What Are Finger And Palm Planes?

Finger and palm planes are small, handheld woodworking tools used for precise shaping and smoothing of wood surfaces. These planes are compact, with a short curved blade fitted into a wooden body that can be easily held in the hand.

Finger planes, as the name suggests, are designed to be used with just the fingers, providing excellent control for fine detail work on small areas. On the other hand, palm planes are slightly larger and can be gripped with the entire palm, making them more versatile for larger surfaces.

With their compact size and precise cutting action, finger and palm planes are essential tools for woodworkers who require precision and control in their projects.

1. Understanding Finger Planes

Finger planes are small woodworking tools designed to shape and smooth wood with precision. These planes are also commonly referred to as palm planes or luthier planes. Finger planes are compact in size, allowing for easy maneuverability in tight spaces or on small surfaces.

They are typically used for delicate and intricate woodworking tasks, such as trimming, chamfering, or creating fine details. There are various types of finger planes available, including the bullnose plane, shoulder plane, and chisel plane, each designed for specific purposes.

These planes offer many advantages, such as their ability to reach areas that larger planes cannot and their suitability for working on small projects. However, they may have limitations in terms of their size and the amount of material they can remove.

Overall, finger planes are essential tools for woodworkers who require precision and control in their work.

2. Exploring Palm Planes

Finger and palm planes are essential woodworking tools used for smoothing surfaces and shaping small areas. Palm planes, specifically, are handheld tools with a smaller size and compact design. They offer greater control and maneuverability, making them ideal for intricate work.

These planes are often used to chamfer edges, shape convex and concave surfaces, and remove small amounts of material. There are various types of palm planes available, including block planes, rabbet planes, and bullnose planes, each serving a specific purpose.

The benefits of palm planes include their portability, versatility, and ability to work in tight spaces. However, due to their size, they may be less effective for larger projects. Overall, palm planes offer a handy solution for woodworkers seeking precision and efficiency in their crafts.

3. Choosing The Right Plane For Your Woodworking Projects

Finger and palm planes are essential tools for woodworking projects. When choosing the right plane, consider factors such as the size and shape of the plane, the type of wood you’ll be working with, and the specific tasks you need to accomplish.

To use finger and palm planes effectively, maintain a firm grip and apply consistent pressure while working. Keep the plane blade sharp to ensure clean and precise cuts. Regularly clean and lubricate the plane to prevent rust and maintain its smooth operation.

By following these tips, you’ll get the most out of your finger and palm planes, resulting in high-quality woodworking projects.


Finger and palm planes are essential hand tools for woodworking enthusiasts. These compact planes provide precision and versatility when it comes to shaping wood surfaces. Their small size allows for easy maneuverability and allows woodworkers to reach tight corners and intricate details that larger planes cannot access.

The tight control offered by finger and palm planes ensures smooth and refined results, making them suitable for various woodworking projects. With their ergonomic designs, these planes are comfortable to hold and operate, minimizing user fatigue. Their compactness also makes them portable, enabling woodworkers to take them anywhere they need to work.

Additionally, finger and palm planes are a cost-effective alternative to larger, more specialized planes. Finger and palm planes offer woodworkers the ability to achieve fine, detailed craftsmanship. Their small size and precision make them indispensable tools for shaping and smoothing wood surfaces.

By incorporating these hand planes into their woodworking projects, enthusiasts can enhance their skills and create beautiful, professional-looking pieces. So, don’t overlook the power of finger and palm planes – they truly make a difference in the world of woodworking.