Hand Tool Starter Kit
Manufacturer: Garrett Wade
For a long time, there were really only a couple options to get started using planes and other hand tools: shell out big bucks for new, premium-quality tools that are ready to cut out of the box or learn how to restore old tools before you ever take blade to wood. But more recently, there are a few overseas plane manufacturers that offer a better compromise of price and usability out of the box. For its 45th anniversary, Garrett Wade has put together a three tool package that hits the sweet spot in price and quality for new hand tools.
That’s important for those new to the hand tool world, who can’t invest a lot of money upfront or don’t have the time to spend restoring tools. This kit includes a No. 4-sized smoothing plane, a low-angle block plane, and a flat-bottom spokeshave.
Out of the box, all three tools are machined well where it counts and only took about 44 minutes from unpacking and removing oil to making shavings. I spent a little bit more time sharpening the blades, and these tools produced shavings and surfaces that match any of the premium tools I have in my shop. The block plane is my favorite of the bunch, because it’s easy to dial in the adjustable mouth. My only gripe with the No. 4 is that its mouth is a bit on the large side, so getting those super tight, silky shavings takes some playing around. For about $250, you’d be hard-pressed to find a set of vintage tools that you can get up and running with as little effort.
Here are some supplies and tools we find essential in our everyday work around the shop. We may receive a commission from sales referred by our links; however, we have carefully selected these products for their usefulness and quality.