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Jack planes are sometimes called bench planes, hand planes, or wood smoothers. They’ve been used in woodworking extensively for many decades. In fact, the jack plane is found in Egyptian, Mesopotamian, and Roman cultures.
Some people get a kick out of using the same type of tool that their ancestors used, and things haven’t changed with it much, either.
Because of the advancements in science and technology, jack planes have gone through some minor transformations. Therefore, woodworkers can find jack planes in various specifications and configurations. That’s why it’s important to find a jack plane that meets your needs, which is often hard to do with the many options out there.
If you want the best low-angle jack plane, it’s best to continue reading this comprehensive guide. It details the top five products and can help you understand how to use the tool and the benefits of a long-angle plane!
5 Best Low Angle Jack Planes
- Iron construction for more weight
- Smooth and efficient operation
- Easy to adjust
- Classic design (combination of wood and metal construction)
- Versatile enough to tackle different wood types
- Not ideal for very large tasks
There is a huge demand for low-angle jack planes that are efficient and easy to use. The Stanley Hand Planer is a versatile product that works well for many situations. If you want to remove high points from wood, it’s an excellent choice. With that, the classic style and fine edge let you handle medium and light woodworking tasks easily.
Durability is crucial when looking for a jack plane, and this one doesn’t disappoint. Many woodworkers and carpenters appreciate the efficient performance it offers. You’re sure to enjoy the cherry wood handle and knob because they’re highly comfortable to hold. Therefore, it’s effortless to tackle a large woodworking project. Plus, this bench plane has a combination of upgraded features and a traditional design.
Overall, it features a Norris adjustment type, so it’s quite easy to use. You can also adjust the throat plate based on the wood type. There’s also a blade that’s 2 inches wide and 13/16 inches thick.
One more advantage of this product is that it’s easy to change your blades, so you can have different bevel angles, regardless of the type of wood. Plus, this plane performs well when you’re dealing with the end grain on the hardwood.
- Versatile to handle all types of wood
- Comfortable to hold and use
- Ductile cast-iron jack plane
- Features 1-piece brass and frog for more accuracy
- Built-in lateral adjustment feature
- Not flat on the bottom
The Stanley 1-12-137-62 low-angle jack plane features a rugged construction and classic design to provide more longevity. You’re sure to appreciate the extra-thick steel, which is used to make the jack plane. This offers better edge retention. Plus, it’s easy to set up, and the jack plane is square and flat right out of the box!
Cherry wood is used for the knob and handle, which makes a striking aesthetic feature for this jack plane. With that, you have a fantastic look, and it’s comfortable to hold and use for many purposes. You can’t find woodworking tools like this elsewhere!
You’re sure to appreciate the Norris adjustment. There’s also an adjustable throat plate to let you handle different wood products without a problem. On top of it all, it cuts smoothly right out of the box.
There’s a brass adjusting nut that’s polished brightly, and the paint is quite flawless. With that, the iron features a mirror finish, and the cutting blade is wide enough to tackle any smoothing project with perfection.
Additionally, this ductile cast-iron jack plane offers a built-in lateral adjustment feature with a 2-inch-thick blade. That means it’s durable and lightweight. Overall, it’s something that the woodworking industry should take note of!
- One pre-sharpened spare blade included
- Solid brass knob to last longer
- Natural wood handle for ergonomics and comfort
- Brass adjusting nuts
- High-carbon steel blades
- Weighs just 5.76 pounds
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The Caliastro Store Hand Plane features a unique design and is versatile to handle most tasks. Therefore, carpenters, craftsmen, and woodworkers should get a lot of use out of this low-angle jack plane. You’re sure to appreciate that the knob and handle are made using natural wood for more control, grip, and comfort. With that, they are well-crafted, polished, and smooth, giving this hand plane an attractive and shiny look.
It features fully-hardened iron and steel to hold a sharper edge, even when you’re cutting hardwood. With that, the mirror-polished, chrome-plated wedge holds and locks in place within the iron blade. Overall, the wedge control knob is ideal, and it has a machined grey body to offer a smooth bottom.
This plane features a high-carbon steel blade, which is 2 inches thick. You also get multiple blades, which are designed to give you the right results each time. In fact, the sharp blade smoothly polishes the hardest of woods. When it comes time to replace your blade, it’s easy to do, and you can sharpen them easily, as well.
- Ideal for finishing work
- Lightweight to hold for long periods
- Impressive fit
- Adjustability feature on iron base
- High-quality rosewood handle
- Slightly loose blade fittings
Who doesn’t want to have a perfectly finished project? If that’s your goal, then you need the Grizzly Industrial Jack Plane. It weighs just 5.5 pounds, so it’s quite lightweight. With that, you can work for long periods and don’t get hand fatigue.
The ball handle is made of real natural wood and is finished well. However, you may have to put some time into learning how to use the low-angle jack plane. Overall, though, you may want to use it as an heirloom, gifting it to your grandchildren when you’re gone.
This jack plane has a perfectly flat sole, and you don’t have to tune it. In fact, it makes fine shavings quickly and doesn’t cost as much as high-end products while still performing well.
Overall, this jack plane can smooth hardwood precisely. It’s also designed so that all types of woodworkers can use it for finishing. The sharpness of the blade lets you tackle various industrial tasks effortlessly. Plus, the handle ensures that you can grip it comfortably without fear that it might slip off.
- Rugged and durable construction
- Comfortable grip for extended use
- Professional-grade plane
- Contoured and polished grip for more grip
- High-impact polymer handles
- Less-than-perfect performance because of plastic parts
Stanley manufactures high-quality jack planes, so your wood-smoothing project should be easy to complete. Overall, the Stanley Hand Plane (No. 4) offers many outstanding characteristics to help carpenters and woodworkers achieve the best results. With that, the jack plane uses a durable epoxy coating for long-lasting projection and precision.
