Low-Angle Block Planes
Eight models on the market are more different than they are similar
Synopsis: Chris Gochnour walks you through the parts of a low-angle block plane, discusses the differences between it and a standard plane, and evaluates eight models on the market for ergonomics, heft, ease of setup and adjustment. The article also includes tips for peak plane performance.
Fifteen years ago, when I was first tooling up my shop, there were only two low-angle block planes on the market: a Stanley and a Record. In the years since then, woodworkers have been treated to a resurgence of high-quality hand tools, including a remarkable variety of low-angle block planes. But because of that diversity, making a choice can be more difficult.
A low-angle block plane is a small, one-handed tool used for trimming and fitting, though more often than not I’m more comfortable using two hands. I often find myself reaching for this handy tool several times a day when I need to…