Plow Plane VS Router Plane: [Key Differences Explained!]

Are you stuck between choosing a plow plane or a router plane? Confused about which one will best suit your woodworking needs? Well, worry no more! We’ve got you covered with all the information you need to know to make an informed decision.

Key Takeaways

  • Plow planes are best for creating grooves and rabbets while router planes excel at smoothing surfaces.
  • Router planes come in handy when it comes to mortising and trimming tenons.
  • Plow planes are easier to control compared to Router planes.
  • Router planes‘ adjustable depth stops allow for accuracy in cuts.
  • The choice between the two ultimately depends on the project requirements and personal preference.

Whether you’re looking for precision or versatility, these key points will help you make a well-informed decision about which tool is right for your woodworking projects.

Plow Plane vs Router Plane: Which One Is Better for Woodworking?

When it comes to woodworking, the plow plane and router plane are both valuable tools that serve different purposes.

The plow plane is great for creating grooves, while the router plane is perfect for smoothing out surfaces.

So which one is better? It all depends on what you’re trying to accomplish.

If you need to create a groove, the plow plane is your go-to tool.

It allows you to make precise cuts that are perfect for creating joints or decorative accents.

The plow plane can also be used to make rabbets and dadoes, making it an incredibly versatile tool in any woodworker’s arsenal.

On the other hand, if you need to smooth out a surface, the router plane is the way to go.

This tool allows you to remove small amounts of wood at a time until your surface is perfectly flat and smooth.

It’s especially useful when working with uneven or rough pieces of wood, as it helps create an even finish.

Here are some factors that might help you decide which tool is best for your project:

  • If precision is important, go with the plow plane.
  • If speed is important, choose the router plane.
  • If you’re working with rough or uneven wood, go with the router plane.
  • If you’re looking for versatility, consider adding both tools to your collection.

In summary, both the plow plane and router plane have their own unique strengths and uses in woodworking.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to determine which one will work best for your specific project needs.

Can a Plow Plane Replace a Router Plane in Woodworking?

As a woodworking enthusiast, you might be wondering whether a plow plane is a suitable replacement for a router plane.

Well, the answer is not straightforward.

Both tools serve different purposes and are unique in their ways.

However, owning both can take your woodworking skills to the next level.

A plow plane is excellent for cutting grooves and dadoes along with the grain of wood, while a router plane is better at leveling and smoothing surfaces across the grain.

While you can use a plow plane to create stopped dados or rabbets, it’s not as precise as using a router plane.

So if you’re looking for precision in creating intricate joinery or mortises, then a router plane would be your go-to tool.

However, one advantage that plow planes have over router planes is that they are easier to set up and adjust.

You don’t need to fiddle around with depth stops or adjusters when using plow planes – just set the blade depth and start working away! Furthermore, because plow planes use blades that cut parallel to the grain of wood, they tend to produce cleaner cuts than routers.

In conclusion, while it’s tempting to think that one tool can replace another entirely – in this case, replacing a router plane with a plow plane – it’s essential to recognize their unique strengths and weaknesses.

While each tool has its specific purpose in woodworking, owning both can expand your capabilities significantly.

So why settle for one when you can have both?

  • Plow planes excel at cutting grooves and dadoes along the grain.
  • Router planes are better at leveling surfaces across the grain.
  • Plow planes are easier to set up and adjust compared to router planes.
  • Plow planes produce cleaner cuts than routers because they cut parallel to the wood grain.
  • Owning both tools can expand your capabilities significantly.
Plow PlaneRouter Plane
Cuts grooves and dadoes along the grain of wood.Levels and smooths surfaces across the grain of wood.
Easier to set up and adjust compared to router planes.Precise for creating intricate joinery or mortises.
Produces cleaner cuts than routers because it cuts parallel to the wood grain.

What Are the Main Differences Between a Plow Plane and a Router Plane?

When it comes to woodworking, plow planes and router planes are two essential tools that have their own unique purposes.

A plow plane is used for cutting grooves, while a router plane is mainly used for smoothing out the bottom of grooves.

