Top 5 Manual Planers For The Money In 2020

Using a manual hand planer on small piece of wood

For centuries carpenters have relied on manual planers for a perfect finish. No other woodworking tool can remove precise layers of wood like a hand planer. A manual planer doesn’t take much effort to use and they are much cheaper than electric models and do the same job.

Without the need for a bulky battery pack or messy power cords, manual planers are often the more practical solution.

Take a look at our Top 5 Manual Planer Reviews and decide for yourself

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Top Pick
Stanley 12-137 No.62 Low Angle Jack Plane
Great all rounder
WoodRiver Standard Block Plane with Adjustable Mouth
Out Of Stock
Stanley 12-139 Bailey No.60-1/2 Low Angle Block Plane
Great Value
Taytools 469607 Jack Smoothing Bench Hand Plane #5, 14-1/4 Inch Sole, Ductile Cast Body, Lapped Sides and Bottom, Blade RHC 55-60, Sapele Handle and Tote
Trade Quality
WoodRiver No. 1 Bench Hand Plane V3
Product
Stanley 12-137 No.62 Low Angle Jack Plane
WoodRiver Standard Block Plane with Adjustable Mouth
Stanley 12-139 Bailey No.60-1/2 Low Angle Block Plane
Taytools 469607 Jack Smoothing Bench Hand Plane #5
WoodRiver No. 1 Bench Hand Plane V3
Price
$143.99
$129.98
$78.99
$99.99
$169.98
Prime Availability
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Rating
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Amazon Reviews
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Top Pick
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Stanley 12-137 No.62 Low Angle Jack Plane
Product
Stanley 12-137 No.62 Low Angle Jack Plane
Price
$143.99
Prime Availability
-
Rating
-
Amazon Reviews
-
Buy On Amazon
Great all rounder
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WoodRiver Standard Block Plane with Adjustable Mouth
Product
WoodRiver Standard Block Plane with Adjustable Mouth
Price
$129.98
Prime Availability
-
Rating
-
Amazon Reviews
-
Buy On Amazon
Out Of Stock
Image
Stanley 12-139 Bailey No.60-1/2 Low Angle Block Plane
Product
Stanley 12-139 Bailey No.60-1/2 Low Angle Block Plane
Price
$78.99
Prime Availability
-
Rating
-
Amazon Reviews
-
Buy On Amazon
Great Value
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Taytools 469607 Jack Smoothing Bench Hand Plane #5, 14-1/4 Inch Sole, Ductile Cast Body, Lapped Sides and Bottom, Blade RHC 55-60, Sapele Handle and Tote
Product
Taytools 469607 Jack Smoothing Bench Hand Plane #5
Price
$99.99
Prime Availability
-
Rating
-
Amazon Reviews
-
Buy On Amazon
Trade Quality
Image
WoodRiver No. 1 Bench Hand Plane V3
Product
WoodRiver No. 1 Bench Hand Plane V3
Price
$169.98
Prime Availability
-
Rating
-
Amazon Reviews
-
Buy On Amazon

In a world where technology is king, it’s quite refreshing to see old-school tools that still make the grade. A manual planer is simple, with very little to go wrong. Buy a quality hand planer today, and it should keep you in good standing for life. You can realistically expect these tools to last generations.

Whether you’re installing a door or kitchen cabinets, you need a good plane. These tools are essential for removing small amounts of wood to obtain a perfect fit. Adjust the blade in relation to the throat plate off you go.

With this in mind, this review should guide you towards the perfect planer for your intended application. We’ve researched the brands for the best value. All the manual planers in this review have received top customer reviews so it’s an even more indication that they are of the highest quality standard and meet all user requirements.

Let’s take a closer look at each planer

We understand when looking to buy anything online you must do your research so it ensures that you are getting the best product for your hard-earned money. In saying that, this why we have taken the time to go a little further and take a deeper look at each model so you can rest ashore that you are getting value for money.



Stanley 12-137 No 62 Low Angle Jack Plane

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Stanley “Sweetheart” manual planers have won the hearts of carpenters for a long time now. This model (12-137 No 62) is a low angle jack plane, making it the perfect tool for shooting miters, initial smoothing, and working end grain.

The cherry handle and knob, not only look fantastic, but offer a wonderfully comfortable grip. The Norris type adjustment makes it really easy to use. The Stanley No 62 low angle jack planer has a 2” blade (width), with a thickness of ³/₆”. The planer has a length of 14”.

This is a well designed tool. It’s solid with an excellently machined base. Stanley has been manufacturing hand tools for well over a century. Their reputation in this field is legendary, and they offer a lifetime guarantee on all hand (non-electric) tools. Though, the company has experienced some quality control issues in recent years.

Fortunately, their customer service is great. So, out of box problems may a bit inconvenient, but you should have the issue sorted promptly after contacting them if you do in fact have any problems.

