Joinery planes are specialized handplanes that are used for making wood joints when building furniture. Below you can see a variety of some of the joinery planes that I’ve got here in my woodworking school. In this article I’ll be explaining the different types of joinery planes, and also share advice on which joinery planes you need for hand tool woodworking, and which ones you don’t.

A Bunch Of Joinery Planes On A Moravian Workbench Top Including A Router Plane, Plow Plane, And Moving Fillister Plane

{Below is a table of contents with links, in case you want to skip to a particular section in this article. If not, then just keep on scrolling down!}

Shelves Full Of Antique Woodworking Tools At A Mid-West Tool Collector'S Association Sale

Looking at all these different handplanes can be quite confusing when you’re just starting out. But don’t worry, you don’t need all of these joinery planes. I’ll show you some of the most useful joinery handplanes that’ll fit into your budget. I’ll talk about different types of rabbet planes, plow planes, combination planes, tongue & groove planes, and router planes. I’ll also talk about the joints they cut or trim, and I’ll mention some joinery planes that you may not need. Here’s a brief summary of each type of joinery plane that we’ll be covering in this article:

Rabbet Planes

Rabbet Planes Lined Up On A Woodworking Workbench

Rabbet planes are probably the most simple joinery plane. They simply cut a rabbet joint on the edge or end of a board.

Plow Plane

Wooden Screw Arm Plow Plane

Plow planes are used primarily for cutting grooves. Grooves run along the grain, inside from the edge of a board.

Combination Planes

Bill Anderson Using A Combination Plane To Plow A Groove On A Pine Board

Combination planes were made to handle the tasks of many other joinery planes, but they excel at plowing grooves.

Tongue & Groove Planes

Stanley 148 Tongue And Groove Plane

Tongue and groove plane cut tongue and groove joints, which are used for wood flooring, chest bottoms, bead board, etc.

Router Planes

Stanley 71 Router Plane

A router plane is used for leveling the bottom of a joint, like a dado (runs across the grain of the board) or tenon cheeks.

Dado Planes

A Vintage Dado Plane

A dado plane cuts a dado joint, which runs across the grain of a board. It has a nicker to score the grain for a clean cut.

Buying Rabbet Planes

Antique Wood Planes: Rabbet Planes

Rabbet planes are probably the most simple joinery planes. Rabbet planes simply cut a rabbet joint (or “rebate” joint as they’re called in the Britain) on the edge or end of a board. Rabbet planes come with wooden bodies or with metal bodies. They also come with straight irons and with skewed irons. A straight iron is best for cutting with the grain, and a skewed iron is best for cutting across the grain.

Rabbet Plane Irons Or Blades: Skewed Iron And Straight Iron

The skewed rabbet planes are a bit more expensive, specifically when buying a metal rabbet plane with a skewed iron.

Cutting A Rabbet With An Antique Wooden Rabbet Plane

When cutting across the grain, it’s important to first sever the grain so it won’t tear out…either with a marking gauge, with a marking knife, or with a knicker (pictured below) that comes attached to some rabbet planes.

Knicker On A Moving Fillister Rabbet Plane

Below is an assortment of normal rabbet planes, both wooden and metal. Because of the open shape of their bodies, you should check a wooden rabbet plane before you buy it to make sure the wooden body isn’t twisted.

Assortment Of Wooden &Amp; Metal Normal Rabbet Planes

A twisted wooden rabbet plane would need to be flattened with a jointer plane or on a power jointer. This isn’t much of an issue with metal rabbet planes, though they sometimes need to be flattened and squared on sandpaper.

Old Twisted Rabbet Plane

Just as a side note, if you like the idea of rehabbing antique joinery planes, like these antique rabbet planes, you can check out the nearly five hour video that I made with Bill Anderson called “Choosing, Refurbishing & Using Joinery Hand Planes with Bill Anderson”.

