Best Wood Planer - Guide and Reviews

When you work with wood as a hobby or a profession, it’s often a distinct advantage to have the best wood planer readily available. That’s because this woodworking tool allows you to come up with many boards of the same thickness, and they’re completely flat on both sides.

Originally, the wood planer is handheld, and this design goes back to medieval times. But we’ve progressed a bit technologically since then, and now the modern version is much more efficient because it uses electricity.

The way it works is simple. You put the piece of wood in at one end, and it passes a cutter head. It then comes out the other end in the precise thickness you want.

Of course, having no trouble in getting many boards of the same thickness isn’t problematic, as long as you get the best wood planer you can. So if you’re looking for the best wood planer for your DIY projects, you can start your search with these terrific models.

WEN 6550 Benchtop Thickness Planer

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The WEN brand is slowly making a good name for itself in the woodworking tool manufacturing industry.

Their prices are lower than premium brand prices, the quality is virtually just as good, and the customer support is topnotch.

The WEN 6550 wood planer is a good example of how WEN is building such a sterling reputation. It comes with a robust 15-amp motor than can make up to 18,000 cuts per minute, at a feed rate of 26 feet of wood per minute.

So that means cutting up wood into pieces with equal thickness will be very quick and simple, even if you work with hard wood. You won’t have any hassle dealing with pieces that measure 12.5 inches wide and 6 inches thick.

There’s a 13-inch version too, which can handle 13-inch wide boards. It uses a dual blade system that takes off the thinnest sliver off the wood, up to 3/32 of an inch with each pass.

You’re also assured that when the time comes to change the blades, they’ll be properly aligned and even due to the installation magnets and index pins. You have foldable infeed and outfeed tables to support longer pieces, and you can adjust them to get the right angle to feed the boards smoothly.

You can also adjust the height of the planer precisely, because each full rotation of the handle is equal to a height adjustment of 1/16 of an inch.The table is made from granite, so it’s completely flat and it won’t distort even after decades of use.

The granite surface combined with the cast iron frame makes for a very sturdy base that eliminates any wobbling when you use it. The entire thing weighs 70 pounds. If you really want to make sure it stays in place, you can also use the mounting holes at the bottom of the frame.

But you can move it to another spot in the workshop. It’s not all that heavy, you can fold in the outfeed and infeed tables, and you have 2 side-mounted handles. Even the mess is minimized here. There’s a 2-inch dust port, with a fan that helps move the dust along.

You can just attach your vacuum cleaner to this port so that the shavings and sawdust are collected instead of spread all over the place.

Finally, there’s a 2-year warranty. WEN maintains a phone line if you have questions, and there’s also a network of expert technicians all over the country for your maintenance and repair needs.

All in all, you get an excellent wood planer and terrific customer support, at a very affordable price.

DEWALT DW734 Benchtop Planer

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Dewalt is a well-known brand in the DIY industry, so it’s not surprising that they’d have a wood planer to offer.

The Dewalt DW734 Benchtop Planer is another 12.5-inch model, which uses a 15-amp, 10,000 rpm motor.

There’s no denying the impressive capacity of this wood planer, as the 3-knife cutterhead system can make 96 cuts per inch. If you assume a 26 feet per minute feed rate, that’s a total of almost 30,000 cuts per minute!

You’d think that with such a large number of cuts made in a short time, the razor knives will have to be sharpened more frequently. But these knives are reversible and disposable.

They last about 30% longer than other typical disposable knives. So you can just replace the knives with new ones, and you won’t have to do to too often. With the long infeed and outfeed tables, this planer can support pieces up to 33.5 inches long.

It can deal with boards that measure up to 12.5 inches wide. The depth capacity is 6 inches, and the maximum cut depth is ⅛ of an inch. There’s also a dust hood that attaches to your shop vacuum or standing dust collector.

As for Dewalt quality, it’s attested by the 3-year warranty and 1-year free service. You even have a full 90 days to check it over, and you can return it during this period for any reason.

Delta Power Tools 22-555 Portable Thickness Planer

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Talk about durability! It’s always a great idea to check the warranty of a woodworking tool, as the length of the warranty indicates how long you can expect one to work properly.

And with the Delta 22-555 Planer, you can expect an exceptionally long service, as the warranty is good for 5 years.

And during those 5 years, you do get a lot of work done with this wood planer. The feed rate is 28 feet per minute, and the 2 double-edged reversible knives deliver 18,800 cuts per minute.

This can handle boards that measure up to 6 inches high and 13 inches wide, to a minimum of ⅛ of an inch and 10 inches. The max depth cut is 3/32 of an inch.The knives are disposable, and you’ll find it simple to replace your knives with the quick-change knife system.

It doesn’t alignment jigs that some folks find troublesome to use. The infeed and outfeed tables are adjustable so you can provide proper support for longer pieces.

There’s a dust port too, and it’s even reversible so that your chip collection can be from the left or right side of the planer.

This is a great planer meant for a small shop, and nit for any commercial heavy duty use. So if you’re a hobbyist, the price, capabilities, and durability of this wood planer make it a worthy contender for your consideration.

Makita 2012NB 12-Inch Planer

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Makita machines tend to be a bit more expensive, and that’s usually because of the high overall quality they put in for their tools.

Makita also doesn’t just provide the basic requirements needed.

They also think about the “little” things that make life and work much more convenient for you when you use their tools.

Take the Makita 2012NB wood planer as an example of this philosophy. The 15-amp motor gives you a speed of 8500 rpm. But it produces a noise level of 83 degrees, and that’s the quietest operation in this class of wood planer.

Everything else makes a lot more of a ruckus. When you make cuts, every day, often in some days you use more common depths for your cuts. Now you have adjustable depth stops so you can set to the depth you want more easily and more quickly.

You want to be sure that the wood planer is plugged into the power source? There’s an LED light that does just that. The paddle on and off switch is large, so it’s easy to operate.

The table extensions are large too, so you can support longer work pieces. Changing the blades is easier and faster.These types of features go on and on.

There’s a detachable tool box that makes for a handy storage compartment for your standard equipment.

The design is compact and even light at 62 pounds, so you can move it from one spot to another. The design is meant to reduce snipe. All these little things add up to why Makita is such a big name in the industry.

POWERTEC PL1251 Planer

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PowerTec PL1251 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.

For boards that are less than 5 inches wide, the maximum depth of the cut is 3/32 of an inch.

For boards from 5 to 12.5 inches, it’s 1/32 of an inch. With this design, blade changes are safe and easy. The stability of the planer is very reliable, and so is the accuracy of the cuts.

It comes with handles so it’s portable. All in all, you get a set of features that you’d find in any good wood planer. So what’s so different with the Powertec PL1251?

It’s simple—you get all these features at a price point that’s much lower than what you’d expect from a good planer. For the hobbyist with budget concerns, this is an option that must be considered.

Final verdict

A wood planer much more effective when you need to cut many boards into the same thickness, compared to using a plain table saw. And it’s much better than trying to order boards in the custom thickness you want.

These methods can be very frustrating, but using a wood planer is hassle-free. You may think that since a jointer and a planer are very similar to each other, you don’t need a planer when you already have a jointer.

But that’s not true at all, since these two tools perform very distinct functions. If you’re a real woodworking enthusiast, you’d know that. You’d also know that the best wood planer in your woodshop is a great addition to your tool case, and that’s just the plain truth.

Think Woodwork
 

Product reviewer & passionate blogger. Beside writing for this blog, I spend my time crafting research based contents for HuffingtonPost, Lifehacker & Forbes!

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