What Is A Rabbet Plane? What Is A Rebate Plane? What Is A Rabbet Plane Used For?

what is a rebate rabbet plane
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A Rebate Plane also referred to and known as a Rabbet Plane is a type of woodworking plane used for trimming, squaring or forming rebates / rabbets. Most rebate plane models are designed for trimming or squaring work.

rebate rabbet plane

Different Types Of Rabbet Planes / Rebate Planes

There are five main categories of rebate / rabbet planes:

With the exception of side rebate planes, all rebate planes have a cutter which spans the full width of the plane with a corresponding opening in the mouth's surrounding sides (cheeks). In fact the cutter usually is about 1mm wider than the plane.

Originally the rabbet / rebate plane was made in the form of various wooden rabbet planes, certainly from the early 1700's. See the Old Wooden Planes section to see the different types of old wooden rabbet planes.

bullnose rebate rabbet plane

The rabbet / rebate plane then went on to be made in iron plane form, mainly with the iron rebate planes echoing their wooden plane counterparts in some form. The iron rebate planes went on to bring some evolutionary adaptations with the main common one being the installation of blade fine adjustment mechanisms.

A further observation on differences between wooden rebate planes and metal rebate /rabbet planes is the wooden rebate / rabbet plane in most cases had a skewed mouth whereas the iron rebate plane in nearly all models had a square mouth.

The rebate / rabbet plane is still manufactured and widely used today by cabinet makers, woodworkers, DIY'ers and hobbyists all around the world.

What Is The Difference Between A Rebate Plane and A Rabbet Plane?

veritas side rabbet plane

Absolutely nothing, they are the same type of plane, 'Rebate' is just another word for 'Rabbet'. The words are interchangeable.

'Rebate' is the word used particularly in the UK for rebates and rebate planes.

'Rabbet' is the word used particularly in North America for rebates / rabbets and rebate planes / rabbet planes.

As these are the two main places where these types of planes were made I would imagine the word used in different parts of the world will vary depending on what planes and literature has been consumed in the past and present and whether main stream educators have chosen to use the word 'Rebate' or 'Rabbet'.

Although I have always used the term 'Rebate Plane', I must admit I thought 'Rabbet Plane' was the old original name for these type of planes however I have noticed in a couple of old British tool catalogues they are advertised as 'Rebate Planes' and in a couple of old US tool catalogues they are advertised as 'Rabbet Planes'.

In terms of forming a rabbet / rebate, from my experience the word 'Rebate' is mainly used (I am in the UK, your experience may differ).


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(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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