Table of Contents
- 1 Why Planers Should Matter to You?
- 2 The 5 Different Types of Planers
- 3 How to Search for the Best Planer?
- 4 Best Planer Reviews
- 4.1 DEWALT DW734 15 Amp 12-1/2-Inch Benchtop Planer
- 4.2 DEWALT DW735X 13″ Two-Speed Planer Package
- 4.3 Makita 2012NB 12-Inch Planer with Interna-Lok Automated Head Clamp
- 4.4 Bosch 1594K 6.5 Amp 3-1/4-Inch Planer Kit
- 4.5 WEN 6530 6-Amp 3¼-Inch Electric Hand Planer
- 4.6 DEWALT DW680K 7 Amp 3¼-Inch Planer
- 4.7 Makita KP0800K 3-¼-Inch Planer Kit Review
- 4.8 Black & Decker 7698K 5.2 Amp 3-¼-Inch Planer
- 4.9 Makita 1806B Planer
- 4.10 Wixey WR510 Digital Planer Readout with Fractions
- 5 So yeah here’s the best planers for your choice
- 6 Conclusion
What are planers? If you wish to smoothen out a wooden surface’s rough spots by cutting off thin layers from it, such as leveling and resurfacing rough timber, then the woodworking tool you’re searching for is a planer, also called the moulder.
Why Planers Should Matter to You?
Woodworking is one of the most ancient art forms around. If you’re interested in this practice in carpentry, having the right planer is a must.
It allows you to create something new and unique instead of buying some cookie-cutter product at the hardware store. You should look for the best planer for the money.
If you have to pay for more money to get a planer, you should consider if saving up extra cash for added features is worth the wait and extra effort on your part.
Planers allow you to purchase cheaper and rougher wood yet still end up with smooth pieces because you have the means to fix those rough and uneven edges as well as ensure that there’s identical thickness between planks without having someone else do the work for you. These planers are a woodworker’s dream.
The three main kinds of planers are handheld, benchtop, and stationary planers, plus variants like jointers and portable planers. This article will cover mostly planers of the electric variety.
|Picture||Model||Editor Ratings||Our Review|
|DEWALT DW734 Benchtop Planer|| (4.4 / 5) |
|DEWALT DW735X Planer|| (4.6 / 5) |
|Makita 2012NB 12-Inch Planer|| (4.7 / 5) |
|Bosch 1594K Planer Kit|| (4.3 / 5) |
|WEN 6530 Electric Hand Planer|| (4.7 / 5) |
|DEWALT DW680K Planer|| (4.6 / 5) |
|Makita KP0800K Planer Kit|| (4.8 / 5) |
|Black & Decker 7698K Planer|| (4.5 / 5) |
|Makita 1806B Planer|| (4.8 / 5) |
|Wixey WR510 Digital Planer Readout|| (4.6 / 5) |
The 5 Different Types of Planers
These planer types are the most sought-after and commonly bought planers around.
These are the types of planers that you can depend on when it comes to easy smoothening out of the wood in a straightforward fashion. You will still need the skill to make it work for sure, but for the most part, your handheld planer will do the work for you.
It’s fairly easy for even beginners to master using the handheld planer. This is a portable type of planer tool. Therefore, it doesn’t take too much storage space at all.
It’s different from other portable planers in that it’s not a stationary planer and it’s mostly a side tool for finishing purposes. Its smallness is for detailing and you can’t easily create workpieces with identical dimensions using this tool.
It doesn’t have any need a lot of specialized skill to be used. However, leveling huge planks of wood with this is like painting your home with a small paintbrush used for oil painting.
A very good video on “How to use the handheld planer“:
While it’s an exercise in futility to smoothen out huge planks of wood to uniform thickness with hand planers since they’re used for finishing purposes, you can depend on thickness planers for this particular task.
You shouldn’t settle for a cheap thickness planer; you should go for a cost-efficient and value-added one instead that’s a perfect fit for your budget. At any rate, thickness planers fill in the gaps left by handheld planers.
It can do what handheld planers cannot, which is to reduce wood thickness beyond one inch that’s as consistent as possible from plank to plank, wood piece after wood piece.
To be more specific, it’s used for its consistent shaving of an exact amount of inches to level wood to a particular thickness every time. It’s as small as any portable planer, but it’s not as mobile as the stationary, portable planer because it requires a lot of leeway and space for it to work.
A nice little video on “How to joint with the thickness planer“. Nicely done!
It’s a combination between a planer tool and a jointer tool (or a woodworking machine used to smoothen out joints so that they’d fit better with one another).
