When you cut a dado or groove for making joints using power tools, maintaining a consistent depth across your workpiece is an issue. Solve this issue is using a router plane. What a router plane does is, removes the high spots of your groove. This leaves a plane and even groove surface to proceed further.
You will find various router planes but finding the best router plane is a pain. That’s why I am here to give you a complete guideline with some mentionable router planes.
Things To Check Before Buying a Router Plane
|Cowryman Router Plane||Check Price|
|Admini Hand Router Plane||Check Price|
|Woodstock D3830 Router Plane||Check Price|
|Taytools 468334 Small Router Plane||Check Price|
|Woodstock D3830 Router Plane||Check Price|
Router planes have been around for a long time. Even though they were popular in the old days, they didn’t lose their necessity in modern days. Back in the day, router planes were made of wood with a very simple design. Now, the router planes have been modernized to keep their efficiency in modern woodworking. Using a router plane will save time and improve the quality of your work.
Let’s have a look at things you should be aware of when you are settled to buy a router plane.
Blade Shapes and Sizes
The most common size and shape of the router plane blade is half-inch blade and squared cutting edge. You won’t usually require other types of blades as this common blade can get into almost any corner. But some router plane offers more than one cutter to make your work more effective.
Another shape of the blade is the plow-faced blade that has a 45-degree on either side. This baled shape helps get odd cuts that can get tricky when using a squared-edge blade. The blade also provides smooth cutting when you are running your plane across the grain.
The first thing you should check before using your router plane is how the bled is held in the place. Keeping the blade steady is an important part of a router plane. Even a little bit of wobble to the cutting blade will make your resulting surface far worse than it was before. The square-shaped blade is perfect for not getting wobbly.
Some router plane uses a single screw to hold the blade in a steady position. Others use more than one or, more specifically, two screws to hold the blade. Two screws will provide better support than one screw. But you may find the router plane easy to operate that has only one holding screw.
Router Plane Fences
Router planes can vary in size from small to big. Bigger router planes have more composite parts and come with some extra tools. Among these extra tools, you will find router plane fences. These fences have different shapes to give you support when you are working on an irregular shape or round edge.
The fences will come in handy for implementing small tasks with your router plane. These fences are smaller sized and suitable for giving support to your small works. The fences will provide a little reference surface which is not suitable for bigger projects. In that case, you will find these fences not much of use as you will prefer a whole lot more reference surface.
There are two types of bed designs for router planes. In one design type, you will find the bed flat without any raised section. The advantage of the flatbed is, you can get the whole bed as a reference surface. The problem it produces is, you will get very little viewing place to observe the work of the blade.
This viewing problem is solved in another bed design where the front portion of the bed is raised that makes an open throat. So, when you are running the plane, you will get a clear view down. This will help you to check what the blade is doing and the progress of your work. This solving of the viewing problem comes with a price, and the price is, you cannot reference off of anything on the raised portion. Manufacturers usually provide an extra tool to fill the gap created by raised portion. This will help you to get the same reference area as a flatbed.
List of 5 Best Router Plane
There are a variety of works router planes will help you to accomplish. In search of finding the best router plane, I stumbled upon some quality ones and made up a list with those router planes. You are recommended to check the list given below if you are going to buy a router plane.
1. Cowryman Router Plane
This router plane is my top pick among all other router planes. The reason for being top is because the router plane is easy to operate and versatile to use. Cleaning up your tenons, clear out a recess, flattening dado, and a wide variety of tasks you can do with this router plane.
Where other blades are bent to almost 90-degree, the Cowryman router plane has a straight cutting iron. Instead of angling the blade, the manufacturer angles the fixture for holding the blade. This straight blade will help quickly sharpen the blade as angled blades are a bit tricky to sharpen.
Except for the handles, all other parts of the router plane are made of stainless steel. Stainless steel base will make the plane steady while you run the router plane along or across your workpiece. The lower side of the base is smoothened for not to leave any scratch marks while in contact with your workpiece.
This small-sized router plane is 4.13-inch long and 2.75-inch wide. So, it will not take much space of your workbench.
For holding the blade, there is a wing nut at the back of the router plane. This wing nut does its job precisely by holding the blade firmly. By loosening the nut, you can take apart the blade from the router plane body when necessary.
