Which Plane Should I Buy First? | Paul Sellers

Which Plane Should I Buy First? | Paul Sellers

Which plane should I buy first? A common question for beginner woodworkers. Paul goes through a few different models to show where he would recommend most.

For more information on these topics, see https://paulsellers.com or https://woodworkingmasterclasses.com


  1. bikerdad63 on February 20, 2022 at 10:39 pm

    how do you know if its a #4 #5 #6 or even a #41/2?

  2. The Wood Yogi on February 20, 2022 at 10:39 pm

    Hello Paul, I would love to see a Poor Mans project using mostly the Poor Mans tools. I’m sure it would be great fun. I have come on leaps and bounds from watching your videos and I’m connecting many points that I missed over the years. Woodworking is becoming second nature to me and I make something everyday when possible. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and time ॐ

  3. gregdrivesajetta on February 20, 2022 at 10:40 pm

    Why do you recommend the #4 over the #5? Can’t the #5 do everything the #4 can do and more?

  4. jacobthellamer on February 20, 2022 at 10:40 pm

    I always turn to my #3

  5. Nathan Bame on February 20, 2022 at 10:42 pm

    My first was a no 7 off eBay, needed to straighten an edge for a table top and didn’t have an electric jointer. Discovered the rabbit hole that is collecting planes and here I am now.

  6. tkjazzer on February 20, 2022 at 10:43 pm

    Did he say planes by different makers? They all looked like Stanley to me

  7. Mitch on February 20, 2022 at 10:46 pm

    I bought m first plane today, a #4. Ironically, irwin recorder.
    Google paul’s blog and ‘irwin’ recorder plane’ to see how that turned out…

  8. BigDaddy B on February 20, 2022 at 10:46 pm

    I’m slowly collecting woodworking hand tools….and i mean slowly because of a bunch of different reasons. This will be a starting point for me finding that right plane when the time comes.

  9. Hahn on February 20, 2022 at 10:46 pm

    Tommy have a look at the UK Amazon page and look for planes from Faithfull Tools. They make dirt cheap planes that are as good or better than Stanley. You can buy a set of a #4, #5 and a block plane for the same money as a Stanley or Record plane.
    One of the planes Paul doesn’t mention is the scrub plane. Properly because it is not the first plane you would want to buy. But I mention it because you can pick up an old wooden plane at a yard sale for a few $/£ and convert it into an excellent
    scrub plane that will save you a ton of time and effort.

  10. jaydub on February 20, 2022 at 10:46 pm

    Why would you not recommend a low-angle jack plane as a first plane? It seems to encompass the best of all worlds–and with the acquisition of different plane blades (sharpened at different angles) it can do practically everything that any other bench plane can do.

    Plus, it handles difficult grain and end-grain better than either of the ones you recommend (I’d guess–not having used YOUR planes!).

  11. Serhat Akiska on February 20, 2022 at 10:47 pm

    Thanks Jason, much appreciated! I guess I will give eBay a try and take it from there. Still wondering what the Stanley model numbers refer to

  12. J. Dkhar on February 20, 2022 at 10:48 pm

    What about the japanese plane (the kanna). And can we get close shavings from other planes as a kanna plane?

  13. Michael Ballinger on February 20, 2022 at 10:48 pm

    Ahhhhhhhh Paul I just started bidding on a number 5 yesterday and now you release this… Now there’s gonna be a rush on them and a bidding war!

  14. william penatac on February 20, 2022 at 10:49 pm

    How’s you do that crown molding on that cabinet.

  15. Paolo Mh on February 20, 2022 at 10:50 pm

    May I suggest a joinery series from medieval to modern?

  16. Anthony E. Idealistic Woodworks on February 20, 2022 at 10:52 pm

    Idk I bought a block plane first, after that when I get the money will be the #4, then an actual smoothing plane for table tops.

  17. Matt Heere on February 20, 2022 at 10:54 pm

    #4 was my first and it is clearly the most useful plane I own. My 2nd ended up being a #6 just by happenstance (never pass up a beautiful plane at a rummage sale!). I think you could make a case for this choice even without the bargain. On the occasion where I feel the #4 is too short, I like having the significantly longer bed of the #6.

  18. Kiki Lang on February 20, 2022 at 10:54 pm

    Thanks, as always, to the point.

