Woodworking projects are rewarding whether you indulge in them as a livelihood or as weekend hobbies. Before getting started, the first thing you must do is ensure that you have the right tools for the job.
Herein, spokeshaves come in handy any time you are working on curved pieces of wood. With the best spokeshave for the money, you will shave your planks down to an ideal size by smoothing them and getting rid of small slithers at a time. Plus, you can use them for patterning or bringing out the glossy texture of your wood.
It is a must-have for every woodworker or craftsman. Though it is nothing more than a simple tool, it can make all the good difference in the outcome of your projects.
Types of Spokeshave
Spokeshaves differ mainly in their soles and blades. There are three varieties of blades, and they include concave, convex, and flat modules. You will also find four types of soles which are round, concave, convex or flat.
This plane has a flat sole and blade. Typically, it is used on flat surfaces or efferent curves. This tool is proficient for a variety of applications including building table or chair legs. It gives you better control over the direction as well as the depth of the arch you need to create.
The comes with a flat blade and a rounded sole. It is usually used on afferent curves such as the inside arch of a chair. While it is not as versatile as its flat counterpart, it also plays a crucial role when building a variety of furniture pieces, including beds and desks.
Both the sole and blade are convex, and this means they curve inwards. Convex spokeshaves are ideal for use on abdominous surfaces, and this makes them useful tools for just about any kind of woodwork project.
Both the sole and blade are concave, which means they have a curve that protrudes outwards. The tool is ideal for use on hollowed surfaces, such as a wooden tub or chair. If your project involves creating small, rounded pieces of wood, then this is a tool you must have.
7 Best Spokeshave for the Money
To help you make an informed purchase, we offer you our spokeshave review. Friendly disclaimer! These tools are addictive once you begin using them.
When navigating the tool aisle of flat base spokeshaves, it is not hard to see why this woodworking hand tool stands out.
It has a robust casing, proper paint job, outstanding ergonomics, and a top-quality cast iron base. It is also easy to adjust, and this makes it a useful tool even for newbie woodworkers.
The cast iron base comes with a durable coating that offers long-standing protection. For better efficiency and control, this plane has two handles allowing you to determine the ideal depth of shaving when working on your chair legs or seats.
This carpenters plane has a length of 10 inches, and its replaceable cutters have a width of 2 1/8. They are easy to adjust, and this allows you to have a hassle-free time regulating the thickness and depth of your shavings. You will also get a vinyl pouch to protect your shaves when they are not in use.
Even though this is the best spokeshave, you must get it tuned up for ease of use and overall efficiency. Getting your ideal settings is remarkably easy because the adjustments work nicely.
Loosen the cap iron screws to allow it to slide out. You can then adjust the screws on the right and left the side of the blade, tighten your cast iron again and you are good to go!
- Crafted for curved work like shaping chair legs
- Fully adjustable cutters
- Replaceable blades
- Flat base, ideal for working on bulging and flat surfaces
- Vinyl protective pouch
- Great ergonomics
- Base made of quality cast iron
- Adjustment needed before use
This is a versatile and well-made woodworking hand tool with properly fitted parts. It is ideal for working on both convex and flat surfaces with a flat base. Crafted for longevity, its body is made of hard iron while the blade is reasonably thick and sits firmly in the handle.
The blade of this plane is easy to adjust. You get to be in full control of the depth of your cuts and the thickness of the shavings. Its two adjusting screws make precise tuning a walk in the park.
Further, the size of this tool provides better comfort when shaving and cutting. It is neither too big nor too small, and you can either push or pull it with both hands to shape or smoothen your wood.
There is a good chance that you will find yourself spending lesser time to complete your woodworking projects. This is more so the case if you are working on areas where the regular planes cannot get the job done.
This spokeshave has finely polished blades, and sharpening them during the initial tune-up will not be necessary. It is, therefore, crucial to note that the edges have a protective coating. Some say it enhances the lifespan of the cutters while others claim this coat creates minor imperfections on the surface you are using.
However, you can tune the cutter to make it sharper and get rid of the paint.
- User-friendly design
- Blade (2-inch) made of top-quality German steel
- Easy to adjust screws for tuning the cutter
- Lever cap to hold the blade firmly in place
- Designed for protruding and flat surfaces
- Durable hard iron body
- The paint on the blades can cause slight imperfections on wood
This is a user-friendly tool that does an outstanding job when shaping and smoothing wood. It has to adjust screws that make it remarkably easy to set up the blade. You also get a level cap that helps to ensure that your 2-inch blade is firmly in place.
This is the best spokeshave for your money because it is simple to use and comes in handy when handling just about any wood shaping work. The round bottom makes it ideal for working on surfaces that curve inwards.
In case you are just discovering the best planes, possibly because you want to get started on a woodworking project for the first time, this is an essential tool to add to your collection. Its basic design marks it ideal for newbies and seasoned woodworkers.
