WoodRiver is one of the most acclaimed brands in the woodwork industry. The reason is simple – wood river tools are easy to use and produce the desired results.
Our comprehensive WoodRiver Plane reviews explore the various WoodRiver plane models available in the market today. Whether you are a woodworker by profession, or simply looking to develop your hands-on skills, our detailed review will put you on the right track.
Before we get started, let us first look at the various advantages WoodRiver hand planes offer to customers.
The Advantage of WoodRiver Planes to Customers
The main feature of WoodRiver planes is that the wood planes produced are all based on the Bedrock design. The Bedrock design is a very popular model, as it allows easy adjustment of the hand planes.
One can easily adjust the frog without having to remove the blade, thus, easing the process.
The rest of the benefits will be covered in the course of the guide.
WoodRiver Planes Product Reviews
Our guide features the various WoodRiver planes available in the market, highlighting the ley features with each model, as well as the pros and cons of each hand plane.
We have also provided a buying guide explaining the things you should be on the look-out for when selecting a woodworking hand plane.
Let us dig in!
On top of our list, we have the WoodRiver #4 bench plane V3. The main feature with the V3 plane is the large adjusting wheel that comes with the WoodRiver tool. Unlike the former models, the hand plane has an adjusting wheel that is 4mm wider in diameter.
The larger wheel gives the user more leverage, enabling easier adjustment. The improved Y lever, called a yoke, also eases the process, by reducing jamming, as was the case with traditional hand planes.
- The WoodRiver bench plane v3 is based on the popular Stanley Bedrock's design.
- The plane features a larger adjusting wheel that is 4mm wider in diameter than previous versions.
- The plane also has an improved Y-level for easier handling during operation.
- The plane has a lightly finished handle, which provides a comfortable grip while handling.
- Relatively heavy iron castings compared to previous versions
- Fully automated adjustable frogs
- Dimensions: Width: 2 – 7/16”, Length: 9 – 7/8”
- Blade Size: 2" W
- Blade Material: High carbon Steel
- Handle Material: Hardwood (Lightly finished)
- Weight: Approximately 5 pounds
- Product Material: Ductile steel
Thanks to the Bedrock design, the WoodRiver bench plane v3 enhances convenience for the user as the plane is easily adjustable. If you are looking for a reliable wood plane for light jobs like a smoothing surface, we'd recommend the WoodRiver #4 bench plane v3.
The WoodRiver #92 is an improvement of the traditional Edward Preston and Sons' plane design, but with a modern touch. The improved WoodRiver comes with that classic look, appearing like an ancient antique, but with a body designed for serious work.
The product is a result of 2 years of research and testing to create a classic-looking wood plane that works just as efficiently.
The classic shoulder plane's features have been retained, but with the addition of a fully adjustable toe that opens the throat opening, thus, minimizing tear-out.
- Body: Cr40 ductile steel (stress relieved)
- Blade: Mn65 steel
- Product Dimensions: 9.7" x 4.1" x 1.6."
- Weight: 2.35 pounds
- Ideal Usage: Cleaning up the tenons, rabbets, and dados
- The WoodRiver no. 92 medium shoulder plane features a classic look
- A flat bottom and sides that square to the sole
- The blade balances toughness and a unique ability to maintain a keen edge
- The plane's blade has a smooth and precise adjustment mechanism
- The adjustable mouth reduces tear-out
- The shoulder plane is best suited for tweaking tenons, dados, and rabbets, but can also be used to create joints
A few users have complained about the shoulder plane's performance due to its brittle blade. However, the WoodRiver #92 medium shoulder plane still lives up to the expectations and does a pretty good job when handled correctly. We highly recommend the tool as a proper option for users looking for a cost-friendly wood plane, which is easy to work with and gives the desired results.
If you are looking for an all-purpose plane, which is also good for the money, then the WoodRiver No. 5 – ½ would be a suitable option. Similar to the other WoodRiver V3 models, the WoodRiver 5 – ½ jack plane is built based on the Bedrock design.
Like we said before, the jack plane is considered as an all-purpose plane that can perform tasks done by smaller planes as well as the joint tasks of larger planes. The major features include lightly finished handles, flat machined soles and sides, and easy tune-up before use.
- Weight: 7.58 pounds
- Dimensions: 15.4” x 5.9” x 3.6”
- Blade size: 2 – 3/8"
- Ideal Use: Multi-purpose
- Handle: Lightly Finished
- The WoodRiver #5 – ½ features a width of 2 – 7/8", length 14 – 15/16", and a blade that is 3/8" wide
- The Jack plane is inspired by the Bedrocks, Stanley's line of tools
- The plane doesn't require much tuning-up before first use
- Has fully-machined frogs
- Ductile iron castings which are fine-grained
- Squared and flat machined soles and sides
The great thing with the WR 5 – ½ is that he plane is just the perfect weight, not too heavy as to push through, but heavy enough to continue on the wood's surface. If you are looking for a WoodRiver hand plane that can do both the jobs that require small hand planes, while still doubling up on the more complex tasks that require larger planes, this would be your best option. We highly recommend the hand plane. You won't be disappointed.
