Clifton Spokeshave - Concave - No. 550

clifton concave spokeshave
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The Verdict

Clifton Concave Spokeshave Review By: I.Ball

The Clifton no. 550 spokeshave has a real look and feel of a quality old tool, an old treasure which has been plucked from 100 years ago and bought to modern times. This spokeshave will surely be passed down to many future generations to come.

Category: Spokeshaves

Manufacturer: Thomas Flinn & Co

Tool Type: Spokeshave

Model No: 550

This Clifton spokeshave review is of the Clifton Concave spokeshave, number 550, manufactured by Thomas Flinn & Co, Sheffield, England.

The spokeshave had previously been made by a tool company called Clico (Sheffield) Tooling Ltd until 2014 when

Thomas Flinn and Co took on the Clifton tools part of the business.

The Thomas Flinn version of the spokeshave is made in almost identical circumstances to the Clico version including being made by the same skilled personnel:

"We will still be using the same great production staff to manufacture the Clifton planes, so the knowledge and expertise will continue as before".

clifton 550 concave spokeshave

The 254mm (10 inch) long Clifton concave spokeshave is constructed from malleable iron and weighs a hefty 15oz.

The Clifton spokeshave is one of the heaviest spokeshaves of all of the iron spokeshaves made by the main manufacturers in the past 100 years.

The spokeshave has also been designed to give the tool a good balance. The weight and balance helps maintain an anchored connection between the mouth and workpiece making the use of the tool easy to use.

The spokeshave has a concave mouth and is fitted with a 64mm (2 1/2 inch) diameter concave cutter which is bed at a 45 degree angle.

The cutter is locked in place with the use of the lever cap. The lever cap has whispers of a decorative design based upon the old Edward Preston spokeshave lever caps.

The spokeshave is classed as being a fully adjustable spokeshave due to the tool being equipped with a blade fine adjustment mechanism.

The blade adjuster is controlled with a wheel nut which locates with a slot in the top of the cutter. The depth of cut can easily and accurately be adjusted by turning the adjuster wheel nut.

clifton concave spokeshave 550

Note: ensure to loosen the lever cap before making adjustments to help avoid damage.

The chunky, curvy arms are raised and arched and finished with a polished finish offering comfort and control.

The spokeshave can be used by pushing or pulling the tool, generally the tool is used by pushing the tool. The spokeshave is usually used with the cutter set in the bevel-down position and a good sharp edge.

The hollow sole / concave bottom is suited to rounding work such as on a shapely chair or table leg, and suited to quickly round any nosing or edge. The shave allows different parts of the sole to be used to form different degrees of convexity.

Examples of use given in the Clico tools catalogue include 'cabriole legs or blending in curved surfaces made by machine – such as posts and stair rails'.

The Clifton 550 spokeshave is supplied in a brown cardboard box with the Clifton logo.

The Clifton concave spokeshave is also available in the Clifton convex spokeshave no. 500 version.


Spokeshave Construction

clifton 550 concave spokeshave

malleable iron

Blade Adjusters:

Spokeshave finish:

Construction Origin:
Sheffield, England


Spokeshave Dimensions

clifton concave spokeshave

254mm (10 inch)

64mm (2 1/2 inch)

425g (15oz)

64mm (2 1/2 inch) (diameter)

Clifton Spokeshave - Concave Blade / Cutter

Cutter Width: 38mm (1 1/2 inch)


Spokeshave Markings

"Clifton" - found on the lever cap face.

"550 Clifton" - found on the underside of one arm.

"England" - found on the underside of the other arm.


Manufactured Dates

2014 - current day


Spokeshave Also Known As

Clifton concave spoke shave
Clifton concave pull shave
Clifton concave shaving tool


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- Thomas Flinn & Co. - Sheffield, England
- Clico (Tooling) Ltd - Sheffield, England


(i) Please always refer to and follow the manufacturer’s instructions / guidelines / safety notices / cautions and similar notices as the manufacturer’s instructions may contain important information on your safety and the good health of your tool, something to which this review's scope does not guarantee to extend to.
(ii) This review may give warning(s) / advisory notes / cautions / guidelines given in good faith however any such information should not be solely relied upon and seen as the exhaustive list of warnings / advisory notes / cautions / guidelines. Always refer to disclaimer note (i) as the definitive source for information on your safety and the good health of your tool.

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