What Is A Dado Plane? What Is A Dado Plane? Used For?

what is a dado plane
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dado plane

A dado plane is a woodwork plane used for cutting a groove / slot / trench across a piece of wood, cutting across the grain.

In order to form a groove going across the wood, the dado plane is designed in a special way to cut across the grain.

To achieve this the dado plane is equipped with a double point nicker at the front of the plane which scores / slices the wood paving the way for the cutter further back to cleanly shave the wood. This combination allows this to happen with every push of the plane.

There are two types of dado planes, wooden dado planes and iron dado planes both of which carry out the same job:

dado plane

Wooden Dado Planes

The dado plane first came to fruition in the form of the wooden dado plane, I believe the first being made in the 1700's, wooden dado planes were certainly being manufactured in the 1700's.

Wooden dado planes were popular throughout the 1800's. They began to decline in popularity as the iron planes started being invented and marketed.

See the Wooden Dado Planes Review for additional information about wooden dado planes.

stanley dado plane

Iron Dado Planes

The iron dado planes were first invented around 1900 with Stanley bringing the first mainstream version in the form of the Stanley 39 dado plane.

The Stanley 39 dado plane, like the wooden dado plane, has a two point nicker/spur system at the front with a skew mouth / cutter behind.

old wooden dado planes

What Is The Difference Between A Grooving Plane / Plough Plane and a Dado Plane?

A plane which cuts grooves such as a plough plane or grooving plane is used to cut a groove along / with the wood grain.

A dado plane is used to cut across the wood grain.

Grooving planes and dado planes are designed differently:

- A grooving plane or plough plane is capable of cutting different width grooves by simply changing the size of cutter used. A grooving plane has a fence.

- A dado plane isn't capable of cutting different width grooves, it is a one size plane which can only cut one sized groove, if a different sized groove is needed then an additional different sized dado plane will be needed.

Dado Plane Parts List:

A typical wooden dado plane consists of the following parts:

  • A - Wedge
  • B - Nicker Blade
  • C - Plane Iron
  • D - Depth Stop Adjuster
  • E - Depth Stop
  • F - Throat

dado plane parts

Dado Plane Manufacturers:

There have been a number of dado plane makers in the past, with a few present makers. Below are a list of a few well known dado plane manufacturers:

New Dado Plane Manufacturers:

  • ?

Old Wooden Dado Plane Manufacturers:

Old Iron Dado Plane Manufacturers:


(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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