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WoodRiver #4 Bench Hand Plane, V3

Item #150874
$144.99
Qty.   or Add to Wish List

 
4.5

(48 reviews)

Read Reviews | Write a Review


Product Information:

A versatile tool, the No. 4 hand plane is ideal for smoothing and other light jobs where you don’t need the length or heft of a larger plane. Weighing in at 5 lbs., this hand plane is light enough to use for longer periods, but has plenty of heft to slice through difficult grain without stopping.

Fine Woodworking Best Value Award Winner V3: Like our previous WoodRiver® Bench Hand Planes, our version 3 is based on the reliable Bedrock design and feature heavy, stress-relieved ductile iron castings, fully machined adjustable frogs and high carbon steel blades but we took the opportunity between manufacturing runs to do a critical review and make a few improvements. We’ve changed the shape of the rear tote and increased the diameter of the blade adjustment wheel to make advancing the blade a bit easier. We improved the lateral adjustment lever and added a traditional style bearing for better control of the blade. We’ve made numerous changes to the castings that result in better “feedback” and a solid feel to the user. Working closely with our own manufacturer, we’ve continued to make improvements in machining, finish and functionality which we feel have yielded hand planes that are meant to be used and offer an extraordinary value.
  • 2-7/16” W x 9-7/8”L with 2”W blade

  • Modeled after the Bedrocks, Stanley Tool's very best line

  • WoodRiver® hand planes feature the same heavy castings (5 lbs) and fully machined frogs

  • Lightly finished Bubinga handles provide comfort and control

  • Tools require minimal tune-up prior to use

  • Commonly known as a smoothing plane

  • Soles and sides are machined flat and square within tightly held tolerances
  • California Residents: Click here for Proposition 65 information.

     
     

    REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

    by PowerReviews
     
    4.4

    (based on 48 reviews)

    98%

    of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

    Pros

    • Effective (31)
    • Well built / quality (24)
    • Versatile (5)
    • Lightweight (3)
    • Heavy (2)

    Cons

    • Blade quality (2)

    Best Uses

    • Small projects (24)
    • Large projects (20)
    • Gifts (6)
    • Home repair (6)
    • Fine woodworking (2)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Avid do-it-yourselfer (32), Casual do-it-yourselfer (6), Professional (6)
    • Primary Use:
    • Personal (39), Business (5)

    Displaying reviews 1 - 10

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    4.0

    Nice Plane

    By  DjSynn

    from Moscow, ID

    About Me Professional

    Pros

    • Strong
    • Works Effectively

    Cons

    Best Uses

    • Large Projects
    • Small Projects

    Comments about WoodRiver #4 Bench Hand Plane, V3 :

    Although it is possible to bulldog this plane, it is a strong, sturdy plane that came very accurate out of the box. After honing the iron, I get shavings at just over 1/2 thousandth with consistency. The iron is a bit soft though; you may want to invest in an A2 iron, as the one that comes with it seems to be a bit softer than M1. Worthwhile product.

    • Primary Use:
    • Business
     
    5.0

    A Real Winner

    By  rustythebailiff

    from Clearwater, FL

    About Me Professional

    Pros

    • Strong
    • Works Effectively

    Cons

    Best Uses

    • Large Projects
    • Small Projects

    Comments about WoodRiver #4 Bench Hand Plane, V3 :

    Machining and finish quality are excellent. All surfaces are square and flat. The blades are first rate, take and edge well and hold it on par with other top quality blades. Took it out of the box and put it right to hardwood. It cut see through shavings across the width.

    • Primary Use:
    • Personal
     
    5.0

    W.R. #4 Works Great

    By  wood hog

    from Toledo

    About Me Avid Do-It-Yourselfer

    Pros

    • Strong
    • Versatile
    • Works Effectively

    Cons

    Best Uses

    • Small Projects

    Comments about WoodRiver #4 Bench Hand Plane, V3 :

    My wood river #4 is the original and it works great. There is very little if anything to improve on.

    • Primary Use:
    • Personal
     
    4.0

    Good for the money

    By  Ben

    from Eureka, CA

    About Me Casual Do-It-Yourselfer

    Pros

    • Strong
    • Sturdy case
    • Versatile
    • Works Effectively

    Cons

    • Blade Dulls Quickly

    Best Uses

    • Small Projects

    Comments about WoodRiver #4 Bench Hand Plane, V3 :

    Price-wise, this is a great hand plane. There was no truing of the soul at all to be done, very good and flat. When I first got the plane, it had a broken part (in shipping or defective I don't know for sure), customer service took care of it without a hitch. The only issue I've had so far, is that the blade doesn't stay sharp for too long, however, for the money, it does MUCH better than similarly priced items!

