If you have any experience in projects that required woodworking by profession or out of sheer interest, then you already know how hard it can be to get boards with the exact thickness as you need. In these cases, you will want to have a planer to do the trick.
What is a wood planer?
A wood planer is simply a woodworking tool that can be used to produce boards of even thickness and flat surfaces. Traditionally this tool is being used by our forefathers and their forefathers. But recently with the help of advanced technology we have come out of the conventional theory of handheld planers and moved to electric planers.
These power planers come with a planning platform for quick and accurate thickness adjustments and can be controlled both manually and electronically.
To get the best out of this tool, at first you set the depth of cut by adjusting the cutter head or the planning platform. At the next step you turn on the machine. And now you are ready to do the planing task.
So at the final stage you just feed the machine a board, it is carried forward by the in-feed roller, and placed under the fast spinning blades of the cutter drum. From the other end the out-feed roller will take your board out. Thus a smooth and consistent thickness reduction can be achieved for the board in a jiffy.
Best planer list
DEWALT DW734 15 Amp 12-1/2-Inch Benchtop Planer
The DEWALT DW734 is a small benchtop thickness planer with only 80 pounds in weight. It is comparatively low priced and perfect for any large or medium sized workshop. The 15 amp electric motor gives it enough power to reach a maximum of 20,000 rpm. The 3-knived cutter head with 10,000 rpm can provide 96 cuts per inch.
The blades are too strong to withstand heavy duty work and you can use it for full 2 years without a change. That reduces your cost to a high extent. And when the time comes, you can reverse the blades quite easily. There is a little problem of noise with this planer, so make sure to wear your earplugs while using.
It’s a planer that planes hard woods neatly and is even better with soft woods. The mobility of this machine is a great catch. A dust hood is available with this machine that works very well with any vacuum cleaner. The four column carriage lock drastically reduces the movement that causes snipe and the extra-long in-feed and out-feed tables provide 33 ½ inches of material support. The features that can attract you to buy this planer are:
- Strong and durable knives
- 3 knife cutter head with 10000 rpm
- Disposable and easy to change reversible knives
- Powerful motor with 15amp and 200000 rpm
- Four column carriage lock
- Long in-feed and out-feed tables
POWERTEC PL1251 12-1/2-Inch 15-Amp Planer
POWERTEC PL1251 12-1/2-Inch 15-Amp Planer offers a cutter head speed of 9400 rpm and 18,800 cuts per minute. It can handle boards as thin as ⅛ of an inch, as thick as 6 inches and as wide as 12.5 inches. It comes with handles so it’s portable. All in all, you get a set of features that will be perfect for your task. The price is relatively low compared to others in its class. Features include:
- Index pin set up for easy blade replacement.
- No blade gauge requirement
- Four column design for greater stability and accuracy
- Work piece return roller for assistance when planing extra-long boards
- Side mounted carrying handles for portability
- Spindle lock for safe blade change
DEWALT DW735 13-Inch, Two Speed Thickness Planer
The powerful 15 amp motor has 20,000 rpm and the cutter head speed is 10,000 rpm that can easily handle larger cuts in wider materials. The three knife cutter head delivers 30 percent longer knife life and makes knife change faster and easier.
This best planer has a two-speed gear box that allows its users to change feed speed to optimizing cuts per inch at 96 or 179 CPI. The fan assisted chip ejection vacuums chips off of the cutter head and exhausts them out of the machine. Other features include:
- The 19-3/4″ cast aluminum base is 2 times more rigid than a standard 10″ base.
- Automatic carriage lock reduces the movement that causes snipe without the need for manual engagement by the user.
- Material removal gauge and extra-large thickness scale deliver accurate cuts with every pass.
- Extra-large, turret depth stop allows user to return to most frequently used thicknesses with ease.
Delta Power Tools 22-555 13 In Portable Thickness Planer
Its powerful 15 amp motor is capable of handling the demands of a small shop. The four column design provides excellent stability for smooth, accurate planing over many years of use. The quick-change knife system with dual edge disposable knives lets you change knives without any difficulty and makes it the best planer. The adjustable in-feed and out-feed tables give better support for long pieces and helps to reduce snipe.
