Do You Need a Router Plane?

When it comes to woodworking, there are many tools available that can help you achieve your desired results. One of those tools is the router plane. It is a tool that is designed to remove material from a surface in a very controlled and precise manner.

Do You Need a Router Plane?

A router plane is a specialized plane used for routing wood. It has a long, straight blade that is used to create smooth, accurate cuts.

In this article, we will explore the benefits and drawbacks of owning a router plane, and help you determine if it is a tool that you need.

Do You Need a Router Plane?

Read Also: What Is a Router Plane?

Why Sharpen a Router Plane Blade?

There are a few reasons for sharpening a router plane blade. First, it helps to keep the blade in good condition and second, it can help the plane cut more smoothly.

A router plane is a hand tool used to create grooves or dadoes in woodworking projects. The blade on a router plane is set at a fixed depth below the sole of the plane, and the body of the tool is guided along the surface of the workpiece as the blade removes material.

Over time, the cutting edge of the blade will become dull from use. When this happens, it’s time to sharpen the blade. Sharpening a router plane blade is not difficult, but there are a few things to keep in mind. 

First, be sure to use a sharpening stone that is appropriate for the type of steel used in your router plane blade.

Second, take care not to overheat the steel while sharpening. This can damage the temper of the steel and make the blade more susceptible to breakage. 

With these guidelines in mind, sharpening a router plane blade is simply a matter of honing the edge with successive strokes on your sharpening stone until you achieve a keen, razor-like edge.

Tools and Materials Needed

If you’re starting out in woodworking, chances are you don’t yet own a router plane. So the question is: do you need one?

In short, a router plane is a hand tool that allows you to quickly and easily remove material from a workpiece.

It’s essentially a miniaturized version of a power router, and it’s very handy for tasks like flush-trimming, creating rabbets, and cleaning out dadoes.

So if those sound like things you might need to do in your woodworking projects, then yes, you probably do need a router plane! Here are some specific situations where this tool will come in handy:

  • Flush-trimming: When you need to trim two pieces of wood so that they’re flush with each other (e.g. when making butt joints), a router plane can help you do it quickly and accurately.
  • Creating rabbets: A rabbet is basically just a groove or recess cut into the edge of a piece of wood. Router planes can be used to create rabbets of various sizes and depths.
  • Cleaning out dadoes: Dadoes are similar to rabbets, but they’re cut into the face of a piece of wood instead of the edge. They’re often used for joinery, such as shelf supports in cabinets. Again, router planes can be used to create clean and precise dadoes.

Steps to Sharpening a Router Plane Blade

If you’re using a router plane for the first time, or if you’ve never sharpened the blade, it’s important to know the proper steps to take.

First, remove the blade from the plane and clamp it in a vise. Next, use a file or sharpening stone to sharpen the blade.

Be sure to maintain the bevel angle as you sharpen. Once the blade is sharp, reattach it to the plane and test it out on a piece of wood.

Tips for Sharpening a Router Plane Blade

If you’re using a router plane for the first time, or if you’ve never sharpened the blade before, here are some tips to get a nice, sharp edge:

  1. Start with a clean, flat surface. A honing stone or diamond sharpening plate will work nicely.
  2. With the blade positioned at a low angle, start with light strokes and increase the pressure as you go. Be sure to keep the strokes even and consistent.
  3. Pay attention to the bevel of the blade as you sharpen it. You’ll want to create a nice, even bevel all the way around.
  4. If you find that your strokes are becoming uneven, or that you’re not able to achieve a consistent angle, take a break and start again fresh.

It’s better to take your time and do it right than to try to rush through it and end up with a dull blade.

How Often to Sharpen a Router Plane Blade?

It is generally recommended to sharpen a router plane blade after every few uses. However, if you are using the plane for heavy-duty work, or if the blade becomes dull quickly, you may need to sharpen it more often.

To sharpen the blade, first remove it from the plane. Then, use a sharpening stone to gently hone the edge of the blade. Be careful not to over-sharpen the blade, as this can damage the tool.

Storage and Care for a Router Plane Blade

When it comes to storing and caring for a router plane blade, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

  • First, always store the blade in a dry place. This will help to prevent rust and corrosion.
  • Second, when not in use, make sure to cover the blade with light oil or grease. This will help to keep the blade from dulling.
  • Finally, when sharpening the blade, be careful not to overheat it. Doing so could damage the temper of the blade.


Finally, the decision to add a router plane to your toolkit ultimately comes down to your personal preferences and woodworking style.

While power tools may offer efficiency and speed, hand tools provide a level of precision and control that some woodworkers find invaluable.

Related: How to Sharpen a Router Plane Blade?

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