What is a jointer plane?
What it's used for
Also known as the try plane, the jointer excels at accurately truing up (levelling and squaring) long edges and levelling wide boards.
Where it gets it name
It gets its name from its primary function of producing perfectly flat edges on long pieces of wood prior to jointing them edge-to-edge to produce wider boards to be used, for instance, as table tops.
There are now electrically-powered jointer machines that can do this faster, but many woodworkers still prefer to use the hand plane, enjoying a quieter, more dust-free environment, and the greater job satisfaction you can get from using hand tools.
Standard and low-angle
There are standard and low-angle metal versions of the jointer, with irons pitched at 45 degrees bevel down and 12 degrees bevel up respectively.
Wooden jointers usually have their irons pitched at 45 degrees.
At up to about 610mm (24 inches) long, the jointer is the longest of the bench planes. Its length means it is supreme at levelling the edges of wood.
Shape of cutting edge
The jointer plane's iron is usually honed straight for cutting perfectly flat edges.
The most popular Stanley/Bailey-type metal jointers that are still made today by Stanley and other manufacturers are the No. 7 and the No. 8. The No. 7 is 559mm (22") long with a 60mm (2 3/8") wide iron, and the No. 8 is 610mm (24") long with a 67mm (2 5/8") wide iron.
The longer the plane, the better it is for levelling wood, but the heavier it will be.