11 Types Of Woodworking Planes – Woodworking Tools And Carpentry Guide

In this article, we’ll discuss

  • Woodworking planes types
  • Uses of different types of wood planes
  • Hand planes and their uses

Before the Earth surface was filled with machines to do all your jobs, people used to make simple machines to speed up their work. Woodworking is no exception to this phenomenon of a phased development. Gradually people moved from more manual labor to machines working.

Many woodworking tools surfaced during ancient times that are still used in the woodworking shops now. A miter saw or a circular saw for woodworking might bring efficiency, speed, and quality to your woodwork.

But, a woodworking shop takes its actual shape and feel when you find these various tools. They look like a memory from childhood flooding your brain with events that happened a long time ago.

A woodworking plane is a similar kind of a woodworking tool. Many types of woodworking planes dating back to the time of ancient Roman settlements are still in use.

Egyptians were known to be intelligent people, so there is no doubt that they had already been working with woodworking planes in their time.

As you see the woodworking planes of today, you won’t find many differences in the way they are made. Instead, they possess almost the same design and structure as in the past, with some minor differences.

Today, the body of a woodworking plane fundamentally follows the design of the one found in the past. It features a solid block/frame of material holding the steel blade with a chamfered edge. Today the only difference is that wood replaces the metal in many types.

However, you will find the use of both types of hand planes across the world depending on the region. Today, you can find various woodworking tools in the market that help you fulfill multiple woodworking projects.

They shape the material and smooth out the wooden material without creating much dust and noise. At the same time, their ability to make minor differences matters a lot in the final project.

How Does A Hand Plan Work?

These are some of the most straightforward woodworking tools in a woodworking shop. The plane works by dragging along the body of the plane. You push the plane outwards while the blade chips away from the material.

As you move the plane, the blade from the mouth slightly digs into the material. Resultantly the shavings come out through the mouth. The shavings coming out of the mouth break down into more minor chips by the chip breaker.

The quality and smoothness of the finish are inversely proportional to the size of the plane. The smaller planes leave a smoother finish, while bigger ones offer more of a rough one.

Types Of Woodworking Planes

Block woodworking planes

Bench Dog Tools No. 60-1/2 Block Plane
Bench Dog Tools No. 60-1/2 Block Plane

The is among the smaller planes found in the market. The approximate size of 150mm allows for one-hand use of this wood working plane.

You can use this woodworking plane for tasks, including trimming end grains and fine finishing of the cuts. The blade in this woodworking plane is seated at a lower level.

There are two controls at the back to manage the blade’s length sticking out of the blade window at the base. The shallow cutting angle allows for smooth working on the end grains and imparts extra smoothness.

The small size of the tool provides for leveling the slightly raised parts and smoothing out the edges. Additionally, the one-hand operation offers the convenience of use as well.

Shoulder woodworking planes

Stanley 12-140 No.92 Shoulder and Chisel Plane
Stanley 12-140 No.92 Shoulder and Chisel Plane

The shoulder woodworking plane is a little bigger than a block plane. One of the main differences in a shoulder plane is that the blade inside it extends throughout the body of the wooden plane.

The blade finds its most common use in cutting rebates or rabbets. Additionally, they are also helpful in trimming and cutting wood around the corners. The blade reclines at a lower angle, and there is a knob at the back to make adjustments.

Rabbet woodworking planes

Prettyia Good Quality Rabbet Plane Hand Wood Planer
Prettyia Good Quality Rabbet Plane Hand Wood Planer 

This woodworking plane is also called a rebate plane. The plane is a little different from others. As the name implies, the plane excels at making rabbet cuts.

Its blade sprawls across the entire width of the plane to cut through the flat side of a wooden piece. The fence integrated into the body of the plane keeps it parallel to the workpiece edge. You can also control the cutting depth of the plane with integrated depth control.

Jack woodworking planes

Jack Smoothing Bench Hand Plane
GreatNeck C4 Bench-Jack Plane

The jack plane can do many different jobs; hence you may call it the jack of all trades. When you are making a collection for your woodworking plane assortments, start with No.5 of the jack plane.

You can use this plane to level the surface, smooth the edges, and other general purposes in a woodworking shop.

A typical jack plane has a length of 350mm, making it a little bigger and a little heavier. They are an excellent choice for removing wraps and truing boards.

Smoothing woodworking planes

Grizzly Industrial H7566-14 Smoothing Plane
Taytools 469614 Smoothing Bench Hand Plane

Another type of plane used in a woodworking shop by a carpenter is a smoothing plane. They become part of smaller planes in your family of carpentry planes.

The typical size of this woodworking plane is 175mm, longer than a block plane but still smaller than other bigger ones.

These bench planes are perfect for smoothing and flattening the wood’s surface and offer final finishing touches.

Jointer woodworking planes

Stanley 7 Jointer Plane 2.3/8in 1-12-007
No.7 Jointer Plane (2.3/8in)

The next type is the jointer woodworking plane. These planes can range from 22 to 30 inches in length. They are among the longer members of the woodworking plane’s family.

