A woodworking plane is a wood (or now almost exclusively) metal jig, designed to hold and render adjustable an iron that is essentially a wide, flat chisel. I have provided examples of planes that have worked well in my shop, most photos have two or more samples for comparison, and I tried to have one each of wood and metal. Having one each of each of the first four items shown (often collectively called Bench Planes) would be useful to begin with. I can tell you that during any sort of project in my shop, be it restoration, hand tool or machine oriented a block plane is reached for the most often.
Jack and Scrub Plane
Trying Plane and Jointer
Rabbeting Plane Variants
Rabbet and Bullnose Planes
Specialized tools, you may not need any of them, but I thought some may enjoy learning a little about them.
I don’t own a proper heavy metal Shoulder plane for trimming the shoulders of tenon joints. I have always done this quite readily with a heavy chisel. Although many of these Shoulder planes are quite nice to look at, their price tags keeps them a distant dream. If I were building many pieces with large, and long tenons to fit breadboard ends (like chest tops or table tops) I would likely purchase one.
A Variety of Smoothing Planes
Below are some examples of Smoothing planes that I have accumulated over the years. I include them here as a reference you can use when you may be out buying.
There is nothing terribly wrong with buying old planes that are not made by Stanley but for one thing: their irons (and lever cap mechanisms) are often proprietary in shape and size. Finding replacement parts will be a bit of a challenge, but with on-line suppliers nowadays, probably easier than it used to be. So when you are shopping for used planes, make sure that there is plenty of iron or working length left on any oddball brand, look for tapped holes with nothing in them, so what is missing in the hole would not need replacing.
* An experienced and observant reader caught my error here; this is not an Ulmia grathobel, but an Emmerich which was the better model, so lucky me.