One of the most helpful tools a woodworker can have is a jack plane. They’re very helpful for shaving wood and smoothing surfaces, and are often seen as indispensable. Whether you’re a new woodworker looking to buy your first jack plane or a veteran looking for a new one, it can be a difficult pick.
This is why we have compiled this list of the 10 best jack planes of 2021. These tools have gone through various improvements, and there is a lot of amazing options available now. So continue reading to find the best one for you.
Top Jack Plane Comparison Table
WoodRiver Jack Plane
Stanley Low Angle Jack Plane
Bench Plane No 5 Iron Jack Plane
TACKLIFE Electric Hand Planer
Stanley 1-12-137 Jack Plane
10 Best Jack Plane Reviews
The jack planes chosen for this list are excellent. We’ll examine them and see their pros and cons.
1. WoodRiver Jack Plane
Woodcraft is a very well-known American brand. Specializing in saws, planes, and power tools, their WoodRiver jack plane is a solid choice. Both beginners and experienced woodworkers will find this to their liking.
It works well with both hardwood and softwood, thanks to its 2-3/8 inches high carbon steel blade. The carbon content in the steel makes the blade sufficiently strong and durable. It is also resistant to rust, which makes it easier to maintain and keep in top form.
Both a wooden knob and handle are featured in the design. This allows for more flexible use, which makes it an amazing pick for most jobs. High-quality wood is used to make the handle and knob, and they feel great to the touch.
The ductile iron body is sturdy and perfectly squared. A minimal tune-up is required when using this tool, which makes it a great beginning tool for new woodworkers. The milled ramp secures the blade incredibly well, allowing for smooth cuts.
One issue with the blade might be the price for most people. However, the high-quality product is well worth it.
- The high-quality blade makes for smooth cuts
- Very easy to use and requires a minimal tune-up
- The handle is smooth and reduces fatigue during work
- Extremely tight design and usable with both softwood and hardwood
- One of the most expensive options on this list
2. Stanley No 62 Low Angle Jack Plane
The Stanley No 62 (also known as the Sweetheart) is a top-of-the-line low-angle jack plane. It has a stunning, high-quality look to it and functions just as well. The 3/16 inch thick and 2-inch wide A2 steel is good for cutting and has impressive edge retention. It won’t go dull anytime soon.
It features a Cherry wood handle and knob. Alongside the added flexibility is the great comfort the handle provides due to its smooth design and high-quality wood. You can work long hours, and your hands still won’t ache. The iron casting makes for a perfect balance of durability and weight.
And it weighs in at 5.9 pounds, which makes the tool quite easy to work with and carry. The Norris type adjustable throat blade makes this a versatile tool. It can work with many wood types.
This is one of our top picks. If you’re specifically looking for a low-angle jack plane, look no further than Stanley No 62. It has all you would want and boasts a reasonable price tag.
- Can work with different wood types
- No tune-up is required and can be worked with right out of the box
- Impressive edge retention and cutting power on the blade
- Smooth and comfortable handle that prevents hand fatigue
- There are no cons worth mentioning
3. E.C Emmerich Jack Plane
While E.C Emmerich’s jack plane is much simpler in design compared to the other ones, it is still a solid pick. Weighing in at 2.5 pounds, it is one of the lightest jack planes available. The compact design makes it portable and quite easy to work with.
And the steel blade is of German origins, so it boasts good sharpness and high edge retention. It is also corrosion and rust-resistant, so it is very durable. The blade is embedded at 45 degrees and features wedge adjustment.
Emmerich’s jack plane only has a single handle and does not feature a knob. This does make it less flexible to use. However, the Cherry wood handle is finely designed and comfortable to hold.
One important thing to note about the Emmerich is that there are two versions. And one version is made for the right hand and the other version for left-hand use. When buying this jack plane, remember to get the right model for you.
- German-made high-quality blade with impressive edge retention
- Sturdy design and very lightweight
- Very smooth and comfortable handle
- One of the more affordable options on this list
- The lack of a knob makes it comparatively less flexible
4. Bench Plane No 5 Iron Jack Plane – Best Budget Jack Plane
Personally speaking, this is a must-have, especially for more experienced woodworkers. Featuring a 14 inch long and 2-inch wide iron body, the jack plane weighs in at 5.76 pounds. It is very sturdy and features a smooth base that makes it incredibly easy to work it. You can make very precise cuts when using it.
Further aiding the cutting prowess is the 2-inch high carbon steel blade. The steel has been fully hardened and tempered. It retains its edge incredibly well and is deadly sharp. Avoid testing the sharpness as you can easily cut your finger. The blade is also resistant to rust.
For flexible use, Bench Plane No 5 features a solid wood handle and knob. They both have a highly glossed finish, which makes the jack plane look very attractive. The blade is attached via a brass nut, which has a greater lifetime than other attachment methods. Your blade will remain properly secure.
