View Full Version : Keen Kutter

12-13-2005, 03:43 PM
Don't see much posted on th KK line of hand tools.

What's the pro/con about them? I've come across a KK #8 that is in great shape. Massive iron on the beast. They are asking $45, which I think I can talk them down a bit on.

12-13-2005, 06:25 PM
Sorry Ken - I've not touched a Keen Kutter.

Danford C Jennings
12-13-2005, 08:30 PM

Keen Kutter has a pretty interesting history, went toe to toe with Stanley back in the day....They were actually hardware distributors started by E.C. Simmons back in the mid-1800s, don't believe they manufactured any of their tools but had controlling interests in many companies that did. Can't recall off hand who the OEM was for their planes...

Any who, quality wise they were a notch or two above Stanley, IMNHO. Why they aren't in as high demand as the Pre-War Stanleys is beyond me. Frankly, I think $45 is an excellent price. In my neck o' the woods I see them mostly in the $80 - $100 range....There's an antique dealer in Medford who "specializes" in Keen Kutter tools. FWIW.


12-13-2005, 08:43 PM
Hi Ken,

The single 'K' series were Bedrock styled planes, made by Stanley. The 'KK' series were mostly made by Sargent and Ohio.

In either case, it was the Simmons Hardware which owned the Keen Kutter brand and did quite well having other makers' tools branded as their Keen Kutter line. One of the best hand sets I have is a Keen Kutter, as well as a few hand saws.

Astragal Press has a book on the planes:
[link:www.astragalpress.com/keen_kutter_planes.htm|Keen Kutter Book]

And lastly, the following organization is devoted to hardware companies, especially Simmons, as you can probably tell from their use of the letter K in their name.
[link:www.thckk.org//keen_kutter_planes.htm|The Hardware Companies Kollectors Klub]

Take care, Mike

12-13-2005, 09:31 PM
I think I'll get it in the morning then! I'll need a shelf just for it though as the thing is a beast!

I had looked a few of them over and wondered why they didn't get the attention of the Stanley/Bailey planes. They look fine to me.

Thanks guys!


Can you check the link to The Hardware Companies Kollectors Klub. It won't load for me. Directs me to one of those OPPS pages.
Thanks for the link to that book BTW> Think I'll get it. Seems as if it may be cheaper to get KK planes!

12-13-2005, 09:53 PM
Sounds like a good buy Ken.
I got a 5 1/2 and a 6 off ebay a few weeks ago for less than $50 for the pair. I figured I missed something at that price but they came in looking just fine.
Quality looks as good as Stanley to me.

Try this link.

12-13-2005, 10:18 PM
Thanks Bobby!

12-13-2005, 10:58 PM
Oops...sorry. Glad it got fixed.

Take care, Mike

12-14-2005, 07:25 AM
wondered why they didn't get the attention of the Stanley/Bailey planes.

The single K models generally get pretty good attention on the bay as, in addition to folks searching out Bedrocks, there's also folks filling their Keen Kutter lines.

12-15-2005, 01:00 PM
Got it for $30, so I'm happy! Needs to be cleaned up. At little TLC is all. Blade is sharp though, and has plenty of life left in it.




12-15-2005, 01:46 PM
Looks like a fine Carrier for the fleet.

12-15-2005, 08:15 PM
As long as it is one could land an Eagle on it Jerry!

12-15-2005, 09:48 PM
Looks like you got a great deal Ken!

The tote looks good which is nice because the stanley totes don't even come close if you had to replace it.

Couldn't tell from the pictures, does it have the frog adjustment screw? Neither of mine have it.

12-16-2005, 06:03 AM
No it doesn't Bobby. It appears to be one of the older types. I don't know how to date a KK though.

As for the wood, both are in real nice shape. The tote being in better shape than any of my planes are. Real nice Rosewood I think. Hard to tell with all of that dark petina though.

I've started to clean it up some. THe blade was sharp. And I do mean sharp! It needs some work to clean it up, but the edge cut me (very small) when I picked it up the wrong way.

02-16-2011, 06:51 PM
i have a smoothing plane marked 5 1/2 any ideas? its not for sale im going to restore and use it. but im used to whole numbers on a plane

02-19-2011, 12:52 PM
Is that a KK 5 1/2 or a 5 1/2?

A 5 1/2 is likely a 1998-1903 Stanley, they did not start casting a name on the bench plane bodies until about 1903.

The body of a #5 1/2 is generally 15" long and carries a 2 1/4" wide cutting iron. These are often called jumbo jack planes as they are a mite bigger and heavier than the common 14" jacks and carry a wider iron than the 2" of the common jack planes.

I'm partial to the #5 1/2 for intermediate flattening of table and bench tops. Some folks use them as large panel smoothers where the added weight and wider cut can produce flat and smooth results quicker than a short smoothing plane.

Look here for a bit more information.