What are plane kits and carpenter's kits?

 
     
     
 Shop for Woodworking Hand Planes 
     
     
 Two-plane woodworking plane kit 

There are two types of plane kit.

 

One type, sometimes called a plane set, comprises two or more hand planes, often supplied in a wooden box.

 
     
 Wooden block plane kit 

The other is a plane kit from which you can make your own plane – usually a wooden one, but some are infill planes with metal soles and sides and a wooden stock in the middle.

 
     
 Carpenter's tool kit 

There are also what are known as carpenter's kits, or carpenter's woodworking sets, which comprise one or two planes and some other useful woodworking tools and aids.

 
     
   

Plane kit – several planes

 
 Plane kit comprising smoothing plane and block plane 

This type of kit, or set, comprises a number of planes, from two upwards.

 

A typical two-plane set usually consists of a smoothing or jack plane and a block plane, which together cover a broad range of basic planing tasks.

 

See What is a smoothing plane?, What is a jack plane?and What is a block plane?for more information about these planes.

 
     
 A hand plane kit comprising several types of bench plane 

Other sets feature several bench planes which can be used in sequence to plane a piece of wood to size, flatten it and smooth it.

 

See What is a bench plane? for more information about these. 

 
     
 Buying a hand plane kit can save you money 

Buying two or more planes as a kit has one major advantage: it's less expensive than buying the individual planes.

 

However, your choice of planes will be limited to what's in the kit, and if you already have some planes and simply want to add another, you should consider an individual plane.

 
     
   

Kits for making your own plane

 
 Kit for building your own wooden hand plane 

These kits represent a half-way house between making your own plane from scratch and buying one that's ready to use.

 

To assemble them, you usually only need a drill for inserting the dowels (round pegs that hold some parts together), some glue and clamps.

 
     
 Kit for building your own infill plane 

The advantage of a kit from which you can make your own plane is that it should cost less than the equivalent plane that's supplied complete.

 

Making your own wooden plane from scratch might be daunting for an inexperienced woodworker, so a kit is a useful introduction.

 
     
   

Carpenter's kits or sets

 
 Carpenter's kit 

Carpenter's kits are sets of tools – usually including two planes – that provide some of the essentials for working with wood, and a bag or box to carry them around in.

 
     
 Carpenter's kit with one plane 

Where two planes are included, they are usually a smoothing plane and a block plane. If there's only one plane, it's often a smoother.

 

See What is a smoothing plane? and What is a block plane? for details of each, and the jobs they can be used for.

 
     
 Carpenter's kit with wooden box 

In addition to the planes, the kits also often include a try square, a sliding bevel and a marking gauge. Some also include a spokeshave and a marking knife.

 
     
 Try square and sliding bevel 

Try squares and sliding bevels

A try square is for marking out and checking 90-degree angles, or right-angles, and a sliding bevel is an adjustable gauge for setting and transferring any angle.

 
     
 Marking guage 

Marking gauges

A marking gauge scribes, or cuts, a line with a sharp pin, using a straight edge on the workpiece as a reference point as the gauge is slid along the wood.

 
     
 Spokeshave included in carpenter's kit 

Spokeshaves

A spokeshaveis a cutting tool – a little like a plane, but with a tiny body and sole from which two handles project sideways – for shaping and smoothing rounded wooden rods and shafts. It was originally mainly used for shaving spokes for wooden wheels, hence its name.

 
     
 Marking knife 

Marking knives

A marking knife is useful for scribing a line to be followed by a hand saw or chisel.

 
     
 You can save money by buying a carpenter's kit 

The advantage of buying a carpenter's kit is that you get a plane and a range of marking and angle-setting aids for less than you would pay for the individual items.

 

However, if you already have a basic tool kit and are looking purely for a plane or two, then an individual plane, or a kit comprising only planes, could be the more economical option.

 
     
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