Dvd Cover Of Choosing, Refurbishing, And Using Joinery Handplanes With Bill Anderson

It was filmed in Roy Underhill’s Woodwright’s School, and it’s packed with a ton of useful information. Here’s a short preview of the video:

It’s available for streaming and download in my store (buy it here). But if refurbishing doesn’t appeal to you, don’t fret. I’ll also talk about buying new joinery planes in this article.

MOVING FILLISTER PLANES

Man'S Hands Using A Wooden Moving Fillister Plane To Cut A Panel For Frame And Panel Door

Unless you have skilled hands, it can be tough to cut a straight rabbet with a normal rabbet plane, because the plane wants to tilt and wander. So you can either attach a fence to your wood to prevent the plane from wandering, or you can get a rabbet plane with a fence of it’s own. That would be called a fillister plane. And my favorite fillister planes are called moving fillister planes, because the fence is adjustable. Moving fillister planes excel at cutting any rabbet, and especially work great for cutting raised panels (pictured above). Moving fillister planes also come with both wooden bodies and metal bodies. Below you can see a bunch of wooden moving fillister planes that I use in my school:

A Row Of Wooden And Metal Moving Fillister Planes On A Roubo Workbench

Below is a popular vintage Stanley No. 78 metal moving fillister plane. You can find them here for usually under $30. It has an adjustable fence and a straight across iron.

Stanley 78 Moving Fillister Plane Antique

A much nicer version of this plane is the Stanley 289 plane (find vintage Stanley 289 planes here). It was made with a skewed iron, so it’s less common and more expensive.

Stanley 289 Moving Fillister Rabbet Rebate Plane

The new metal moving fillister plane, shown below, is a good option. It’s the Veritas skew rabbet plane, and it runs about $255 (plus tax and shipping from Canada).

Veritas Skew Rabbet Plane Or Metal Moving Fillister Plane Sitting On Top Of A Woodworking Workbench

It has a fence that lets you achieve a wide rabbet cut. However, it’s a bit difficult to initially setup, even with the instructions. Here’s a PDF article by Chris Schwarz with instructions on how to tweak this moving fillister plane to get it working great.

Using The Veritas Skew Rabbet Plane

It comes in right or left hand versions, and you can order it with O1, A2, or PM-V11 steel for the blade. I have it in PM-V11, but I think if I had to order it over again I would get it with a O1 steel blade. While A2 and PM-V11 steel hold an edge longer, they can take a really long time to hone. This Veritas Skew Rabbet Plane is one of my favorite option for a rabbet plane. However, it may not be practical for someone on a tight budget.

Using A Wooden Moving Fillister Plane

My other favorite style of rabbet plane, which is more budget-friendly, has to be these wooden moving fillister planes.

Closeup Of Wood Plane Called Moving Fillister Plane With Nicker And Brass Depth Stop

Wooden moving fillister planes have skewed irons & knickers, which give a clean cut across the grain. They have adjustable depth stop to help you cut to a defined depth. And they have wooden fences that lock down tight and don’t slip. I’ve purchased a good number of these moving fillister planes over the past few years for my school at around $15 to $50. You can find vintage moving fillister planes for sale here. Most of them needed a bit of rehab work and all of them needed sharpening, but I followed Bill Anderson’s joinery planes video (mentioned above), and was able to get them in working order without too much trouble.

SHOULDER PLANES

Using Large Lie-Nielsen 72 Shoulder Plane

The last type of rabbet plane that I’ll talk about is a shoulder plane. Shoulder planes are highly refined metal rabbet planes, with a low angle blade, and an adjustable mouth. They specialize in trimming and improving wood joints, like the shoulders of tenons, rabbets, or hand cut moldings. Because the shoulder plane iron runs the entire width of the plane body, it can also be used as a normal rabbet plane.

Large Lie-Nielsen 72 Shoulder Plane With A Small Woodriver Shoulder Plane

Shoulder planes usually come in small, medium, and large sizes. I prefer a large size and a small size, but I have friends who really love the medium size. I used to own a medium shoulder plane (pictured below), and did like it, but not as much as the large size.

