With power tools being so mainstream nowadays, is there really a need for hand tools? Efficiency and accuracy is definitely better with power tools. But not so fast, the Kanna (Japanese Plane) cannot be replaced (for now).

Material: Black Walnut

Width: 60 centimeters

Length: 3 meters

The Difference Between Electrical planer and Kanna

Electrical Planer

Electrical planers shave the wood with fast rotating blades. This inevitably leaves “bite marks”.




With a Kanna, a blade slices through material. This results in a smooth, shiny surface. Furthermore, the smooth surface helps repel water.



The Shavings

The left shaving is from a Kanna and the right is from an electric planer. The latter gives out many small shavings while the Kanna makes one long shaving. 

How thin the Kanna shavings are. The shavings are as thin as a single layer of tissue paper.

Mastering the art of Kanna may seem difficult. But in reality, all you need to know is how to sharpen the blade, how to set the “Dai” and the right techniques. Probably, the most difficult part is finding a good mentor.

Finished off with a coat of oil. Before the oil, a quick sanding was done (after the Kanna), to allow the oil to be absorbed.



At Suikoushya, we share traditional Japanese woodworking techniques and skills. Since it is a small group system, we will provide guidance tailored to each individual’s skills, from beginners to woodworking professionals. Please join us!
I look forward to sharing fine woodworking with you.

One month Japanese woodworking classes

The Art of the Kanna
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