Best Spokeshaves 2020 – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide
Spokeshaves are tools that have been around for centuries, and although they have endured many modifications, their fundamental use has not changed. Various spokeshaves have emerged over the years, each with its own useful feature. Whether you’re an experienced woodworker, or you are just starting out in this field of work, finding the ideal spokeshave can be daunting. You have the dilemma of picking the spokeshave that will allow you to perform most of your tasks with ease, while being durable, efficient, and economical. This article will hopefully make the whole process smooth and effortless.
A Breakdown of our Favorite Picks in 2020
|Best Overall||Robert Larson 580 1000 Kunz 151||
|WoodRiver Adjustable Spokeshave||
|Best Value||Swpeet 10'' Adjustable SpokeShave with Flat Base||
|Anndason PRO232 2 Pcs Adjustable||
|Stanley 12 951 Spokeshave Flat Base||
The 5 Best Spokeshaves
1. Robert Larson Flat Spokeshave – Best Overall
The Robert Larson 580-1000 is a versatile flat-blade spokeshave with well-fitted parts. It is, therefore, suitable for flat and convex surfaces. The sharp blade can be adjusted easily to control the depth of cuts and the thickness of shavings.
Since it has an iron body, the material is hard and durable. Also, the tool is not too large or too small, thus making it the ideal size for comfortable cutting or shaving. The blade of this spokeshave is finely polished; it, therefore, does not require further adjustments. The even and rich painting of this tool suggests that it is of good quality.
An aspect of this tool that you might consider a downer is the fact that the blade bed has been painted. This may cause slight flaws on your surface.
2. WoodRiver Adjustable Spokeshave
This spokeshave has an iron body, which ultimately makes it suitable for finishing cuts. It consists of a well-fitted flat blade and a flat sole with adjustable screws. The durable flat blade allows it to carve flat and outward-curving surfaces. The screws can be used to adjust the blade for more accuracy.
The WoodRiver Adjustable Spokeshave is constructed in such a way that it gives its user a very snug and good grip, thus providing more control over the cuts. The tool is almost perfect; however, it requires a few touch-ups here and there before use. The iron body requires some extra maintenance.
3. Swpeet 10’’ SpokeShave – Best Value
The Swpeet 10’’’s blade is 46mm long, a good length, as it’s not too long or short. The blade is made of carbon steel, thus making it very tough and durable. The handles are ergonomic, which allows you to grip them comfortably, and they are coated with corrosion-resistant epoxy. The blade can easily be adjusted with the adjustable screws, and the process is fast and effortless.
Although this spokeshave would be best used in carpentry, it can be adjusted to perform other tasks. It is also much more affordable than the above-mentioned spokeshaves, thus earning the title of “best for the money.” If you’re willing to sacrifice a few of the quality aspects that the top two spokeshaves provide, in order to cut back on costs, this spokeshave is for you.
On the downside, this item requires you to know how to sharpen and polish the blade properly, because it comes very dull and blunt-looking. Although the foot that determines cutting depth can be adjusted, the method for doing so should have been made more practical. To adjust the shoe, you must loosen it with a screwdriver.
4. Anndason Adjustable SpokeShaves
This is a pair of spokeshaves. They consist of flat blades and soles that can be adjusted by using the adjustment screws. This tool would ideally be used for carpentry. The blades are made of carbon steel and are 44mm long, thus making them medium-length.
The handles are designed to allow comfortable gripping. The body of this spokeshave has been sprayed with iron casting to help prevent erosion.
Overall, the Anndason spokeshave appears to be flawless, yet it has many shortcomings. The sole is painted, so you would need to remove it before use. The adjusting and aligning process could also have been made more practical. The blade is fitted in such a way that it can’t be positioned at an angle, in order to create more accuracy in the shaving process. The frame is very rigid, and the blade requires regular sharpening.
5. Stanley SpokeShave with Flat Base
The Stanley 12-951 is an affordable flat-based tool. Like the others, it consists of an adjustable blade and well-fitted handles that allow you to have a snug grip. The blade is easy to replace.
Although the tool appears to be similar to the others, it is at the bottom of the list, because it possesses many shortcomings. It’s made of low-quality steel, with poorly fitted parts and an uneven paint job. You can clearly tell that the plane of the tool could be improved, because it is clunky. The body erodes quickly. The blade is dull and blunt, and very thin, meaning that it has a short lifespan; it requires regular touch-ups and will need regular replacement.
Familiarizing yourself with the different types of spokeshaves will help you determine which one best suits your needs. The following is a list of the common types of spokeshaves:
- Chamfer spokeshave: used to create symmetrical sloping edges at a 90-degree angle. This is achieved by making use of the two fences positioned at 45 degrees to the blade. They meet the wood at a 90-degree angle.
- Flat spokeshave: consists of a flat blade and sole. It is often used on wider curves and flat surfaces.
- Convex spokeshave: this tool curves outwards.
- Round-shaped spokeshave: has a flat blade and a rounded sole. It is typically used on inward curves.
- Concave spokeshave: consists of a round blade and a round sole. It is commonly used on corners.
- Double spokeshave: consists of a flat blade and a concave-shaped sole.
- Cylindrical spokeshave: has a cylindrical shape, making it ideal for cutting into gentle curves. Common issues with this spokeshave are that it is difficult to sharpen the blade and to hold the tool.
- Single adjustable thumbscrew: has an adjustable screw that allows you to move the blade up or down.
The precision of your work will not only be determined by your skill and experience, but also by the quality of your tools. Therefore, using quality tools is essential. Look for the following points to determine whether a spokeshave is good:
- The sole should be even.
- The blade needs to be sharp.
- Look at how well the pieces are constructed. If there are any loose or uneven parts, the tool might not be of good quality.
- Last will be the price. While it is natural to want to save a couple of bucks, it’s usually not worth it. A good product will often be more expensive.
Based on the key aspects mentioned in the reviews, the Robert Larson 580-1000 Kunz 151 Flat Spokeshave is definitely the most appealing. However, the Swpeet 10’’ Adjustable SpokeShave is by far the best for the money, due to its affordability. Despite its quality aspects and low price, the second choice did not end up at the top of the list because it requires more maintenance.
It’s true that the choice of spokeshave depends on personal preference, yet the tips mentioned in the buyer’s guide should be consulted before opting to purchase a spokeshave.
You may not realize it, but the consequences of using an inadequate or inappropriate spokeshave suited for a particular task can be costly. By now, you should be equipped with the necessary knowledge to pick the ideal spokeshave.
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