One of the main differences between the two is that a plow plane has a fixed blade, while a router plane allows you to adjust the depth of cut using a knob or screw.

Another difference between these two tools is in their size and shape.

Plow planes are typically larger and heavier than router planes, with long handles that allow you to apply more force when making cuts.

Router planes, on the other hand, are usually smaller and more compact, with short handles that give you greater control over the tool.

Additionally, plow planes can be used for cutting different types of grooves such as stopped grooves and dadoes.

In contrast, router planes are ideal for cleaning out any remaining material from mortises or tenons after they have been cut with another tool.

In summary,

  • A plow plane is used for cutting grooves while a router plane smooths out the bottom of grooves.
  • A plow plane has a fixed blade whereas a router plane allows depth adjustment.
  • Plow planes are larger and heavier compared to smaller and more compact router planes.
  • Router planes clean up remaining material in mortises or tenons whereas plow planes can make different types of grooves.

When deciding which tool to use for your project, consider what type of groove you need to cut and how precise your cuts need to be.

Both tools have their strengths and weaknesses depending on the task at hand.

Plow PlaneRouter Plane
Larger and heavierSmaller and more compact
Fixed bladeDepth adjustment knob or screw
Cuts different types of grooves (stopped grooves, dadoes)Cleans out remaining material in mortises or tenons after cutting with another tool.

Is a Plow Plane More Versatile Than a Router Plane in Woodworking?

When it comes to woodworking, choosing the right tool can make all the difference.

While both a plow plane and a router plane have their benefits, I personally find that a plow plane is more versatile.

Here’s why:

Firstly, with a plow plane you can create grooves of varying sizes easily by adjusting the depth and width of the blade.

This means you can create everything from narrow slots for inlay work to wide channels for joinery projects.

In comparison, a router plane is better suited for creating precise mortises or smoothing out surfaces.

Secondly, a plow plane allows for greater control and precision when working on edges or corners.

The adjustable fence lets you guide the plane along your workpiece with ease, ensuring straight and accurate results every time.

A router plane can be cumbersome and difficult to use in tight spaces.

Lastly, while both tools require some skill to use effectively, a plow plane has fewer parts and is generally simpler to set up than a router plane.

You won’t need any special jigs or accessories to get started with basic projects – just sharpen your blade and adjust your depth settings as needed.

In summary, while both tools have their place in woodworking, I believe that a plow plane offers greater versatility overall.

With its ability to create custom grooves quickly and accurately without requiring too much setup time, it’s an excellent addition to any woodworking toolkit.

Bullet list:

  • A plow plane allows for easy creation of grooves of varying sizes.
  • The adjustable fence on a plow plane provides greater control on edges/corners.
  • A plow plane is generally simpler to set up than a router plane.


Plow PlaneRouter Plane
Versatile for creating grooves of varying sizes.Better suited for precise mortises and smoothing surfaces.
Offers greater control on edges/corners with adjustable fence.Can be cumbersome to use in tight spaces.
Simpler to set up and use effectively with fewer parts.May require special jigs or accessories for certain projects.

How Do You Use a Plow Plane and Router Plane for Different Tasks?

Plow planes and router planes are two essential tools in woodworking.

Plow planes are used to make grooves and dadoes, while router planes are used to level out the bottom of a groove or dado.

These tools have different functions but work together to create clean and precise cuts.

To use a plow plane, you need to set the depth of the blade using the depth stop.

Then, adjust the fence to control the width of the cut.

You can also use different blades depending on how wide or deep you want your cut to be.

Once everything is set up, push the plane forward while holding it at an angle to create a clean groove.

On the other hand, using a router plane requires more precision and attention to detail.

First, you need to secure your workpiece on a flat surface.

Then, set the blade depth by adjusting it with a screwdriver until it reaches your desired depth.

After that, guide the router along the length of your groove or dado until it’s even and smooth.

