The smoothing plane is a woodworker's essential tool: capable of leaving a pristine finish on any board, yet compact enough for general planing jobs like fitting and trimming parts. This review puts 14 smoothing planes to the test, judging fit and finish, honing each blade to a razor edge, and then planing pine, cherry, and white-oak boards, followed by bubinga, and an end-grain test. See how the following planes performed: Anant Kamal No. 4, Clifton No. 4, ECE Primus 711, Footprint No. 4, Groz No. 4, Kunz Plus No. 4, Lie-Nielsen No. 4, Lie-Nielsen No. 164 Low-angle Smoothing Plane, Stanley Bailey No. 4, Stanley Sweetheart No. 4, Veritas Bevel-Up Smoother Plane, Veritas Low-Angle Smooth Plane, Veritas No. 4, Wood River No. 4, V3.

From Fine Woodworking #219

Watch the video on how to choose the right smoothing plane.