This section is from the book "Spons' Mechanics' Own Book: A Manual For Handicraftsmen And Amateurs", by Edward Spon. Also available from Amazon: Spons' Mechanics' Own Book.
The drawing-knife, Fig. 352, is practically a 2-handed chisel, which can only he used by drawing it towards the operator. Beyond its greater effective surface it is no improvement upon the chisel. A desire to govern the depth of cut performed by the chisel led to the adoption of a tool called a spokeshave, in which the long blade of the drawing knife is retained, the depth of the cut being determined by the nearness of the edge to a parallel wooden handle. This tool may be used in both directions, towards and from the workman. But owing to the position of the application of the power, viz. the hands, and the tendency of resistance by the work to turn the whole tool in the hand, it is not of general utility. When, however, the curvature of surface varies, the parings to be removed are light, and the operator has convenient access, the tool is capable of doing good work, and possesses some advantages over the plane. (Rigg.) Besides the original simple long-bladed spokeshave, this tool is now made with cutters of varying forms, for chamfering, rabbeting, and other purposes, being then often termed a "router," especially by the American makers who have introduced the novelties.