The planer you buy must match your task requirements. For instance, one cannot expect a hand planer to rip through a thick piece of plywood. That's like forcing a block into a circular opening. It's both time-consuming and unsafe because accidents will likely occur. So rather than settling for a tool that just won't cut it – why not choose something more powerful instead?
Benchtop planers are the perfect option for seasoned woodworkers. The added strength and stability are ideal for use on larger workpieces. Its bulkiness, which might aggravate some consumers, is actually a double-edged sword. Yes, it certainly takes up quite a lot of space on your worktable, but also provides stability to eliminate errors almost completely. Thus, the quality of results produced is unlike any other.
Today, in an attempt to guide potential buyers through this industry, we’ll be identifying what the best benchtop models on the market are, as well as enumerating each one’s pros, cons, and best features. We invite all those who are interested to continue reading and take this journey with us. With so many options available, it’s always best to carefully dissect every choice before coming up with an answer. That’s the only way an informed decision can be made.
Benchtop Planer Comparison Table
1. Dewalt DW734 Benchtop Thickness Planer
- Employs a three-knife cutterhead that’s able to deliver 10,000-RPM of speed at a 96-cuts-per-inch rate; blades are long-lasting
- Includes a three-year limited warranty package that includes parts replacement, labor, and even a 30-day money-back guarantee
2. Makita 2012NB 12-inch Planer
- Constructed with a four-post design and diagonal cross supports minimizes shaking and otherwise increases stability considerably
- Is the quietest model on the market, producing only 83-dB of noise when used; it is perfect for indoor use or confined spaced
3. WEN 6552T Benchtop Cordless Thickness Planer
- Built for a wide variety of applications, thanks to a motor that supplies 25,000-RPM at a 26-feeds-per-minute rate
- Comes with a wider dust port that’s also fan-assisted so cleaning up is done at a faster rate
4. Powertec PL1251 Benchtop Thickness Planer
- Equipped with a durable base and strong motor, perfect for the unenviable task of repurposing old wood
- Comes with side-mounted carrying handles, which makes transferring the tool easy and hassle-free
5. Cutech 40700H-CT Spiral Cutterhead Planer
- 24 two-sided spiral HSS cutting tips move to efficiently remove excess wood and create an extremely fine finish
- Boasts of an improved dust collection system, thanks to two ports found on opposite sides that help facilitate removal of dust and other residue
Benchtop Planer Reviews
One of the most popular options around is the Dewalt DW734 Benchtop Planer, and for good reason too. Not only is it affordable, but also incredibly easy to carry around. Now, the only question that begs to be asked is this – Can an ergonomically designed and affordably priced power tool be considered the best benchtop planer today? Let’s take a closer look to find out.
Well for starters, the Dewalt DW734 is also equipped with a powerful 15-AMP single-speed motor that produces speeds of 20,000-RPM. It pairs perfectly with a three-knife cutter-head that delivers 10,000-RPM at a 96-cuts-per-inch rate. And while these aren’t exactly top marks, it’s still strong enough to rip through hardwoods with relative ease and minimal issues. The only downside is it only comes with a single-speed setting.
Another key quality we’ve deemed valuable is the larger cutting capacity. Standard benchtop models are usually built for workpieces up to 20 or 25-inches, but the Dewalt DW734‘s extra large infeed and outfeed tables provide as much as 33.5-inches of material support. Tasks such as furniture production, repairs, and construction projects can be accomplished in half the time it usually takes. This efficiency is the main reason for its success and has been a trademark of Dewalt ever since the very beginning.
Now, all these features might give off an impression that the Dewalt DW734 Benchtop Planer is extremely complicated to control; this couldn’t be more false. Constructed with a four-column carriage and an extra-large thickness scale, this device remains steadfast throughout each work session. The simple knife setup likewise ensures easy attachment and replacement everytime they need replacement. Thankfully, this won’t be done too often since the blades are equipped with a 30-percent more life capacity.
Needless to say, the Dewalt DW734 Benchtop Planer is a wonderful device to invest in, even for beginners. Its reliable and functional features, not to mention a 3-year limited warranty package and 30-day money-back guarantee, should be able to satisfy most users’ expectations, whether they’re just starting out or experienced in this craft.
Never underestimate the positive effect that peace and quiet have when working. Aside from relaxing you, it also helps the creative ideas flow much better. As a result, you’re able to concentrate more on the tasks that need to get done.
Among the top benchtop planers available today, it produces the least amount of noise at just 83-dB. Users who often work at night, in cramped spaces, or around children must take note of the Makita 2012NB 12-inch Planer‘s unique selling point. Still, its 15-AMP delivers sufficient power of 8,500-RPM, making this tool better suited for DIY projects or simple repairs at home. Contractors in need of something more formidable should look elsewhere because it won’t provide the amount of cutting strength your tasks require.
