7 Best Manual Hand Planer Reviews in 2021

Best Manual Hand Planer

Woodwork is incomplete without a magical touch of finishing and a carpenter still prefers hand planers over any new automatic tool because of its precise working and finish. The hand planer tool is the craftsman’s best friend and it works totally on muscle power and not on electricity. They are mostly of the same shape but differ in size and type,  and different types perform different tasks. 

It might be a bit of a struggle to find a perfect hand planer that suits your needs as it depends on the type of woodwork you do. So we have shortlisted 7 Best Manual Hand Planer tools with some FAQs that most of you have on your mind. But make sure that you go through our buying guide to know which type and size are best for you. 

FAQs about Hand Planers

How do you use a manual hand planer?

The usage of a Manual hand planer has 3 major rules, i.e Sharpen, Resemble, and start Shredding. First of all, you need to sharpen the blade and then you have to attach the chip breaker on the iron frame and slide it forward. After attaching the chip breaker, the blade is installed facing the mouth opening. Then the planer is moved forward and backward on the wood plane aiming for wide, lacey-thin shavings.

What is the most versatile hand plane?

The most versatile hand planes are the Jack planers, they are 12’’ to 15’’ long and are perfect for smoothing and shaving the corners and faces of boards and fixed doors.

What hand planes should I start with?

In case you are a new user and want to start with a perfect hand plane, then you should go for a shoulder plane and a low-angle block plane. These planes are best for beginners as they give a great finish even if the power tool cuts are not perfect.

Are Stanley hand planes good?

The Stanley hand plane doesn’t disappoint for daily block plane use and smoothing rough lumber. It feels good in the hand and also provides good and precise work.

Should I get a planer or jointer?

If you are a woodworker you must know that both Planner and jointer are needed for making the best surface out of rough lumber. But you must start with a hand plane as it gives better finishing on its own without much struggle. If we compare jointer vs planer, there will be no winner as they are built for different tasks.

What Is a Number 4 plane used for?

A number 4 plane is a 9’’ hand plane, and it is used for general purposes like shredding and cutting timber to the perfect size for gluing and jointing.

Can we use a hand planer as a jointer?

Yes, you can use a hand planer as a jointer. If you don’t have a jointer or the wood piece is too large for the jointer then you can use the hand planer to round up the edges of the wood.

What is the rarest Stanley plane?

The rarest and the toughest Stanley plane are known as the #164 low-angle plane. They were introduced in the early 1920s and are still the toughest plane among all other planes.

Why are hand planes so expensive?

The hand plane tools are a bit expensive because they are manufactured in Asia and the manufacturing air quality is lower in Asia than in the U.S. As well as the machinery prices have also the same hike in prices so the hand planers are still a better option.

What are hand planers good for?

The hand planers are of great use to the craftsmen who want to give their work a great finish. They are good for smoothing the surface of the wood and also for making the rough edges of the wood smooth.

7 Best Manual Hand Planers – Reviews

 Drhob manual hand planer



Drhob offers a fairly competitive manual hand planer compatible with most domestic requirements. If you are looking for one of the cheapest options for rare use at home or in your workshop, go for this.

High-quality construction

The hand planer is made of high-grade metal and is suitable for use on most surfaces. It is also adequately sharp and the steel blade has a hardness grade of 58-60HRC. It will serve most of your purposes on a cheap budget.

Multipurpose

You can easily use this hand planer to shape chair legs & seats even if you are a newbie. It is easy to use and a guide manual is included in the package. Further, it is also perfectly suitable for all shaping works and for curving different things on a domestic level.

Affordable

The price range of this product is rather cheap for its construction and performance. It may not last as long as high-end options but it is perfect for any newbie or if you rarely need to use them.

What customers say

If you are looking for a one-time investment to satisfactorily serve you in common works at your home, this is a fairly competitive option. The price range is quite affordable and the construction is fantastic. You cannot expect more at this range although it may not last long if you handle it improperly.

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Amazon No. 4 bench hand planer

Although a reliable and long-lasting option, this would not be the first recommendation for its average performance. If you require one for rare, easy-going shaping work, this can be considered for its longevity and price range.

Durable

The construction is satisfactory and will serve most purposes satisfactorily. It has a durable steel alloy blade that is resistant to rusting, most acids, and alkalis. The blade is sharp enough to make quality cuts for shaping chairs, seats, etc.

Sturdy grip

It is important to have a sturdy grip while you are working on any surface. This has a convenient impact-resistant plastic handle that provides a sturdy grip and makes the shaping process smooth.



Strong construction

Besides alloy blades, its body is engineered with cast iron that is a top choice when stability and strength are the priority.

Warranty

Lastly, as an added advantage, you get a year-round limited warranty by Amazon Basics that is a great sigh of relief.

