Buying a secondhand router plane isn’t always the cheapest option with these tools, it is best to check the prices of new ones too. Availability in both new and secondhand camps is often an issue for buyers.
Paul Sellers recommends the Edward Preston router plane as it has a long rectangular base, however they are often difficult to find and expensive because of collectability. He has found that the Tyzack router plane is very similar so he would also recommend this but again, this is hard to find. Paul likes these because the open frame allows clear visibility to see the work area below the router.
If you cannot find these, Paul suggests either the Stanley #71 or the Record #071, these two are almost identical. The Stanley has a nickel plating and the Record is painted dark blue, this is the main difference between them. Because of the finish and the fact that they were well made, even as a secondhand tools they should last a long time as this prevents rust. The above router planes are all only available secondhand. Be sure to check the blade for excessive rust/pitting and that there is a significant length of blade left. The best way to check this is to compare to other router planes you see listed.
For example the Veritas small router plane is highly engineered but they only started making it a few years ago so you might find secondhand routers by other makers are not much cheaper.
Paul recommends the Stanley or Record router plane secondhand if you can find one, eBay is usually the best place to find these. If you cannot find these, the Lie Nielsen is also a good new option. Paul prefers the thumb screw on the Stanley router plane compared to the Lie Nielsen knurled screw as it gives more purchase.
🇬🇧/🇺🇸We ordered this Lie Nielsen router plane which is available in the US and also the UK from Axminster for £139.
*Prices correct as of January 2019