Stanley Bullnose Plane - No. 90

stanley 90 plane
Our Rating

Review By: I.Ball

Manufacturer: Stanley

Plane Type: Bullnose

Model No: 90


The Stanley 90 bullnose plane is a comfortable plane to use which fits nicely in to your hand with its moulded thumb and finger recesses. The Stanley 90 plane has an easily adjustable mouth. A popular alternative is the Record no. 077A which is of a similar price.

The Stanley 90 plane is a small bull-nose plane designed to trim in tight spaces. The finely adjustable low angled blade is positioned very close to the end of the plane with only a short sole / toe in front of the blade.

The Stanley 90 plane blade is a 1 inch (25mm) wide, shouldered, bevel edge cutter. The top of the blade has a series of grooves to allow the blade adjuster to locate with the blade. The blade sits in the plane with the bevel edge side facing upwards.

The top section and front end of the plane can be removed transforming the plane into a chisel plane leaving just the blade exposed, this allows trimming into the corner of a stop rebate.

stanley plane 90

The plane can be used left or right handed and can be laid perfectly flat and used on either of its sides to trim rebates, shoulder lines and tenons. The mouths opening can be adjusted by loosening the large screw at the top of the plane, sliding the top section to create the required sized mouth and resecuring the screw.

The plane has curved areas on top of the plane and finger grip indents on the plane sides offering added comfort and control.

When using the Stanley number 90 ensure the plane blade is kept very sharp and the blade depth is 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.

When using the chisel plane function the tool should be used a bit like a chisel and as such you would want a really sharp blade. Basically, as with most tools, keep the blade sharp for good results.

stanley plane 90

A little caution is needed when tightening and setting this plane as these planes can be susceptible to cast damage.

The Stanley 90 plane was coated in a nickel plating. This plating is prone to coming off through years of use, as such these planes are often found today with partial plating cover or even no plating cover.

The plane amazingly has been manufactured since Victorian times (19th century). The design still has a contemporary look and feel to it. It must have been a design which really stood out in Victorian times.

The Stanley 90 bullnose plane does appear to have a little bit of a Marmite effect ("you either love it or hate it") from my experience of feedback relating to this tool.

What Is This Tool Used For?

This Stanley bullnose plane is used for trimming in tight spaces up to stopped ends, joints and in to corners.

Plane Construction

stanley bullnose plane

Body and frog:
cast iron

best steel

Plane finish:
nickel plated

Plane Dimensions

4 inch

1 inch

Manufactured Dates

1898 - 2005>

Are There Any Problems / Issues With This Tool?

On second hand Stanley 90 planes always check the mouth for any cracks or chips to corners. It is also a good idea to check the lever cap inside the plane as these can sometimes have cracks through them due to their light weight design (it is advised if you purchase a Stanley no. 90 bullnose plane not to over tighten the lever cap screw). Also check there is good life / length left in the blade and no pitting to blade face.

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(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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