Instead of buying separate tools (although jointers are pretty much planer variants as well), you can now use both functions in one machine, thus saving you money. It also allows you to multitask in the sense that this piece of equipment allows you to enjoy the best of both worlds.
In other words, you can smoothen out wooden surfaces and make joints fit perfectly at the same time. This machine is best used for large projects and medium-sized woodworking workshops.
It has loads of power and can do different tasks all at once. However, it’s the bulkiest, most expensive, and largest planer of the planer types available. If you don’t have major woodworking projects and instead have humbler DIY ones, then handhelds or portable planers are the better choices.
Not all portable planers are handheld planers although all handheld planers are portable. Like the handheld planer, all portable planers are mobile and can be stored easily in small storage spaces.
Most importantly, the portable planer is different from the handheld planer because it’s a stationary planer, only this time minimalized for your convenience. However, you can’t set it on automatic even though it can be electronically used.
You can push a wood plank or log on it and expect a uniform thickness on the other side. It’s a smaller stationary planer version you can carry around or put in your toolbox.
If you want instant DIY home repairs or the creation of tiny workshop wooden workpieces, find the best portable wood planer for the job. It suffers a bit in terms of accuracy and woodworking precision, but it most certainly is the most inexpensive and dependable planer you can find.
Benchtop planers, also known as bench planers, are planers that you can depend on when it comes to having perfect control over how thick the wood gets. Many hobbyists are satisfied with the power, capacity, and speed of this planer type.
The best bench planer is one that can deal with heavy duty woodworking. It’s like a jointer planer in that it deals with medium-to-large woodworking projects. It’s powerful enough to handle hardwoods, at that.
However, it’s a lot more mobile, and it’s similar to portable planers in size (it’s only a little larger, and it requires more space to operate, just like thickness planers). Because of this, it’s easier to transport these compact bench planers from site to site compared to, say, a jointer planer.
It’s the best planer when it comes to thickness control (even thickness planers have a 4-6 inch limit in board size when it comes to maintaining precision).
How to Search for the Best Planer?
Aside from these specs, you should also consider machine features, a number of knives, speed, and capacity when choosing the right planer for you.
The type of planer you should purchase must be based on the type of job you want to do. If you’re dealing with small workpiece sculptures in woodworking class, then you should have just as miniaturized planers on hand, like the portable planer and the handheld planer.
To acquire cheap planer devices without sacrificing utility, keep in mind that the benchtop planer is less expensive than a jointer planer but offers just as powerful a motor when it comes to industrial-strength woodworking action.
For compact yet heavy-duty planers, the benchtop planer wins out on its versatility and multiple benefits. Speaking of versatility, the jointer planer is the one planer that can do jointing work and planer work at the same time among all the planer types.
Some planers are huge but dependable when it comes to thickness precision. Others are more inexpensive, portable, compact, and can do fine-tuning or detail work for wooden planks no larger than 4-6 inches.
There are two types of motors when it comes to planers — The Induction Type Motor and Universal Motor.
The induction type motor is something you’d normally see in bench and jointer planers because it’s built for precision, longevity, and heavy-duty work.
The universal motor, as many an electric planer review would point out, deals more with smaller, handheld, or portable planers that many DIY enthusiasts with minor home improvement projects favor due to its size, inexpensiveness, and lightweight benefits.
The universal motor isn’t good with industrial-strength projects and hardwood smoothening; the induction type motor is. However, universal motor planers have their place in many woodworking shops for those minor touches and detailing activities, especially when it comes to planer work on sculptures or miniature woodworking pieces.
As per usual, your needs and your budget should dictate what motor type your planer should have, although if you have complicated woodworking projects to deal with, you’ll probably need both.
Some planers, like the thickness, benchtop, and jointer planers require a lot of space to work with because the wood they’re smoothening out are themselves thick and long.
Thus, the working area should accommodate these products better, necessitating an average of 7 feet of working space. The wood length protruding from either side of the planer should be taken into consideration when calculating your woodworking workshop’s space, among other things.
The plank will go from one side then come out another, so having a narrower working space for a bigger plank is just asking for trouble. If you’re instead dealing with handhelds and portable planers that can deal with smaller wood sizes, then you can conserve more of your working space.
Incidentally, the size of the planer and the type of mother sometimes dictate the size of the work area. If it’s a mobile planer with a universal motor, then a smaller work area is called for.
Thickness and Width
Thickness is what a planer is supposed to control. The tool shaves off inches or millimeters of wood at a time to ensure thickness and width consistency to your woodworking piece.