Pros

· Quality materials

· Mouth plate adjustment for different woods

· Extra strength ³/₆” blade

Cons

· Some customers have experienced out of box defects

· Blades are not available at all retail stores.

 



WoodRiver Standard Block Plane with Adjustable Mouth

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A block planer is one of the most versatile designs, with a myriad of uses, making this a must-have item in any woodworking tool collection. The WoodRiver standard block plane is based on the tried and tested classic Stanley No 18. Some improvements have been made, mostly strengthening the weak points of the old design.

This is a quality tool and delightfully affordable. Solid metal is used throughout. The WoodRiver standard block plane utilizes a 1” blade, with a 20 degree bed angle, and a knuckle style lever cap. Not everyone is that fond of the lever cap. It can be accidentally pushed whilst working and some have had found it tricky to use. The blade is manufactured from high quality 1” carbon steel. The tool is 2” wide, and 7” in length.

For affordable quality, this is possibly the WoodRiver’s best value block plane they have ever made. It Is a little heavy for its size but this an indication of top quality metals used in this manual planer. Wood Craft is an American company and has gained a reputation for quality tools since 1928 so you can rest assured your buying from a quality manufacturer.

Pros

· Affordable

· Proven design

· Solid metal components

Cons

· Not everyone likes the knuckle lever cap

· Heavier than some others

 



Stanley 12-139 No 60 Low Angle Block Plane

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Not too different from the WoodRiver block manual plane (reviewed above), the Stanley 12-139 is also a wonderfully versatile and well-crafted tool. This design has been perfected over the years.

Like the other Stanley model in the review, the low angle block planer has a Norris style adjuster and 1”extra-strong blade. The 12 low angle bed is perfect cutting into end grain. The planer has a length of 6” and is 2” wide.

High-quality materials, define this as one of the best. A2 steel and solid brass adjustment mechanisms are really durable. Although there have been a few complaints in the quality control department, this one fares better than many of the other Stanley hand planers. It’s a great tool at a great price.

Pros:

· Quality materials

· Precision machined

· Mouth adjustment for different types of wood

Cons

· Minor quality control issues

· Blades not readily available from some retailers

 



Taytools 469607 Jack Smoothing Hand Plane No 5

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At just under $100, it’s hard to believe that the Taytools Jack Smoothing hand plane (#5) is of such a high-quality standard. As one of the most widely used types of planers, it’s easy to understand why this tool is so popular.

In terms of quality and craftsmanship, this manual hand planer defies its price. High-quality ductile cast iron is used for the frog and body. High precision engineering is evident in the machining of the sole, down to within 0.003”. I really like the comfortable grip provided by the hand-rubbed Sapele knob and tote.

The Taytools 469607 manual jack planer measures 14¼” in length, with a width of 2”. The tool has a 45 bed angle, with a hardened steel blade. High-quality brass makes for ultimately durable adjustment knobs.

While some may say this is an excellent manual hand planer for its price, I’d say this is an excellent tool period. I tried to find some legitimate customer complaints, but these are few and far between. Perhaps, the lever cap could be easier to use.

Pros

· High precision engineering

· Comfortable to use

· Durable cast iron

Cons

· Lever cap can be complicated to use.

 



WoodRiver No 1 Bench Hand Plane V3

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The WoodRiver No 1 bench planer is small enough to use with one hand. This makes it a wonderful manual hand planer for those tight spaces where others simply won’t get in. The classic design is timeless and proven over many years.

For a miniature manual plane measuring 1”(W), 5”(L), some may feel this product is a bit pricey. However, for the level of quality, you’re getting I don’t find this to be a particularly expensive tool. The best hardwood is used for the tote and knob. This gives the tool a beautiful classic look and makes it really comfortable to use.

Hardwearing durability is visible throughout. From the excellently crafted handles, too the solid brass adjusters, and ductile cast iron used for the frog and body, this is a truly superb miniature manual planer. Precision machining for all critical components is some of the best I’ve seen. The 1-1364” blade is also super tough, using T10 carbon steel. The tool weighs only 1.3-pounds.

Unrivaled quality and superb engineering define the WoodRiver No 1 bench planer as one of the very best miniature manual hand planers. Some people may just want it because of the fantastic classic good looks.

Pros

· High-quality materials

· Lightweight and compact

· Precision engineered

Cons

· Quite expensive

· Miniature with limited applications

 



Conclusion

This review of the 5 best manual planers has included the most popular models from highly respected brands. You should find the right model at the best price among the products we’ve selected.

The idea has been about genuine value for money. You will find more expensive manual hand planers, which may be considered more professional-grade tools. Conversely, there are a lot of cheaper options. However, many of the really cheap manual planers are pure junk. They can be really difficult to set and are seldom that accurate.

The manual planers chosen for this review are affordable with the type of quality I’m happy to recommend. These tools are all incredibly durable and engineered for precision use.

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