One of the tools that delights me for its simplicity is the scraper plane. I love my Stanley No 80 and it works so well, and is simple to set up. I am also pleasantly surprised in just how long it stays sharp. I sharpen plane blades far more often.
The scraper plane can deal with any type of wood, knots and wild grain that other planes just cannot cope with. The reason I call it a scrub scraper plane is because just like a scrub plane I crown the edge. So looking at the blade flat on it is higher in the middle than the edges, in other words it has a curve in it.