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What Is A Combination Plane? What Is A Combination Plane? Used For?

what is a combination plane?
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stanley combination combi plane

A Combination Plane, is a woodworking plane very much like a plough plane / plow plane but with the added ability to accept additional blades such as bead plane blades and tongue plane blades as well as the plough / grooving plane blades.

A combination plane is used for woodwork jobs such as cleaning and cutting grooves (ploughing / plowing), beads, tongue and grooves, dado work and rebate / rabbet work.

In addition to the cutters, combination planes are equipped with a fence, depth stop and a spur.

Combination planes are often referred to as plough planes / plow planes due to the similar appearance to an iron plough plane with often the only difference being the blades which come with the plane.

record combination plane

'Combination Plane' is also a term sometimes used for a Multi-Plane.

A combination plane under the Record plane indexing and for me (which must be directly or indirectly from Record plane indexing) is a plane which sits between a plough / plow plane and multi-plane in terms of functionality.

For others a combination plane is any plane which accepts different blades beyond the plow blades which also covers what some class as a multi-plane. This has come about due to some different naming / advertising of planes at various points in history including the terms 'Universal Plane' and then 'Universal Combination Plane' used at certain points in history for the Stanley 55 Plane, the box of the Stanley 45 was also at one point being labelled 'Combination Plane', and 'Combination Plane' is used today (at the time of writing) for the Veritas Combination Plane.

Does it matter which definition of a combination plane is used? No, however it is good to be aware of differing definitions.

record combination combi plane

The combination plane originally came about as an iron plane improvement on the old wooden plough planes.

There was never a mainstream wooden combination plane that I am aware of, only wooden plough planes.

The first mainstream iron combination plane which was originally listed as an 'Adjustable Beading Plane' (c.1884) then 'Combined Beading And Matching Plane' (c.1912) then 'Combination Plane' (by 1939) and today is also often referred to as a 'Plough Plane / Plow Plane' due to the Stanley 50S Plane, was the Stanley 50 Plane which was introduced in the 1880's.

Other examples of combination planes include:

combination plane cutters

Advantages And Disadvantages Of A Combination-Plane

As with most choices, there are advantages and disadvantages to buying a combination-plane tool, the pro's and con's as we see it are:

PRO'S:

  • Saves space.
  • In theory saves money.
  • Each different blade effectively equates to a new plane.

CON'S:

  • Extra time and fiddling - you have to set the plane up for each function rather than just reaching for an already setup individual plane.








Disclaimer

(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, 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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