Justin from North Carolina wrote in and asked us, “What’s the cheapest way to get a few good, adjustable bench planes without awakening the rage of my significant other because I spent a huge wad of cash.” Well, Justin, that depends greatly on which tools you consider “good” and how much cash you can throw at them.
Construction, materials, and adjustability largely determine how much a plane will go for. You can buy a cheap non-adjustable plane for a few bucks. A fully adjustable high rig, like the Lie-Nielsen pictured above, can run you $300 a pop, which’ll probably lead to the rage you spoke of earlier.
In short, you’ll probably have to make some trade-offs. If you just want something that’ll work, any number of planes will do; but if you really need the Full Monty (something like the old Stanley Bedrock) you might have to save a while. Off the tops of our heads we can’t think of any that are super-solid AND cheap — but the Toolmonger readership might be able to help.
Do you know of any planes out there that could fit Justin’s bill? Let us know in comments.