Bullet List:

  • Plow planes make grooves and dadoes
  • Router planes level out grooves or dadoes
  • Plow planes require setting up blade depth and fence width
  • Router planes need precision when setting blade depth
  • Both tools work together for clean cuts

In conclusion, don’t underestimate these small but mighty tools! They may seem intimidating at first glance but once you get familiar with them, they’ll become your best friends in woodworking.

Remember to take extra care when using these tools as they can be dangerous if not handled properly.

Plow PlaneRouter Plane
Used for making grooves and dadoesUsed for leveling out grooves or dadoes
Requires setting up blade depth and fence widthNeeds precision when setting blade depth
Different blades can be used to control cut width and depthThe blade is adjusted with a screwdriver until it reaches the desired depth.

Which Type of Blade is Ideal for Both Plow Planes and Router Planes?

When it comes to finding the perfect blade for plow planes and router planes, there are a few factors to consider.

First and foremost, you want a blade that is versatile, able to handle a variety of different materials with ease.

You also want a blade that is durable, able to withstand heavy use over time.

One option that fits the bill is a tungsten carbide tipped (TCT) blade.

This type of blade offers the best of both worlds, providing excellent cutting performance for both plow planes and router planes.

TCT blades are ideal for working with hardwoods, softwoods, laminates, plastics, and even some metals.

In addition to their versatility and durability, TCT blades offer several other benefits as well.

They have a longer lifespan than other types of blades, making them cost-effective in the long run.

They also require less maintenance than traditional steel blades, which can save you time and hassle in the workshop.

If you’re in the market for a new blade for your plow or router plane, consider investing in a TCT blade. With its unbeatable combination of versatility and durability, it’s sure to become an essential tool in your workshop arsenal.

Tungsten Carbide Tipped (TCT) BladeTraditional Steel Blade
Durable and long-lastingProne to dulling and wearing out over time
Versatile, can handle a variety of materials with easeLimited usefulness depending on the material being worked on
Requires less maintenance than traditional steel bladesRequires sharpening and more frequent maintenance over time

Some benefits of using tungsten carbide tipped (TCT) blades include:

  • Versatility: Can handle a variety of different materials with ease.
  • Durability: Able to withstand heavy use over time.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Longer lifespan than other types of blades.
  • Maintenance: Requires less maintenance than traditional steel blades.

In summary, if you’re looking for a blade that can handle both plow planes and router planes, a tungsten carbide tipped (TCT) blade is an excellent choice.

With its versatility, durability, cost-effectiveness, and low-maintenance design, it’s sure to become a go-to tool in your workshop.

Can You Create Dadoes with Both Plow Planes and Router Planes?

Yes, you can create dadoes with both plow planes and router planes.

These are traditional woodworking tools that can help you make clean and precise cuts.

One advantage of using a plow plane is that it allows you to adjust the depth and width of the cut by changing out the blades.

On the other hand, a router plane is ideal for creating uniform grooves or recesses in wood.

When it comes to using these tools, it really depends on your personal preference and the type of project you are working on.

Some woodworkers prefer using a plow plane because they find it more intuitive or feel like they have more control over the cut.

Others prefer using a router plane because they find it easier to set up and use.

If you’re new to woodworking, I’d recommend starting with a plow plane since it’s easier to learn how to use correctly.

Once you’ve mastered this tool, then you can move on to experimenting with a router plane if needed.

Remember that practice makes perfect, so don’t be afraid to experiment until you find what works best for your needs.

To sum up, here are some important points about creating dadoes with plow planes and router planes:

  • Both tools can be used to create dadoes or grooves in wood
  • The choice between them often comes down to personal preference
  • If you’re new to woodworking, start with a plow plane before moving on to a router plane

Final Thoughts

So, when it comes down to the plow plane vs router plane debate, it really depends on your specific woodworking needs.

The plow plane is excellent for creating precise grooves and rabbets, while the router plane is great for smoothing out rough surfaces and adjusting depth of cuts.

At the end of the day, both tools have their strengths and weaknesses.

It’s just a matter of finding what works best for you and your project.

As they say: “different strokes for different folks.” Now go forth and create some beautiful woodwork!