To quickly adjust your blade, you will find two thumbscrews made of brass. They allow you to tune and set your edge depending on the kind of work you are doing. Because the round shaves are all rounded, they are a must-have tool for all woodworkers.
Sadly, this product has lead, so you need to handle it with care. Lead is a chemical known to alter human DNA, cause cancer, and trigger other reproductive dangers. To protect yourself from possible harm, make sure you do not put your hands in your mouth after using your shave.
- Two adjusting screws for setting up the blade
- Level cap to secure your edge in place
- A round bottom for working on concave surfaces
- Blade (2-inch) made of top-quality German steel
- User-friendly design
- Comes with a level cap to firmly hold the blade
- Product is coated in the lead which can be a health hazard
At number 4, we have a specialized carpenter’s plane with a flat base. It is ideal for woodworking beginners and does an excellent job when working on efferent and flat surfaces.
This tool is made of top-grade brass, steel, and metal. The blades are made of hardened carbon steel and have a toughness of 58-60HRC.
What makes the cutters wear-resistant is because of their sturdy material that has gone through heat treatment. They are crafted to work effectively without breaking, warping or bending, irrespective of the kind of wood you are using.
The contoured handles make this plane easy to operate. You can use it to streamline the overall design of your furniture pieces, curve templates on them, or even shape the legs or seat of a chair. The sharp blades do a close to the perfect job, and this means less sanding to get the ideal finish.
The two pieces in the package are identical. Choosing to give one to a friend may be an ideal thing to do, or you can use different settings. One can be set to provide fine shaving, and you may tune the other for course shaving.
Last but not least, the bass thumbscrews allow you to decide on the thickness of the shavings accurately.
- Easy to use and control
- Carbon steel blades of 58-60HRC hardness
- Blades are wear-resistant
- Blade precision adjustment screws
- Made of quality metal, steel, and brass
- You get two identical spokeshaves
- Tuning is necessary before use
This woodworking tool is ideal for woodcarvers and can be quite useful when shaping various kinds of wood surfaces. The adjustable screws make the process of tuning the blades both effortless and quick.
The spokeshave is durable, affordable, and versatile. Its blades are unbreakable, and the double handles designed for convenient control are made of heavy cast iron and coated with epoxy to make them corrosion resistant.Their ergonomic design allows you to grip them comfortably and work with precision.
Most people use this carpenters plane for carpentry projects. However, you can adjust it to perform other tasks. For instance, you can use settings that allow you to remove irregular patterns from your wood crafts.
The size of the shave makes it remarkably easy to use around hard to reach areas where it may not be practical to use your regular plane. You can use this tool to remove unwanted arcs and curves on wooden fixtures with both precision and ease.
When you pull out the blade from your box, you may notice that it appears a little blunt and dull. This means you have to polish and sharpen it properly before use. Fortunately, this will only be a small price to pay, given the many benefits you will enjoy.
- Versatile and durable tool
- Specially designed for curved woodworking projects
- Break-resistant blades
- Steel blade that is heat-treated
- Double handles for easy control
- The blade needs sharpening before use
If you can work effectively using both handles of a spokeshave and even better when only using one handle, then this tool would prove to be useful. Its design allows you to choose the best mode of operation depending on the project you have at hand.
The removable blade of this shave can be tuned to determine the most appropriate depth of your cuts. Even though you can set it up and use it immediately after purchase, minimal touch-up and sharpening would ensure you have an easy time, even when working on hardwood fixtures.
The iron body makes this tool ideal for finishing cuts during woodworking projects. Moreover, its flat sole and flat blade with easy to adjust screws allow you to dial settings that are perfect for various applications. Using this shave, applications that involve working on surfaces that curve outwards are more comfortable and quicker to complete.
As for the design of this carpenters plane is concerned, it gives you total control since you get a good grip on the handles. Whether you are using one or both handles, you will still be able to make precise cuts without much hassle. The plane is perfect for shaping and smoothing wheel spokes, rods, and chair legs.
On the downside, your spokeshave will need minor touch-ups before use. Its iron body is also not entirely maintenance-free and basic upkeep is required to keep it in a pristine state for longer.
- Removable and easy to tune the blade
- The design allows you to use one or both handles
- High carbon blade (rc60-64)
- Adjustable front shoe
- Heavy and robust cast iron body (1.05 lbs)
- A touch-up is necessary before use
- Basic ongoing maintenance is required
This carpenters plane comes with four parts. The body (Kanna-dai), the chip breaker (oase-gane), the blade (Kanna-ba), and the holding pin (osae-bou). These parts have a simple, but elegant design, although the tool is generally designed for better adjustability and function, and not necessarily aesthetics.
