Faithfull hand planes – Good or Bad?- Cheapest in 2020

Faithfull presents us with a low-cost collection of hand planes. In this blog, I look at the good bad and the ugly and what to look out for when choosing a cheaper than Stanley plane.

Handplanes for woodworking have and still are the staple tool for woodworkers. Today we don’t only participate in the woodworking pastime as a career choice but also it is considered a therapeutic hobby.

Handtools are cost-prohibitive?

The problem I see for the hobbyist is that acquiring a full array of good woodworking tools is an expensive venture. 

Since the industrialisation of China and in particular India the costs have somewhat become manageable. Soba planes are made by Shobha industries in India. Planes such as the Grizzly or Bighorn.

https://www.shobha-india.com/wood-working-tools.html

Low-cost tools have become the norm and some aren’t bad. 

A name that has been around for some time is Faithfull. I have owned various Faithfull tools for decades and they are still used by me in my workshop. I have to admit that these tools are very good considering the tiny price. 

Thankfully the Faithfull brand supplies a range of low-cost hand planes. Some are good and some not so. 

When I say good I don’t mean that they are ready straight out of the box.  With some fettling, you will have in your possession a very useable tool that is comparable with the Stanley Bailey in its function. 

Faithful have five planes that are available online and in some tool stores.

  • Low angle Block plane
  • No4 Smoother
  • No5 Jack
  • No7 Jointer
  • No10 Shoulder plane
  • Rebate Plane

 

Faithfull low angle block 640 x 360

Low angle block plane

Good Points

  • Price

Bad Points

  • Pretty much everything

Conclusion 

I am sorry to say I would avoid the Faithfull block plane. Be warned there is a channel on youtube promoting these planes but they are not interested in you developing your skills as a woodworker but only to take your money. Do a search for ‘faithfull block planes’ and the top listing is the one I speak of. This is my opinion but I think it is fair to say. If you are considering a block plane for shooting end grain then you would probably be just as well of with a No3 or No4 smoothing plane. I have made a video on the block plane angle compared to the smoother. Are you in the US? Buy on Amazon.com

Faithfull No4 smoother 640 x 360

Faithfull No4 smoother

Good Points

  • Price
  • Good function 
  • Stanley pattern
  • Can be converted to a scrub plane easily

Bad Points

  • Needs some flattening of the sole
  • Complete blade grind and hone
  • Frog poorly positioned 
  • Brass components are plated

Conclusion

With some work, you will have a good useable plane, unlike the low angle plane. Are you in the US? Buy on Amazon.com

Faithfull No5 jack 640 x 360

Faithfull No5

Good Points

  • Price
  • Good function with a longer sole
  • Stanley Bailey pattern
  •  The iron body is grey cast

Bad Points

  • Needs some flattening of the sole on a glass or marble slab and abrasive paper.
  • Complete blade grind and hone
  • Frog poorly positioned as it was not parallel but this is just an adjustment
  • Brass components are plated 

Conclusion

I have to admit that when we consider the price of these tools you are getting a lot of tool for the money. With a little work on the sole and some tweaking, you will have a good tool. This is pretty much the same for all the Faithfull brand of planes. Are you in the US? Buy on Amazon.com

 

Faithfull No7 jointer 640 x 360

Faithfull No7

Good Points

  • Price is amazing for such a good tool
  • The long jointer sole of the No7 is a dream to use
  • Stanley Bailey pattern which is hard to beat
  • Grey cast iron body

Bad Points

  • Needs some flattening of the sole on a glass or marble slab and abrasive paper.
  • Complete blade grind and hone
  • The frog was ok after an adjustment
  • Brass components are plated but this is just cosmetic

Conclusion

I still believe that an old Stanley Bailey No7 is a better option but it is becoming increasingly hard to find a good example. We woodworkers just collect them! But if you want a tool you can grow with this No7 Bailey copy is a great solution. I Believe the Faithfull is a tool that is worth pimping with some custom handles to suit your hands and a Plane iron upgrade. Pimping this Stanley Bailey will transform it into a tool that can compete for head to head in a shakedown. My video on the No7 jointer and why you need one. Are you in the US? Buy on Amazon.com

Faithfull No10 shoulder badger 640 x 360

Faithfull No10 Badger Shoulder Plane 

Good Points

  • Price is amazing for a tool that is becoming hard or just too expensive to find
  • Open side to mouth to allow for edge to edge planning, which is ideal for rebating
  • Stanley pattern
  •  quality grey cast iron body

Bad Points

  • Complete blade grind and hone
  • The frog was ok after an adjustment
  • Brass components are plated but this is just cosmetic
  • Like all badger rebate planes, the sole is weakened by the open mouth

Conclusion on the Faithfull No10 Rebate Plane

I own the Stanley No10 Badger Rebate plane and I use it regularly on door frame rebates after cutting them in the table saw. So I understand that these rebate planes are a great addition. Like all Faithfull planes, some work is needed but again you will end up with a good rebate plane. Speciality planes are not something you will usually find offered by low-cost manufacturers so considering that Faithfull is offering these tools it is a great thing. Are you in the US? Buy on Amazon.com

Faithfull rebate plane 640 x 360

Faithfull PLANE778 No.778 Rebate Plane

Good Points

  • Not a plane I use much but when I do it is indispensable. 
  • Stanley pattern
  • quality grey cast iron body
  • Surprising quality for the money

Bad Points

  • Complete blade grind and hone

Are you in the US? Buy on Amazon.com

My Conclusion on the Faithful range of hand planes

I don’t own any of these planes because I already have a good collection of vintage Stanleys that I have collected ever since I started woodworking in 1989. I have handled a few of these tools and I have mixed feelings about them. If you can afford to invest in Stanley Sweetheart or Veritas then that is your choice but otherwise, if you are prepared to put in a little work then the Faithfull range of Handplanes is a no-brainer. They are stupid cheap but just stay away from the block plane. I have written a blog about all the different planes in my blog ‘Hand Planes for Woodworking Explained’