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The reason I like the large large shoulder plane is because it can cut large, medium, and small rabbets and shoulders. But it is heavy and a bit awkward to hold in some situations. I personally use the Lie-Nielsen No. 073 Large Shoulder Plane. It runs about $250 (plus tax & shipping). Lie-Nielsen based their design off of the vintage Record shoulder planes. You can see all three Lie-Nielsen models here:

Using A Small Woodriver Shoulder Plane To Trim A Tenon

I really like small shoulder planes like this one because it works really great for all sorts of trim work, especially on moldings. However, it isn’t large enough to cut full sized rabbets. My small shoulder plane was made by WoodRiver, and I absolutely love it. You can find the WoodRiver shoulder planes here:

The WoodRiver shoulder planes are about $10-$30 cheaper than the Lie-Nielsen shoulder planes. I haven’t used the large or medium WoodRiver shoulder plane, so I can’t comment on them, but I’m sure they meet the same quality level as the small shoulder plane.

Antique Scottish Infill Shoulder Plane Next To A Lie-Nielsen Shoulder Plane

What about vintage shoulder planes? Buying vintage shoulder planes can be a bit risky because of the skill required to restore an “out of true” shoulder plane that has been dropped or banged up, though there are some really nice vintage infill shoulder planes out there (see some really nice ones for sale here). Just check them for squareness and flatness before buying.

Antique Scottish Infill Shoulder Plane

I don’t use my shoulder planes all that often, so I wouldn’t say that you should rush out and buy one right off the bat. Just wait until a project comes up where you feel like you really need one. Then drop the cash.

In one of the next section I’ll share a different type of handplane that isn’t dedicated to cutting rabbets, but it can cut them (a combination plane). Here are quick links to rabbet planes mentioned above:

Buying Plow Planes

Wooden Plow Plane With Array Of Irons At A Tool Sale

Plow planes are used primarily for plowing grooves on a board. For those of you who don’t know, grooves are like rabbets, except they aren’t on the edge of a board, but they’re cut in from the edge. And grooves are plowed with the grain only, not across the grain.

Plowing A Groove With A Stanley 45 Combination Plane Or Plow Plane

Grooves are one of the most common joints that you’ll cut on many furniture projects, like on the bottom of drawers & boxes, on door rails & stiles, and on the backs of cupboards, when you want to slide a back in.

Plowed Groove On The Back Of A Cherry Cupboard

Grooves also make up one part of a tongue & groove joint, like on your wood flooring, as you can see in the picture below:

Tongue And Groove Joint

Just like with rabbet planes, plow planes come with both wooden bodies and metal bodies:

Array Of Wooden &Amp; Metal Plow Planes

Wooden plow planes, like the lovely screw arm plow planes pictured below, have a fence that’s adjusted back and forth along wooden rods. In this case, the rods are threaded to allow the fence to be tightened in place with wooden nuts. I love this type of plow plane because it really holds the fence in place quite tightly.

Wooden Plow Planes Sitting Side-By-Side

But it does take a little longer to adjust the fence and the blade depth than it does on a metal plow plane. Below you can see that a metal plow plane’s fence just slides back and forth along metal rods. It’s a quick adjustment, and the fence stays parallel.

Stanley 45 Plow Plane Fence Sliding Back &Amp; Forth Along Metal Rods

Some wooden plow planes have fences that are tightened with wedges rather than with wooden screws, but I like the wooden screw arm style the best (pictured below).

Wood Plane: Antique Plow Plane Closeup Of Wooden Screw Threads

The most common problem that I’ve seen with them is broken wooden threads. This usually happened because people left the nuts tightened, and when the humidity changed, the expanding wood broke the threads. I always loosen the wooden nuts after I use a plane. But don’t skip over buying a wooden plow plane just because the screws have some damage. If there are a couple dings in the threads, then it’ll work fine. But if 3 or more consecutive rows of threads are damaged, then it probably won’t tighten and it’ll be too difficult for most people to repair.

