10 essential hand tools
Photo by Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock
The “jack of all planes,” this 9 1/2"-long tool is the one I turn to most often. Run-of-the-mill hardware-store models will probably disappoint you, so find an old one in good condition or a new, high-end model. My favourite was owned by my grandfather, a Stanley Bailey No. 4, probably made in the 1930s. More than any other woodworking tool—power or hand-operated—planes require fine-tuning to perform properly.
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