Low angle vs standard angle block plane

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

JohnPW

Established Member
Joined
5 Jun 2013
Messages
961
Reaction score
68
Location
London
Low angle block plane: 12 degree bed angle + 25 blade bevel = 37 effective pitch.

Standard angle block plane: 20 degree bed angle + 25 blade bevel = 45 effective pitch.

If I put a 33 degree bevel blade on the low angle plane: 12 degree bed angle + 33 blade bevel = 45 effective pitch, would it perform the same as the standard angle plane?

The plane would be used as a small normal plane to work on small pieces of wood, not just for one handed trimming, chamfers etc.
 
Last edited:

D_W

Established Member
Joined
24 Aug 2015
Messages
9,517
Reaction score
1,909
Location
PA, US
you can choose tearout control by total angle, and it'll work like any other single iron plane, more or less.

If you're shooting for 45 degrees total, a low angle plane will give you a stronger bevel than a standard 20 degree plane (33 bevel fares much better if the surface left matters at all).

That said, if 33+20 is 53 on a standard angle plane, unless you're removing a great deal of material, it's not going to matter much (and the standard pitch plane may be nicer to use because it forces a little higher of an angle - giving you some forgiveness if you're beveling or chamfering long edges with it (where a lower pitch may pick up splinters/tearout, even with the mouth mostly closed - tearout always screws up the cut more ways than one).
 

G S Haydon

Established Member
Joined
24 Apr 2013
Messages
1,531
Reaction score
88
I'm quite happy with my standard angle block plane. They are cheap to pick up secondhand as the low angle is very desirable these days.

The blade is so narrow in a block plane and the cuts made tend to be so light that I don't notice much difference.

David makes a decent point on possibly how edge life could be better in a low angle blade with a high honing angle.
 

D_W

Established Member
Joined
24 Aug 2015
Messages
9,517
Reaction score
1,909
Location
PA, US
I only use a standard angle block plane, though. A bench plane is better for end grain, and I keep the block plane set up around 30 degrees plus buff (which makes the cheese soft irons hold up well and stops denting). I'd rather have a 9 1/2 than a labp.
 

JohnCee

Established Member
Joined
26 Nov 2008
Messages
173
Reaction score
15
Location
Sheffield
They feel different in the hand. This may or may not be important to you. It's the decider for some.
 

Dr Al

Established Member
Joined
11 May 2020
Messages
264
Reaction score
455
Location
Dursley, Gloucestershire
I like my low angle one, but only because of the versatility. I've got a standard angle one that I picked up for next to nothing in a junk shop, but the low angle one is the one I usually reach for. I bought a couple of spare blades for it and have a 25° one, a 38° one and a 50° one, giving a working angle of 37°, 50° and 62° respectively. It's quick to swap blades out depending on what I'm doing.

I suspect that versatility would be more useful on a jack plane than a block plane, but I do find myself using the block plane on end grain quite a bit. Now if only low angle jack planes weren't like rocking-horse droppings...
 

Woody2Shoes

Impressive Member
Joined
5 Jan 2015
Messages
2,133
Reaction score
405
Location
Sussex UK
With a low angle design you normally get an adjustable mouth which is helpful as an aid to controlling tearout - I don't think this feature is available on most standard angle block planes. Also, the feel is different - as said above.
 

D_W

Established Member
Joined
24 Aug 2015
Messages
9,517
Reaction score
1,909
Location
PA, US
The stanley 18 and 9 1/2 have an adjustable mouth - 20 degree bed.

Low angle 15 and 60 1/2 planes have an adjustable mouth

Not sure about the bed angle of all of the 110s and 220s and such that don't have an adjustable mouth.
 

ac445ab

Established Member
Joined
7 Jul 2007
Messages
315
Reaction score
37
Location
Naples-Italy
I use both the low and standard angle block planes, the low angle one mainly for end grain on small pieces. I have got a Stanley 9 1/2 and 60 1/2 planes.
I agree with Dr AI: if I wanted only one plane, I would choose a low angle plane with a couple of blades in order to obtain different cutting angles.
Ciao
Giuliano 😀
 

Jacob

Pint of bass, porkpie, and packet of crisps please
Joined
7 Jul 2010
Messages
22,390
Reaction score
2,488
Location
Derbyshire
....

The plane would be used as a small normal plane to work on small pieces of wood, not just for one handed trimming, chamfers etc.
Can be done of course but a block is not easy to use two handed like a normal plane. They are designed to fit the palm with one finger on the button. Better off with a 3 perhaps. They are very nice to use
 
Top