Stanley planes by numbers 20   &   20 1/2

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Stanley 20 circular plane aka compass plane aka boat plane

offered 1897 - 1958

9 1/2" or 10" long with  a 1 3/4" cutter       

Stanley offered several models of the circular plane. They all have a flexible sole that allows for convex or concave work. These days most users seem to prefer the 20 model because of its design. (large adjuster wheel can be fixed to your preferred settings)


A lot of hot air has been circulated about the hidden properties of the Stanley 20 1/2 - offered from 1902 to 1917. There are none, it's the same plane as the black japanned No 20 except for the number 20 1/2 cast into the adjuster wheel and the different label on the box. No, the black japanning was used in the 20 as well - as the picture on the right clearly shows. However, vive la petite difference, these models usually fetch about 50% more. I bet the Stanley marketing people who came up with the half number ploy never anticipated this result.


Nickel plated model with about 40% plating intact. Not very attractive but if you clean and polish the rusty parts you can actually match them very closely to the plated bits and end up with a much better looking tool.