A thickness planer, otherwise known as a thicknesser, is a practical tool that offers several advantages. Its ability to level wooden boards and create a smooth polished finish is crucial in upholding the overall quality of your work. As such, this is a clear necessity for both fair-weather and seasoned woodworkers.
But with so many different models on the market, choosing one that fits your needs isn’t exactly easy. That is why we’ve compiled a list of the 6 best thickness planers money can buy. Hopefully, this can help eliminate some bad eggs and point you in the right direction. If you’re currently in the process of buying tools for a project, then you’ve certainly come to the right place.
Thickness Planer Comparison Table
1. Dewalt DW735X Two-Speed Thickness Planer
- Powered by a 15-AMP motor that comes with two pre-install speed settings to fit any task requirement
- Includes a 3-year limited warranty package on top of an already exceptional after-sales service experience
2. Makita 2012NB with Interna-Lock Automated Head Clamp
- Weighs just 62-lbs, making it an ideal choices for operators who are always on the go
- Its four-post design and pre-installed LED light help ensure optimal working conditions at all times
3. WEN 6550T Corded Benchtop Thickness Planer
- Emits up to 18,000-RPM of cutting speed at a 26-feeds-per-minute rate, which is great for all types of jobs
- A heavy-duty granite table offers a flat service that doesn’t damage easily; it is resistant against scratches
4. Powertec PL1251 Benchtop Thickness Planer
- A superb two-blade cutting system can cut through all types – and thicknesses – or hardwood with minimal with little to no issues
- Its 2-horsepower motor can deliver up to 18,800-cuts-per-minute and as much as 9,400-RPM of speed so tasks are accomplished at a faster rate
5. Delta Power Tools 22-555 Portable Thickness Planer
- Extendable infeed and outfeed tables allow users to level large workpieces without any issue
- Bolstered by five year of limited warranty that solidifies the brand’s reputation as a customer-first company
6. Cutech 40-200H-CT Spiral Cutterhead Planer (Professional Edition)
- Deliberately designed to minimize shaking and provide steadiness on any task you partake in
- The dust chutes are strategically placed so you can reach any and all dust particles found on your workspace
Thickness Planer Reviews
The Dewalt DW735X Two-Speed Thickness Planer is an impressive power tool equipped with a wide range of functions. At its center is a 15-AMP, 20,000-RPM motor that produces a maximum cutter speed of 10,000-RPM. This added power makes it perfectly built for creating insertions in wider types of materials. Users can likewise choose from its two pre-installed speed functions of 96 and 179-CPI respectively.
Another aspect we absolutely adore is this planer’s cutting quality. Its three-knife cutterhead blade lasts 30-percent longer than ordinary accessories, thus preserving your initial investment. This sharpness gives you better control over the accuracy and even allows cuts of as deep as 6-inches.
All in all, we’d recommend the Dewalt DW735X only to serious woodworkers looking for an upgrade. An average retail price of $450 might seem a tad steep but worry not because its overall advantages clearly outweigh this potential risk. It certainly offers a lot with helping turn your ideas into a reality.
Have you ever had to lug around a thickness planer that was needed on several different construction sites? Well, you can kiss those days bye-bye because the Makita 2012NB with Interna-Lock Automated Head Clamp offers consumers a quick and compact option that doesn’t skimp on quality.
Weighing just 62-lbs, this tool is very easy to transport from one place to another. Users can simply hold it up by the sides or place it inside any average-sized carrying case. The Makita 2012NB perfectly suits woodworkers who are constantly on the go but won't require anything that’s too complicated. Nevertheless, its 15-AMP motor, with a maximum no-load speed of 8,500-RPM, should still muster up enough strength for producing wood products like cabinets, small furniture items, and staircases.
Priced at just slightly above $600, the Makita 2012NB with Interna-Lock Automated Head Clamp isn’t your average everyday entry-level option. But its advantages have certainly proved invaluable, further solidifying its reputation as a must for any project.
Dressed in a very noticeable black and orange color pattern, the WEN 6550T is perhaps the most stylish thickness planer model available today. However, a closer look will show that this mid-level model is more than just a pretty face. It is powered by a 15-AMP motor, which produces a maximum speed of 18,000-RPM at a rate of approximately 26-feeds-per-minute. Only the Powertec PL1251 Benchtop Thickness Planer rivals it in terms of value-for-money efficiency.
Moreover, the WEN 6550T Corded Benchtop Thickness Planer is likewise assembled using only the toughest materials available. Its tabletop is made from heavy-duty granite, which remains perfectly straight even when placed under intense heat. Its cast-iron foundation likewise reduces any unnecessary shaking, so you aren’t easily disturbed while working.
Beginners and newbie woodworkers are the primary target audience of this tool. The WEN 6550T is very affordable and looks cool, too, not to mention it equipped with a ton of practical functions. Take a closer look at it if you want something effective, yet won’t punch a hole in your wallet.
As we touched on earlier, the Powertec PL1251 Benchtop Thickness Planer is another value-for-money find that’s incredibly portable, too. Priced at just under $300, this is the perfect alternative for new users who are not looking to spend too much. The only downside, though, is it’s been out of stock in most online retail outlets for a while now. Thus, finding one at that price isn’t easy anymore.