There are planer types and models that come with depth stops that allow for quick changes in thickness. There are also other planers that can deal with more than 6-inch thickness (the ones that use heavy-duty induction type motors, most likely).
The width of the board determines how big of a board can a planer handle. The more portable, and compact your planer is (especially those with universal motors), the smaller the board size it could handle in a consistent and even fashion.
Stationary planers can handle boards with higher widths but with the caveat that it’ll take you longer to smoothen out everything. You can sometimes run planks through your jointer planer then joint them together for a width increase.
When it comes to stroke count, it’s determined by the number of knives and the speed of the rotating blades. The more blades there are, the higher the stroke count is. The faster the blades rotate, the faster the rate of stroke counts per second.
The quality of the result has nothing to do with speed, though. You should separate stroke count on the specs from how smooth the board or plank is when everything is said and done.
There are some woods that enjoy better smoothness with a slower stroke count rate (a slower fed rate produces more cuts per inch. Thus the finish is smoother). There are other wooden pieces where the faster you can slice them up, the smoother they’ll get.
It all depends on the circumstances and the board type. If you have to pick planers by stroke count, then choose the ones with variable speeds.
Best Planer Reviews
DEWALT DW734 15 Amp 12-1/2-Inch Benchtop Planer
This is a highly rated wood thickness planer for sure. This is because it possesses strong, durable knives and 10,000 RPM three-knife cutter head. If you wish to maintain the sharpness of this planer, then don’t fret, because the knives are replaceable, disposable, and easy-to-change.
Its motor is quite powerful, with over 200,000 RPM and 15 AMP. What’s more, it also sports long in-feed and out-feed tables for your wood-smoothening needs.
Additionally, the 80-pound DeWalt DW734 has a three-year limited warranty. The performance of this thickness planer overall is quite superb. It’s one of the strongest planers you’ll ever come across out there with exceptional specs and benefits.
Particularly, woodworkers will love this DeWalt planer’s three-blade system that leaves the smoothest surface possible. It’s suited most for home use although there are some tasks in the woodworking shop that it could also accomplish.
DEWALT DW735X 13″ Two-Speed Planer Package
The main claim to fame of the DeWalt DW735X 13″ Two-Speed Planer is the fact that you can adjust the speed every way you want. It’s the cream of the crop and certainly among the best wood planers out there.
Both professional carpenters and DIY enthusiasts view the machine as a must-have thickness planer tool, even when compared to its sibling planer, the DeWalt DW734.
Regarding stroke count, the DW735X is most certainly one of the most adaptable and accommodating woodworking tools available exactly because you can shift from one speed to another depending on what work piece you’re working on.
As mentioned in the “How to Search for the Perfect Planer” section, having a multi-functional piece of equipment allows you to work with a greater variety of wood surfaces. Read our detailed review of the DW735X Planer here.
Makita 2012NB 12-Inch Planer with Interna-Lok Automated Head Clamp
This is one of the best thickness planers around. It compares favorably to the DW735X and DW734 duo of DeWalt because it can do certain things that that other heavy- duty thickness planers cannot.
In other words, it’s in the running for best portable thickness planer that’s currently available. This is one of the most robust and dependable planers you’ll ever see in your life.
The reason for this is because it doesn’t have many detriments per se save for general issues present in all thickness planers (like a limit on the thickness of the boards and planks you’re smoothening out and whatnot).
The Makita 2012NB produces some of the smoothest finishes you’ll ever see, has the quietest 15 AMP motor on the market, and it could last you for years and years; all you need to do is replace the blades. Read our detailed review of the Makita 2012NB here.
Bosch 1594K 6.5 Amp 3-1/4-Inch Planer Kit
Last but not least is the Bosch 1594K. As a quality hand planer, this is one of the best. Sure, it lacks the power ratings of the three other motors (it’s a petite model with a 6.5 AMP motor and 16,500 RPM).
This could still be the best electric planer for you since it’s one of the most dependable and highly regarded hand planers around. Remember, planer value roots from necessity, not strength or speed.
When it comes to fine-tuning finishes or smoothening out surfaces that broad-stroke industrial-strength planers of the thickness and benchtop variety have to deal with, a handheld planer is a way to go.
Furthermore, it just so happens that the 1594K is one of the best and most well-designed planers to come out of Bosch. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more well-balanced planer that weighs at most six pounds and can deal with smooth-finish detailing.
Read our detailed review of the Bosch 1594K here.
