Tool Test: Standard-Angle Block Planes
Head-to-head comparison of standard-angle block planes
For his most recent tool test of block planes in FWW #228, Mario Rodriguez gathered 23 standard- and low-angle models and compared their performance and quality head to head. Any block plane needs to be comfortable to hold, well-machined, and free of defects. It needs a thick blade for a smooth cut, easy and smooth blade adjustments, and an adjustable mouth. We published the results for low-angle block planes in the magazine, because Rodriguez concluded that they are all a woodworker really needs. But there’s a long-running debate about which type to use, and many prefer the standard-angle versions. Standard-angle planes are taller, with the blade bedded at around 20° for a 45° cutting angle, and should be better at planing boards with difficult or changing grain. So if you’d like a standard-angle plane for working tricky grain, here are the test results for those models.