What customers say

This is a fairly average product as it balances the pros and cons scale. You get a year of warranty topped with great construction. At this price, all of its features are satisfactory although the leveling might not be perfect or precise.

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Stanley No. 4 hand planer

High-impact polymer handles, durable steel built, lifetime warranty – this wraps in all useful features in its 2-inch long cutter. Choose this for a smooth experience if you often need a hand planer for your home, office, or workshop.

Adjustable

This is one of those convenient options in the market that comes with a 9-3/4-inch adjustable mechanism. Its 2-inch cutter is sufficiently strong to provide satisfactory performance.

Sturdy build

With this, sturdiness can never be a problem because you get hardened, tempered steel construction. This ensures extra longevity and durability of the blade edge. Plus, a gray, cast-iron base along with durable epoxy coating further strengthens its quality.

Lifetime warranty

Lastly, this comes with a limited lifetime warranty that is a great feature if you want a long-term investment.

What customers say

This is a super convenient option especially because of its inbuilt adjustable mechanisms. But even if you are looking for a long-term investment, this is not at all a bad choice.

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 Grizzly industrial hand planer

This is a value-for-money hand planer from all aspects. Since it is an industrial planer, this has all top-notch and useful features to fit perfectly for any work.

High precision

Mostly used to impart a final touch, this planer ensures a highly precise performance on any surface. As it boasts a perfectly flat sole, it is apt for smoothening any wood surface at your home, workshop, or office.

Sturdy build

Build quality is worth mentioning as it has high-grade rosewood handles and knobs for proper grip. The rest of its construction is composed of steel, brass, and metal that is standard for any industrial-grade planer.

Reduces friction

Lastly, its sole is engineered in a special way to eliminate friction while working. All of these features jointly give a professional finish to any work.

What customers say

Despite all its great features, it might be disappointing for new users as it might require some getting used to it. However, it is a wise choice for beginners if you are ready to devote some time to get habituated because this is an affordable option with great construction. 

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Great Neck Saw hand planer

It is a high quality and value-for-money product and is basically manufactured in China. It is extremely easy to use with a front handle for extra control and a strong grip.

High-quality construction

It is a high-quality product made with hardened and tempered alloy steel cutters of 1-9/16’’.  It has a precisely machined and polished body made with cast iron. 

Easy handling

It is very easy to control and use as it has no friction because of its smooth 6-½’’ base. It also has a front handle for extra control and can be controlled with one hand too. It doesn’t need frequent blade adjustments too.

Durable

It has a body made up of strong cast iron and a razor made up of alloy steel which makes it an extremely durable product. Its smooth base also makes it long-lasting as there is no friction for the wearing of the body.

What Customers say

Great product in an affordable range especially due to its cast-iron body and sharp alloy razor. It is a good product for a new start as it has a front handle which can help a new user in getting a strong grip and comfort.

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Woodstock Adjustable hand planer

It is a 6 inch fully adjustable block plane with a low blade angle for both end and faces grains. It is a quality product made with cast iron and bronze and also comes in an affordable range. If it is used for polishing and finishing, this gem will shine.

Sturdy build quality

The build quality is worth praising as the body of the 6-inch block plane is made with strong cast iron and bronze. It has a comfortable shape that gives sturdy work output and reduces manpower. 

Adjustable

With its adjustable throat opening, you can adjust it as per your need and convenience. It has a 1-⅜’’ wide razor blade with a low angle for both ends and face grain and does the work fine.  

Warranty

It also comes with a whole year warranty by the brand, so you do not need to worry about any wear and tear that happens.

What customers say

It is highly precise with its fully adjustable throat opening and 1-⅜’’ razor blade which can be adjusted according to the user’s need. It has a great build quality because of the cast iron and bronze body. But its bottom needs some amount of smoothening as it has a great dip at the lower part.

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KAKURI japanese hand planer

A mini-size product with an oak wood body that is very easy to handle due to its compact size. It requires very little manpower due to its smooth and accurate bottom. It is a made in japan product so there is no doubt about the build and durability quality.

High Accuracy

With its sharp razor blade and compact body, it works precisely and gives a smooth finish. It has an adjustable blade that can be adjusted according to your need and work purpose.

High build quality 

Being a Japanese product its build quality is excellent without a doubt. It has an Oakwood body with steel razor blades. The wood body gives a sturdy grip and comfortable space for working for longer times.

Warranty

It also gets a year around official warranty, which makes it more superior and you can avail the warranty from the comfort of your home.

What customers say

A traditionally designed tool with manually adjustable razor blades. A small hammer is needed to adjust the blade. Overall it’s a great product for those who want a small compact tool that works precisely and provides a smooth finish with lesser effort.