  19. Steven Suing on February 20, 2022 at 10:54 pm

    After watching all of your videos, this one isn’t a surprise. The #4 was my first plane and still my favorite. You’re an inspiration and i’m having a great time building things using the techniques you teach.

  20. baboon on February 20, 2022 at 10:55 pm

    I think the vise is perhaps one of the most important tools in the shop if not THE most important one, could you talk a little about them? what a good one should have or maybe how the one you have works?
    Thank you for the video, I really appreciate all the knowledge and information you give through your channel.

  21. Fermitu Poupon on February 20, 2022 at 10:56 pm

    Years ago I got a #4 as my first plane. Which is a fine all-rounder, but I tend to grab my #5 1/2 most of the time. Only really use the #4 if I need the smaller footprint.

  22. A LeBlanc on February 20, 2022 at 10:57 pm

    Great video for anyone interested in getting a first plane!

  23. william penatac on February 20, 2022 at 10:57 pm

    I’d like to see the crown molding video and the video of the book case with the through mortise and tenon front with the housing dado shelves at 90 degrees.

  24. Darren Dempsey on February 20, 2022 at 10:58 pm

    Got a record no7 last week from eBay I’ve been fettling it and got I’ve myself a beautiful tool I love the Bailey pattern planes my bedrock is a bit too heavy for everyday work bedrocks are cumbersome when compared to a Bailey planes

  25. Guillermo Sánchez on February 20, 2022 at 11:00 pm

    Paul you re the best!!

  26. Scruffy 61 on February 20, 2022 at 11:01 pm

    thanks Paul for the info.

  27. thedr00 on February 20, 2022 at 11:02 pm

    I’m confused by some of the vernacular, is #4 a size or a type? And "smoothing" vs "bench", what is the difference between those? e.g i see on amazon a "#4 smoothing bench plane" for £29, which seems most reasonable to me, but after having watched this, it makes me think "smoothing" and "bench" are somehow not words that should appear together.

    Could a kind soul please help a confused idiot understand this?

  28. J.W. Kooi on February 20, 2022 at 11:07 pm

    Love these short but verry helpfull videos.

  29. nisancashi2241 on February 20, 2022 at 11:07 pm

    excellent tip

  30. Robert Mielke on February 20, 2022 at 11:10 pm

    There are as many suggestions for your first bench planes as there are planes. I’ve noticed in your general woodworking videos that you use your #4 smoother. My first plane was a #62 low angle jack plane from Lie-Nielsen. This bevel down jack plane is very versatile as it can be used for taking a lot of material off, for shooting board work and especially end grain needs. With the changing of the blade you can also use it as a smoother. In addition I did purchase a #4 bronze smoother from Lie-Nielsen as well as a low angle bronze rabbeting block plane. My final plane is a small Veritas plow plane with an assortment of different width blades for plowing grooves used in so many applications. It is extremely useful and well made. I think I’m done collecting planes for now as I need to get on with using them on upcoming Winter projects. Thanks for your advice on tool purchases. I respect your opinions as I witness your choices in your videos.

  31. Markus Skov on February 20, 2022 at 11:10 pm

    What chisels should I buy first? Cheap or more experience?

  32. 99corncob on February 20, 2022 at 11:13 pm

    Over the past couple of years, I have decided that the plane is my favorite tool and I look for excuses to use it. My first plane was a #5 jack plane over 100 years old that I inherited from my grandfather. After a good sharpening and tuning, it’s still the smoothest and best plane I have, though I have acquired a couple other new ones (including a #4) since then. There’s nothing as satisfying as using a good, sharp hand tool on wood.

  33. David Wolf on February 20, 2022 at 11:13 pm

    Thanks a lot for this video. I was wondering if the No. 4 is still the best starting plane if I already own a small block plane and want to go for a second plane now, which helps in planing medium sized surfaces. what do you suggest?

  34. pepticon on February 20, 2022 at 11:19 pm

    I started with a no. 4, and then 4 again, then 5 1/2, then 6 (because I found bedrock style that cheap), and then 4 again, then 4 1/2.
    now looking for no. 3 & 5.
    damn, I just started around a month ago, but this hand plane thing is quite addictive :p

  35. Primal Edge Designs on February 20, 2022 at 11:19 pm

    something so surreal about using a plane.