Wood Plane: Antique Screw Arm Plow Plane With Brass Inlays On A Woodworking Workbench

Make sure you inspect the threads that are hidden under all the screw nuts and knobs. Often broken threads are hidden close to the plane. So if you buy online, ask for photos of all the threads.

I also prefer a wooden screw arm plow plane that has a handle, as opposed to one where I just hold onto the body of the plane. It makes for much easier work.

Wood Plane: Antique Screw Arm Plow Plane On A Woodworking Workbench In Roy Underhill's Woodwright's School

When adjusting a wooden plow plane’s blade depth you have to tap the iron a little bit to advance it, and then tap the wedge to tighten the iron, and then make a test cut. It usually takes a few times to get this right, and can be a little frustrating if you advance the iron too much.

Adjusting Wooden Plow Plane With Hammer

If you’ve gone too far you need to smack the plane or tap the wedge to go backward or start over. A metal plow plane has an easier adjustment mechanism. You can see below that the top of the iron has a notch in it that allows it to be easily adjusted up and down with the turn of a wheel.

Adjusting Metal Stanley 45 Plow Plane With Thumb Adjuster Showing Notch In Cutter

You just loosen the iron with a wing nut, turn the thumb wheel to adjust the iron up or down, and then tighten the wing nut again.

Notch On The Back Of A Wooden Plow Plane Iron That The Skate Sits In

Wooden plow planes have an iron with a V-shaped notch on back (pictured above) that easily aligns with the plane’s skate (pictured below). This keeps the iron from moving laterally.

Plow Plane Skate Sitting In Cutter Notch

Most vintage plow planes will do a great job plowing grooves, as long as you sharpen them properly. And it’s nice to have a good variety of plow plane irons to use with your plow plane. Below you can see a mixed set of irons for a wooden plow plane:

Metal Plow Plane Irons Sitting On A Tool Roll

Just make sure the cutters fit your plow plane. They don’t have to be the same brand, but make sure you buy irons that all have the same taper angle. If they don’t fit your plow plane, then all you need to do is make a new wooden wedge with the appropriate taper to hold the irons in place. Bill shows how to make wooden wedges in the video “Choosing, Refurbishing, & Using Joinery Handplanes with Bill Anderson”.

Vintage Handplanes For Sale At A Tool Sale Swap

A user-grade wooden plow plane shouldn’t cost you more than $100, unless it’s made of some exotic materials (Like Ebony and ivory). But I’ve found wooden screw arm plow planes for around $50 in good condition. Find them for sale here.

Vintage Metal Plow Plane With $8,200 Price Tag

Fortunately, in the olden days plow planes were a commonly used tool, so antique plow planes are pretty easy to find at reasonable prices. And, of course, they can also be found at very high prices for collectible plow planes like the one shown above (yes, the price tag says “$8,200”).

Antique Stanley No. 248 Metal Plow Plane For Cutting Grooves

If you’re on a tight budget, then go with one of the simple vintage metal plow planes, made by a reputable tool maker, like the popular Stanley No. 248, the Stanley No. 46, or the Stanley No. 50 plow planes. Or look at the comparable antique Record brand plow planes. Both Antique Stanley planes and Record planes are of very high quality.

In the next section I’ll discuss a magical handplane that works great as a plow plane, and also does the job of other handplanes. See links to shop for the above-mentioned plow planes:

Buying Combination Planes

Stanley Planes: Stanley 45 Combination Plane Sitting On A Woodworking Workbench

One of my favorite options for a plow plane is a combination plane. This type of handplane is like the Swiss Army knife of joinery planes. Its primary task is to plow grooves, but it was historically marketed as a hand plane that could replace many other joinery planes. With different blades and attachments, a combination plane can also cut rabbet joints, dado joints, tongue & groove joints, beads, and even moldings. A complete set came with a variety of cutters for making these joints and profiles.