It also has a reversible dust port that allows you to collect chips from the right or left side of planer. The features that might prove useful to you are:
- Strong 15 amp motor power
- Better width capacity
- More thickness capacity
- Spacious and secure design for better performance
- Decent dust collection system
- Height adjustment facility for excellent grip
- Precision scale for neat work
- Nitrile synthetic rubber coating on the rollers for durability
DEWALT DW680K 7 Amp 3-1/4-Inch Planer
If you are looking for the best planer then the DEWALT DW680K might prove a better choice for you. Its heavy duty 7 amp motor provides a smooth, even finish in the hardest of woods. The 2.5 mm maximum cut in one pass reduces the amount of passes on your material. It has a calibrated depth adjustment knob for accurate depth setting.
It accepts reversible carbide blades for more detailed, accurate woodworking. The precision-machined shoe bottom and side provides flat surface finish as well as accurate and square rabbet joints. What it does additionally are given below-
- It accepts large high-speed steel blades for straight edging or framing applications
- The blades are resharpenable
- Kickstand allows you to rest the planer on the material in between passes without gouging your material
- Rubber-coated front-height adjustment knob for greater comfort and better control
- Three precision-machined grooves in front shoe provide three different sizes for edge chamfering
- Poly-V drive belt provides increased belt durability
- Ergonomically designed, two-finger trigger for increased comfort and less user fatigue
- 15,000 rpm for a smooth, high-quality cut
Makita KP0800K 3-1/4-Inch Planer Kit
If you’re making the list of best planer, you can’t forget the Makita KP0800K. The 6.5 amp motor of Makita KP0800K delivers more output power for fast material removal. It has a high power-to-weight ratio while weighing only 5.7 pounds. The two-blade cutter head with 17,000 rpm delivers smooth finish. Other features include:
- Easy blade setting system for fast blade installation
- Precision machined aluminum base for planing accuracy
- Equipped with double edge carbide blades for added performance
- Planes up to 3-1/4″ width and 3/32″ depth in a single pass
Makita 2012NB 12-Inch Planer
This is another best planer from Makita. It is engineered for faster and easier blade changes. The low noise provides operator comfort. It comes with 4-post design and diagonal cross supports for stability. Other features include:
- Large table extensions to support the work piece
- Fully adjustable depth stop for repeat cuts
- L.E.D. light indicates that the planer is plugged into the power source
- Compact with less weight for easy transporting to the jobsite
Delta Power Tools 22-590 Portable Planer
The 3 knife cutter head of this best planer provides an ultra-smooth finish and up to 3 time longer blade life. The full width material removal gauge indicates the amount of material being removed with each pass across the entire width of the material, allowing the user to utilize the entire width of the cutter head. And the Infinite Micro-adjust depth stop allows the user to select a specific dimension for repeatable cuts at any dimension between 1 ¼ in. and 1/8 in.
Jet JJP-10BTOS 10-Inch Bench-Top Jointer/Planer
This one has made to the list of best planer for the following reasons:
- The combination of bench top jointer and planer provides a 2 in 1 machine to maximize work efficiency
- The compact bench top design fits conveniently in a small shop
- The integrated cord wrap makes transporting easy and ensures workshop safety
- Its heavy Duty 13 amp motor can be used for various cutting applications
- There are two high-speed steel knives for smooth cuts
- The oversized, ergonomic knobs provide maximum control and ease in use
- Large aluminum forced fence
- The metal outfeed table with height adjustment facility supports long work pieces and helps reduce snipe
- Planing and joining tables lock system
- The ground table top ensures a smooth, straight cut
WEN 6560 10-Amp 6-Inch Benchtop Jointer
The last on the list of best planer is WEN 6560. It-
- Features a spacious 6-1/4 x 28-1/2 inch table and a two-blade 6-1/8 inch cutter head
- 10-amp motor provides up to 20,000 cuts per minute
- Cast iron base prevents walking and vibration during operation
- Adjustable 22-3/4 x 4-1/2 inch fence bevels up to 45 degrees in either direction
- Includes a dust port, filter bag, push stick and push block
- Blades features a micro-beveled edge
Types of wood planer
There are many types of wood planers available in the market. The two broader categories of wood planers are hand planers and electric planers.