Next in our WoodRiver planes review is the WoodRiver #7, also known as a jointer. The jointer plane has a similar blade and width as the #6 version, but is 4 ¼ longer (22") and weighs 9 ½ lbs. (approximately 2 lbs. heavier). The WR #7 jointer plane is suitable for truing edges before applying glue, and leveling wide surfaces like a tabletop.
The extra weight comes in handy when dealing with grains that had been troublesome for lighter hand planes. Thus, the jointer is less tiring.
Like our previous WR bench hand planes, the jointer plane has the Bedrock design, with heavy, stress-relieved ductile iron castings, machined frogs, and quality steel blades of high carbon.
However, the jointer features some improvements like a change of shape of the rear tote and a wider-diameter blade adjustment wheel. Thus, adjusting the blade gets much easier.
- Weight: 9.78 pounds
- Dimensions: 22.5” x 6.4” x 3.3”
- Usage: Truing edges for gluing-up
- Blade: 22"; 9 ½ lbs.
- Features a bedrock design, heavy and stress-relieved ductile iron castings
- Extra weight to handle larger jobs
- Wider diameter ring for easier adjustment of the blade
- An improved rear tote shape
- The frogs are fully machined
- The jointer features lightly furnished Bubinga handles to provide comfort
- Doesn't require much tuning-up before use
The WoodRiver #7 jointer plane is one of the best hand planes we recommend for wood cutting. Though the jointer plane may be a bit expensive, the sacrifice is worth it. With the planes increased weight and improved features, it works perfectly and handles jobs that lighter planes cannot. The number 7 is also perfect for joinery. You will not regret spending the extra dollars for this one.
The WoodRiver Low Angle Block Plane is one of the best block plane designs in the market. The block plane is built upon the venerable Stanley #65 low angle as well as the #18 standard angle "Knuckle cup" design.
With the characteristic chrome-plated knuckle cup, the block planes resemble the standard and low angle versions of previous years. However, after a keen analysis, you will notice some changes in the castings.
The introduced improvements do not just strengthen the previously weak points of the former versions, but also improve the boost the blade bedding area.
The improved blade adjustments make adjusting the blade with the rear knob all the easier. The plan also features an adjustable mouth, thus, allowing fine-tuning depending on the nature of work.
- Weight: 2.04 pounds
- Dimensions: 7.8” x 3.1” x 2.8”
- Blade: High carbon; 1 – 5/8” x 0.125”T. 2”W x 7”L
- Blade Angle: 250
- Batteries Required? No
- The WR Low angle block plane features a classic design
- Has a unique design with a knuckle-style design
- Features a 12-degree bed angle
- Comes with a high carbon blade
The only issue with the WR low angle block plane is the time spent adjusting before use. However, if you do not mind the hustle, then the block plane would be a decent option for you. Besides that, everything else with the plane works just fine. After getting used to it, you'll find that the block plane is much easier to use, especially since the high carbon blade allows for easy sharpening. Moreover, the block plane has a superior quality to regular hand planes. For me, the low angle block plane is a decent hand plane you should consider for your woodworking.
WoodRiver #62 low angle jack plane was initially marketed as a heavy stock grain removal plane. However, the #62 jack plane has since been established as a smoother plane and become quite popular among users.
The #62 still resembles the original design, but a few improvements have been made to increase efficiency. For one, the new version weighs 4.6 lbs., almost a pound heavier. The hand plane also features a body cast made of ductile iron and has a bed angle of 120.
Additionally, WR #62 comes with a Bubinga tote with a front knob, and the blade lies at 250.
- Weight: 5.07 lbs.
- Dimensions: Approximately 14.5” x 6.2” x 3.2”
- Blade: 2" wide (High carbon steel)
- The WR #62 features a heavy body with an iron casting
- Steel blade (High-carbon)
- Features a flat sole with squared sides
- Has a Bubinga tote with a front knob
Well, WoodRiver #62's most notable feature is the cheap price. Apart from that, the hand plane is still quite decent and will get the job done. However, you may not like the quality, especially since the blade is not sharp. I'd recommend this hand plane for the user that hopes to save some money and still end up with a wood cutting tool that will still offer some value
Finally, we come to our last reviewed hand plane, the WoodRiver small chisel hand plane. To get a clear picture, think of the woodcutter's hand tool as a small chisel, strategically placed over a wedge to get the right angle.
The chisel's edge is placed at the front of the wedge and has a depth adjustment that controls the tool's cut. As the name suggests, the small chisel hand plane is a small tool and is designed for simple jobs like removing glue from surfaces, and other such simple trimming jobs.
The small chisel hand plane's small size is ideal for getting through small spaces like inside cabinets.
- Dimensions: 5.8” (L) x 2.5” (W) x 2.5” (H)
- Weight: 1.18 lbs.
