saw shootout.)
Spear and Jackson Tenon Saw:
(Needs tune-up to work well.)
Crown Tenon Saw:
(Works out of the box)
Carving Knife:
Narex True Imperial Chisels:
(My favorite affordable new chisels.)
Blue-Handled Marples Chisels:
(I use these to make the DIY specialty planes, but I also like them for general work.)

Honing Guide:
Norton Coarse/Fine Oil Stone:
Natural Arkansas Fine Oil Stone:
Green buffing compound:

*Marking and Measuring*
Stockman Knife:
(For marking and the built-in awl).
Speed Square:
Stanley Marking Knife:
(Excellent, inexpensive marking knife.)
Blue Kreg measuring jig:
Round-head Protractor:

Forstener Bits:
Spade Bits:

Orange F Clamps:
Screw Clamp:

Get my woodturning book:

Follow me on Instagram: @rexkrueger


  1. Viktor Sig on November 16, 2023 at 11:18 pm

    As for ergonomics of stanley sw, i think it’s more of a personal preference. Handle and overall hand positioning fits perfectly in my hand. I’m not an alien, so it might fit other people too 🙂 The biggest shortcomming is that you can forget to lock that mouth adjustment screw or it may come loose unintentionally… and if you’re lucky like i am, adjustable part will hit the iron and leave a chip in a2 steel. Anyway, this is a good go-to plane. Not expensive enough to be afraid to use it and good enough get the job done.

  2. John McGee on November 16, 2023 at 11:18 pm

    I really enjoy your videos. You have a great presence and delivery. Your topics are well chosen, interesting and practical.
    For all these reasons l am loath to point out any mistake or shortcoming. So please take this in the spirit in which it is offered.
    You often refer to planes of the Stanley type as "metallic". They are metal. Metallic is defined as something related to or resembling metal.
    And when you are demonstrating anything to do with planning, l notice that you do 90% of the work with your arms. Any of our woodworking heroes, Sellers or Cosman for instance, recommend pushing with your whole upper body.
    Keep up the excellent work. You are close to the top of the heap for woodworking videos.

  3. Henry372 on November 16, 2023 at 11:19 pm

    I picked up some great condition pre ww2 planes for only $7 a piece. You can easily find them for $25, don’t buy a new one.

  4. Alan S on November 16, 2023 at 11:20 pm

    For those who are out of reach of an MWTCA meet, one of these sounds reasonable. If you can get to such a meet, I can’t imagine buying one of these in preference to an older Stanley #4. They are far superior after being tuned up, and while you can no longer count on finding one for $20 or less, you can almost certainly find them for $30.

  5. lyfza meme on November 16, 2023 at 11:23 pm

    what’s the difference between each number plane

  6. tlw on November 16, 2023 at 11:23 pm

    mid-priced? ya, ok. $240 if you can find it. Where is your plane buying guide? lol. FUck, I might as well just get a Veritas. Wasting so much time looking for something decent and affordable…which there is none…

  7. Contessa Adella on November 16, 2023 at 11:23 pm

    OMG…My dad had a couple of those ‘coffin planes’ in the shed…chucked when he died. How I wish now to have kept one for posterity.

  8. Axel Alexson on November 16, 2023 at 11:24 pm

    Hmm what about the Juuma plane?
    I had the opertunity to get it and it looks great also for my experience it works good. But as a beginer, cant say how well it is, now how well I can tune it just yet.

  9. Andre Van Opstal on November 16, 2023 at 11:25 pm

    I have had a Woodriver # 5 1/2 for about 275 US $ (all taxes included) for several months now. It is a very good plane of good quality for this price and it is ideal for a shooting board.
    I know the Woodriver planes are made in China and if I could buy the same quality in Europe or the US for the same price I would do it immediately.

  10. Abetts12 on November 16, 2023 at 11:25 pm

    Lie Nielsen or Veritas?

  11. Nick G on November 16, 2023 at 11:26 pm

    I just picked up a Woodriver #4 plane. It’s cheaper than the Stanley and the Kunz (by like $10) and is set up pretty nice right out of the box. My understanding is that some of the older Woodriver planes weren’t great, but the V3 ones seem to be pretty well received. I’d be curious to see a similar long-term review of that one.

  12. d fu on November 16, 2023 at 11:26 pm

    Very nice work and great explanation of the mutual benefit and appreciable need for the patrons.

  13. chris brown on November 16, 2023 at 11:28 pm

    Any chance you would review the Grizzly No.4 smoothing plane. I can’t seem to get mime set up correctly… I keep getting debris stuck in the chip breaker.

  14. Paul Frederick on November 16, 2023 at 11:30 pm

    If a plane tote handle is not comfortable nothing is stopping anyone from making a nicer tote. Or maybe just wrapping the handle in duck tape and calling it a day.

