Tool review – smoother plane

This smoother plane can handle it all

By Gord Graff

smoother plane

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The new Veritas Bevel-Up Smoother Plane is worth serious consideration as one of the first planes to own, or as a welcome addition to any well-tooled workshop.

With a 3 1/8″-wide, 10″-long flat-bottom sole length, the plane comes with a 38º bevelled blade set into the standard 12º bed to yield an effective cutting angle of 50º. It’s perfect for paper-thin cuts in difficult, grain-reversing and figured woods. Its five-pound weight, large, comfortable handle and front knob, adjustable mouth and unique set-screw to eliminate blade shift all add up to improve its performance.

Swap in the optional 25º bevel blade and you’re all set for shaving end-grain or planing any type of stock with the grain. Or add the optional high-bevel angle blade of 50º and change it from a smoother to a planer for highly difficult woods, producing the least amount of tearout. All blades are 2 1/4″ wide, a hefty 3/16″ thick and made of A-2 steel. Owning all three blades also allows you to quickly micro-bevel and sharpen any angle between 25º and 50º for planing action to your liking or a specific task at hand.

There’s also a new 38º “toothed” bevel blade available that smoothes stock, knots and all, and leaves a textured finish that’s easily cleaned smooth by switching to a standard blade.

Overall, the Bevel-Up Smoother is a quality tool, made of a stress-relieved ductile cast iron body with the excellent fit and finish I’ve come to expect from Veritas. After a few weeks of serious-and fun-testing, I can endorse the merits of this versatile tool. From cleaning up and flattening dovetail joinery to peeling off healthy standard shavings, this plane outfit can handle it all.

The Veritas Bevel-Up Smoother Plane with 38º bevel blade is $235, the 25º bevel blade is $40, the 50º bevel blade is $40 and the toothed blade is $47. For more information, call 800-267-8761 or visit Lee Valley.

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