1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Plane (Hira-Kanna) $66

The same holds true as with the chisels – aim for middle ground, maybe $100 – $140 for your first one. Although I have a couple worth several hundred dollars, the one I bought ten years ago for about $80 continues to be a favorite. Look for something in the 50-65mm width range.
Also not a bad idea to pick up a dai conditioning plane (Dai-noshi-kanna), $99, while you’re at it. It is used to properly flatten the bottom of the plane so that it takes nice shavings and leaves a silky surface. I know, a plane to plane a plane. Sounds crazy, but a little recursive nuttiness will make your kanna using experience a better one. While you’re at it, also pick up a conditioning plane conditioning plane (dai-noshi-noshi-kanna-kanna)… Just kidding.

Stett Holbrook

Stett is a senior editor at MAKE with abiding interest in food and drink, bicycles, woodworking, and environmentally sound human enterprises. He is the father of two young makers.

He is also the co-creator of Food Forward, a documentary TV series for PBS about the innovators and pioneers changing our food system.

Contact Stett with tips and story ideas on:

*Sustainable/green design
*Young Makers
*Action sports


  1. Awesome guide, thanks for posting. I would love to get into joinery. Need to accrue a few things first… :)

  2. I was fortunate to take a Basic Woodworking course with Toshio Odate in NYC at Pratt one year. He embodied the Japanese approach to craft and I have often thought of him when I create and build my works. I am glad to see your collection of books contains several of his works and they continue to be used by current craftsmen today.

In the Maker Shed

Japanese Woodworking: A Gift Guide for Beginners