- The blade stays very steady during work
- Sharpening the blade is easy
- The blade comes sharp out of the box
- Attaching an auxiliary plate with the base is easy
- Simple to operate
- The handles are too small
2. Admini Hand Router Plane
For quick planning and accurate working, you will find this router plane just the right tool. The router plane comes with some small but handy features. These features make the router plane a more effective planner.
The features of the router plane are – a better locking mechanism for not letting the blade slip or wobble, a depth stop, and base holes.
The depth stop will save a lot of time when you are adjusting the depth of the blade. By positioning the depth stop in a certain position, you can adjust the depth precisely. The depth stop also prevents you from adjusting the depth more frequently.
There are two holes drilled into the bed of the router plane. The size of the holes is 7mm. Using these holes, you can easily attach a base plate for extending the small base. By extending the base, you will get more reference areas when you are planning a long edge.
The blade is bent to slightly 90-degree, and the upper face is beveled. This blade is very sharp to cut through wood fibers even when you are running the plane across the grain. Sharpening the blade will provide a better result and provide smooth cuts.
The handles are made of wood. The rest of the parts of the router plane are made of stainless steel. You will get a firm and comfortable grip from the handles.
- The cutting iron comes sharpened
- A depth stop is included
- The base is perfectly flat
- There are predrilled holes for attaching a larger base
- The blade cuts nice and leaves a good finish
- Edges of the base are a little sharp
3. Woodstock D3830 Router Plane
This router plane has one of the simple designs but provides fantastic performance. The router plane is smaller sized and very easy to use. Using the router will let work in tight places where other average-sized ordinary routers will fail to fit.
The blade is made of stainless steel and ¼-inch wide. You can easily adjust the depth of the blade using a single locking screw. The locking screw can hold the blade at a maximum of 1-inch of depth.
The Woodstock router plane is suitable for flattening small dados, rabbet joints, lap joints, and tenons. The router plane can easily fit into a compact groove and cut smoothly. You can tweak that mortise with this router plane after creating a hinge mortise with a chisel or other cutters. This will allow a better fit of the door hinges.
Except for the blade and the locking screw, the body is made of solid cast iron. So, this router plane is durable and will give you a consistent performance over time.
The handle is shaped to give you a comfortable grip. Using the handle, you can easily control this small router plane without any struggle.
This small router has a base of 2 and 3/16-inch wide and 4 and 1/8-inch-long. With this small base measurement, fine-tuning your small projects will be very easy. Even though the router plane is small and simply built, it gives enough stability and preciseness to complete your required task.
- Comfortable to hold and use
- The construction of the router plane is solid
- Simple design
- Adjustments are strong and tight
- The router plane can fit into tighter joints
- The base is too small
4. Taytools 468334 Small Router Plane
For cleaning up your small dados, laps, rabbets, and tenons, you will want this router plane. The router plane is suitable for small projects, just like the Woodstock router plane, and they even look alike. The lightweight body and simplicity in design will help you to operate the router plane easily.
The body is made from stress-relieved cast iron. Stress relieving is done by applying heat treatment to cast iron. Constant heat is applied that is below the critical temperature of the cast iron. This process prevents the cast iron body of the router plane from losing its tolerance, cracking, and distortion.
The blade is made of tool steel iron, and the hardness of the steel is 55-60 HRC on the Rockwell scale. This hardness is perfect for the blade as it tends to retain its edge for a long time. So, you don’t have to sharpen the blade frequently. The width of the blade is 1/4-inch.
There is a knob at the back of the blade for holding the blade at the right depth. This solid brass made knob holds the blade firmly and makes the blade very stable while you run the plane.
The sole is precisely flattened for smooth running over your workpiece. The overall size of the base is 4.125-inch in length and 2.25-inch in width. The router plane is weighted only about 8 ounces. So, you can run this router plane even in one hand.
- Weighted only about 8 ounces
- Setting the depth of the blade is easy
- Easy to operate
- The adjustment knob holds the blade tightly
- Affordable price
- The blade doesn’t go deep enough
5. Cowryman R022 Router Plane
This is another Cowryman router plane that has gained my attention with its quality built and precise work. This is the larger router plane compared to the others mentioned in the list. If you want to use a well-made router plane for your bigger projects, then you should get this router plane without a second thought.
