If you are a woodworking professional or DIY enthusiast, you, without a doubt, know that a hand planer is one of the essential tools you need to have in your workshop or home. With these tools, you can make all types of modifications on wooden surfaces.
Non-electric hand planers are often viewed as being old-school, but they still are an excellent pick as they allow you to make unique modifications you would have otherwise struggled with the electric counterparts.
Therefore, in this article, you will be taken through five of the best non-electric hand planers on the market, as well as the buyer’s guide. Eventually, you will be in a much better position to make a knowledgeable decision regarding which hand planer best suits your needs.
Taytools 469614 Smoothing Bench Hand Plane #4, 9-3/4 Inch Sole, Ductile Cast Body, Lapped Sides and Bottom
GreatNeck C4 Bench-Jack Plane | 9 Inch Plane, 2 Inch Cutter | Flattens or Reduces Wood Thickness | Useful Woodworking Tool | Adjustable to Control the Depth of Cut | Cast Iron Body & Wood Handles
Hand Plane for Wood, Katfort Smooth Plane Adjustable Wood Plane Bench Planer Smoothing Planer for Woodworking, with 1 Blade 1 Wood Fixer and 1 Replacement Blade
Detailed Product Info & Reviews
1. Stanley 12 – 404 No.4 Adjustable Bench Plane
This hand planer is ideal if you want a tool that offers you with a robust design, thereby allowing you to have an excellent grip, which consequently allows for an extended period of use and improved accuracy. It is also a great choice due to its compact design, which ensures it does not take much space in your toolbox and still very much adept at delivering outstanding performance.
Featured on this hand planer is a 9 3/4-inch adjustable bench that has a 2-inch blade, which therefore helps you in making smooth and high-quality finishes. It is made out of tempered and hardened steel that gives the precision-ground cutter improved edge durability.
Additionally, this cutter has heavy-duty polymer knobs as well as handles that are polished and contoured. Its high impact polymer also allows for an easier time when using this tool as well as adding to the authenticity of this hand planer. Therefore, these incorporated features not only help improve durability but also allow for improved results.
Included in this hand planer are also other features such as the quick release cam-lock, which enables the easy removal of the blade. It is also an excellent pick if you want a plane that allows you to adjust both the alignment and depth, subsequently always have precise control over your hand at all times.
The design of this hand planer features an epoxy finish, which does the role of safeguarding it from corrosion. To make things even better, this manufacturer has included a limited warranty, so you can confidently use this machine even on projects that are rough without having to worry about it getting damaged. Consequently, this allows you to focus more on your work and making cuts that are even and smooth.
Furthermore, this hand planer is an excellent choice if you are new at planing thanks to its sharpness, quality, and sharpness, and this is thanks to its versatility hence helping you attain smooth finishes.
Some buyers have complained about a few design flaws of this planer, including a thin blade, no chip breaker, no simple way of adjusting either the plane’s angle or level as well as knife control being too small and poorly positioned.
What We Like
- An ideal pick for beginners
- It has a durable and solid build quality
- It always delivers sharp and smooth finishes
- Its quality is excellent
What We Don’t Like
- You might experience working area problem due to its width
2. Taytools 469614 Smoothing Jack Plane #4
When searching for the best non-electric hand planer, it is always advisable you buy one that provides you with slightly more value than your current needs. This attribute is what makes Taytools Jack Plane #4 a no brainer as it is very practical and allows you to scale, with this possible thanks to the several remarkable features that it has that improve its overall range of use.
This hand planer features an attractive rosewood knob and handles, which enables you to achieve remarkable control and grip. It has a high-quality cast iron steel body positioned below it and on the sides that ensure every imperfection on your artwork is removed. Moreover, it also has an adjustable screw that makes it considerably easier to adjust the cut’s depth as well as a cutter made from high carbon steel.
It also has several remarkable features, including heavy-duty ductile iron castings, high carbon steel blades, and entirely machined adjustable frogs. The blade adjustment, as well as the rear, have an increased diameter, which makes it simple for you to advance the blade.
Moreover, the traditional style bearing and lateral adjustment lever ensure you have improved control over this hand planer. Therefore, this allows it not only to be comfortable on your hands but also better achieve work that is of better quality.
This planer has castings that weigh in at four pounds as well as fully machined frogs that allow for an easier time using and maneuvering the tool as you strive towards attaining the desired quality. It also is very wide, and this will enable you to have an easier time as you try and make the wooden surfaces smooth and even.
Before you sharpen the plane iron, it first should be reground because it does not come already ground. Additionally, this hand planer’s sole is completely flat and uniform, so you will need to set aside some time to tune it so as to achieve the desired setting, with this usually very inconvenient, especially if you have no idea how to do tune a planer.