Stanley 45 Combination Plane W/ Array Of Cutters Or Blades

The most common vintage combination plane that you’ll find is a Stanley 45 combination plane. Depending where you look, and the amount of rehab work it needs, you can find a combination plane for as low as $25. But those are prices that I find at hand tool swaps. Here is a place that you can look for vintage Stanley 45 planes: click here.

Row Of All Stanley 45 Combination Planes

In an old episode of The Woodwright’s Shop, Roy Underhill ran an experiment to see if a combination plane really was superior to all the dedicated handplanes it was supposed to replace. Here’s a spoiler alert. He concluded that the dedicated joinery planes work better, but that a combination plane does work good for many tasks, and can certainly be a good solution for someone who can’t buy all of those joinery planes. You can watch the episode below:

Video Player: Roy Underhill On The Set Of The Woodwright'S Shop Holding A Stanley Combination Plane

So if you can afford multiple dedicated joinery planes, then I recommend that you go that route. But I wouldn’t suggest that you dismiss buying a combination plane, because it works wonderfully as a plow plane, and it can act as a backup for cutting other joints.

Using A Stanley 45 To Cut A Bead

A complete vintage combination plane with all it’s cutters and parts is actually considered collectible, and would cost you several hundred dollars, so if you can’t afford that, then look for a combination plane that has just one cutter. You can always buy other vintage or new replacement cutters later. Somewhere in the 1/4-inch to 5/16-inch size would be a good size to start with.

A 1/4-Inch Cutter Inside The Stanley 45 Combination Plane

Just make sure that the little notch on the cutter matches the pin on your adjustment wheel (see photo below). Some combination planes don’t have this notch.

Notch On Stanley 45 Cutter And Wheel That Advances The Iron

Recently I was able to test the only modern combination plane, which is made by Lee Valley: the Veritas Combination Plane.

Veritas Combination Plane On A Pine Board

The plane is well-constructed and feels good on the hands during use. Lee Valley makes a large assortment of irons and accessories for their combination plane, which you can see here. The plane can be easily adjusted for right hand or left hand users.

Veritas Combination Plane On A Woodworking Workbench

Here are some sources for vintage and new combination planes and replacement cutters for a Stanley 45 Combination Plane:

Buying Tongue & Groove Planes

Stanley No. 48 Tongue &Amp; Groove Hand Planer Or Hand Plane Cutting A Joint

A tongue and groove plane, not surprisingly, cuts a tongue and groove joint. This is one of the most common wood joints. You can find a tongue and groove joint in wood flooring, on the bottoms of wooden chests, on the backs of cupboards, and in several other places. The tongue & groove joint allows the wood to expand and contract with seasonal changes in humidity, so it’s a pretty useful joint.

Tongue &Amp; Groove Joint With A Swing Arm Tongue And Groove Plane In Background

Tongue and groove planes are also referred to as “matching planes” or “Tonguing and Grooving Planes”. Tongue and groove planes cut joints in two different operations. First, I cut the tongue with a cutter that looks like this:

A Stanley 48 Tongue &Amp; Groove Plane Cutter Cutting A Tongue

And then I can switch to cutting the groove. But this switch is made differently, depending on the type of tongue and groove plane I’m using. If I’m using a swing arm tongue & groove plane (pictured below), then all I do is pull up on the spring, rotate the arm until it locks in place, and then I’m good do go ahead and cut the groove on the matching board.

Stanley 48 Tongue &Amp; Groove Swinging The Arm On The Plane

If I’m using a “come and go” style plane (pictured below) then all I do is simply turn the handplane around and plow the groove on the other board.