The Makita 2012NB, though, more than makes up for this lack of power by offering customers with a perfect balance of user-friendliness and functionality. Much like most benchtop planers, this tool is constructed with a 4-post design and diagonal cross supports for improved overall stability. And because the Makita 2012NB is built very compactly, it can be easily transported. Gone are the days when you’ll need to lug it around or find space in your car when moving it from one jobsite to another.
In terms of price, we're certainly not surprised that the 2012NB model costs so much, or at least more than the average entry-level alternative. Although spending between $700 and $800 won’t seem so extravagant once you consider the amount of time you save, comfort it brings, and a comprehensive one-year warranty package. Nevertheless, we wouldn’t dare recommend this to a person that’s not serious about woodworking, and this includes casual or otherwise fair-weather fans.All in all, our team finds the Makita 2012NB 12-inch Planer caught between a rock and a hard place. Owning one undeniably won’t come cheap, yet it’s also not strong for heavy-duty work. Thus, its main target audience will have to be professionals or specialists whose assignments include furniture making, cabinet production, and the like. If you by any chance fall under this category, then the Makita 2012NB could be the best benchtop planer for your needs.
When people begin looking for a benchtop planer, WEN is often at the top of their list. This brand, which was founded by Nick Anton way back in 1951, has built a strong reputation for providing quality and dependable power tools to consumers all over the world. And one of its most prized creations is the 6552T Benchtop Cordless Thickness Planer model. Let’s see why, shall we?
After seeing it for the first time, you’ll probably notice its trademark orange and black color composition. There’s no question it will most definitely catch your eye. But just a word of caution – this tool delivers so much more than just good looks. Controls like the crank handle and depth gauge aren’t just strategically located, but also help reduce errors when cutting. Adjusting the height, for instance, puts this device in positions where you feel most comfortable, thus enhancing the quality of your work.
The WEN 6552T is fairly formidable, too, capable of supplying 25,500-cuts-per-minute at a 26-feeds-per-minute rate. This powerful engine pairs perfectly with the tool’s three-blade design to make quick work of wooden boards. Moreover, its tri-roller feeding system facilitates the smooth movement of workpieces through the machine so that no part gets snagged.
Buyers who are working with a strict budget have generally found success with WEN products. Despite their affordable price, you will almost never see them cut corners when it comes to quality. Models like the 6552T Benchtop Cordless Thickness Planer even have a wider-than-usual dust port that’s also fan-assisted. This innovation, even though it seems pretty basic, greatly simplifies cleanup after. Just invest in a quality vacuum and removing dust or debris won’t ever reach an hour again.
What more could you ask for, right? Nothing, really. All these just prove that the WEN 6552T Benchtop Cordless Thickness Planer is, without a doubt, one of the best options to target. If you have the space and creativity to maximize such a piece of equipment, we truly recommend considering investing in it.
Don’t be surprised if you seldom see the POWERTEC PL1251 Benchtop Thickness Planer around anymore. It has been sold out for a while now, which is a clear indicator of its receptiveness by consumers. Users have continued to show praise over the benefits that a tool of this caliber offers, not to mention the degree of real-life applications. There’s no wonder the POWERTEC PL1251 has made a strong case for being the best and most comprehensive benchtop planer on the market today.
The POWERTEC PL1251 Benchtop Thickness Planer is outfitted with a heavy-duty and anti-wobble base for added permanence. This serves as a solid foundation when working on heavier workpieces that are quite thick. And then once the wood is put into place, two blades work in unison to hash out excess lumber and create a wonderfully smooth finish. Of course, all this is powered by a reliable 15-AMP motor that generates over 18,800-cuts-per-minute.
Even though we wouldn’t advise using it in rugged environments, this power tool is still a perfectly appropriate alternative for repurposing wood, constructing furniture, and other similar tasks. Users can likewise carry the POWERTEC PL1251 painlessly, should the need arise, because of its side-mounted carrying handles. This is an ideal device to bring around when working outside, especially since it only weighs approximately 63-lbs.
More than anything, the POWERTEC PL1251 is tremendously affordable, and even comes with a 1-year limited warranty too. But you probably won’t notice this instantly after seeing its wide range of benefits. Those seeking a long-lasting and highly practical planer will have found a quality option in the POWERTEC PL1251 Benchtop Thickness Planer.
Having a sleek and stylish power tool not only catches people’s attention but also makes woodworking more fun. The Cutech 40700H-CT Spiral Cutterhead Planer, with an all-black matte exterior, is a real looking. And if that won’t immediately grab your attention, maybe its reasonable price tag will. This model is certainly capable of meeting those standards while appearing more than it is worth.