    • Primary Use:
    • Personal
     
    3.0

    Meh...ok

    By  The Weekend Woodworker

    from Boise, ID

    About Me Avid Do-It-Yourselfer

    Pros

    Cons

    • Blade Mech Just Ok

    Best Uses

    Comments about WoodRiver #4 Bench Hand Plane, V3 :

    The plane is good, but not great. While I agree with some of the reviews, on some of the good points, I've found that there's one big thing that makes me wish I paid a few extra dollars and got a better branded plane- the blade advancing mechanism is poor. It has a ton of 'play' in it, which results in you not being able to move the blade into position to cut correctly. This is important when you're trying to dial in for that very fine shaving. I't took me half an hour of moving the blade forward and back, time and again, to get it to 'just that spot'. The next time, I again had to fiddle with it for a long time to get it back into place. I eventually went out and purchased a better brand and am very happy. A few turns and I'm ready to go. Not so with the Woodriver. It's not a bad brand and they make decent stuff, BUT, know that you're not getting a hand plane of the quality some other brands put out.

    • Primary Use:
    • Personal
     
    5.0

    A great plane

    By  mcase

    from watertown, ma

    About Me Professional

    Pros

    • Works Effectively

    Cons

    Best Uses

    Comments about WoodRiver #4 Bench Hand Plane, V3 :

    I do high-end remodeling and cabinet making for a living. While most of what I do involves power tool woodworking I still need some good hand planes that actually work - unlike many modern planes which are just plain junk. I came across the WoodRiver V3 series and they looked really good. I initially purchased the #4 in the V3 series and am now a WoodRiver convert. Upon inspecting this plane I was very impressed. In the first place, the sole was dead flat. NO flattening was needed at all and this is a big, big plus in my book. Since the sole was flat there was very little tuning to do. The blade which is A2 steel took a bit of flattening, but then plane blades generally do. All in all the parts were well machined and the handles were done nicely as well. The V3s lateral adjuster is much nicer than the earlier WoodRiver series, having a solid tang and a bearing like the vintage Stanleys. The V3 also has a modern-style improved heavy chip breaker. The blade came flat ground at 25 degrees. I used my Tormek grinder to grind past any bad edge temper and gave the blade a 25 degree hollow grind. Next, I honed a 30 degree secondary bevel on it with a 6000 Japanese water stone and polished the back the same way. Then I put it all back together, dialed in the frog and gave it a whirl. The results were beautiful. The plane has mass and accuracy. The lateral adjustments were firm and the depth adjuster was precise. I could easily set it for feathery gossamer shavings or solid curls. I got full width shavings too. Just really, really, nice! It was so nice I went back and got the #3,#5 and #6. These too were solid performers. I gave them all the same small tuning and put them through the paces and found the edge retention to be very good. The WoodRiver V3s are solidly built Bedrock-style planes that perform wonderfully and are available at a very fair price. With the bubinga handles and stainless cap irons they are handsome planes too.

    • Primary Use:
    • Business
     
    5.0

    the good tool for any master

    By  Alex Yugay

    from Kazakhstan

    About Me Casual Do-It-Yourselfer

    Pros

    Cons

    Best Uses

    Comments about WoodRiver #4 Bench Hand Plane, V3 :

    Honest plane for the money. I straightened a sole, and in hands the ideal tool a little

    • Primary Use:
    • Personal
     
    4.0

    Excellent plane, great value

    By  Bok Choi

    from Ontario, Canada

    About Me Casual Do-It-Yourselfer

    Pros

    • Quality Machining
    • Strong
    • Works Effectively

    Cons

    • Blade quality

    Best Uses

    • Home Repair
    • Small Projects

    Comments about WoodRiver #4 Bench Hand Plane, V3 :

    Purchased the #4 and the #7 during a 20% off sale in fall of 2013. Have been using both for about 4 months now. Impressed with both, particularly for the value. Arrived well packaged, well oiled, and no concerns with the service/shipping of these items. Only fettling required out of the box was wiping down all the oil, and tightening up the knob and tote. After almost 6 months of use, I have no regrets. The plane body is well machined and cast, with a sole that is dead flat and square. Adjustment of the frog is a bit finnicky but once it is set then its done (I keep the mouth tight for a fine shaving). Only drawback is the blade itself. It's a decent quality A2 blade that holds an edge well but it took a fair bit of work to lap it to a flat back with a nice polish. Only needs to be done once though. I would definitely consider adding other WR planes to my collection (possibly their new 4 1/2 or 5 1/2!).