Stanley 148 Come And Go Tongue &Amp; Groove Plane Cutting A Groove

These Come and Go planes come in both metal versions and wooden versions, like this:

Wooden And Metal Come And Go Tongue &Amp; Groove Planes

And lastly, an older style of tongue and groove plane is called a “matched pair”. With this style, I plow the tongue first with the tongue plane, and then I switch to the groove plane and plow the groove. This is a really fun way to cut this joint.

Wooden Matched Pair Tongue &Amp; Groove Planes Cutting A Tongue And Groove Joint

A little while ago I made a video on making tongue & groove joints with both handplanes and with power tools, so if you’re interested in seeing that, here it is:

I happen to like using all of these styles of tongue and groove planes. The most common and most popular type seems to be the swing arm style. I think one reason it’s so popular is because of the ingenious design!

Ow Of Swing Arm Tongue &Amp; Groove Planes

The price of these vintage planes shot up for a few years, but seems to have settled down a bit now. A plane that needs some rehab work should cost you under $50, and a rehabbed version may be over $100. You can find various vintage swing arm models here. The most well-known model is the vintage Stanley No. 48 tongue & groove plane (find it here). It was made to work with board thicknesses of 3/4″ to 1-1/4″, centering the joint on 7/8″ thick boards.

Stanley No. 48 Tongue &Amp; Groove Hand Planer On A Woodworking Workbench Showing Engravings

Stanley also made a number 49 tongue and groove plane, but it was made for board thicknesses of 3/8″ to 3/4″, which is not as useful for most woodworkers.

Stanley 148 Tongue And Groove Plane Come And Go Plane

Stanley later made a No. 148 Come & Go Tongue & Groove Plane (pictured above). While the Stanley No. 148 plane works well, I don’t like it quite as much as the Stanley No. 48 tongue and groove plane. It’s less comfortable on my hands. That’s a good thing for you, because the Stanley No. 148 Plane is more rare and a bit more expensive. You can also check out the antique Stanley No. 49 planes if you’re planning on using 1/2″ thick boards (a rare hand plane to find).

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The only modern tool maker that makes a dedicated tongue & groove plane (as far as I’m aware) is Lie-Nielsen (pictured above). They based their No. 48 and No. 49 tongue & groove planes off of the vintage Stanley tongue and groove hand planes. I’ve tried the Lie-Nielsen No. 48, but found it to not be as flexible with board thicknesses as the vintage versions, and it comes with a very high price tag of $225 (plus tax and shipping). The price has jumped about $30 in the last little while. The Veritas combination plane (mentioned above) does cut tongue & groove joints also.

Here are links to the tongue and groove planes mentioned above:

Matched Pair Tongue And Groove Planes And Come And Go Wooden Tongue And Groove Plane

Buying Router Planes

Large Assortment Of Router Planes

When you hear the word “router”, you may think I’m talking about a modern power router. While these two tools can certainly do some similar tasks, a router plane is quite a different tool. Router planes come in both a large size and a small size. And sometimes a medium size. The large router plane is used for leveling the bottom of a joint, like a dado or a mortise.

Woodworker Using A Lie-Nielsen Large Router Plane To Make A Dado Joint

A large router plane is also useful for flattening troubled tenon cheeks (pictured below). 

Using A Stanley 71 Router Plane To Flatten Tenon Cheeks

The small router planes are very useful for cleaning up hinge mortises on doors and lids (pictured below), and also for creating a level base for decorative inlays.

Woodworker Using A Small Router Plane For Hinge Mortise

Like the other joinery planes, router planes come in metal versions and wooden versions.

Wood Plane: Top View Of An Antique Wood Router Plane Called An Old Woman'S Tooth Router

With wooden router planes, affectionately referred to as an “Old Woman’s tooth” or “Grandma’s tooth”, the cutter is held in place in a variety of ways, including with a thumb screw mechanism or with a traditional wedge. 

A Wooden Router Plane With A Thumb Screw And Another With A Wedge

I find the wedge style router planes to be quite a bit more difficult to adjust. The wooden thumb-screw style router planes are probably my all around favorite router planes. You simply unscrew the thumb screw, manually adjust the depth, and tighten it again.