WEN 6530 6-Amp 3¼-Inch Electric Hand Planer
A WEN 6530 Electric Hand Planer costs under $100 and provides loads of benefits that justify its high ratings on Amazon.com.
To wit, it’s capable of an amazing, jaw-dropping 34,000 cuts per minute with its 6 am motor. What’s more, its 16 positive stops offer a user the ability to adjust the cutting depth real time, even in the middle of every cut, from anywhere within the 0 to ⅛ inch range.
It’s also capable of making rabbets of up to an inch in size, with its special rabbeting guide that you can never do without once you get used to its convenience.
It’s also quite lightweight on your hand thanks to its six pounds of overall weight. With it, you can iron out any uneven surface in minutes.
Some customers at Amazon.com do complain about how they couldn’t get an even cut with the device unless they first “snipe” at the wood. At least one customer also complains about how the dust chute also doesn’t lock in place and the lever to change the purge direction of shavings doesn’t close properly.
However, these complainers are the minority of users who’ve bought their own WEN 6530 Electric Hand Planer. Many of the verified purchasers of the unit praise it for its price, its two-year warranty, how intuitive it is to use, and its undeniable capability to plane away misshapen edges, splinters, and chips from a wooden surface to give it a more professional look.
It’s the perfect planer for fitting wood pieces and fixing stubborn doors that get stuck on your doorways.
DEWALT DW680K 7 Amp 3¼-Inch Planer
The DEWALT DW680K 7 Amp Planer is a promising type of planer because it has a lot to offer for the typical household or professional user.
To wit, it’s a heavy duty kind of planer for professional workers or DIY homeowners who have a fair bit of experience gathered already when it comes to handling any type of power tool.
The seven-amp motor of the DeWalt DW680K Planer particularly offers some of the smoothest finishes possible to even the hardest of hardwoods. In turn, you have the flexibility to turn the deal and adjust in order to do softwood planer action as well.
This beast is also capable of a 2.5-millimeter maximum cut in one pass, so the amount of work, hours, and passes you have to give per work piece is significantly reduced.
Furthermore, the DEWALT DW680K Planer accepts large high-speed steel blades that you can recycle and resharpen at your own convenience for framing and edging applications. What’s more, the DeWalt DW680K Planer is, according to some of the reviewers at Amazon.com, one of the most precise planers around that’s capable of shaving deep or shaving at a shallow 0.03125 inch if required or as needed.
There’s a good balance with this unit because it has a low center of gravity and it planes wood to a glassy smoothness. It’s simply amazing but then again, this is to be expected from anything made by the ever-innovative and premium-grade company known as DeWalt.
If you want to stop worrying about splinters and chatter marks after smoothening out wood with your planer, then buy the DeWalt DW680K Planer.
Makita KP0800K 3-¼-Inch Planer Kit Review
The Makita KP0800K Planer Kit is a straightforward kit that offers 6.5 amps of motorized power. What’s more, unlike models with the same amperage, this planer delivers more output power to ensure fast material removal.
Not one volt or amp of the motor’s energy is wasted when you utilize your own Makita KP0800K Planer for your woodworking needs. What’s more, for something that weighs only 5.7 pounds, it has a power-to-weight ratio.
It can do work you’d expect from a tabletop planer but it weighs only a little heavier than a clothing iron. It can plane up to 3¼ inches wide and inches deep in just one pass.
That’s because it possesses a two-blade cutter head that can go up to 17,000 rotations per minute (RPM), thus ensuring a splinter-free finish every time.
Furthermore, the Makita KP0800K Planer Kit also allows for fast blade installation thanks to the unit’s easy blade setting system. You don’t need any special tools or instruments to get new blades for this planer.
What’s more, its planer accuracy is assured thanks to its precision-machined aluminum base. Everything is well-balanced so that your hands or your planer itself won’t go wobbling everywhere as you go about smoothening out softwoods and hardwoods.
To top it all off, the power tool has double-edged carbide blades that ensure amazing cutting performance every time.
The bottom line here is that even when facing stiff competition in terms of performance and pricing, the Makita KP0800K Planer Kit still comes out on top because it delivers incredible cutting capacity, amazing power, and comforting ease of use.
Black & Decker 7698K 5.2 Amp 3-¼-Inch Planer
The Black & Decker 7698K Planer is a wonderful planer unit to have because it offers 5.2 amps of motor power and versatile functionality that allows it to adjust and adapt to various planer situations with ease.
Although it’s not the strongest or fastest planer around spec-wise, what it does offer at the price point it has can most certainly be considered a cost-effective bargain. For example, the unit provides and 16,500 revolutions per minute (RPM).
