Gear Review: Groz Planes

In the woodshop today, I spent some quality time with a set of 3 Groz planes.  The block plane (unsure what the Stanley No would be), the Jack Plane and their Jointer.  I’ve been pleased with the results throughout this year.  I sharpen the blades about once a quarter or during long breaks, and when they see an enormous amount of use. 

Here’s a shot of the block plane at work today: 

Groz planes are manufactured in India and you can pick them up at “Woodcraft” or other retailers.  The planes take some setting up to get dead right.  You have to flatten the sole and sharpen the blade to get them working correctly.  I did not have to fix the machining of the frog, screws and such.  I spent three to five hours in August getting these three set up.  I followed this method to set the planes up.  Since then, I have only sharpened the blade.

 You’ve seen most of the results – the Clock project was milled with the Jack plane.  Here’s a good shot of two matched boards for a bookcase I’ve been guiding along:

 I think these planes are nearly perfect as student planes – they are real tools that really work at a decent price.  The set-up time is substantial, but once properly set up, the planes take abuse well.  If a student drops or otherwise mangles one, the cost means they are replaceable under a minimalist budget.  The build quality means the tool should last.  The results speak for themselves. 

In my home shop I’m replacing most of my India/China planes with L-N and Veritas stuff.  Their equipment just sings in a way this Groz probably never will.


If someone out there uses a different brand/type of hand plane for their woodworking students, I’d love to hear…I just put together next years “tool wish list” and while ”The Works” was on the list, I don’t necessarily think we’ll receive it.  So tell me what my options are!