This jack plane comes with a spare blade of the same quality. It’s hard not to recommend this one as it can be used to tackle various projects.
- Highly attractive and functional design
- The smooth base helps with cutting
- An extremely sharp blade with high edge retention
- The brass cutter adjustment knob makes it very versatile
- There are no cons worth mentioning
5. TACKLIFE Electric Hand Planer – Best Power Hand Planer
The TACKLIFE power hand planer is a different beast. A 7.5 Amp planar guidance motor runs this power hand planer. The motor powers the two double-edged carbide blades. What you get is smooth, fast, and precise cutting due to the powerful blades.
Weighing in at 6 pounds, the TACKLIFE power hand planer isn’t very heavy and easy to work with. The comfortably designed handle reduces fatigue, so you can easily work for long hours with this power tool. And the machine is very durable thanks to the aluminum front and rear shoes.
Moreover, the shoes also help in making parallel cuts, so they serve a double function. A lock button exists to prevent accidental starting, which makes this a safe tool.
A depth knob exists, which gives the power hand planer a great deal of precision when working. The knob has 15 stops, which allow you to control the depth of the cut better. So you can tackle many tasks using this tool.
If you don’t mind using a power jack plane, then this one is the one you should choose. It will practically do your work for you once you learn how to operate it.
- Sharp and powerful carbide blades allow for smooth cutting
- A safety feature is in place to prevent accidental starting
- Spring-loaded stands help to protect the blades when not in use
- Great depth adjustment thanks to the knob
- Not very useful for smaller projects
6. Stanley 1-12 -137 Jack Plane
This is an incredibly good pick for beginners. Stanley’s jack plane emphasizes ease of use alongside its good performance. The one-piece base and frog means that you can use it straight out of the box with minimal tuning. And the blade constructed out of A2 steel is thick and durable.
It possesses decent cutting prowess, and the edge retention is quite high. You won’t need to sharpen it very often, and it will perform quite well. Due to the smooth base, you can cut with great accuracy and precision.
Ductile iron casting is used in the construction. It weighs in at 6.3 pounds and is very durable. And it can tackle both softwood and hardwood due to the adjustable throat plate, making it a versatile tool.
Like Stanley’s other jack planes, it also has the Cherry wood handle and knob. Using this tool is a comfortable experience and, overall, a great gateway jack plane for beginners. Usable straight out of the box and low maintenance are some of the most desirable features.
- No tune-up is required for using it
- An adjustable throat plate makes the jack plane versatile
- Blade possesses high edge retention and cuts nicely
- A sturdy and functional design that promotes ease of use
- The sharpness of the blade, while decent, is not the best
7. ECE Jack Plane
While there are many new jack planes with many features and unique designs, there’s still a place for traditional ones, especially among more experienced woodworkers. If you are looking for a more traditional work tool and want the most boom for your buck, look no further than E.C Emmerich’s jack plane.
This jack plane is one of the lightest ones available. It is compact and made out of high-quality wood, so it is quite durable. The German-made blade cuts very precisely and has high edge retention. So you have a jack plane that shaves wood easily and is very easy to use. It is usable with both softwood and hardwood.
Since it possesses a more traditional design, it only has one handle and features no knob. The handle is quite well-carved and very comfortable to use, so the lack of a knob is very much a non-issue.
If you don’t care too much about the older design and want a reliable working tool, you won’t be disappointed. Experienced woodworkers will find this option incredibly useful.
- Extremely lightweight and compact design
- Integral wedge support makes it very sturdy and precise
- One of the cheapest jack planes, affordable
- A very good blade that cuts well and requires little maintenance
- Might not be too appealing for new woodworkers
8. Grizzly Industrial H7568 22″ Smoothing Plane
Giving your woodworking projects a good finish can be difficult. Fortunately, Grizzly Industrial’s smoothing plane is the perfect fit for the job.
Featuring a strong steel blade for good finishing work, it cuts very smoothly. Expect a perfect finish when cutting with this. The cast iron body results in great durability, and it weighs 5.5 pounds. This is quite a useful and easy to use jack plane further helped by the smooth sole.
Both a handle and knob are featured for flexible use. These are both constructed out of Rosewood, giving them an impressive look. The handle is amazingly comfortable and designed to have a good grip. It won’t be slipping while working anytime soon.
And the sole is noteworthy since it is serrated. This results in much less friction allowing for a more smooth cutting action. Overall, this is a very good jack plane to have just for finishing woodwork. It offers so much and is extremely comfortable to use.
- Serrated sole allows for the smooth cutting action
- Rosewood handle is designed to have anti-slip properties
- Very durable tool and requires little maintenance
- Doesn’t require any tune-up to start working
- The blade fitting isn’t as tight as it should be
9. Stanley 12-404 Adjustable Bench Plane
The 12-404 adjustable bench plane is an incredibly precise and useful tool. It measures 9 inches long and only weighs 2.75 inches. So it’s quite light, but the high-quality cast iron body makes it very sturdy. It is one of the most reliable jack planes out there. The 2-inch cutter used in this jack tool is quite amazing.