The base of this large router plane is 7.87-inch long and 2.56-inch wide. This large base will provide enough reference area while cutting wide dados and large tenons. You will get good stability and accuracy for the router plane when flattening the end grooves of your workpieces.
Attaching a helper hardwood base panel is also possible if you need a wider surface. The wider surface will help you to gain extra stability when necessary. An extra base will help you work on wider dados and long tenons without rolling off the router plane.
The body is made of stainless steel, and the handles are made of wood. The blade is also made of stainless steel and is straight shaped from the tip to the end. Sharpening the traditional blade that is slightly bent is tricky. But you can sharpen this straight blade much quicker.
The wing nut at the back of the router works as an adjuster for the blade. You can set the blade to your preferred position using the screw.
The router plane comes with a fence that you can use for support. By attaching the fence with the base, you will get much stability for cleaning out dados. You can also adjust the fence by sliding throughout the base.
- The straight shape of the blade makes it easy to sharpen
- An adjustable side fence is included
- The base is strong and thick
- A large base plate helps you to reach large tenons
- No tune-ups needed for the router plane
- No depth stop included
Pro Tips for Router Plane User
A router plane consists of an adjustable blade that stays below and parallels to the bed. The blade works the same way a chisel does but offers a firm grip with a controlled cut. This mechanism allows you to cut a surface that is parallel to your reference surface but a bit lower. You can face this situation for a mortise and tenon joint where you need to make a perfect tenon. Making a finer groove is another task a router plane can do. By lowering the blade to reach the lower surface of the groove, you can cut the surface smoother.
As you now know what a router plane is and how it works, it is time for some tips and techniques for using a router plane. Please scroll down to check them in detail.
Keep a Knife Around
When you are flattening the bottom of a dado, you have to run the plane across the grain. In this way, you will find that some of the fivers are attached to each side of the dado. These attached fibers may interfere with your plane to get a clean cut. By using a knife to cut the wood fibers, you can make a smooth bottom of your dado.
When there are some projects where you have to run the plane across the grain, a knife will make things easier.
Flattening Rabbet or Lap Joints and Tenons
When you are flattening slab, rabbet on the end of a workpiece or tenons, you will face that only half of your router plane is referencing off of your workpiece. You may tip the plane as the other half has nothing to reference.
The solution to this situation is to use one hand to hold the plane against the surface. You will use The other hand to cut through the wood by turning the plane.
Make a Referencing Plate
If you need to flatten a large tenon, it will be hard to reference the surface as a little portion of the plane will be sticking to the referencing surface. This will make you struggle to keep your router plane flat. For this situation, you will need to extend the bed for easy referencing the surface.
Now, you can make a base that will extend the bed all the way across. Use hardwood block or board to make the extending base. Make some holes to your hand-made base according to the pre-drilled holes to the base of your router plane. These holes will help you to attach your base to the bed of the router plane. By doing this, you will have a bigger and longer surface for much more reference. You will find this extra reference helpful when you are working on a long edge or other projects where you need stability and accuracy.
Sharpening The Blade
A router plane blade may need to sharpen when the blade is not giving fine cuts. The router plane blade doesn’t require frequent sharpening. From one sharpening, you can use the blade for 3-4 months or even a year.
The sharpening process of the blade is like any chisel or other blade. The blade has two surfaces; one is the bottom, and the other is the bevel. So, you will need to run both blade surfaces along the sharpening stone to sharpen the blade properly.
Frequently Asked Question Answered
1. Is a Router Plane Blade Replaceable?
Yes, you can replace the blade if the blade is lost or unusable. You can find various sizes and shapes of replacement irons from the router plane manufacturer.
2. Are Sharpening Router Plane Blades Necessary?
Router plane blades get dull from usage after a certain time. Sharpening makes the blade usable again.
3. When Should You Use a Router Plane?
A router plane is used for fine-tuning your cuts, recesses, or grooves that you have made using chisels, saws or rabbet plane. You will get a smooth and even surface of tenons, mortises, and inlays using a router plane.
4. How to Set up a Router Plane?
Setting up a router plane means adjusting the blade for making a certain depth of cut. There is always a screw or a knob that works as an adjuster. Before running the router plane, you can use that adjuster to lock the blade in your preferred depth.
I hope my router planes review helps you in finding the best router plane. Still, have any confusions? Don’t be late to mention them in the comment section, and I will respond quickly.
Till then, best wishes to you.