Fingers Tightening The Thumb Screw Of A  Wooden Router Plane

Metal router planes work in a similar way, though they’ve evolved to include a micro-adjusting wheel and often a depth stop.

Fingers Microadjusting A Metal Stanley 71 Router Plane With A Dado Joint Below

Turning this wheel adjusts the cutter up or down, and then the thumb screw locks the setting in.

Stanley Planes: Stanley No. 71 Router Plane Sitting On A Board And On A Woodworking Workbench

Metal router planes are (and were) made with both open throats and closed throats (pictured below).

Open Throat Router Plane Next To Closed Throat Router Plane

I wouldn’t get too hung up on open throat vs. closed throat since both styles will work in most situations, but the closed throat plane gives greater stability in certain situations like when I’m working on a board’s edge. And the open throat router plane gives greater visibility of the cutter, which is better if you plan on doing inlay work. I slightly prefer a closed throat router plane for the majority of work that I do, but I use both styles here in my shop. And some later vintage models came with a spacer attachment to close up an open throat (pictured below). 

Stanley 71 Large Router Plane With Open Mouth Spacer

Like with other handplanes, the metal router planes are usually more expensive than the wooden router planes. And the vintage metal router planes have really gone up in price lately. For example, the most popular vintage metal router plane is a Stanley No. 71 router plane (see the No. 71 planes for sale here).

Stanley Planes: Stanley No. 71 Router Plane Sitting On A Woodworking Workbench In Roy Underhill's Woodwright's School

They now run from around $100 all the way up to several hundred dollars for a plane in mint condition with all of it’s accessories. Do some research on whichever type of router plane that you plan to buy so you can ensure you don’t buy a router plane with missing parts or badly cracked wooden knobs.

Wood Plane: Bottom View Of An Antique Wood Router Plane Called An Old Woman'S Tooth Router With Cutting Iron

But if you’re on a budget, look for a nice vintage wooden router plane (see some here). They’re pretty simple tools, but just make sure the cutter isn’t too short and can be sharpened, and that the thumb-screw mechanism tightens the cutter really well.

Antique Wooden Router Planes Sitting In A Row On A Woodworking Workbench

If you’ve got a little larger budget, I would actually recommend that you buy a new, modern large router plane, because the price isn’t much higher than a vintage router plane, and there is no rehab work required. I recommend either the Veritas Large Router Plane (find it here for about $180 plus shipping & tax) or the Lie-Nielsen Large Router Plane (find it here for about $150 plus shipping & tax).

Veritas Router Plane Cutting A Dado Joint

I have used both router planes extensively and know that they both work quite nice. The Veritas router plane (pictured above) is more expensive, but accessory cutters are less expensive than Lie-Nielsen router cutters, and Veritas carries many more cutter sizes, which is helpful for furniture makers or luthiers who plan to do inlay work. However, I find that I use the stock cutter most of the time, so I don’t have much of a need for multiple cutter sizes or shapes. Therefore, the Lie-Nielsen router plane should work great for most woodworkers.

Woodworker Using A Lie-Nielsen Large Router Plane To Make A Dado Joint

As far as small router planes go, I really like the vintage Stanley No. 271 small router plane (pictured below…find them here) or the Record No. 722 small router plane (find them here).

Stanley No. 271 Small Router Plane Sitting On A Piece Of Wood

But the market prices have also shot up for these small vintage router planes in recent years. So it’s worth looking at small router planes from either Lie-Nielsen or Veritas. See links to these small router planes below.

If your skill level permits, then you can always try to build a wooden router plane with this tutorial. A wood plane is always great to see in a workshop.

So in summary, I’d recommend that you either buy or make wooden router planes, or buy new metal router planes from a reputable hand tool maker. Here are the best prices that I’ve found on router planes:

Continue to “Buying Molding Planes”:

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