The good old planers that require your muscle to operate. These manual planers are called conventional planers and are rarely used today.
Electric planers are powered by electricity just as the name suggests. They are convenient and efficient. They require less human effort while delivering maximum output in the shortest possible time. These powerful planers are also classified depending on their work efficiency as:
- Benchtop planer
- Thickness planer
- Portable planer
- Jointer planer
Why do you need it?
With a wood planer you can take the irregular pieces of wood and level its thickness according to your project requirement. So you don’t need to be extra cautious before buying a lumber. You can buy woods of any thickness and customize it according to your needs. And in those projects where two edges adjoined boards are required, a planer can be quite helpful. If you have enough practice you can easily bevel a door edge accurately by integrating an adjustable fence onto the machine. This process of beveling allows the doors to open and shut smoothly without any clicking or jamming.
But be sure to get proper training before starting to use a wood planer. It might look like a simple process to adjust the thickness level and cut the boards but you know what, things are real tricky when they seem too easy. If you try to use the planer without any prior experience or without any expert supervision, you are sure to have tear outs, snipes, and inclined planes on the surface. So take the time to properly understand how it works and practice with unused boards before actually jumping into the real deal.
Precautions to take while using a planer
A wood planer demands resect from its users. If you fail to give it the proper respect, there is only one outcome – accidents! Therefore keep some aspects in mind while using a wood planer.
Keep your work station clean
Your work station must be clean and anything that might cause any form of injury should be put away. These may include fluids, other electrical appliances, and so on. Your work station should also have a good ventilation system with enough light at work. Remember, never work with a planer in darkness. Working under sufficient light will not only ensure amplified vision but also a high level of precision.
Don’t start writing if you are not a writer
There are some moments when if you go to try something, it may become a bloody mess. That is why it is said that it’s the fish’s duty to swim. So don’t use a wood planer to cut anything other than woods. If you try to cut metal sheets or strings through this machine, well…. there you lost it.
Don’t forget to use protective gears
Protecting your eyes, nose, and hands while you are planing is necessary. So wear your goggles. Use a mask to prevent the dust from entering your nostrils. And be sure to put your hand gloves on. In that way you will be safe from the sharp edges of the board.
Inspect your machine regularly
Make sure that no parts of your machine is flying loose. Keep all the screws and clamps tight. Also have a close look at the cutting blades. Or else it will become numb and won’t perform the desired operation.
Maintenance after the work is done
Once you are done with your work, make sure to remove all the small pieces of woods and dust from your workplace. Then cover up your machine. And if you are going to put it away for a longer time, put it in the box and store it in a secured place.
Factors to consider before buying a wood planer
Efficiency: Operational efficiency of a machine is an important factor to consider before buying. Understand well if the planer can give you the desired result and in time. Know your reasons why you are planning to buy a wood planer. And always choose the machine that won’t fall back when you give it some extra pressure than regular.
Cost: Cost of different types of planers varies depending on the quality and company. It is suggested to go for a planer that fits your budget. This should include the total installation cost in the case of electric planers and subsequent maintenance. Do not always plan to buy the cheapest machine because what is cheap at present may become very expensive later. And do not go for an electric planer if you lack easy access to electrical points.
Flexibility and ease of use: Do not choose a complex machine unless you are absolutely an expert professional in this field. If you are new, or relatively new always go for the efficient one that has the flexibility to use it under different environments and that is very easy to use.
Depending on the information stated above, we have tried to collect some of the best wood planers for you to choose from. We have gone through thousands of reviews to make up the list. Here’s the list for you.
Planer Types & Their Personality [Infographic]
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Well, there’s been a lot of chitchat for so long. At the end of the day, all just comes to a single point – which is the best planer to buy? That basically depends on your workload and skill. If you are looking for some heavy wood works, go for the heavy ones. And if you are a craft person, then having a lightweight hand planer will be enough for you.