Is there a secret to planing end grain? Is a low-angle block plane required? I don’t think so. My trusty wooden smoother does a good enough job for me. What you need to plane end grain is a SHARP plane. If that’s your block plane, use that.
If I had to come up with a secret I’d say I prefer to plane end grain with a plane that has a cambered iron. That way I can square up a hand-sawn end the same way you square an edge with a try plane.
— Adam Cherubini