Written by Terry Smith

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7 best Block Planes

Block planes are most often used for paring end grain on woodwork but they are also used for removing glue lines, tidying up wooden components to make them fit together better, and for angling squared edges.
Block planes typically have their blades set at a shallow angle which allows it to more efficiently slice through the grain. They are designed to be small and light enough to be used with only one hand and have been a popular tool amongst carpenters for a very long time.
The simple design of block planes means that there are less things to go wrong on them and as long as the tool is constructed well in the first place, and the blade is kept sharp, you can expect to get a lot of life out of a decent one.

Comparison table: 7 best Block Planes

ProductWhat We ThinkPrice

KAKURI Mini Kanna Wood Block Plane 42mm from Japan

  • KAKURI Mini Kanna Wood Block Plane 42mm from Japan

Stanley Metal Body Surform Block Plane 5 21 399

Stanley Metal Body Surform Block Plane 5 21 399

  • Made out of carbon steel
  • Soft grip handle
  • Designed to be easy to use
  • Strong heavy-duty metal body for strength and durability
  • Fitted with replaceable fine cut blade

Silverline 633569 Block Plane No. 2 178 x 41 mm

  • Fine quality grey iron casting
  • Adjustable mouth for coarse or fine work
  • Brass adjustment screws
  • For end grain work and fine finishing
  • Suitable for model makers

Faithfull 9.1/2-inch/ 60.1/2-inch Block Planes in Wooden Box

Faithfull 9.1/2-inch/ 60.1/2-inch Block Planes in Wooden Box

  • Designed for end grain work
  • Low angle cutter
  • General purpose finishing
  • Fully adjustable mouth
  • Supplied in a wooden box

Stanley STA512020 6.1/4 Block Plane C/w Pouch

Stanley STA512020 6.1/4 Block Plane C/w Pouch

  • Small professional fine grey iron
  • Fully adjustable for depth of cut
  • For end grain and general purpose fine finishing work
  • Comes with pouch for convenient storage
  • 40mm blade width

Stanley Moulded Body Surform Block Plane 521104

Stanley Moulded Body Surform Block Plane 521104

  • Made out of carbon steel
  • Soft grip handle
  • Designed to be easy to use

Draper 13849 140mm Multirasp Wood Block Plane

Draper 13849 140mm Multirasp Wood Block Plane

  • Features:Compact plane with diecast body
  • Blade length 140mm
  • Supplied with replaceable high carbon steel blade
  • Display packed

Here are seven of the best block planes for sale in the UK at the moment. I’ve comprised a brief review of each with a few bullet points you might be interested in.

SIlverline’s block plane No.2 is a decent low cost tool, ideal for light duty jobs such as model making and such. It has a solid construction and an aesthetically pleasing design with the colour contrast of the grey and black body and shiny brass adjustment screws. Just remember to sharpen the blade before you use it.

  • Grey iron casting is of a high quality and feels solid and sturdy.
  • Brass adjustment screws contrast nicely with the colour scheme.
  • The mouth of the tool can be adjusted to suit the job and can produce fine or coarse work.
  • Screw depth control, lateral control and cam-action locking lever cap.
  • 41mm blade width

2. Stanley Metal Body Surform Block Plane 5 21 399

Stanley have been making hand tools since 1857 and have a lot of expertise and experience in the field. This simple, yet sturdy block plane can be purchased on Amazon for ust under 9 pounds. Its main draw for me is that the blade is removable and/ or replaceable which prolongs the potential working life of this tool. The blade release is operated by a thumbscrew so there is no need to use any tools. This is good for sharpening the blade mid-job.

  • Metal body is strong and sturdy with no superfluous or non-essential parts that can break off easily.
  • Blade can be removed for sharpening or replaced with a new one, prolonging the tool’s work life.
  • Thumbscrew makes it easy to remove or change the blade without using tools.
  • Small and lightweight and suitable for light duty tasks.

3. Stanley Moulded Body Surform Block Plane 521104

Our next block planer also comes from Stanley, but this one sports some different features. Instead of the solid metal condtruction of our last review, Stanley have chosen to make this one out of lightweight plastic. The plastic used is reinforced polypropylene and is very strong and durable. The shape of this block planer and the soft grip handle make it feel very comfortable in the hand which is handy for when you’re using for a long time. Hard wearing yet lightweight Reinforced polypropylene body.

  • Metal parts are high quality carbon steel.
  • Comfortable handle and easy to use
  • 140mm blade length
  • Quick release via thumbscrew

4. Faithfull 9.1/2-inch/ 60.1/2-inch Block Planes in Wooden Box

For 40 pounds you can get this twin set of block planes from makers Faithful. They come in a nice wooden box to keep them in that will look nice in your garage or workshop. These tools are great for general finishing and are well constructed.

  • Fully adjustable mouth allows you to get the desired finish.
  • Low angled blade for better cutting
  • Solid metal construction for long lasting durability.
  • Thumbscrews for making your adjustments
  • Comes with a wooden box to house both tools

This product from Draper is a compact block plane for light jobs. It has a hard wearing die cast metal body and a replaceable carbon steel blade. Draper are known for their reliable products and all of them come with their Draper tolls guarantee.

  • Removable carbon steel blade
  • Strong die cast body
  • Draper tools guarantee
  • Compact at 140mm
  • Well made construction.

6. KAKURI Mini Kanna Wood Block Plane 42mm from Japan

Looking for something different to add a bit of style to your toolbox? Then this might be for you. Combining a simple but beautiful oak design with solid and practical usability, this is a good quality product for just under 20 pounds.

  • Elegant Japanese design
  • Very lightweight
  • 17 degree angled blade cuts really well
  • Blade is twice as thick as a standard western blade.
  • Leaves very smooth surfaces
  • Small and fits in the hand very easily

7. Stanley STA512020 6.1/4 Block Plane C/w Pouch

Our final review is yet another Stanley block plane. This one is fully adjustable, including the cutter alignment, mouth opening and cutting depth. The body is made from high quality grey iron and won’t be breaking anytime soon and the sides and bottom have been precision engineered to help you get a nice flat finish. The blade is 40mm wide and is made from carbon alloy steel ensuring its longevity.

  • Strong iron body for durability and stability.
  • Precision shaped sides and bottom.
  • Removable and replaceable blade.
  • Finger grips on the side help with handling the tool.
  • Fully adjustable cutting depth, alignment and mouth opening.
  • Low angle blade keeps natural vibrations down.

That brings an end to our reviews of the seven best block planers available in the UK without breaking the bank. We have similar pages on a huge range of different hand tools and also on power tools, so feel free to take a look and hopefully we can help you find what you are looking for, or at least guide you in the right direction.

About Terry Smith

I’m Terry Smith from gardentoolbox.co.uk, a professional landscape designer, hobbyist gardener, and barbecue fanatic with 20 years experience building and restoring. So as you go through my site you'll watch me document some of the professional garden installs I make as well as the major projects I take on at home. While sharing those experiences and guiding you, I'll be recommending some great tools I use to enable this along the way so you can really buy in confidence. Always feel free to pop me a message: info@gardentoolbox.co.uk

View all posts by Terry Smith

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