Moreover, the hardened, tempered steel gives the cutter extreme durability and impressive cutting power. High precision cutting is made easy using this blade, and the high edge retention is also noteworthy. The cutter is also manually adjustable, so you have a great deal of control over depth and alignment.
This makes it a great pick for many experienced woodworkers who are tackling complex projects. Polymer handles and knobs are used. They are shaped to be very comfortable to hold and allow for a tight grip.
Also, the handle and knob are polished, so they look great and are very sturdy. The base is made out of cast iron, and the sides are grounded. This makes it easier to fix it onto wood surfaces and makes for a smooth cutting action.
- Smooth and precise cutting action
- Very comfortable and sturdy polymer handle
- An adjustable cutter allows for great versatility
- Very lightweight and easy to use
- The blade fixing is not up to par with the other ones on this list
10. Bench Dog Tools No 5-1/2 Jack Plane
Finishing off the list is Bench Dog Tools’ jack plane. It is very versatile and solid, weighing in at 4.85 pounds. The heart of this tool is the 2 inches wide and 3/16 inch thick steel blade. High carbon steel has been tempered and hardened to make it strong and have deadly cutting prowess.
The cutting angle of this blade is set at 37 degrees. Further helping with the smooth cutting action is the cast iron sole. The sole is made extremely flat with very low sole flatness tolerance. This allows it to easily stick to most wooden surfaces and make fine cuts.
An adjustable mouthpiece makes this an extremely versatile choice and can be used for many projects. Solid Sapele is used for the handle and knob. The handle is finely designed and is grooved to fit your fingers well. It heavily reduces hand fatigue during long work hours.
Overall, this is very much worth considering for your purchase. The flat sole, along with the powerful blade, makes for a very effective combo that is definitely worth the price tag.
- Very sharp and strong blade
- Versatile and usable in many different contexts
- Tight blade attachment method due to the brass nut
- Very flat sole, which helps with smooth cutting
- One of the more expensive options on this list
What to Look for before Buying a Jack Plane?
It’s easy to end up buying a jack plane that doesn’t feel right or end up not living to your expectations. To avoid such scenarios, here are some things you should take note of before buying.
The heart of this tool is the blade since it allows it to do its job. And the blade is the first thing you should take note of. You want a blade with decent cutting ability but is also sturdy. High edge retention is also a good thing to look for as it means the blades won’t chip easily and lose the edge.
Another thing you should take note of is the clamping of the blade. Make sure the cutter is tightly secured. This is important as this will make your work much smoother.
A smooth sole is something you should always consider. It makes the cutting process much smoother and faster. If you’re planning on making precision cuts, a smooth sole is absolutely necessary and should be a top priority.
The process of smoothing down rough stock is a demanding process. It helps to have a sturdy design so that it withstands the rough process. A sturdy design also equates to a longer life, which is always a plus.
Some tasks require a lot of time to complete, so having an ergonomic handle becomes essential. Look for a smooth, comfortable grip made out of high-quality wood. This will help prevent hand fatigue and allow you to work more comfortably for longer durations.
A knob is also helpful since it allows more flexible use. If you’re a beginner, a knob can be quite helpful and make your cutting smoother.
Throat or Mouth Adjustment
A throat or mouth adjustment feature is a good thing to look out for. It allows you to control the cuts you make. You can be quite creative and versatile thanks to being able to make these adjustments.
These are a few key things you should watch out for when picking your jack plane. A good tool really improves your work.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here we have the most commonly asked queries regarding the best jack planes:
What is a jack plane?
A jack plane or hand plane is a woodworking tool. Jack planes are used to smoothen down rough wood or timber. What makes them different from other hand planes is that they possess greater accuracy and flattening capability. They typically range in size from 12 to 18 inches long and 2 to 3 inches wide.
What is the use of a jack plane?
They are primarily used to smoothen down the rough stock. Due to their higher flattening capability, they are the first choice in removing rough patches in timber and making them uniform for later use. They are not used for a smooth finish due to their ability to make deeper cuts.
What is a low angle jack plane for?
A low angle jack plane is used for smoothening down rough wood surfaces. However, they also have additional uses since they can be used for making miters for forming joints.
What is the difference between a jack plane and a bench plane?
Jack planes are a specific type of bench plane. Bench planes that have sole sizes like No 5 and 5 and a half are commonly referred to as jack planes.
We hope you find this list of the 10 best jack planes to your liking. This list was carefully crafted and took into consideration things like versatility, usefulness, and how much the jack planes appeal to both beginners and experienced woodworkers.