As for its rabbeting depth capacity, the Black & Decker 7698KPlaner proudly produces inches of it. Finally, to ensure a decorative finish to your work, the instrument also includes chamfering groove as well, particularly when you’re squaring pine.
It’s indeed a lot more versatile than the average planer with the same capacity and price. It’s because it’s able to provide extras and flourishes you won’t see elsewhere, like the fact that it has a front adjustment handle and 10 positive stops. If that’s not enough, then how about its two-year warranty that ensures you’ll at least be able to use the product worry-free for two years or your money back?
That’s amazing value right there. It’s in the opinion of this review that the Black & Decker 7698K Planer exemplifies some of the best features of a typical Black & Decker tool in that it’s able to compromise reduced power and speed with increased adaptability and enriched features that no other planer has.
As far as planing is concerned, it’s one of the easiest to use planers on the market today.
Makita 1806B Planer
In a nutshell, while the Makita 1806B Planer is expensive, it’s worth every penny. It’s dependable on where it counts the most, which includes your wallet and your workshop.
The Makita 1806B Planer, if you pay attention to how big it is or the specs it has compared to other, smaller portable planers that are roughly iron-sized, it’s a whopping 6¾-inch planer with a 10.9 amp motor.
What that means is that thanks to its 15,000 RPM (rotation per minute) rate for its blades, it can cut down 6¾ inches of material in a single pass, versus say a 3¼-inch cut from other more petit planers that also have a lower RPM rate and amperage for their motor. The machine is like Texas, in a sense.
Everything about it is bigger and better, especially if you want your jobs to end faster or if you wish to do a lot more heavy duty work with really tough hardwoods like oak.
With that said, for something so big and expensive, it turns on a dime and is comfortable to handle to boot. Its depth setting is easy to set up as well. You can even ensure continuous, uninterrupted operation without pressing a button with its lock-on button feature.
Its bigness and its study sole plate also ensure stability at all times, so you won’t end up with uneven, splintered wooden surfaces when all is said and done. It’s heavy but it’s precise and powerful, which some might see as a better tradeoff with a sleeker but weaker model.
Wixey WR510 Digital Planer Readout with Fractions
The main claim to fame of the WixeyWR510 Digital Planer Readout with Fractions is its many measurements scales down to the last fraction thanks to its digital interface that allows for precision planer action to the last digit.
It’s a fraction readout device that fits many portable planers out there regardless of size and brand.
You can easily calibrate, install, and use the readout device as long as you follow its user instruction manual to the letter. It displays millimeters or fractions with inches. It’s easy to view thanks to the way the display is angled, plus its readouts are huge and readable.
You won’t confuse what’s on the screen for something else at all. This is why planer owners love this handy, dependable machine.
They (the users of Amazon.com) particularly love how easy it is to zero out the digital planer readout every time. Just hit the button with the board you’re measuring in place to go back to zero in a snap.
Aside from getting absolute measurements on the height of planed wooden boards, you can also get absolute measurements for their thickness too. Just lift up the gauge to get a board’s thickness as needed.
The height and thickness setting can be put at absolute or with incremental changes depending on what sort of measurement is appropriate to the circumstances. You can equip it on stationary planers, portable planers, or some drilling depending on the design and form of the planer in question.
For the most part, minimal tool adjustment is necessary for most of the popular commercial planers available on Amazon.
So yeah here’s the best planers for your choice
- DEWALT DW734 15 Amp 12-1/2-Inch Benchtop Planer
- DEWALT DW735X 13″ Two-Speed Planer Package
- Makita 2012NB 12-Inch Planer with Interna-Lok Automated Head Clamp
- Bosch 1594K 6.5 Amp 3-1/4-Inch Planer Kit
You’re only ultimately limited by your imagination when it comes to making wooden products that are either artsy or practical; you can go with form, function, or both in the realm of woodworking. Regardless, the planer is to carpentry what the chisel and hammer are to sculpting.
You can’t do without it. Instead of wasting finished and leveled wood for your woodworking attempts, why not create your own out of unleveled and cheap wood? Do check out our discussion on Wood Lathe for other Woodworking tools too.
Check out other essential tools for Woodworking too!
- Wood Planer
- Wood Router (also here)
- Wood Lathe
- Router Table
- Belt Sander (also here)
- Belt Disc Sander (also here)
- Log Splitter
- Wood Glue
- Woodworking books
- Stainable Wood Filler
- Wood Jointer
- Orbital Belt Sander
- Angle Grinder