  15. Nexus of ice on November 16, 2023 at 11:30 pm

    Love watching Rex’s "Plane Porn" videos. Something about them are always interesting in learning about manufacturing and design information about these tools.

  16. Brad9plus on November 16, 2023 at 11:30 pm

    In my opinion nothing is wrong with cheap tools if you have the time…you’ll have to do a lot of adjusting, sharpening, etc. quality tools will stay accurate longer and require less work everytime you use it

  17. trackie1957 on November 16, 2023 at 11:37 pm

    A coworker of mine used to say “It’s only metal” that annoying corner on the Kunz can be rounded in seconds with a file to make it better for shooting, and speaking of shooting, the side of the iron on my Stanley cut my hand, so I took that sharp edge off, too. Much safer, more comfortable shooting now!

  18. pleappleappleap on November 16, 2023 at 11:40 pm

    I do not like Norris adjusters. Too easy to bump the lateral off line while adjusting depth.

  19. Blayne on November 16, 2023 at 11:42 pm


  20. upside downdog on November 16, 2023 at 11:43 pm

    Nice video, not sure how I missed it the 1st time out!

  21. Matt Bean on November 16, 2023 at 11:44 pm

    could you do a video on the Taytools #4 smoothing plane <$100 – (recommended by wood by wright) and compare to some of your other planes as well as an old stanley?

  22. trackie1957 on November 16, 2023 at 11:44 pm

    If you want to stress relieve your cast iron plane body, there’s some information here:

    But, because the part is small, you can put it in a nice hot wood or charcoal fire and get it up to a couple good glowing red, then let the fire die slowly. Some would bury it in sand to cool even more slowly. Anyway, you will have to flatten it, but it should be good forever. (Remember that the sides might not be flat or square to the sole either. Having a machinist friend with a surface grinder who will make everything perfect for a case of beer…priceless!)

  23. Mark Luxton on November 16, 2023 at 11:44 pm

    Do not use a steel hammer to tap your iron. Use a bronze hammer and you will not mushroom or bend your irons. You will also be less likely to break any hardened steel or cast iron. Pop into a machine shop and see if someone there will make you a custom brass/bronze hammer and brass/bronze drifts(punches) if you need those. You may find as I did, that every machinist in a big shop, has a well beaten up well mushroomed bronze/brass hammer in their tool chests…some hammers so mushroomed and deformed, they border on ridiculous.

  24. HdtvTh on November 16, 2023 at 11:45 pm

    I don’t know about this one, having to flatten a 200$ plane sounds like I’m getting scammed. There’s far better options in this price range like: WoodRiver, Juuma, Luban, they are all modeled after Bailey or BedRock and they are stable and better quality than 99% of all Stanleys.

  25. Richard Jackson on November 16, 2023 at 11:47 pm

    You know for $200 or so for the Kunz (no longer on amazon by the way) I would add another $59 and get a varitas #4 smoother or add $100 and get the custom #4 smother ( I would prefer that).

  26. kayosiiii on November 16, 2023 at 11:47 pm

    I use a number 4 Stanley with replacement chipbreaker/ blade a number 6 Stanley and an ECE scrub plane. I find that the downsides of a wooden plane are less of a problem for scrub planes and the weight / surface is an advantage.

  27. ZIDNY on November 16, 2023 at 11:48 pm

    thank you Rex

  28. Nick on November 16, 2023 at 11:49 pm

    Hi Rex, recently new subscriber and novice woodworker here. I really enjoy your content and appreciate your clear explanations.

    I don’t know if you’ll see this, but I am curious if the Kunz is still performing well. Have you purchased any other Kunz bench planes and if so, did they have the same problem with the sole?


  29. Richard Baker on November 16, 2023 at 11:50 pm

    I find it crazy to pay that much for a wooden plane here (Switzerland) you can easily find excellent, sometimes barely used, wooden planes for 5 to 20 dollars.

  30. Eric Hermann on November 16, 2023 at 11:52 pm

    What do u think about the wood river line from Canada rob cosman uses it but he’s Canadian

  31. Thomson Jewelry on November 16, 2023 at 11:54 pm

    You PAY for every tool. Either up front for quality, or in sweat equity. I have Lie Nielsens, Veritas, old Stanleys, and old infill planes from Norris and Spiers Ayr. I don’t consider the $30 Stanley to be any cheaper than a top of the line Lie Nielsen. Especially after spending 3 – 6 hours getting it cleaned, tweaked, and sharpened. In many cases, the "cheap" tools are more expensive in the time I have to devote to getting them useable. My time is valuable, and often I’m willing to part with more money up front to have more of my time to do what I want.

