This tool is ideal for fine-tuning trimwork for a perfect fit.
It’s small, so you can hold the plane with one hand and the stock with the other, and use it just about anywhere.
And, unlike many other planes, it has a flat sole with a low-angle blade — often 20 degrees, but as low as 12 degrees. This means it can do something a jack plane can’t: trim end-grain and tough materials like plywood.
So instead of taking that piece of molding back to the saw and trying to shave off a blade’s width, you can simply trim it with a few passes of the plane.
To use it, adjust the blade for a paper-thin cut. Anything bigger and you’ll just get jammed. If you’re planing along the grain, set the wood so the grain runs uphill ahead of the plane for best results. (But keep the wood itself horizontal or sloping downhill if possible.) Hold the plane flat to the surface, and at a slight angle to the length of the wood. Push firmly in a long, smooth stroke, but don’t force it. As you practice, you’ll discover fine hand adjustments: a little extra force toward the front as you begin a stroke, and a little more on the heel as you end it.
If you’re planing end grain, don’t make a complete stroke across the end of the piece; you may end up tearing out a chunk. Work from one edge to the middle, then repeat from the other side.
Two key things to remember. Keep the blade sharp. And get in the habit of laying any plane on its side to protect the blade.