What is the best planer to buy? Which one is right for me? For those of us who are into woodworking, it isn’t as simple as using a tape measure, hammer and nails to get our projects done. If you’re into advanced building or are merely looking to elevate your work flow and product quality, planers are more than an important power tool to invest in. Today we take a look at some of the most popular power planers in the market; whether you’re looking for a handheld, benchtop or portable model, we found each of the best in its category and price point.
What is a planer and its uses?
A planer is a woodworking tool that can be used for producing boards that are totally flat on each side with an even thickness. For us D.I.Y.’ers and even professional workshop owners, we all know that when working with wood, a planer is almost always a must to have handy. Even if the traditional wood planer may have been a handheld tool, a modern planer comes with a planning platform for accurate and quick thickness adjustments, and it can be controlled electronically and manually. Both are readily available in the market today, and which type you’ll need really depends on what you’ll be using it for, which we list below after this little video.
Picking the best power planer
- Which planer type?
- Handheld: This type is mostly used for edges of boards, such as doors, floors, tables, etc. These are becoming more popular as the years go on since they’re very convenient.
- Benchtop: As the name implies, these sit atop your bench and come in two different types. Thickness benchtop planers aid in decreasing the thickness of your wood, while jointers help level edges of boards or straighten them.
- Surface: These are typically found in professional environments and are used for larger floors and decks.
- Price range – The best power planers can give us a bit of range when it comes to price tags. We have some of the better rated budget-friendly models at under $50, while many popular benchtop planers go as high as a few hundred bucks. Which type you need really depends on the budget you may have to start saving up.
- Motor power – For handheld planers, grabbing something with the middle range of around 5-6 Amp and up will work just fine. For benchtop planers, we’ve seen the popular models go for 15 Amp and higher..
The top 10 best power planers
This electric hand power planer is perfect for fixing stubborn doors and reshaping post edges. The WEN 6530 has a 6-amp motor that delivers more than 34 cuts each minute for the work piece and it slices away any irregularities until the surface of the board gets aligned or as smooth as you need. With this planer, you are able to transform the wood back and turn it into a usable board. A few other highlights of this highly rated model include the base plate shoe coming with a V-shaped groove for flattening sharp post corners. Besides a power planer, the package also comes with a dust bag and a rabbeting guide with a kickstand and a parallel fence bracket. The rabbeting guide can adjust from 0 to 1 inch in order to allow the rabbets up to 1 inch deep in size. If you wanted one of the best hand planers in the market that won’t break your wallet at the same time, check this one out. It’s our pick to start off our list for numerous reasons.
This is another one of the best power planers not only because it’s a DeWalt model but the reviews don’t lie — with a 15 amp, 20,000 rpm motor, the DeWalt DW735X can handle large cuts with wide materials quickly and efficiently. It has a three knife cutter head which can deliver over 30 percent longer knife life than its competitors, and it makes the knife easy to change without much hassle. The two-speed gear box allows you to change the feed speed in order to optimize the cuts for each inch needed. The planer has an additional fan-assisted chip ejection vacuum for the cutter head and it can get them away from the machine to help with a cleaner space. The automatic carriage lock can reduce movements that may lead to the snipe without any need of manual engagement on the part of the user. The extra-large scale ensures that the user achieves the right cuts with each cut. In terms of comparing to the previous planer listed, this is a huge jump in price but justifiably so due to the overall quality and type of model it is. If you wanted a benchtop solution for the best planer and have some extra cash and want a step up from our previously WEN pick, here’s your choice
This is a solid Porter-Cable tool that is among the best planers within the handheld category out there in the power tool market. It features a decent quality 6 amp motor and provides smooth cutting with most hard materials you’ll come across. The Porter-Cable PC60THP boasts a maximum load speed of over 16,500 rmp to offer smooth material removal. For help with convenience, the planer comes with dual side dust extraction that allows the flexibility of putting it on any side of the tool, and it is needed to keep the area cleaner. The over mold depth knob has 10 positive steps and it allows better planer control with multiple depth control settings together with three chamfering grooves for the option of edge chamfering. In terms of planer construction, the cast aluminum shoe offers great control and stability if you take care of it properly. It’s not too heavy on the wallet either, so if you go this route, you’ll be saving some cash yet still attaining some reliable planing for the working shop.
This hand power planer can deliver a high cutting capacity and ease of use. The Makita KP0810 is the ideal tool for the professional window installer and woodworker. It features a 7.5 AMP motor which delivers even more power and a two-blade cutter head with 16,000 rmp in order to increase the stock removal. The planer has a double edge carbide blade to achieve better performance, and it can plane over 3-1/4 inch wide and 5/32-inch deep in just a single pass. The planer is found in rigid die-cast aluminum housing, and it has a ball bearing construction and is engineered for long tool life. It also supports the planer drum to achieve increased durability. The planer is lightweight and it has an ergonomically centered balance — we recommend it for those who want a hand planer that gives you top-of-the-line build but isn’t necessarily budget-friendly like the previously listed models.