As the name implies, they help in making perfect joints when you join them together. You can perfect the joints before you join them together.

This plane’s larger size makes it perfect for trimming the troughs and crests on the boards before joining them together.

Bullnose woodworking plane

Woodstock D3750 Bull Nose Plane
Woodstock D3750 Bull Nose Plane

The bullnose woodworking planes have a sole and body designed at 90 degrees. The blade of the plane is a little wider than their body size. This ensures that there is no friction between the body and the rabbet walls. Typically, they extend at three to 4-1/2 inches.

The bullnose woodworking plane is what you need after using a rabbet plane to make rabbets. Hence, they give finishing to the rabbets. Their blade is set at a low angle that makes them perfect for cutting the grain edges.

They are perfect for doing fine works. Some of the models also feature a removable front that can convert them into a Chisel plane.

Router woodworking  Planes

Admini Router Plane High Configuration Hand Router Plane with Depth Stop and Holes for Base-01
Admini Router Plane High Configuration Hand Router Plane

Like all other planes, these woodworking planes also find their application in doing finishing jobs and smoothing out rough places in the wood. This particular type of plane finishes and cleans dados and grooves.

A plane coming with a fence is perfect for achieving straight working through the wood. You can use this plane to level the bottoms of the surfaces. However, now a day other modern planes have replaced this plane.

Fore woodworking Planes

Taytools 469591 Fore Bench Hand Plane #6, 18 Inch Sole, Ductile Cast Body, Lapped Sides and Bottom, Blade RHC 55-60, Sapele Handle and Tote-01
Taytools 469591 Fore Bench Hand Plane #6

This plane, as the name implies, is used before the other woodworking planes. It makes the rough edges into smooth ones but chipping away large material quickly. The blade of the fore planes has a convex edge, so it is a bit round in the middle to chip away large wooden pieces.

The typical length of a fore plane is 460 mm, which means it is one of the biggest planes on the list. The bigger size of the plane makes it impossible to go through the peaks and troughs in the material for precise finishing. But it shaves above the surface of the grooves and under the crests. However, it is suitable for larger boards.

Plow Woodworking Planes

E.C. Emmerich Fenced Plough Plane with 3 Irons. The Hand Plane that plows, grooves and dadoes in three different widths of 5mm (~3:16), 7mm (~9:32), 9mm (~3:8)
E.C. Emmerich Fenced Plough Plane with 3 Irons

The plane comes with a depth guard to cut grooves and dados. Unlike the router plane, instead of cleaning the grooved cuts, it actually cuts them on the surface of the wood. A plough or plow plane offers excellent use in a woodworking shop when fitting the drawer bottoms to the drawers.

As you might be needing to make different sized grooves, the plow planes come with various blades to make a variety of grooved cuts.

Japanese woodworking Planes

Japanese Woodworking Planes
KAKURI Woodworking Japanese Block Plane 42mm

Most of the woodworking planes that we have discussed so far are the planes having a steel or metal body; this one is different from others because it has a wooden body. The difference also lies in the way this plane works.

Instead of pushing the blade away from you with this plane, you have to pull it to yourself. Simultaneously, as the trash comes out from a sharpener, the wood waste comes out from the top. This way of working is perfect for achieving quality cuts with utmost accuracy and less fatigue.

Parts Of A Hand Plane

Types of Woodworking Planes

A hand plane has many parts that work together to make them what they are. The following are the parts of a word woodworking plane. If you are learning to become a carpenter, you need to know about them to enhance their utility.

Blades: The blade is an indispensable part of a woodworking tool. The blade is also known as the iron of the plane.

The blade is designed with a beveled tip that may be angled upward or downward. The iron of the plane is rectangular in shape, and in many planes, it extends along the body of the plane.

Body: The framework of the plane housing one or more of the components is called the plane’s body. This block/frame of the material with handles adjusts the controls into it. This can be a single thick block of the wooden material or metal frame fitting all the components.

Chip breaker: A chip breaker is a part that breaks the chips of the wood as they come. Typically, the chip breaker is resting on the blade at the top.

Frog: This is actually the seat of the blade. The frog may include knobs or levers for the proper adjustment of the blade.

Knob: The knob is the support on bigger planes. This allows you to use the woodworking plane with two hands. Mainly it rests at the front of the blade.

Lever cap: If this feature is present in a plane, it acts as a top of the blade assemblage.

Mouth: The mouth is the slot at the bottom of the plane where you see the blade protruding out. In many types of woodworking planes, you can change the width of the mouth.

Sole: The sole is the bottom of the plane. The sole is what keeps the plane against the surface of the wooden piece.


Many of the planes mentioned in this guide might be similar to each other. But most of them are fundamentally different in many ways.

They offer unique utility when working on woodworking projects with some exclusive features. These woodworking planes can eliminate the need to use many of the power tools to cost more than them.

If you are establishing your carpentry or woodworking shop, it is better to have an assortment of the essential ones. Later you can add more according to the requirements of your creative projects in the shop.

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Amna Shaikh

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