The Block Plane

Most woodworkers think of a block plane as a hand plane about 6″ long without a tote (rear handle) that can be held in one hand easily.  (Most non-woodworkers call this a “planer” which, to woodworkers, is something else.)

One definition of a block plane is a hand plane with blade installed on a low-angle bed (commonly 12 or 20 degrees), bevel-up.  By that rule, this Primus 6″ wooden plane, made by E.C. Emmerich Company, whose blade is installed bevel-down on a 50-degree bed does not qualify as a block plane, yet it is described as one.  Yes, it is a small plane easily controlled with one hand.

That rule does include low-angle (bevel-up) smoothers, jacks, and jointer planes in the category of block planes.  This is how Lie-Nielsen Toolworks, Inc. classifies their planes.  That means each of these planes could be called a block plane.

But I cannot think of any way to stretch the definition to include a plane such as this one.  Can you?

7 thoughts on “The Block Plane

  1. But the Great Neck SAYS professional right on the box! That means it has to be good, right? Maybe you could just call it a block plain… Or a plain block… Either are just about as useful. I spelled it correctly above… A Plain Block would be a useful paperweight…

    1. Jonathan,

      Maybe we are misunderstanding the packaging. Perhaps this plane is marketed towards professionals such as lawyers and accountants who want something on their desk to play with, not use.


      1. Well it might be for the military or procrastinators. It says on the box that it is for ‘finishing’ (procrastinators never finish anything, so there is no danger there of it being used) or ‘General’ work (Perhaps these items are for Generals to threaten the troops with: Follow my orders or I’ll use THIS on the stocks of your rifles!!).

  2. And it is yours for the bargain price of 19.95 plus shipping. Break Neck will make you one, that right folks, buy this gem and you too will be a Professional Planer as well. Call this 800 number right now and we throw in the DVD, Planing made Simple, or how to improve your Life Skills, one stroke at a time. Dont wait this is a limited time offer (until we run out this POS) so hurry and get that phone dialing.

  3. Even (slightly) more amazing is the printing on the box by the rear tote (If I can read it correctly) — “Made in USA” ?????

I would be delighted if you left a comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s