    • Primary Use:
    • Personal
     
    4.0

    Nice plane, bad blade

    By  GregPT

    from San Francico, CA

    About Me Avid Do-It-Yourselfer

    Pros

    • Beautiful
    • Heavy
    • Well machined

    Cons

    • Poor Quality Blade

    Best Uses

    Comments about WoodRiver #4 Bench Hand Plane, V3 :

    After reading a lot of positive reviews online, I decided to give this a try and see if it could replace my old Stanley #4. In most respects, it has. With three exceptions, everything was just right - the sole was already dead flat, the depth adjuster was smooth and has almost no free play when you move from one direction to the other, the frog was flat and perfectly aligned with the body, the tote and knob were both beautiful and comfortable. The plane is very heavy (even heavier than my Stanley #5!), which really makes a huge difference in how much downward pressure you need to apply while using the plane. It really feels like less work using this plane than an old Stanley #4. The three exceptions were these: (1) (A VERY small one) one of the two frog screws was very rough and made a grinding sound as I turned it. I took it out and there was a lot of some sort of black gunk clogging up the screw. No idea what it was. It cleaned off easily though, and there is no problem now. (2) The lateral adjuster is very tight and a little bit "jumpy" - its hard to get it to move, and once you do, it usually goes a bit farther than you'd like it to. I oiled it up and that didn't make much of a difference right away. However, after only a few days of use it has loosened up a little bit, so I hope that will fix itself with a little more time. It is VERY annoying as it currently stands, as its extremely difficult to make the minute adjustments one needs to make with the later adjuster. (3) This is a significant issue: as far as I can tell, the blade is no good. As soon as I got the plane, I did a side by side comparison with my old Stanley (with a Veritas blade). The Stanley/Veritas combo clearly outperformed the Woodriver. It had less chatter, less tearout, and left a generally smoother surface. I was quite unhappy, since I'd just forked over a lot of money for the new plane. But then I swapped the blades: the Woodriver plane with the Veritas blade was the best combination of them all, and I got not tearout whatsoever on either Cherry or Walnut. After the test (which was only about 40 passes for each blade), I took the blades back out. The Veritas blade was still basically as sharp as it had been when I started, while the Woodriver blade had dulled significantly. I couldn't shave any hairs off my arm with it, while I could before the test and still could with the Veritas. In sum: this is a great plane, and I'm really happy with almost everything about it. But I would recommend buying a high end blade to put in it. (Also worth considering: once you factor in the extra $45 for the blade, you are only about $10 shy of the price of a Veritas #4, and about $110 below the Lie-Nielsen #4.)

    • Primary Use:
    • Personal
     
    4.0

    Good value

    By  Bok Choi

    from Ontario, Canada

    About Me Casual Do-It-Yourselfer

    Pros

    • Good Value
    • High Quality Machining

    Cons

    • Blade quality

    Best Uses

    • Large Projects
    • Small Projects

    Comments about WoodRiver #4 Bench Hand Plane, V3 :

    I picked up the #4 and #7 WR planes during the most recent 20% off sale. I have a few other planes from LV so those are my comparisons. Quality of machining seems quite high to me, and from my non-engineer perspective seems to be about as good as my Veritas planes but at a significant discount, even taking into account the cost of shipping to Canada. So far I'm very happy with the planes. The plane body itself required virtually no tune-up - just wiped the oil off with mineral spirits and coated it with some wax. The tote was a bit floppy but tightened down nicely. My only criticism so far is the blade - as others have mentioned they require a fair bit of lapping to get a flat, mirror polish on the back. Both blades (for the #4 and #7) had the slightest convexity on the back which required a 220 waterstone and about an hour to flatten and polish. I suppose that's to be expected but I'd much rather spend that hour making shavings. Overall - a great value, especially if you can get it on sale!

    • Primary Use:
    • Personal

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