The Bosch PL2632K planer has a 6.5 amp motor which produces 16,500 rmp for fast stock removal and smooth finishes. Aluminum front and rear shoes are constructed to work together for a great build and overall accuracy. The tool comes with a machined groove for chamfering and has a counterbalanced blade design that can put a blade at an ideal cutting angle to help work flow. This planer also provides a spring-loaded stand which elevates the planer in order to protect the blade with a tool-resting spot. It is equipped with a reversible wood razor and gives the user an option of using two-blade systems in order to accommodate the high-speed steel blade. Lastly, it features a counter balanced blade design that ensures that there is even planning — we recommend it if you interested in a middle price-point and planer that comes with a fence for extra guidance. Makita fans especially would call this the best planer due to the special build their tools always bring us.
This is a heavy-duty handheld power planer with a 7 amp motor that provides an even and smooth finish for some of the hardest woods you’ll encounter. The DeWalt DW680K has a solid maximum cut and it reduces the amount of the passes that have to be done on a material. It accepts large wood pieces and has a high-speed steel blade for a straight edging and framing applications. It has been calibrated with a depth adjustment knob to achieve accurate depth settings while eliminating any need to have to re-zero the depth. It also takes the reversible carbide blades to achieve even more detailed and accurate woodworking. The additional kickstand is also a plus because it lets you rest the planer using the materials found between the passes and there is no need to gouge out the materials. Three precision machined grooves offer three different sizes to achieve edge chamfering — another one of the best power planers by DeWalt here to take into consideration.
This is among the best portable planers and it is compact with less weight to achieve easy transportation to a job site. The Makita 2012NB has been created for easy and fast blade changes. It has low noise for operator comfort and its 4 post design with diagonal cross support offers some very solid stability. It has a large table extension that can support the work piece and a fully adjustable depth to stop repeat cuts. It has a powerful 15 Amp motor to achieve improved performance. An additional LED light is used to indicate if the planer has been plugged into a power source for some safety precautions. It also has a large and easy paddle switch that can be put on or off. For a few more highlights, the planer has a double edge planer blade and its cutting depth can be adjusted to your liking. There is a detachable tool box that can be used for storage of standard equipment which doesn’t hurt, either — it’s up there in price but if you wanted a beast of a planer (almost 3x the power in the motor as compared to others) here it is.
If you like to work with heavy timbers or with extra thick dimension lumber, then this is the best planer to keep in mind. If you grab it, you will see its usefulness since you won’t have to attempt to feed the heavy work piece using a conventional planer. It’s highly portable and you can take the lightweight planer to any work site with ease. It is also great when it comes to planing a wide table top, surfacing pre-assembled furniture or refinishing a wide table. The Triton TPL180 has a decently powerful 1500W motor that can be used for heavy-duty planing and for the toughest wood surfaces. It also has a power-on neon light that indicates the live power connection. It is made with magnesium construction to offer some solid durability and strength — it’s another middle price-point planer to keep in mind if you want a hand, corded model.
Delta Power Tools 22-555
This portable thickness power planer has a 15 Amp motor which is capable of handling the demands of a small shop and other mid-sized uses. The Delta 22-555 has a four column design that offer excellent stability for accurate, smooth planning for years if you can take care of it properly. It has a quick change knife system with dual edge disposable knives which lets the user easily change them out quickly and conveniently. There is no difficulty in using the alignment jigs and it has adjustable in-feed/out-feed tables that can better support your long pieces while reducing the snipe. It has a reversible dust port that allows you to connect the chips towards the left side from the right of the planer. Lastly, It has two polyurethane feed rollers to offer a no-slip grip at the work piece and it is positioned close to the cutter head in order to improve the work piece finish. Delta Power Tools is a monstrous brand that comes with near-industrial types of models that aren’t for the beginner.
Last but not least, we have yet another DeWalt planer for good reason. The DeWalt DW734 is a powerful benchtop planer with a 15 amp, 20,000 rpm motor that handles deep and large cuts in the hardwood. There are 3 knife cutter heads that have a 10,000 rpm speed to provide 96 cuts each inch and a great finish for portable planers. The reversible and disposable knives may deliver over 30 percent more knife life than others and it is easy to change them. There are four column carriages that can lock drastically and it reduces the movement that causes the snipe. It has an extra-long in feed with an out-feed table that offers versatile material support. This planer also has a material removal gauge with an extra-large thickness scale that offers accurate cuts for every pass done. Lastly, the turret depth stop lets the user return to the most frequently used depth without any difficulty, which many would categorize as nifty (although not a complete must) especially with a tool like this.