The angle of this blade is fixed, but you can adjust the frog. With that, the blade depth is flexible, and you can adjust the skew side to side. It’s easy to skew your blade when locking it in. Overall, the adjustments on this hand plane are easy to make and hold well. Plus, the blade is super sharp right from the box.
It features a quick-release lever cap and a double-iron cutting, so you have ultimate control, even on rough surfaces. Plus, there’s no blade chatter with this jack plane because of the machined cutting and frog seatings. In a sense, this low-angle plane lets you finish various benchtop projects easily and efficiently.
Types of Block Planes for Wood End Grain Cutting
Shaving the excess wood from the material is what jack planes are there for. You can find many products on the market, and they are made for specific purposes. These include:
Generally, bench planes range in length from about 9 to 22 inches. It’s more comfortable to straighten an edge when you have a long bench plane because the elongated body bridges rise and dip on the board’s surface.
Overall, hand planes like this are tilted 45 degrees to the side, so they work well for trimming, squaring, and smoothing outboard faces.
Low-angle Block Planes
A low-angle block plane is an ideal for trimming tight and small areas. However, it might not be suitable for straightening boards. The blade on this type of plane is tilted at only 12 degrees.
It’s often easy and comfortable to finish end grains using a block plane like this. Plus, you can operate it with just one hand. This durable tool is also ideal for shaving the door corners, fitting shingles, and finely cutting those miter cuts for the trim.
Standard Block Planes
A bed angle for a standard block plane is 20 degrees, so the cutting angle is 45 degrees. Overall, this tool is appropriate for face grains. However, standard jack planes are more efficient than the block plane option.
How to Use Your Low-angle Jack Plane?
You now know that a low-angle jack plane is primarily used for the initial smoothing of various wood pieces. To get the best results, it’s crucial to use the right procedures and methods. Let’s take a look at the points below to learn how to use your tool:
The items you need include:
- A low angle jack plane
- Sharpening oil
The blade of a low-angle jack plane is quite sharp. Therefore, you must be careful when you change your blade. It’s best to wear gloves and not touch them with bare hands.
1. Sharpen the Blade
If your jack plane isn’t new, you should sharpen the blade each time. Just unscrew your blade and remove it. Then, apply a tiny amount of the sharpening oil to a whetstone. Prop the blade onto the whetstone with its angled side down. Then, in slow, small circles, slide the whetstone down the blade. You should then turn the blade upward and do the same thing but even lighter, with the flat side down.
This is done to remove the burrs from the blade. You can now wipe off the oil and continue to the next step.
2. Position the Blade of the Low-angle Jack Plane
It’s time to screw down the jack plane to lock your blade into the designated area. The sharp end must extend from the bottom of the plane about 1/64 to 1/32 inches.
3. Secure the Work Material
Select a sturdy table for your work material. Use a clamp to secure it to the table so that your wood surface doesn’t move under extreme pressure. For instance, if you want to shave the side from a door, it should be clamped to a table leg or a wall. Consider adding a blanket or towel under the material to prevent marring.
4. Start Working With Your Low-angle Jack Plane
Now, you want to put the jack plane down and push it forward. Make sure that you’re putting on enough pressure to see wood shavings appear behind or in front of the woodworking tool. Following decisive movements, firmly push your jack plane to cut uneven or extra wood. If you don’t, the wood prevents your blade from moving.
Benefits of Using a Low-angle Jack Plane
A woodworker or carpenter can use a low-angle jack plane to handle various tasks. These include chamfers, moldings, draw fittings, and trimming.
Here are the advantages of the jack plane:
- A jack plane at a low angle can eliminate the machine-milling marks to leave the wood piece smooth. Generally, you only require a few passes with the jack plane to get rid of the saw mark.
- Smoothing the end grains is hard, but a jack plane like this lets you handle the work efficiently with little hassle.
- Sometimes, doors and cabinet drawers don’t close smoothly because they’re made too wide. It’s not necessary to take it down if you use the jack plane to shave the high spots off.
- You can chamfer bevels and edges, and this woodworking tool works well in tight or narrow spaces.
When Do You Use Your Low-angle Jack Plane?
This type of tool is ideal for smoothing a wooden surface initially. It’s there to prepare your material for more operations. You can find various planes to shave off extra wood.
What’s the Difference Between a Standard and Low-angle Jack Plane?
The main difference between your low angle jack plane and the standard version is in the bed angle. With a standard jack plane, it’s set at 20 degrees, but low angle jack planes feature a 12-degree bed angle.
Some carpenters and woodworkers say that a standard plane is best for hard-grain boards. However, low-angle planes are ideal for working the end grain (squaring or trimming).
What Angle is the Low-angle Jack Plane Set At?
The bed angle for the low-angle jack plane is about 12 degrees, but the blade is set at a 25-degree angle. This bevel is ideal for handling end-grain trimming in softwood and some hardwood materials.
Overall, a low-angle jack plane offers more comfort and flexibility to the user. This is a manual tool that offers precision where power tools can’t; it’s also easier to control when smoothing out wood end grains.
When you are focused on buying a jack plane, make sure it meets all of your woodworking project’s requirements. You should also think about your budget and preference to ensure that you get something that’s efficient and suitable for your needs.
It’s almost a challenge to say what the best low-angle jack plane is of the five listed here. They can all be used for different purposes and may have specific abilities. Overall, the Stanley brand is one of the best options because the blade sits flat on the material, and you get an adjustable mouth opening. The Stanley No. 62 has a very sharp cutting edge and works well as a smoothing plane. You’re sure to appreciate its metal body. Even though it doesn’t feature dual wood handles, you’re sure to find that it’s slightly lighter than other models!