Buying a Router Plane

UPDATE NOVEMBER 2021

The router plane is the most expensive tool that Paul recommends. We saw the issue and so Paul has designed a router plane that you can make yourself. Go to paulsellers.com/routerplane to find out how you can make your own too. Below is our buying guide before this new design this was based on the best option available at the time. We will update this guide in the future but for now just bear in mind that you can either buy or make your own.

Paul Sellers router plane

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 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 purchased this Lie Nielsen router plane for £140.82 (inc VAT £168.98*) in February 2018 which is available in the US and also the UK from Axminster.

*Price checked 17/9/21

Note: We ordered the Lie Nielsen router plane on back-order as it was out of stock and it took 6 weeks to arrive.

Relevant Guides:

  • Sharpening a Router Plane

    Sharpening a Router Plane

    Setting Up Before you use your router plane, it is important to check that the leading edge of the cutting iron, the fore edge, is parallel with the actual sole of the plane as it may need to be corrected, flattened and polished before use (Paul sometimes refers to this process as initialising). This process …

    Sharpening a Router Plane Read More »

    Read More

  • Using a Router Plane

    Using a Router Plane

    When using a router plane and removing material to a specific depth, you can use a chisel to remove the bulk of the material then go over it with a router, or you can make incremental depth changes with the router until the final depth is established. Removing the bulk gallery: Though used to level …

    Using a Router Plane Read More »

    Read More

  • Buying a Router Plane

    Buying a Router Plane

    UPDATE NOVEMBER 2021 The router plane is the most expensive tool that Paul recommends. We saw the issue and so Paul has designed a router plane that you can make yourself. Go to paulsellers.com/routerplane to find out how you can make your own too. Below is our buying guide before this new design this was …

    Buying a Router Plane Read More »

    Read More

Further Reading

To read more on router planes, we recommend the following from Paul’s blog:

Buying Good Tools Cheap- Router Plane

Tool Review- Veritas Router Plane

Tightening Tool for a Veritas Router Plane

Veritas Router Plane

22 thoughts on “Buying a Router Plane”

  1. This looks like an open mouth model, but I read somewhere to buy a closed mouth one. As I have to save to just buy the one, I want to make sure I buy the correct one. Should I get open or closed mouth?

    Thanks

  2. Dear Lizzy,

    Will the Lie Nielsen take a wooden base or rather does it have the screw holes predrilled to accept a wood base?
    If not (doesn’t look like in the photograph of the plane) how difficult is it to drill holes?

    Or…just get the closed base model?

    Many Thanks and Kind Regards,
    stephen

    1. Hi Jeff,

      I passed your question on to Paul and he says:

      I would say definitely go for the open throat because if you have a lot of stopped housing dadoes to do, you can use the open throat for that and it prevents damage to the fore edge of the housing dado. If you want continuous sole, as in the closed throat, you can simply add a wooden sole which most people do anyway because that prevents the metal from marring the wood.

      Kind Regards,
      Izzy

  3. Has Paul per chance looked at the chinese planes from Cowryman.com (I have no affiliation with them, whatsoever)? They look nicely machined, and a bit less expensive. They also have a Preston style plane

  4. There are three Preston router planes on ebay right now – going for £360, £550, and £630. Think I’ll pass! The Stanley/Record planes go for about £100 if complete and in good nick, but the little Stanley 722’s can be had for well under £50. I’m wondering how useful they are for general work?

  5. What router does Paul use in the Tenoned Miter video? I have a Stanley 71, but am looking for something more along the lines of rectangular in footprint rather than triangular like the 71. Paul has several of them hanging in the background, and uses one in the video.

    Thank you so kindly!
    Larry.

  6. Dear Izzy and Paul,

    I am looking for a small router plane as I have a Stanley 71 and love it.

    I found the Moberg small router plane online made of bronze for $65 USD. Is this small router plane a good choice or go for the LN or Veritas?

    Many Thanks,
    Stephen

    PS They also have a bronze 151 spokeshave and No. 80 scraper plane for $130 USD

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