The number of different planes available can be confusing when it comes to choosing which ones to buy.The best way is to look at planes in terms of the jobs you want to do with them.
What type of wood will you be using?
If the wood you start with is generally in a rough state, you might need a range of planes – perhaps a scrub, a jack, a fore or jointer, and a smoother – to complete a project.
Jobs for specialised planes
If, during the project, you need to make rebates or grooves for jointing, or to plane curved sections, you may need some specialised planes, such as rebate, grooving and compass planes.
Getting by with the minimum
However, many woodworkers get by with just one or two planes, because the wood they use is already prepared to some extent, or their projects are fairly simple and don’t require an extensive range of planes.
In these circumstances, a jack plane – which can also also perform like a fore and smoother – would be a good choice.
Add to this a block plane – useful for planing end grain and making chamfers and for tidying up wood when a workbench is not available – and while you obviously don’t have a complete kit, you are armed for many types of planing work.