The body of this tool is made of durable and resilient hardwood. You will find the blade impressively heavy, and there is minimal chattering during use. It is made of hard steel and a layer of soft iron. The iron makes it easy to sharpen your blade, and the hard steel makes it reasonably resistant to breakage when working on hardwoods.
Although the plane does not have any handles, it cuts easily and accurately as long as its blade is carefully placed and correctly adjusted. The thick cutters can create uniquely fine shaves that require minimal sanding.
All the components of this unit fit together in a neat manner. You can easily adjust the blade to achieve an ideal thickness of shavings and grind wooden surfaces. More so, you can even dial settings to produce paper-thin shavings.
The overall design of this plan is simple, although it can perform a range of woodworking tasks with minimal hassle. If you are a newbie in using Japanese planes, this 58mm Kanna is probably the ideal one to purchase.
However, some practice is necessary if you are upgrading from using spokeshaves with handles. You will also need to tune your tool before use and flatten the sole and fit the blade.
- Heavy and thick 58mm blade
- 7mm Blade thickness
- 4,7cm Cutting width
- Hard steel blade with a soft iron layer
- The tool requires tuning before use
How To Identify A Top-Quality Spokeshave
When searching for the best carpenter’s plane, you must look beyond the materials used in their crafting. Herein, what determines the quality of a unit is how it is made.
Spokeshaves are machined to enhance their usability and performance. There is more to a tool than what meets the eye. You cannot make an informed decision if you choose to focus mainly on the design and aesthetics of a device.
One of the critical qualities of a fine shave is that it is designed for precision tasks. Its parts will fit together effortlessly and correctly, making it easier for you to create smooth and leveled surfaces when working on different applications.
Units that require you to sharpen the blade are not necessarily of substandard quality. However, you should beware of planes whose parts rub together. This would be a clear sign that they don’t work efficiently.
It is essential to compare the finish of various carpenters’ planes that interest you. In any case, a smooth finish will make statements about the time and resources used when manufacturing a unit.
If the finishing is shoddy, there is a good chance that the tool is not correctly machined. This puts you at risk of having to tune parts that hardly fit together.
How to Use a Spokeshave
Spokeshaves are easy to use and operate. However, it may take a bit of practice to become a master in using this invaluable woodworking tool.
Pull Stroke Steps
Get a firm grip on your spokeshave. Keep in mind that you should not grip the handles but instead hold the tool around its body. Make sure your thumbs are on the base and wrap your fingers around the back.
The idea is for your forefingers and thumbs to provide a proper grip as the rest of the fingers help to create better control and balance. When using the pull stroke to cut, your plane should be held facing you.
- Place the sole of your plane over the piece of wood you want to cut.
- Pull the unit in your direction, along the piece of wood, and apply a little downward pressure.
- Repeat this action to achieve the preferred shape.
Push Stroke Steps
Hold the spokeshave facing away from you and touch the base with your thumbs. Your fingers should wrap the tool around the front. Similar to when you are doing the pull stroke; use your thumbs and forefingers to get a proper grip and the rest of your fingers to create suitable balance and control.
- Place your planes sole on top of the wood you want to shape.
- Push the unit along the piece of wood while applying minimal downward force.
- Repeat the action to attain the shape you desire.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Why is my spokeshave babbling when I try to cut?
Your problem is possibly stemming from issues with the adjustments. You can try readjusting the blade for a lighter cut. Paper-thin shavings may not get the job done quickly; although this will help you achieve smoother results with minimal effort.
- Why is my blade leaving grazes on the surface?
When the blade’s back edge rubs the surface as you move your spokeshave along the wood, it could leave behind unsightly marks.
Slightly file this area with a sharpening stone or sandpaper if it appears uneven or ragged. This should effectively address your concern.
- How do I fine-tune the depth of cut?
Your unit has two thumbscrews that hold the blade in place. Loosen them and use the hex key to tune the setscrews. When you turn the setscrews clockwise, you get deeper cuts. If you turn them anti-clockwise, you get lighter cuts.
Once your settings are as desired, tighten back the thumbscrews. Voila! Your tool is ready for use.
- Why is my spokeshave not working?
It is common to struggle when you use this tool for the first time. Patience and practice are necessary for you to master how to control the unit effectively.
Also, make sure the blade is sharp and properly adjusted.
- Why is my spokeshave making a deeper cut in the center?
If the cuts in the center are greater in-depth than those on the sides, check the thumbscrews. When they are over-tightened, the blade will bow, creating unleveled cuts. Try loosening up the thumbscrews until they are neither too tight nor too loose.
Spokeshaves are useful tools and once you have mastered how to optimize them properly, you will find it challenging to work without them in any woodworking project. These flexible shaves are versatile, durable, affordable and fun to use!
Once you get the best spokeshave for the money, the secret behind getting the most out of it is to get it well-tuned before use.