What We Like
- It is quite heavy hence comfortable on your hands
- Its build quality is incredible
- Using and adjusting its settings is straightforward
What We Don’t Like
- It can be somewhat challenging to work on small wood pieces
3. The GreatNeck C4 Plane
When looking for the best non-electric hand planer that provides you with the robust build quality and can produce both coarse and fine woodworking tasks, look no further as the GreatNeck C4 plane is a perfect choice. With this planer, you are guaranteed of high-quality design as well as effective performance on all the tasks you do.
Integrated into this 9-inch bench-jack hand planer are two-inch steel cutters that you can resharpen as well as adjustable blades. Its body plus durable wooden handle usually appears polished and machined. Therefore, if you want a machine that guarantees you a solid and sturdy build perfect for both heavy-duty and professional use, then look no further than the GreatNeck C4 hand planer.
Its design has dual wood handles that allow for added control when using this planer, and this is very much welcomed because this enables you to achieve more precise cuts. This also allows for more comfort when using this tool, hence allowing you to make use of it for an extended duration without feeling too fatigued. Furthermore, the edges of this hand planer can be easily adjusted both for the depth of cut and laterally, thereby allowing you to achieve the desired cuts with ease.
One of the best things about this hand planer is its affordable price, which makes it a bargain considering its fairly reliable performance that can match other highly-priced models. Thus, so long as you have enough knowledge on how to best use this tool, you need to consider buying it since it will be of incredible assistance and relatively effective.
The quality of this hand planer is not identical to some of the other more expensive models on the market. This is evidenced by its design having things such as no-flat chip breaker as well as plastic handles. Because of this inferior build quality, this hand planer is not very long-lasting and will need replacement after repeated use, and this more so if you often use it on heavy-duty applications.
What We Like
- It is very effective
- You get incredible value with this hand planer
- Its performance is exceptional when you set it up correctly
- It is easy to use
What We Don’t Like
- Its build quality is not that great due as it incorporates plastic handles
- It needs a lot of tuning before use
4. Kattol Smoothing Hand Planer
Are you looking for a planer that has an appealing and outstanding design? If so, then you are in luck since this hand planer incorporates that while still simultaneously providing you with exceptional performance.
This Kattol bench planer is ideal if you often love deviating from what is considered the norm as it marginally moves away from the classic metallic and wooden finish associated with most other hand planers on the market.
Integrated into this planer is a cutter that rests are 40-degrees, thereby making it ideal for planing all types of grain, with this enough proof that it does not only have a beautiful design. It also comes with an adjustable bench plane that has a two-inch blade. Moreover, it features knobs and handles which have been made from robust polymer, and these two play an essential role in making the hand planer more comfortable on your hands.
Thanks to this, you can make use of this tool for an extended duration without straining from a lot of fatigue, hence making you become even more effective in your duties.
This hand planer also stands out yet again, unlike its competitors on the market, as it comes fitted with a Manganese steel blade cutter that allows you accurate adjustability as you make use of the double adjusting screws. Thus, you never have to struggle as you adjust the alignment as well as the depth of this cutter.
Whereas the exceptional design of this planer is without a doubt out of the question, it still guarantees you durability. Therefore, you get to use it for a prolonged period without becoming less effective, with this is usually made possible thanks to the wear and rust-resistant coating and finish.
Additionally, you also never have to worry about the woodworking tasks you are using it for, as it still promises to be useful and simultaneously resistant to getting damaged easily. It is also lightweight, thereby allowing you to do your woodworking jobs without any strain, subsequently making you more efficient.
One of the downsides of this hand planer is that its bevel is not flat and uniform, incorrectly angled, and not sharpened correctly. Moreover, both the blade and frog do not sit as required, and this eventually affects its usefulness.
What We Like
- Its build quality is robust and durable
- Using this hand planer is very comfortable
- Very practical as it can be used on numerous applications
- It has a unique and beautiful finish
What We Don’t Like
- It is somewhat tricky to make use of the adjustment screws
5. 1PCS Metal Woodworking Blade Spoke Shave Manual Planer
Have you just recently ventured into woodworking tasks? If so, the 1PCS metal woodworking blade is the perfect choice for you as this hand planer allows you to perfect your woodworking skills without having to break the bank. Getting a high-end hand planer as you are still perfecting your skills is usually somewhat counterintuitive, and this is where this tool excels as it offers you the much-needed experience while still remaining very effective.
The one thing that stands about this hand planer is that it does not have a lot of features needed to help you during the woodworking tasks. Instead, its primary role is assisting you in completing the job within the required period as you hone your woodworking skills, the more you get used to it.
However, it incorporates an adjustable cutter that enables you to make smooth and even cuts. Subsequently, after using it repeatedly is when you get to reap the benefits, making it an indispensable tool if you are looking to practice on becoming better at planing.