- The hand plane has a small size ideal to maneuver into tight spaces
- Perfect for simple jobs like cleaning up glue or trimming pocket hole plugs
- Weighs approximately 1.2 lbs.
A chisel hand plane is a perfect tool for squaring out the tiny spaces that you can't through to with a regular plane. Since the hand tool is quite cheap, I don't see why you shouldn't add it to your collection. You can even buy the chisel hand plane as a gift to the woodworker who has almost every other kind of hand plane in their closet. The gift will be appreciated and won't cause a dent in your pocket.
Just like many woodworking tools, the hand plane has been around for a long time; since the Roman ages, and the times of Egyptian civilization, to our modern age. Hand planes are an important tool for woodworkers and continue to be relevant today.
However, you should know the best type of plane to get depending on the kind of task you'd wish to do. The following considerations should further help you establish the most suitable hand plane to buy in the market.
What should you consider when buying a hand plane?
1. Frog type
The frog is the most important feature one should consider before buying a bench plane since the frog supports the plane's blade. The functionality of the plane will depend on the frog's design, and how well the frog fits into the body.
We have two main types of frogs available in the market today: Bailey and Bedrock.
Bailey frog is most common in hand planes and lies on top of the body's machined surface. The Bailey frog is fully adjustable and is held by two screws, which can only be reached once the plane's iron has been disassembled.
Once you have loosened the screws, you can use the knob at the back of the frog to change the frog's position, thus, opening or closing the plane's mouth.
A bedrock-style frog also sits on a machined surface of the plane's body. The frog has a recess on either side for locating the frog on the body's ridges, to keep the frog square to the body.
One can keep the Bedrock frog to either open or close the plane's mouth. With the Bedrock design, you do not have to remove the plane iron assembly while making the adjustments.
2. The Blade's Angle
The blade's angle determines how and what the blade cuts. Blades with lower angles, as is the case with block planes, are best suited for cutting end grains. In such cases, the blade slices instead of scraping.
On the other hand, blades set at very high angles (for example the scraper and some Chinese planes) work best on exotic timbers. The majority of bench planes have the cutting edge set at 450, allowing the plane to work on most hardwoods and softwoods efficiently.
To choose the best plane to buy, always consider the type of timber you'll be working on.
3. The thickness of the Blade
The blade's thickness is yet another feature that should help you determine the most suitable plane to work with. The blade's thickness determines the rigidity of the blade.
Very thin blades can flex while cutting, which causes chatter. The effect is ending up with a somewhat ridged surface.
On the other hand, a thicker blade is more resistant to flexing and produces a relatively smoother finish.
4. Body material
A plane can either have a wooden or metallic body, and both body types have their advantages and disadvantages.
Metal-bodied planes are considerably heavier than wooden ones. The former is also more wear-resistant, therefore, suitable for use with more abrasive woods.
The light wooden bodies come in handy when planning for long periods since the wooden sole won't cause as much damage as a metallic sole would.
The metal-bodied planes are the workshop's workhorses, while the wooden planes are good for fine finishes.
- When planning, ensure to vary the point of pressure along the length of the cut. Start with maximum pressure at the plane's toe. Keep balanced pressure all through the length of the cut, and finishing with more pressure while finishing the cut to get an even result.
- Start by setting the edge of the chip breaker at 0.8mm above the blade's cutting edge. In addition to breaking the wood shavings from the mouth, the chip breaker provides additional support and more strength to the cutting edge, reducing chatter.
- To reduce the risk of gouging when planning, round the blade's corners. The move will prevent the corners from digging into the wood.
- Always ensure to tune the hand plane before the first use. If necessary, flatten the blade's front and back, as well as the chip breaker's front and back faces. The two should fit together perfectly, meaning the blade is getting maximum support from the chip breaker.
- Additionally, ensure that both the blade and the frog are in full contact, filing any visible high spots in the casting.
- The full contact between the three parts ensures the blade gives optimum performance.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the difference between bedrock and bailey designs?
- The difference between the bedrock and the bailey design-type bench planes is based on how the frog beds onto the casting. The planes based on the bedrock design have the frog lying flat on the base casting, with screws on either side to adjust the frog.
- For Bailey style, the planes can have different frog styles, but one would have to remove the iron cast to reach the screws and adjust the frog.
- Basically, with bedrock-designed planes, you do not have to remove the casing to adjust the frog.
- Which is the best hand plane for rough surfaces?
- Low angle block planes are the best bet when dealing with the difficult grain.
- Which is the best hand plane to start with for a beginner?
- If you are just starting out, I'd suggest you either start working with #4 for larger bench planes, or #5 for a smother type. Those are the most common types of planes in the market, anyway.
- What is a #4 plane used for?
- Generally, #4 is a smoothing plane and is the most common hand plane in the market.
what to do with a new Woodriver plane
We have come to the conclusion of our WoodRiver plane reviews guide. I hope that you now have a better understanding of wood planes and know the best plane to buy, depending on your task, as well what to look for when buying. Feel free to comment for any questions you may have, or to add any information that you feel was left out. Your feedback will be appreciated.