Woodpeckers’ newest One Time Tool is the EZ-Edge corner plane, a device used for knocking down sharp corners and creating a chamfer or radiused profile.
There are plenty of other tools that can be used for this purpose, but it looks like the goal of the Woodpeckers EZ-Edge is to be quicker, easier, and more precise.
Woodpeckers says that it’s better than using a block plane for chamfers since you get an adjustable depth of cut, and the V-groove of the EZ-Edge ensures a perfect cut angle with each pass.
The blade is made from O1 tool steel blade and can be resharpened by honing the face against a fine-grit wetstone (or other similar flat tool-sharpening system you might prefer instead).
Woodpeckers is making the EZ-Edge in four sizes – flat for cutting a 45° chamfer, and 1/8″, 3/16″, and 1/4″ radius profiles.
You can buy the planes individually at $150 each, or as part of a 4-plane set for $500.
Replacement blades are also available at $25 each.
It looks to me that you can order a single plane and then blades in other profile sizes to save money, instead of buying more than one full plane. From what I can tell, the plane body is the same for each.
Although, it doesn’t look like changing blades is a quick or easy process. There are 8 screws holding the planes together, and the internals might require additional disassembly. Woodpeckers did not design the EZ-Edge to be as versatile a blade-changer as typical hand planes. However, the design does make the planes compact and presumably easier and quicker to use.
Actually, it might actually be easier to change the blades on these planes than I had initially considered. More about this is discussed below.
If I need a 45° chamfer or a 1/4″ radius, I can use a router or router table. But for a small 1/8″ radius? That’s going to be more difficult, requiring more setup time and a lot of trial and error to dial things in right. I suppose the same is true if you want to make just a small chamfer to relieve an edge.
Lee Valley has a small and simple cornering tool set, although the new Woodpeckers planes do look like they’d be a bit more precise, and probably even easier to use.
The question I’m asking is this: if I could only get one size, which should it be? Since I can’t answer that, I’ll probably pass on this One Time Tool offering. If it’s popular, they might release it again in a couple of years, or improve upon the design further.
Because it’s a One Time Tool, I’m hesitant to even choose a single size. If these planes were a permanent edition to Woodpeckers’ lineup, I would be reassured a little, knowing I could change sizes down the road with the purchase of a different blade. A year from now, months after the One Time Tool ships, will it still be possible to buy these replacement blades?
All these questions and concerns, and the fleeting nature of One Time Tools helps to make the decision a lot simpler. Although the design is appealing, I find that there’s not much of a grey area. It’s either “yes I could use this and I know which size(s),” vs. “no, I don’t need this.” Although I know I would enjoy the use of these, I can’t determine which size I’d use most, and I certainly don’t want to pay $500 for a set.
I can use a router for chamfers and larger radius profiles, and for the smaller profiles lower precision is easier to hide. Hmm, maybe the 3/16″ plane would be the best size for me.
The pricing seems to be a tad high, not for what you get, but compared to other options. For just a little more than the $150 price, you can buy a good USA or Canadian-made block plane. If you already have a good block plane, have you tried some of the inexpensive cornering tools?
If you know what size(s) you could use and definitely want, go for it. Woodpeckers’ quality is usually extremely good. These are somewhat specialized tools, but likely guaranteed performers.
The O1 blade steel is going to be a little softer than other types of tool steel, but that also makes it easier to sharpen. You will need a fine-grit wetstone or maybe a glass or granite plate with wet/dry sandpaper. If you’re going to use hand tools, you’ll need to know your way around sharpening methods. Luckily it doesn’t look like the blades require any more than light honing of the rear.
What happens if you chip a blade? Looking at an image of the replacement blade, the angle is wide enough that it’ll be hard to damage it. But what if you leave the blade extended and drop it cutting-edge-down on a hard steel edge? Will replacement blades be available one, two, five years from now? Remember, these are One Time Tools, which you could consider as limited editions or “sprint runs.”
Looking at the stem of the blades, perhaps you can change blades by turning the adjustment wheel all the way until a blade falls out. Ooh… perhaps it’s far easier to change blades than I had initially suspected. Buying one plane size/style at $150 and one to three of the other blade styles at $25 each will still hurt your wallet, but not as much as spending $150 per plane or $500 for a full set.
And just like that, there’s a wider grey area than I initially perceived. Although their appeal is increasing for me, I most likely won’t be picking up any of these plane sizes. If they were permanent or longer-time additions to Woodpeckers’ product offerings, I could justify buying one plane and an additional blade or two for “editorial exploration” purposes and potential review. But as they’re One Time Tools, by the time I receive one, it’ll be too late for a review to help anyone. For personal woodworking needs or wants, I wouldn’t use them enough to justify the expense, and so the money would be better spent elsewhere.
If you’re at all interested, you have nearly 3 weeks to decide and get your order in.
Planes are $150 each, including one blade and a wall-mountable Rack-It holder.
Replacement blades are $25 each.
A 4-plane set is $500
Order Deadline: 1/27/2020
Shipping ETA: 5/31/2020