Under the hood, the Cutech 40700H-CT is powered by a standard 15-AMP motor that has what it takes to convey 10,000-RPM of power at a 26-FPM feed rate. But what sets this gizmo apart from others is its new spiral style cutterhead featuring 24 two-sided HSS cutting tips. The numerous sharpened points offer an efficient way to dig into wood, which also last longer than standard straight knife cutters. This includes thick pieces of lumber too.
Moreover, the two strategically placed dust ports, which has been well received by the vast majority, is a helpful addition as well. All you need to do is invest in a pair of heavy-duty vacuums to clean your work area thorough. Most other benchtop planers only come with one, but the Cutech 40700H-CT Spiral Cutterhead Planer has clearly made clean up a major priority.
Besides the innovative blade design, reliable motor, and additional dust ports, there’s not really much else you can ask. The Cutech 40700H-CT Spiral Cutterhead Planer is one of the best choices for beginners because it doesn’t really try too hard. Many – if not all – of its features are fairly straightforward, and answer only the basic issues of woodworkers today. One thing consumers love is that it isn’t intimidating at all, yet also doesn’t sacrifice quality. Don’t look too far anymore because the Cutech 40700H-CT could be the kind of planer that takes your abilities to a whole new level.
Things To Consider When Buying a Benchtop Thickness Planer
Are you still worried about making the wrong decision? Well, that is definitely normal because knowing your choices is only half the problem. Knowing what to look out for, too, can serve as a direction while helping you come up with an educated solution. Therefore, here are our picks for the top 5 factors to consider before finalizing any transaction.
1. Cutting Capacity
Just like every other power tool, different benchtop planers also offer varying abilities in terms of cutting strength. Some are built for heavy-duty projects, while others are better suited for simple and everyday tasks such as repairs, chores at home, or creating handicrafts. As such, the model you select must match the needs of projects you commonly take part in.
Furthermore, knowing what to buy is very simple, really. Just look at a planer’s motor capacity and RPM rate. The higher these are, the more power it can provide. And as an added nugget, anything less than 10,000-RPM is considered serviceable, whereas devices over 20,000-RPM are ideal for professionals. Follow this simple blueprint and you should be just fine.
If you’re the type of person that finds inspiration outdoors – or any other location besides your workshop – then investing in a portable device is probably a good move. A lightweight benchtop planer isn’t out of the question; it just needs to have a functional carrying handle and provisions for mobilization. Being compact is a plus, too, just as long as it doesn’t sacrifice stability in any way. One of the best examples to serve as a guide is the POWERTEC PL1251 Benchtop Planer.
3. The efficiency with Dust Collection
It’s no secret that working with wood often leads to a messy work area. That’s why having a reliable dust collection system can make all the difference. And while most models aren’t equipped with a built-in vacuum, a larger port with fans can work just as well, too. We would advise looking for these features when buying your next benchtop thickness planer.
We’ve spoken a bit about how buying the best benchtop planer is very similar to making an investment. Aside from the potential future returns, this is also something that you need to safeguard. One such way is by having a dependable and comprehensive warranty policy.
Most companies in the industry offer it either in terms of one, two, or three years. Each one has its own stipulations, but most include replacement of faulty parts, protection against factory defects, free or discounted labor, a money-back guarantee, or any combination of these. Our suggestion is to go for models that have the most complete package available, at the lengthiest time.
After all, when a company only insures its products for one year – or even none at all – you have to question their integrity when something does go wrong, right?
Of course, this factor is perhaps the most polarizing of these five numbers. The price of a particular product can greatly determine what direction a consumer goes in. But this is probably the best time to remind you that price doesn’t always directly correlate to quality. Some brands, like Makita, WEN, or Dewalt, are priced so high for a reason. On the other hand, companies such as POWERTEC and Cutech may be relatively inexpensive, yet it isn’t because they won’t last long. In the end, setting a clear budget and doing sufficient research is usually enough to find a tool that marries both functionality and affordability.
FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are the best brands to target?
Don’t be duped by complex marketing strategies. Every single brand we mentioned above is reputable and possesses a credible track record. Consumers should be alright investing in any one of them.
2. How much does a benchtop planer usually cost?
To take home a reputable model, try allotting at least $400 for this expense. Heavy-duty options, though, maybe priced as high as $700 or more.
3. Why invest in a benchtop model particularly? Doesn’t a handheld one do the same thing?
Technically, planers play the same role. The only difference is that benchtop planers are more powerful, help cut work time in half, and prevent your arms from doing most of the work. They’re also better equipped for handling larger workpieces with larger thicknesses.
There’s no question that benchtop planers play a major role in the woodworking process, which is why choosing the right model is so important. However, we’ve come to realize that more than selecting the most complete or eye-catching option, it all really boils down to need. The best benchtop planer is the one that best fits your lifestyle. Therefore, when starting this arduous process, always make time to reflect on yourself. This way, you’ll increase the chances of buying something that you’re happy with and that you can maximize later on.