Despite having fewer features incorporated into its design, this hand planer is still an excellent choice that proves useful before you invest in a more advanced tool. It is particularly great for the use of projects that are very small to shape wood as well as eliminate any imperfection on wood.
With this hand planer, you have an improved control as you carry out your woodworking tasks, hence helping you perfect your skills faster by reducing the frequency at which you make errors. Additionally, whereas it is significantly cheaper than other hand planers on the market, it is still made out of high-quality materials.
This hand planer does not incorporate a lot of features, and this makes it only ideal if you are a beginner. For skilled woodworkers, this tool lacks some crucial features which are necessary to help make cuts that are even and smooth while still allowing for versatility across a broad range of woodworking tasks.
What We Like
- This planer provides you with more control
- It is of high-quality and durable
- Its uses are diverse
What We Don’t Like
- You need some time to get used to using this tool.
Buyer’s Guide for Non-Electric Hand Planers
Looking for a hand plane is often a complicated endeavor, as well as a personal one. When looking for the best non-electric hand planer, you need to look into several factors that will allow you to make a knowledgeable decision before spending your hard-earned money. Therefore, in this guide, you will be taken through the features you need to consider that will guide you in choosing a planer that best suits your needs.
Safety of the hand planer
Safety is vital, especially because using hand planers is, in most cases, dangerous since its blades might accidentally slice through your fingers. Moreover, this is more so the case when you are using a hand plane that has a cutter that is exposed.
Thus, if you are a beginner or overly cautious, you should instead opt for a hand planer with a design that enhances the safety of not only your fingers but also your other body parts. With such a tool, you will be able to get more work done as you will be free from any concern of cutting yourself, hence concentrating more and achieving better results.
Price of the planer
Price is, without a doubt, an essential factor that you need to consider when looking for a hand planer. This is especially the case because there are different types of planers on the market, but often price along with your personal requirements are often the limiting factor.
The better the quality of a planer, the costlier it is, but your goal should not be to buy the most expensive model. It should instead be to buy the tool that falls within your set budget, and to do this; you need to have a clear understanding of the materials used to make the tool as well as its features.
The type of hand planer
There are several types of hand planers that perform different uses, so you first need to assess your needs to make an informed decision regarding which type you should buy. For instance, if you are a novice in carrying out woodworking projects, you should get the bevel down hand planer. Nevertheless, after you have honed your skills, you should get a planer which incorporates more advanced features to perform more specific purposes.
Convenience and efficiency
The hand planer you buy needs to be able to carry out all duties conveniently and quickly. With it, the final product needs to be uniform and smooth, while still making your work easier, hence saving you from a lot of strain. Nevertheless, this is only possible if you buy a planer that best suits your work requirements.
Blades, cutting depth and accessories
Cutting depth is the quantity of wood that a blade installed in a plane can cut in one pass, and this is another vital factor that you need to take into consideration when looking for the best non-electric hand planer. Typically, the most recommended blade you should look to have are the ones made out of carbide as they provide you with more durability.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
(Q) What are the different types of hand planers?
(A) Hand planers are usually classified into three types, that is joinery planes, bench planes, and molding planes, with each of these having a different function. The bench planes are used for smoothing, flattening as well as dimensioning wood and are the most popular hand planers types, whereas the molding planes are made use when cutting decorative profiles on wooden surfaces. Lastly, joinery planers are typically specialty hand planers that are used for either finishing or making joints.
(Q) Which is the best hand planer for professional use?
(A) All the types of planers are useful, and it all depends on the tasks at hand you are looking to accomplish to determine which of the different types best meets your needs. Therefore, any time you feel your current hand planer is not helping you carry out your duties, you then should get yourself another one which is better suited to the job at hand.
(Q) What should you do prior to using a hand planer?
(A) Hand planers are usually dangerous woodworking tools, so caution needs always to be observed. Some of the things you need to do before using your planer include:
- Carefully going through the planer’s user manual.
- Understanding the instructions in the user manual before you even make use of the tool.
- Study both the applications and limitations of the planer.
- Go through the General Safety Tips to observe when using this machine.
(Q) What should you inspect before using a hand planer?
- Is the fence positioned correctly?
- Is the hand planer lubricated property?
- Are all the accessories or parts in a suitable working state?
- Do the knives have the appropriate depth of cut and clearance? Also, are they balanced, sharp, and balanced firmly?
If you are looking for the best non-electric hand planer on the market, reading through this article has bestowed you with some great insight. You now know of five of the best non-electric hand planers on the market that you need to take single out and see which best fits your needs.
However, the Stanley 12 – 404 No.4 Adjustable Bench Plane stands out from the rest as being the best, and with it, you will never have any troubles achieving a smooth and uniform cut. If you are on a tight budget, you should not feel left out since the 1PCS Metal Woodworking Plane is an excellent choice that provides you with a decent performance.