Clifton Bullnose Shoulder Plane - No. 400

clifton 400 bullnose plane
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Clifton 400 Review By: I.Ball

Manufacturer: Clico [Sheffield] Tooling Ltd

Plane Type: Bullnose Shoulder

Model No: 400


This is a review of the Clifton plane number 400 produced by Clico [Sheffield] Tooling Ltd of Fell Road Industrial Estate, Sheffield, England.

The Clifton 400 was manufactured by Clico until 2014 when the Clifton range, including the Clifton 400 bull-nose plane, was taken over by the British saw maker, Thomas Flinn & Co. who are also a Sheffield based tool company. The Clifton 400 bull-nose shoulder plane is still available to buy new today from various tool shops.

Please see the new Clifton 400 plane review for more information about the 400 produced by Thomas Flinn & Co.

The Clifton 400 bullnose shoulder plane or small shoulder plane, is a small, narrow rebate plane with a fine mouth.

clifton 400 plane

The 3" long plane produces fine shavings with its fine mouth making this plane suitable for precision work / cabinet makers.

The 400 is fitted with a 7/16" (11mm) bevel edge cutter (what kind of steel). The bevel edge is positioned in the plane with the bevel facing upwards with the cutting edge spanning the full width of the plane (as with most/all bullnose planes).

The plane blade should be kept very sharp with the blade depth set to an acceptable level. If the blade is too blunt or the blade depth is set to an ambitious level then the likely outcome will be a juddering plane action or the plane being completely halted due to the blade digging-in.

The Clifton 400 is a non-adjustable plane requiring the plane blade to be set manually by hand; there is no form of fine blade adjustment.

The plane blade is secured in place with the use of a Rosewood wedge; the wedge is slotted into the plane until the wedge and blade are fixed firmly in place.

clifton 400 plane

The body of the 400 is a non-adjustable one piece plane constructed from quality grey cast iron. The body is classed as non-adjustable as there are no adjustable features to the body such as an adjustable mouth. The sole and sides of the body have been accurately machined and precision ground.

The sides of the plane have been given an attractive intricate design which includes the 'two cherries' motifs. The design of the sides also offer a little extra grip.

The plane was presented in a dark blue Clifton cardboard box with white writing detailing the plane details.

Planes Similar To The Clifton Plane Number 400

The Clifton 400 shoulder plane is heavily based upon the early 20th century Edward Preston bullnose plane 1366 to the point they are almost identical in design, the Clifton 400 even incorporates the Edward Preston two cherries logo on the plane sides. The Clifton number 400 is also almost identical to the Record 1366 bullnose plane. Record took over the Edward Preston plane range in the early 1930's. Clico then took over some of the Record plane range including the Clifton 400.

Clico History

Clico was originally started in 1983 when Clico (Sheffield) Tooling Limited was formed after a Management buy-out from Record Ridgway Tools where they gained rights to designs for Aerospace cutting tools including staff and machinery.

Clico went on four years later to begin a plane making department when they hired the previous manager of the Record Plane Making Section. The first plane they took on of the Record plane designs was the Record 405 multiplane which was used to create Clifton's version of the 405. From there Clico went on to gradually increase their plane and tool range.

Plane Construction

clifton 400 plane

Body: grey cast iron

Wedge: rosewood

Plane finish: bright ground

Clifton 400 Plane Blade / Cutter

Material: High Quality Oil Hardened Tool Steel

Hardness: 59-61 Rockwell 'C'

Cutting Edge Grind (Primary): 25 degrees

Cutting Edge Grind (Secondary): 30 degrees

Width (bottom): 29mm (1 1/8 inch)

Top Of Blade Shape: Rounded corners

Clifton 400 Plane Markings

"Clifton 400" - found towards the bottom of both sides.

Plane Dimensions

76mm (3 inch)

11mm (7/16 inch)

Manufactured Dates

<1991 - 2014

Plane Also Known As

Clifton 400 rebate plane
Clifton 400 rabbet plane
Clifton 400 shoulder rebate plane
Clifton 400 shoulder rabbet plane
Clifton 400 bull-nose shoulder rebate plane
Clifton 400 bull-nose shoulder rabbet plane


(i) This review/article may give warning(s) / advisory notes / cautions / guidelines given in good faith, any such information should not be solely relied upon and seen as the exhaustive list of warnings / advisory notes / cautions / guidelines. Refer to good safety practices for the safety of you and others. Refer to good practices for the good health of your tool and property.
(ii) The details here are given in good faith, the details are constantly growing and evolving including corrections, there is scope for error and shouldn't be fully relied upon, please confirm any details for yourself by performing additional research from reliable sources.

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