With certain woods that lack distinct graining, it can be difficult to gauge which direction to plane in order to prevent tearout. In these cases, I’ve found that dragging a microfiber cloth on the surface is very helpful.
With most woods, there is a noticeable resistance when the cloth is pulled against the slope of the grain. So, whichever way the cloth moves easiest, that’s the direction you want tove the cutter.
Submitted by Thomas Moss, Bradenton, FL
Source: Woodcraft Magazine