  36. Joshua Rosen on February 20, 2022 at 11:19 pm

    My first plane was an old Stanley no. 4. It was a bit rusty and blunt when I bought it for not very much. I cleaned it up and sharpened the iron and it was as good as new.

  37. Just Another Day on February 20, 2022 at 11:20 pm

    It’s amazing how a hand plane with a flat sole can round a corner.

  38. Jacob Graff on February 20, 2022 at 11:21 pm

    Insightful as always. My first plane was actually the 4 1/2, but after buying a number 4 I definitely understand the appeal of its limitless versatility. I quite like the 4 1/2 for myself because it is a more comfortable size for my hands and I don’t mind the extra weight.

  39. M.I.Z Khalid on February 20, 2022 at 11:22 pm

    Hello there! I really enjoy your woodworking videos and they’ve become somewhat addictive. It’s more of a hobby for me and I’m enjoying it more with your comprehensive ideas and tutorials. I found a plane "INGCO HPL01300". It’s got two screws to align the blade. Could you please do a video on how this can be set up? I can’t seem to find any instructions on this. Thanks a million! Khalid

  40. John Shipman on February 20, 2022 at 11:23 pm

    I agree. 1st plane a number 4. 2nd I’d say a fore plane or scrub plane. 3rd is go for a jointer plane. The number 4 will do the jointing too just set your blade really shallow so that it will take just the peaks in the wood. It’s a very versatile plane. Thanks Paul.

  41. ColoredSquid on February 20, 2022 at 11:23 pm

    Someone please help! I find that when I plane I almost always end up with a slight rounded surface (OR it could be just a slant,not a round sometimes, like I’ve planed at an angle without realizing???) and when I check it with the square one side is higher and one is lower. Whether it be on face grain or edge grain I get the same thing. How do I counteract this? (I’m pretty sure it isn’t my plane blades or that I set them wrong or maybe it is I don’t know)

  42. Serhat Akiska on February 20, 2022 at 11:25 pm

    Hi Paul and fellow followers, as I don’t feel comfortable buying a used Stanley No.4 at ebay, I will appreciate any recommendation for buying a new one. Is it critical what model number I should look for; 12-404 etc.? what does it mean anyway? Should I consider Woodriver or Luban (apparently manufactured in China and have rather good reviews) or Veritas? If I could determine what size/model my old Stanley is (could be contractor model), maybe I should get a replacement blade and start with it. Is there a way to know what size/type blade to get?
    Although I am a beginner (sofar a 4-posted king size bed, a dropleaf table, both poplar and a workbench; all with Paul’s youtube video assistance on techniques and tips, thanks Paul), I don’t want a to buy a cheap one only to regret later as I think it is only wasted money.
    If ebay is the common recommendation, what questions should be asked the seller? Thank ou all in advance!

  43. Wade Patton on February 20, 2022 at 11:28 pm

    I borrowed a #5 to make my bench. Since then I’ve collected and refurbished antiques and old gear, and only _need_ five or six more. LET THERE BE PLANES!

    Also, make your own.

  44. BRIANS#9470 on February 20, 2022 at 11:29 pm

    I’m a total noob, but I’m surprised it’s not a jack plane

  45. Ray Herring on February 20, 2022 at 11:31 pm

    I started with the Stanley #4 but it was the most annoying thing to use. Got myself a Lie-Nielson #3 and #7 and have to say I haven’t found any reason to go back to the #4, if I was to get another one it would be one of the #5’s next.

  46. Kon Ming yew on February 20, 2022 at 11:32 pm

    Hi paul may i know what do you think of Woodriver, is it worth it to get a premium hand plane like Lie Nielsen or Veritas

  47. TheFox2000Unit on February 20, 2022 at 11:32 pm

    What happened to the fourth part of the dovetailed box?

  48. JCassidy3383 on February 20, 2022 at 11:32 pm

    Thank you! I have been wondering the same thing.

  49. Clark42EoC on February 20, 2022 at 11:36 pm

    Hi Paul, I’m having some serious problems finding out which planes I need for higher end work. I was wondering which planes you would recommend for tongue and groove work? I’ve only been at this two years so I’m still having trouble learning all the names. I know I need a hand router and a shoulder plane but I’m wondering what else you might recommend?

  50. Timothy O Rourke on February 20, 2022 at 11:36 pm

    is it all stanley planes you use ?