Lie Nielsen sells a lot of planers; it’s probably their single biggest-selling product. If you’re looking to get started with fine quality woodworking hand tools, you could do a lot worse than picking up one of their cabinet maker’s scrapers. They’re simple to operate and produce excellent results.
The cabinet makers scraping plane is a size in between Lie Nelsen’s large and small planes, and the blade is the full width of the tool to allow you to work against an adjacent vertical surface. The knob at the rear of the plane tilts to the left or right to ensure a good grip and better control over its movement.
The blade angle is not adjustable; it’s bedded directly against the body, which reduces the tendency to “chatter” — bounce up and down — and ruin the finish, so even a beginner can prep a surface like a pro (with a bit of practice, of course). Like most fine hand-crafted tools, they’re not cheap. The cabinet maker’s scraper will set you back $195 and a blade for it runs about $40.
On the other hand, it’s a tool that’ll last through your (and likely your childrens’) lifetime.