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Buying Guide for the Best Manual Hand planer

A hand planer is a tool that needs to be bought according to the needs of the user. It requires thorough research and brainstorming for getting the perfect hand plane according to your need. Everyone has their requirements and they need different sizes and types for their different requirements. We already have given a brief review about the 7 best Manual Hand planers, but that alone is not enough to choose out the best option for you. To help you out with choosing the best option, we have listed out several points which should be kept in mind while buying a hand planer. So just hold back and check out the best features of a hand planer.

Body material and Quality of the planer

The durability of your hand plane depends a bit on the usability of it. The more roughly and frequently you use it, the more wear and tear it will have. So you should always look for the quality of the material of the blade, knob, and other parts of the planer. If you use the tool heavily and the building material of the tool is not up to the mark then there’s a chance that the planer would not run for a long time.

The finish of the planer is also as important as the building material as it provides better usability to the hand planer and gives a comfortable grip.

The Usage purpose 

If you are here looking for the quality and durability of a hand planer, then you must have known about the different purposes for which a and planer is used. The hand planer is used for plenty of woodwork and giving finishing to the woodblocks. The first and foremost use of the hand planer is smoothing the wood boards, doors, etc. Secondly, it helps in giving a magical finishing to a wavy wood surface for giving it a good look.

So while buying a hand planer you must look at the type and quality of the blade and the body of the hand planer according to your need and purpose. A wood body may be on the lighter side but can need some extra power in some areas, and a metal body can help in some areas by letting us put less energy. 

Precise Tuning of the tool

The Tuning of your tool should be according to your work level, you should always look for the tool which has the perfect tuning range according to your work needs. Sometimes you will have to do some macro-level finishing or more fine working with the planer, so you should always choose a tool that can be tuned according to your work needs. Most of the metal planers come with an adjustable blade with a knob feature but the wooden planers don’t come with a knob-adjustable blade so it’s a bit of a struggle to adjust them as it is adjusted by a small hammer. Hence, opt-out wisely, if you need a classic masterpiece with a manually adjustable feature or a modern metal tool with a knob adjustable feature.

Type of the hand plane

If you are a woodworker you must have known about a range of hand planes. But there are mainly 4 types which are widely used and known, here is the list of them :

  • Bench plane:  It is the basic type that further subdivides into four categories and those are jointer, fore, jack, and smoothing plane.
  • Shoulder plane: These types are used for cutting and shaping the planks when you need to join two different pieces together.
  • Block plane: These types are mainly used for smoothie purposes and are more like scrubbing units.
  • Scrub plane: These types are the most common ones and are used for peeling layers of wood.

Metal or wooden

  • Metal: The metal planes are on a heavier side because of their metal body. But most of the craftsmen use that weight for the ease of their work. They don’t have to push harder on the wood plane for shaving them as its weight does the work in a slight push. The depth adjustment of the razor blades is also easier on metal planes. They are sometimes made of cast iron body which makes them durable.
  • Wooden: The wooden planes are on the lighter side as they are made of light wood. They can help work with a wood plank which is upright as a metal plane can be difficult to use in such conditions. One who loves the classic feel of the wooden plane and the smoothness of the wood can have this type, and those who have a 100-year-old wood plane should mark themselves as winners. But blade adjustments in a wooden plane can be a pain in the back sometimes as it requires a hammer to adjust the blades, which usually takes time.

Low- Angle

The Low-Angle planes are usually made of metals and are best for new users. They come with heavier blades that are easy to adjust and are a bit shallow in depth. Its easy setup and comfortable control are perfect for a newcomer to the woodwork industry. They also provide perfect adjustable levels, as sometimes you need to work in macro-level conditions so a high accuracy adjustable tool can be of great benefit.    

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Comfortable Grip

Usually, a small block plane has a small single knob with a block of wood to grasp while using. A perfect hand plane should have a large knob with a curved back handle to provide a good grip and comfort while moving frontward and backward. A wooden polished handle is more superior to a polished metal handle as it absorbs all the jerks and vibrations while moving whereas the metal handle doesn’t provide such a smooth experience.

Conclusion

For getting the seamless woodworking experience try out the seamless hand planes. From smoothing the wood surface to shaving a wood layer, you got it all covered with the Hand planer range. It works all on manpower and does not need any other source of energy, hence giving you a pure raw experience of classical woodworking. The top picks among these  7 Best Manual Hand Planer will provide you with all the necessary features like an adjustable knob, a precise razor blade, an adjustable blade, a comfortable grip, etc. But before you choose the best one out of the listed 7, you must go through our buying guide for the Best Manual Hand Planer. We have thoroughly checked out and mentioned all the necessary points that should be kept in mind while purchasing a perfect hand planer for different purposes. You can get the perfect hand planer that suits your needs and work purposes.

Feature Image Source: This Old House

Other Image Source: Amazon.com

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