Axminster Rider No4 plane


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    having close to no experience with planes, I went searching for a decent one. The ones I found in various stores were terrible. The best I found was new Stanley Handyman No3, but it was a bit rough around the edges, the others were terrible.

    I tried the vintage Stanley route, but after shipping to Norway and VAT, it gets crazy expensive.

    Then I figured, I was going to order a bunch of stuff from Axminster, so I decided to try the Rider No4. It turned up today, and I think it looked very nice. All the parts looked good and fitted well together. I checked the bottom with my engineers square, and it would need just a tiny bit of flattening, but not nearly as much as the Stanley.

    Are there anyone out there who know how this plane compares to a vintage Stanley or Record. I haven’t seen or tried any of these myself, but the Rider sure felt good to me.

    Best regards,
    Kjell, Norway

    • This topic was modified 6 years, 1 month ago by kjellhar.

    Here’s one review:

    A google search turned up quite a few more.

    SW Pennsylvania


    I do in fact have the plane in hand, so I pretty much know how it is. My question was more how it would compare to the older Stanleys. After all, Paul is praising these older planes, but I haven’t held one in my own hands, so I wouldn’t know how they are.

    And if the old Stanley planes are better, what is it that makes them better?


    • This reply was modified 6 years, 1 month ago by kjellhar.
    Frank Joseph

    The plane you have is a good plane,Paul likes the Stanley or Record planes. It’s what he was trained with and grew with, the same is true for a lot of us. It’s knot that they are so great (which they are not) but that they are good, can more then do the job asked of them. And there are huge numbers of them available to be had buy anyone anywhere. He knows without question if a student anywhere in the world listens to his instruction on restoring and usage. That that student will be successful in developing the skills he is trying to teach. IF a student would like to spend 400 or more for a high end plane that is fine they are wonderful tools, but they really will not do a better job.
    Paul knows what ever brand the Bailey type plane works and his student can learn to use it without a long learning curve.
    Remember he is teaching people of all ages and backgrounds all around the world, some have never held a plane, and some like me at age 70 grew up working with many types. But he is teaching us all in a clear comprehensive maner.

    In South Jersey the good part of New Jersey, USA.


    Hi Frank,
    thanks for the comment.
    I don’t doubt that the Rider is a good plane, and a plane that can serve me well for many years. When I compare it to the cheaper ones, and the new Stanley plane, which is not so cheap, it is much better.

    My question is not really because I doubt myself, feeling the pressure to buy the exact plane that Paul is prescribing, it’s just that I am curious. The expensive way would be to get an old Stanley of ebay to see for myself, which I am not going to. Maybe if I stumble upon one on a flee market or something.

    As far as I can tell, when you get a number of different products based on the same pattern, the differences are in the small details. Quality of the materials, production and finishing. Also there may be minor differences in the geometries as the engineer who copied the original didn’t pay enough attention to details, or tried to improve on something.



    Hi Kjell,

    Got the No 4 rider and No 5 since about a month, and I’m very pleased with them.

    However, can’t compared to vintage Stanleys as I don’t have any..

    I just posted this link to another discussion, but don’t think I’m doing any kind of advertisement !

    I think Paul gave the link in is blog. Might be worth having a look, they have some vintage stanleys, not cheap but they seem in good condition.

    Cheers from Sweden,


    One thing I found is that most modern planes are heavier than the old Stanleys…

    For me that makes a difference in the amount of work I have to put in the tool to use it. I’m talking work in the physics sense.

    I have a juuma no 4 which is a lot heavier than my no 4s ; beautifully built, but tiresome to use.

    There is a post somewhere where Paul has stressed this issue.


    Btw if you could make a business trip to England or know of someone who does, you might arrange for some plane deal

    Sven-Olof Jansson

    Dear Mr. Joseph,

    Thanks for your insightful comment.

    Kind regards
    Sven-Olof Jansson
    London, UK (perhaps not the Garden State, but ‘sorta OK’)

    Sven-Olof Jansson
    London, UK; Boston, MA


    Just in case anyone wonder.
    After flattening the sole of the plane, which I suspect must be done with most planes, it performs very well. With a sharp iron, I can produce transparent shavings.

    I would recommend it to anyone.


    Sven-Olof Jansson

    Hej Kjell,

    Many thanks (mange takk). Mine is a bit wanting, but hopefullqy flattening will help.

    London UK

    Sven-Olof Jansson
    London, UK; Boston, MA


    It’s an old thread, but I have gained some experience since then that I thought I could share.

    Since I started this thread, I have acquired a couple of old planes. My current collection is:

    – A new Stanley No3
    – A new Axminster Rider No4
    – Stanley No5 around 1950 to 1960
    – Record No4 around 1950 to 1960

    Also, my hand planing skills have improved a bit.

    First of all, the Axminster really holds its ground against the older planes. It is well made, and the finish is pretty decent. I fixed it up as Paul shows in his recent video (I did it with all the planes), and it is a joy to use. Compared to the Record No4, I can’t feel any difference. The Axminster weights around 1850g while the Record is around 1750g. Difficult to feel the difference just by lifting them. The Rider is not a bedrock pattern plane. It is exactly the same pattern as the post WW2 Stanleys. The blade is thicker.

    I don’t think the Stanley No5 is that much better than the Record or the Rider, only bigger.

    About the Stanly No3. I don’t use it much, as I got it for my kids, but it produces very good results. I don’t like the feel of the plastic handles, but it is functional.

    I give you these reflections as a beginner. A life long craftsman would probably notice more differences than me, but I don’t think the Rider would fall through compared to the older planes, which was my original question.

    So, that’s it.


    Matt McGrane

    Thanks for that, Kjell. It’s good to get updates on older forum questions like this. Congratulations on getting more planes and getting better at tuning and using them.

    Matt, Northern California - Started a blog in 2016:

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