Professionals and Amateurs Together

Plane Selection


What planes would you suggest as a minimum for basic woodworking? — Allen Everett


John Whiteside replies: In terms of approximate percentage of use, here are my choices: 1) Lie Nielsen low angle block plane (80%); 2) Lie Nielsen 41/2 smoothing plane (10%). Add the other 10% worth of planes as your interests and needs require.

Bob LaCivita replies: I suggest buying the following planes. A low angle block plane, No. 5 jack plane, No. 4 or 41/2 smoothing plane and a shoulder rabbit plane something around the size of a Stanley 93. If you are not buying them all at once, buy them in that order. When buying hand tools, price usually reflects quality. Used hand tools can be very nice and some are less expensive. With a little work you can make them look like new. If you are new to the craft, ask a fellow Guild member for help selecting planes.

Tags: Hand Planes, Tools