It’s great to have a router plane for certain woodworking tasks. So you may as well get the best router plane for your money by using our guide.
Admittedly, a router plane isn’t the first woodworking hand plane you think about getting when you’re trying to set up your woodshop. But then again, you will most likely encounter tasks in woodworking for which the router plane is your best tool to use. And if you’re going to use a router tool, then you owe it to yourself to get the best router tool you can buy for your money.
But which one should you get? With so many options available, we’ve narrowed down the list for you with these excellent examples:
Cowryman Router Plane Reviews
Cowryman offers several similar variants of router planes, with somewhat different features and price points.
Cowryman Handheld Router Plane Review
This has a stainless steel body with wooden handles. The body is 4.13 inches long and 2.75 inches wide. The iron (blade) is 0.31 inches (5/16 of an inch), and this adjusted easily with the screw.
The blade is quite sharp right out of the box, which sure is convenient. The blade also retains its edge very well. It’s been machined true, so there’s no real need for extensive tuning. You won’t have to smoothen out and level the router plane’s bottom plate.
This is quite accurate when you want to take off a teeny shaving when planing out tenons for a better fit. It’s also a nice alternative to a large router, which can be bothersome to set up when you’re only going to use it for a few minutes.
The wood handles are very comfortable to use, although some people with larger hands may find it challenging to get a good grasp on them.
Cowryman R022 Router Plane Review
This also has a stainless steel body and wooden handles. It is 7.87 inches long and 2.56 inch wide, with a 0.31-inch blade. The blade can be adjusted easily enough with the screw. Your purchase also comes with a fence.
This works very well if you plan on using it to finish upon dados and tenons. The base of the tool is ¼ of an inch thick, so there’s no problem with flexing. The large base offers a great platform for wide dados, tenons, and rabbets.
The blade is sharp out of the box, and it can retain the edge for a long while.
Again, the wood handles are probably the most problematic here, as quite a few people may find them just a tad too small. It’s not easy to hold for people with large hands. The wood may feel nice to the touch, but quite a few would probably prefer its size to double.
Cowryman R023 Router Plane Review
This is the most affordable of the router planes from Cowryman, and that’s probably because it doesn’t feature wooden handles. It has metal handles instead shaped like regular cylinders to go with the stainless steel body. You just grasp the metal handles with your thumb and forefinger, and you’re good to go.
The body is 3.15 inches long and 1.89 inches wide, while the blade is 0.118 of an inch. It’s basically a mini router plane for small projects. The small size and the small handles may be challenging at first, but with practice you should be able to use this with some skill.
Woodstock D3830 Router Plane Review
Now this looks much different with the solid-looking cast iron body. That means you can expect this to last for a very long while.
Instead featuring an upright handle on each side, you have a low wall traversing the length of the tool to let you maneuver it. The grip is comfy enough to let you control it with precision.
The base of the router plane is 4⅛ inches long and 2 3/16 inches wide. The blade is ¼ of an inch wide and it’s easy enough to adjust. You just turn the lock screw and give a few light strokes of the blade, and you’re able to adjust the depths of the hinge mortises and dados.
Just be aware that this is a very small router plane. You’ll find it more suitable to use when you’re dealing with dados in the range of about ⅜ of an inch. This is not meant to plow through wood. It’s for very tight spaces only.
Taytools 468334 Small Router Plane Review
This router plane is created from a “stress-relieved” pliable cast iron. The sole has been machined with exquisite precision, to within a thousandth of an inch over the whole length of the sole.
The base measurements are 4.125 inches in length and 2.25 inches in width, with a weight of just 8 ounces. The ¼-inch blade here is quite impressive, and you use a solid brass knob to adjust the blade and lock it in place. When you’re not using the router plane, you can get the blade to retract into the base for protection.
This gets the job done, and the sharp blade really helps right out of the box. You will need a lot of practice with it, however, if you have large hands.
What Is a Router Plane?
A router plane is a type of woodworking hand plane that you can use to level and trim and the bottoms of joint recesses. The iron of the router plane cuts like the blade of a chisel but it is set inside a metal or wooden body of the tool. It typically has a way to let you adjust the depth of the cut it makes.
The blades (also known as the irons) are very noticeable in his type of tool. The blades are cranked at the bottom even as the irons are fitted vertically into the plane. The cutting edge is always bevel-up and the setup of the blades ensures that they attack the wood at the proper angle.
The router plane is no longer as popular as it used to be, as electrically-powered routers are generally faster to use and more versatile. But in some cases, a router plane is a very handy tool to have for certain tasks.
Uses of Router Planes
A router plane is a tool you use to cut a surface that’s parallel to its sole. This particular function makes it an ideal tool for use in certain situations:
- You can use a router plane to work into the ends of stopped grooves and dadoes.
- You can use it to refine half lap and bridle joints.
- It can true and trim tenon cheeks.
- After using a chisel, a router plane can finish a hinge mortise.
Basically, this can plane the recesses in the work to an even depth. You can then work on corners that you can only get to with a chisel.
Things to Look Before Buying Router Planes
Some people can have a woodshop that doesn’t even have a single router plane. But you can also find people who end up having lots of router planes, though generally that’s because they’ve become antique collectors of early route planes. But for this list of factors to consider, we will assume you’re looking for a router plane you actually plan to use.
Just about every modern router plane comes with a metal body, such as cast iron or stainless steel. If you find a wooden router plane, it’s probably an antique.
Long Rectangular Base
It’s great if you have an open frame for your router plane. It gives you clear visibility so you’re able to see your work area right below the router.
Some router planes use stainless steel that won’t rust. Others have a coating or a nickel plating to keep rust at bay for a very long time.
You can get a large and a small router plane, though it depends on the projects you’re working on. It’s also about how comfortable you are in using them.
A smaller router plane can let you work on tighter spots, though you may have some trouble using the tool if you have large hands. A bigger router plane can provide you with good base support.
A router plane should work smoothly and not give you any problems. The real way to determine the suitability of the router plane is to use it. If you find it useful and you get great results, then it’s a great tool. If you’re not satisfied, you need to replace it with something better.
You need a router plane if you’re constantly cleaning up tenon cheeks and cutting dado joints. You should also get one if you want to produce a level base for your decorative inlays and to give a flat bottom to your mortises. The best router plane can be a pleasure to use, and you should be pleased with the results as well. Once you start using a router plane, you may end looking for projects on which you will always need this tool.