Great Hand Planes – Not Expensive – UK

As a woodworker who just loves to handle real tools, I have put together this selection of affordable but good hand planes. 

I have seen so many poor-quality tools sold to Newby woodworkers with unrealistic promises. 

The selection here is made from my own experiences and knowledge of what tools can be tuned and what cannot. I cheap tool is not always bad as long as it is possible to tune the plane to meet your needs.

Each of the images in this page will take you to for that particular  woodworking handplane. If you do decide to buy via amazon we thank you as we do recieve a small commision which helps us to provide you with my honest ‘time served’ opinion on these tools.

Stanley 112136 No.4 Premium Bench Plane

Stanley is a tool brand that has been with us for a very long time. If you think of hand planes the first name that will pop into your head is the Stanley. Stanley started to lose favour with professionals as their quality at the point of sale degraded somewhat. Not that they were useless but the finish presented to us was lacking. 

But we have this new range of Stanleys Sweethearts that have swept away any bad feelings. The SW range of Stanleys is a great turnaround as this new range is well finished and well-tuned straight out of the box.

The Sweetheart N04 smoothing plane is no exception and definetly should  be a consideration for anyone considering a new quality woodworking tool which is well priced. For the price I do not know of a N04 smoother which comes close to this quality for the price.

Stanley No5 Irwin Plane Jack Plane

The original Stanley or even better the a Stanley Bailey was a better tool back in the day. But do not dismiss this contractors woodworking tool as the castings are good. With a little tuning and pimping that tool with a new handle (TOTE) and knob you will then have a higher end tool capable of matching planes cost way more. The format of this plane is tried and tested for over a hundred years so expect it to be a great perfromer.

The jack plane is a great tool for levelling medium length boards or shooting in the lead on a door.

Stanley 1-12-137 62-Low Angle Sweetheart Jack Plane

Another offering in the Stanley Sweetheart range of tools. If you have experience with any of the new Sweetheart range you will know thaty the low price of these tools is surprising because the quality is good.

Like a low angle block plane the plane iron of the low angle jack plane can peel away shavings of short grain boards or even endgrain.

Stanley 7 Jointer Plane 2.3/8In 1 12 007

My favourite plane in my tool cabinet is my pimped vintage Stanley Bailey N07 . The quality of this tool is exceptional and with the work I put into this tool it is certainly a high end performer.  The more modern offering from Stanley is a good tool anyway but like the N05 variation the N07 would also benefit from some tuning. Yes it is ready to use straight from the box after you sharpen the plane iron for the first time.

Stanley 110 Block Plane 1 12 116

A handy little block plane which I have two. This Stanley 110 has not changed much over the years and is still a keen work horse.

I have no critcism of this tool but if I was in the market for my first block plane I would prefer to buy a low angle block plane.

Irwin Record 09.1/2 Block Plane

Advanced Stanley No 60 1/2 Premium Block Plane

Faithfull Badger PLANE No.10 Rebate Plane 2.1/8-inch

Faithfull is one of those brands which has been around for a while now but not as long as the Stanley. The Badger plane is basically a large format shoulder or rebate plane. The badger plane is not easy to find these days unless you are happy to pay for high end brands like Veritas so I am thankful Faithful has now this new offering.

I do not own this tool but a friend has and he assures me it is a good tool which does as expected. I use mine to clean up table saw rebates in door frames.

If you are considering to buy a used Badger plane be sure to inspect it around the shoulder areas as these planes are known to crack as there is not a lot of metal in that area. Or just buy a new one.

Stanley 78 Duplex Rebate Plane 1 12 078

Veritas Scrub Planes

Veritas is a high end brand which performs like gold. I own this scrub plane so it seems fitting to include it here.

The scrub plane has a curved plane iron which is capable of removing a lot of material in every pass. It is ideal fo levelling boards such as a table top glue up.

Stanley 6 Fore Plane 2.3/8In 1 12 006

Qiangsheng Luban No 91 Shoulder Hand Plane

Veritas Miniature Low Angle Block Plane

Another tool in my collection and it is a super tiny bundle of joy. If you are a jewellery box or guitar maker this miniture low angle block plane from Veritas is superb.

Qiangsheng Luban No 112 Scraper Plane

The scraper plane is a substantial tool which does the task of a cabinet scraper but with more ease. The scraper is like a plane iron mounted in a virtually vertical orientation.

By Marcus Kett, Woodworking since 1989

head wood malcolm kett memorial

Malcolm the Boat ‘RIP’

Woodworking for me is in my blood as a son of a traditional boatbuilder. My Father Malcolm Kett was highly skilled and inventive individual often referred to as ‘Malcolm The Boat’.

selfie with mortar board

Marcus Kett and my Mortar!

Although I have spent a considerable portion of my life seeking further education and gaining qualifications in woodworking, electrical installations, bricklaying and to top it a degree in photography.

Yes, it is a medley of possible career choices but the one that I felt truly at home with was Woodworking. Woodworking has been my staple career choice that has given my family stability.

Why do I write these guides?

selfie workshop bio

Well that’s Me

We started to write these guides to help our customers. The idea was to provide the information needed to install our made to measure wooden products that we sell on this website and directly to our local customers.

We soon received feedback from people abroad and interested readers not local to us. I like to help people and I am excited that fellow woodworkers or keen DIYers found guidance in my articles. I intend to carry on writing and producing youtube videos for the purpose of providing useful content. Please share our blog with your friends and anyone that could find interest in the magic of working with wood.


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The content in this article is provided for free but we retain all copyright. We do encourage you to borrow this content but only if you cite us as the original content with a link to our site.

About Wallybois

wallybois mascot christmas

Wally is the middle one

We have lived and worked here in the Limousin Nouvelle Aquitaine since 2010, building window shutters and external doors. Our Volet manufacturing business is based at our home property as a ‘Cottage Industry’. We are a small business operating partly (60%) off the grid and try our best to practice our woodworking ethically.

How did we come up with the trading name ‘Wallybois’? Well, it is simple really, my best buddy ‘Wally’ and the fact that ‘Bois’ is French for wood and we live in France.

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Thank You for visiting

By Marcus Kett, Woodworking since 1989

Based in the Nouvelle Aquitaine of France

Tel: +33 7 81 45 32 82