Stanley Fillister Plane - No. 78

stanley fillister plane 78
Our Rating

Reviewed By: I.Ball

Manufacturer: Stanley

Plane Type: Fillister Rebate / Rabbet

Model No: 78


The Stanley 78 plane is an affordable plane that performs its task well, the fence could be more secure though overall a very good plane for its price. the old Record no. 778 which in my opinion is a more stable plane with its two arm fence; a good 778 comes at a slightly higher price.

The Stanley no. 78 has been an extremely popular model of plane from the Stanley range of tools for over 100 years now. The plane has been an essential part of carpenters, joiners and cabinet makers toolkit. The plane is still in manufacture today by Stanley.

The plane is designed for adding rebates to wood and is often used by woodworkers in windows, door frames and various joints.

stanley 78 plane

The plane has a single cutter with two separate blade beds; one at the front end of the plane for bullnose work and the other in the middle for more regular work. The middle bed has a lever adjuster for changing the depth of cut.

The plane also comes with a detachable single arm side fence allowing the plane to be guided along a piece of wood to give a straight cut. The fence can be positioned either side of the plane.

The Stanley 78 has a single spur to score the piece of wood you are planing making the plane easier and more efficient to use. The 78 also has a depth stop to allow the user to plane to a depth set by the user.

stanley 78 plane usa

The Stanley 78 has over the years through its history been made in USA and made in England as such you see 78's with markings such as 'Made In USA' and 'Made In England'.

What Is This Tool Used For?

The Stanley 78 plane is used for adding rebates to windows, door frames, various joints, for fitting backs into carcases, cupboards...

Plane Construction

stanley 78 plane

Length Of Sole: mm (8 1/2 inch)

Mouth Width: 38mm (1 1/2 inch)

Body:cast iron

Lever cap: cast iron

Plane finish: black

Stanley 78 Plane Blade / Cutter

Blade: tungsten steel

Width: 38mm (1 1/2 inch)

Manufactured Dates

1888 - Today

How To Date This Plane

stanley 78 plane

Very early models have a fish scale pattern on the handle. The early Stanley 78 planes also had a slightly different shaped handle to later versions; the most obvious observation is there is a protruding extension at the bottom of the handle extending towards the user which mirrors the top protruding extension.

stanley 78 plane

stanley 78 plane

stanley 78 plane

Plane Also Known As

Stanley 78 Plane
Stanley 78 Rabbet Plane
Stanley 78 Rebate Plane
Stanley 78 Fillister Rabbet Plane
Stanley 78 Fillister Rebate Plane
Stanley 78 Fillister Rebating Plane
Stanley 78 Duplex, Fillister and Rabbet Plane

Are There Any Problems / Issues With This Tool?

When buying a secondhand Stanley 78 plane make sure the plane is complete with all its parts as often parts like the depth stop or side fence are missing.

Check there is still life left in the blade, making sure there is not lots of heavy pitting to the useable face section of the blade; blades are still readily available today either new or secondhand.

Look for any damage to the very front section of the plane as these sometimes get chipped or broken off and re-welded.

It is always well worth the effort checking that all parts move freely.

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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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