  32. Eric Livesay on November 16, 2023 at 11:55 pm

    What is your opinion on the planes from bridge city tools? I have the mini bench plane and it’s a work of art. And works straight out of the box. The bigger ones are a bit out of the budget right now.

  33. Guajiro on November 16, 2023 at 11:58 pm

    I am shocked at the cost of these planes. With the work that has to be put in to them to make them functional, why wouldn’t you just buy an antique and fix it up? Old planes are good and cheap.

  34. P.K D on November 16, 2023 at 11:59 pm

    Just found your videos and can’t stop watching. How does the grizzly plane compare to these. I have a few vintage planers you are inspiring me to restore.

  35. Bjamin F on November 16, 2023 at 11:59 pm

    Does anyone know where to get replacement parts for a hand plane? I have an old one missing the chip breaker and locking bar (top piece) I can find blades online but that’s about it.
    Any help is appreciated!!

  36. quillaja on November 17, 2023 at 12:00 am

    Rex, I’ve been watching a lot of your videos lately. Thank you for all the advice and tips for beginners, and also helping beginners get started without spending thousands of dollars. I was looking at planes such as the Stanley 4 sweetheart you discussed in the video and saw them for sale in the $175-$225 range. In that price range, you could also buy a corded or cordless hand planer such as a Makita or Milwaukee. What is the difference between the manual hand planers and a powered hand planer? Why would I spend as much or more for the unpowered plane? I assume there are important advantages and disadvantages to both, besides just "purist" reasons.

  37. Paul Round on November 17, 2023 at 12:00 am

    I’m surprised the Stanley and Kunz don’t have a stress relieved castings, that is a basic really for any kind of reliability. No excuse for it really, it just needs a heat treatment before machining. For the money being charged for these tools there is no excuse.

  38. Bill Leeds on November 17, 2023 at 12:02 am

    Have you tried a Kobalt plane

  39. greg on November 17, 2023 at 12:03 am

    I want to buy a lie-Neilson low angle jointer, and a low angle jack.
    Hand planes with chip breakers and lever caps and all that fiddly stuff have been a great source of frustration for me. Do you think the simple low angle planes will take the fiddlyness out of metallic planes?
    Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

  40. Mathias Lindner on November 17, 2023 at 12:08 am

    Don’t know about America but here in Germany the iron planes are sooo expensive if you want them used. Of course new ones are even more expensive 😉 I bought a wooden ECE, which was only about a year old, for about 40$. THIS is the ultimate starting plane because you still have money left to also buy a used wooden scrup and a jounter plane 🙂 For 100 bucks I got everything I need for the next years. And setting them is just some practice (and to be honest, as a free-time woodworker some seconds more fiddling is not so important).

  41. Etienne Erasmus on November 17, 2023 at 12:09 am

    so the motto of the story.. save up buy once cry once?

  42. Clearwater Woodwork LLC on November 17, 2023 at 12:09 am

    I’ve been looking to try out a handplane. This was just the review I was looking for. I like the idea of the out of the box working condition of the Stanley No. 4. I will probably give this one a go.

  43. jeff stauffer on November 17, 2023 at 12:09 am

    Thanks for the solid, in depth review, Rex!

  44. Kevin Orr on November 17, 2023 at 12:10 am

    The stool in the background, how is it holding up?

  45. Rick Kempf on November 17, 2023 at 12:10 am

    Wow! So much information thank you for all of you very well thought out and thorough videos!!

  46. Smithpvp on November 17, 2023 at 12:11 am

    having my EEC plane not even half a year and its so scuffed already

  47. Till Köchy on November 17, 2023 at 12:12 am

    Great Review!!!
    I recement the 62 low angle Jackplaine, you can shoot you can scrub(toothblade )

  48. DetroitSicilian on November 17, 2023 at 12:13 am

    Appreciate you, Rex!

  49. trackie1957 on November 17, 2023 at 12:15 am

    A great source of fairly flat, stiff lapping plates is the scrap bin of a granite countertop place. Advantages of stone are it’s waterproof, stable, heavy and pretty flat (I don’t know how flat, though. It’s not a calibrated surface plate, after all). Damage to a stone surface makes a pit or scratch, but the material doesn’t rise above the surface, unlike metal or wood. And it’s usually free…

  50. Phil Rogers on November 17, 2023 at 12:17 am

    Hey Rex. Thanks for some great videos.
    I have just inherited a large collection of planes from my father, who was a carpenter and joiner by trade.
    Some of them are home-made wooden box planes, but there is also a nice collection of different sized planes from Stanley and Record that he bought in the 1950s and 1960s.
    Sadly, his workshop was not well insulated or protected from the weather, and the soles of all of the metal ones are now slightly rusty.
    Would I be able to restore these in the same way that you flattened the soles of those planes in your video?
    If so, what size grit would you recommend?

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