types of hand planers

A hand plane is one of the age old tools that are still high on demand even in this modern era. There are many types of power hand tools available nowadays but true craftsmen know the value of traditional hand planes. Though it takes less time with a power hand plane, a hand plane has the ability to turn a typical work into an art piece.

Hand planes are used in smoothing out the surface of a rough wood piece. It gives the wood piece a perfect shape to be used. Hand planes usually shave off the upper surface of wood to flatten it in perfect shape.

Modern technology makes things easier, faster and provides perfection but you can get the right set of hand planes which can bring the same result. If you love to do things the old fashioned way then you should get the right types of hand planes according to your needs.

Generally, hand planes are pushed with one’s muscle strength across a wood piece. But Japanese hand planes are pulled towards the body.

There are different types of hand planes that are used for different functions. They come with their own special features, that makes them different from each other. You have to keep many types of hand planer to give your work the touch of perfection. For this, it’s very important to know the types of hand planers and their pros, cons, functions to help you choose which ones you need to get.

Here I’ll list down different types of hand planes woodwork tools.

Block planers: Block planers come in a small size. These are very comfortable to use. These planers are used for small constructions like DIY projects and teaching workshops. They are also used to smoothen surfaces with grains. They fix doors and drawers with grainy surfaces and help them to fit in. There are many types of block planers on the market such as low angle planer, pocket-size planer, standard angle planer.

Jack Planers: Jack planers are the most used hand planers. Because it is used for different purposes. If you have jack planers, you don’t need a lot of hand planers. They are longer than a smoothing type planer but it doesn’t do much in smoothening a large piece of wood. They are also shorter in size than the leveling type so it’s less efficient in making straight edges. These kinds of planers are used to even out the joints. They work average on smoothing and leveling.

There are a few types of jack planers like #5 planer, #5-½ planer, #5-¼ planer.

Leveling planers: These hand planers are longer and wider than most of the planers. They are designed to level out the surface and straighten edges. As they are long and wide in size, they can cover more area hence providing straighter cuts than other planers do. A No. 7 is the most common leveling planer and also known as “joint planer”. No. 6 is the second mostly used leveling planer. It is just a few inches shorter than No. 7 planer.

Chisel Planers: This planer comes with its blade uncovered. So it can reach areas where other planers can’t. This planer is used to reach right to the edge and clean up tiny holes.

Bench Plane: Bench planers are the largest family in the hand planer family. They measure from five inches to thirty inches long. They have blades secured by cap iron. Bench planers have many types of planers such as fore planer, joint planer and smoothing planer.

Scrub Planes: Scrub planers kind of scrubs off the surface when you want to flatten the surface fast. They comes in the size of a stapler so very comfortable to use. They are very small in size so you might want to use it in small work pieces.

Shoulder Planers: Shoulder planes have narrow body with full width blades. Such planers are great for rebate cuts. Again when you need to cut recesses that join two piece of wood together, you will need this kind of plane. It is not commonly used. Big woodworking projects might need such planers at their disposal.

There are a few more things to consider before buying planers. You need to check the materials used in the planers. It is common that all of them uses blades made with metal but you have to check the body materials. Body part is mostly made from woods. You have to check if the wood used in the plane is good enough to make it durable.

Now you got much idea on hand planer to buy some planer with confidence. You will end up needing more and more planers throughout your journey. You can read customer reviews before you buy any. Be sure to buy the best ones.


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