The No. 5 1/2, as the name suggests, is halfway between a No. 5 and a No. 6. Compared to the No. 5, its longer length and wider blade make a better choice for flattening boards and truing panels. The extra mass gives it more heft, a great help when doing the initial surface preparation on a board. At the same time, being slightly lighter and shorter than its larger cousin, it is more manageable, and yet equally as good for fore-plane work. The 5 1/2 makes an excellent choice for use on a shooting board.
This Rider version has many excellent features. The main casting is a ductile iron alloy, chosen for its high strength and its impact and high corrosion resistant properties. It has an adjustable frog, depth and lateral blade control and Indian rosewood handles. The cap iron and other quality fittings on the planes are solid brass, an ideal material for moving parts.
The sole is 375mm (14-3/4") long with a 60mm (2-3/8") wide blade. The sole of the plane is flat and accurate to ± 0.04mm (0.0016").
Rider planes only require the bare minimum of initial preparation. The blade comes honed with a secondary bevel ready to take shavings. Each blade is oil quenched, high carbon spring steel, hardened and tempered to HRC 63.
Every plane undergoes careful inspection in Axminster to ensure consistent quality. The No. 5 1/2 comes with a spare blade, plane sock and instruction booklet. We are confident that Axminster Rider planes represent a good standard of traditional, quality plane manufacture and great value.
|Nett Weight||3.24 kg (7lb 2oz)|
|Plane Blade Width||60 mm (2.3/8")|
|Plane Sole Length||375 mm (14.3/4")|
7 September 2017
Excellent plane for the price !I was fed up trying to use a no. 4 for nearly all hand planing work and came to the Axminster site searching for an extra plane that could cope better with the job I needed to do. Of course I looked at the obvious candidates from Lee Nielsen and Veritas but naturally I also saw their prices. I realize you pay for the quality but I thought it'd be worth a try to see if I could cope with a bit less perfection and get a nicer price tag in return. I had the Chinese made Juuma's in mind but Axminster doesn't sell them but I noticed they sold their own Rider brand and they seemed to be highly rated by their owners. On top of that, they were more in my price bracket as well as I'd get an extra iron and a plane sock on top. Well worth a try, I thought and after careful comparison of a 5 and 5 1/2 I ordered the latter. I was sure I could benefit from the extra heft and length it offers. Adn now that I have it, I must say I'm really happy with it. The length and weight are perfect and while still being a jack plane, it does cope very well with jointing of not-too-long boards (which is one of the tasks I wanted it for). The build quality is very good (not perfect but definitely very good). The plane was straight/square and well-oiled and -packaged. Out of the box the blade was sharp but not quite sharp enough and the cutting edge not perfectly flat (one could say it doesn't need to be, of course). After some sharpening it cut like a razor. The plane is nice to handle but obviously one can feel the weight after a lengthy session. The adjustment of cutting depth could be better and that all has to do with the yoke, which is simply too loose, resulting in some play that has to be compensated by the adjuster so sometimes you have to turn a bit more than you'd expect to have. I'd also rather have seen a cam lever rather than a knob to lock the cap in place. The sock provided to protect the plane is really too small. I think it's more a fit for a no. 5. Well, as you can see these are minor nags and the positives by far outweigh the negatives. The function of the tool - planing - is beyond reproach and if I'm in the market for another hand plane I'll happily come back to Axminster for a Rider !
9 April 2017
Chip breakerI would like to thank the person who wrote the first review, without his experienced knowledge would have rendered my plane as a door stop or possibly being donated to Susan Gardener.
20 January 2017
A really nice plane - eventuallyI recently bought this plane and am really pleased with it. Its a pleasure to used and a lot less expensive than certain other makes. Its a nice weight, good quality blade and solid body with a flat base.