Nevertheless, if you happen to come across one, don’t think twice anymore! That’s because the Powertec PL1251 offers consumers a unique combination of affordability, portability, and power, starting with its 15-AMP motor. This engine may seem average, but it’s able to yield up to 18,800-cuts-per-minute at a 9,400-RPM speed – by far the fastest in this category.
Both its cutting blade system and base have been greatly improved as well, giving users the distinct ability to penetrate thick planks of wood at a supremely precise rate. The absence of avoidable shaking, which has been a growing trend in most thickness planers, greatly helps minimize errors while working.
These are just some of the benefits offered by the Powertec PL1251 Benchtop Thickness Planer and we haven’t even scratched the surface yet. Add in a 1-year warranty package for good measure and it suddenly becomes a must-own power tool built for almost any task at hand.
A three-year warranty package is already unheard of in this industry, let alone five. But this just shows how committed Delta is to its consumers. The 22-555 Portable Thickness Planer, which many consider as the company’s crown jewel, provides woodworkers with another reliable option at a friendly price.
Aside from its top-notch customer service, this thickness planer is also extremely user-friendly. It comes with a quick-change knife system that no longer utilizes traditional alignment jigs. This simplifies the process so much so that you won’t need to use tools anymore. Just snap on the blades before switching on the device, and it will be good to go.
Another notable feature about the Delta Power Tools 22-555 is its adjustable infeed and outfeed tables. This helps support larger workpieces, not to mention provide better overall stability. However, interested buyers might want to note that many of its parts are easily damaged, so we wouldn’t suggest continuous use for more than two hours.
Nevertheless, its affordable price and hefty warranty package should help offset this deficiency. No wonder the Delta Power Tools 22-555 Portable Thickness Planer has seen its stock rise and is still one of the most popular choices for beginners.
The final contender on our best thickness planer review isn’t exactly the cheapest. Yet it’s a highly popular option, particularly for the professionals. Why wouldn’t it be when the Cutech 40-200H-CT Spiral Cutterhead Planer is probably the most durable piece of equipment of its kind on the open market today.
Armed with four heavy-duty guides posts, a two-screw post design, and internal gears for height adjustment, this machine is built for any and all jobs, whether at home or on the construction site. Other planers would begin to shake when used on complicated projects or thick pieces of material, but the Cutech 40-200H-CT simply power through like it’s nobody’s business. A revamped dust chute also helps facilitate the unnecessary removal of jobsite waste, making your work area as clean as when you began.
Specialists seeking a dependable thickness planer need not look far. The Cutech 40-200H-CT Spiral Cutterhead Planer is designed to be a major part of your success and last many years before slowing down. Its initial cost will eventually seem worth it when you avoid the constant need to have it repaired.
Things To Consider When Buying a Thickness Planer
With so many different options available, it’s easy to have your attention cut. That’s why, before anything else, you’ll need to identify non-negotiable qualities to focus on first. Here are the things we feel that require ample consideration when buying a thickness planer.
1. Table Extensions
Just like in a lot of things, size isn’t always the end-all-be-all. Even the smallest models are now equipped to support workpieces that are double their own weight. What is imperative, though, is the width a particular planer’s table is able to extend to. Having one will not only cut your work time in half but also create a much even finish. It will also be more compatible with a wider variety of materials. Seasoned workers, in particular, would be wise to make this a priority.
Users with an active lifestyle know all too well the challenges that come with moving a bulky power tool. So if you often move from one place to another, try choosing a model with sturdy handles, made from lightweight – yet durable – material, and isn’t too broad or heavy. All this should help transport it, whether manually or in your vehicle.
Don’t allow yourself to be susceptible to damage without being protected. The warranty is an agreement that binds both seller and buyer, which is what makes it such an integral facet in the retail process. Most importantly, it safeguards you from unforeseen events such as factory defects, damages through delivery, and products that shouldn’t have passed through quality control. It also provides you with a direct line to the company – or any of their accredited service center – in case of untoward incidents caused by you.
Therefore, we’d advise you to select a thickness planer with at least two years worth of service warranty and a thirty-day money-back option. Even though these aren’t things we hope to use, it’s always good to have, especially when the unspeakable happens.
4. Ripping Power
A 15-AMP motor seems like the benchmark for all the best thickness planers, but does each one offer the same power and speed? Certainly, not. These pieces of equipment have very varied abilities. Some can run as high as 20,000-cuts-per-minutes, while others are only capable of churning out 12,000. What’s important is to find a model that fits your needs perfectly so every single one of its faculties can be maximized.
For example, users who are more invested in this craft should target models with higher RPM, CPM, and FPM (feeds-per-minute). On the other hand, trainees can settle for something in the 10,000 to 13,000 range. Nevertheless, it all really boils down to your needs. Just remember to stay within your reach, both financially and functionally, so that you won’t end up regretting this decision.
FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions
If at this point you’re still confused, don’t fret because our team has your back. We’ve compiled a list of the frequently asked questions when buying a thickness planer, in hopes that it helps make your decision easier.
1. How is a thickness planer different with other similar tools?
To be honest, the difference is quite significant. For instance, jointers are used for flattening a surface, while planers help with leveling or evening it out. Both tools actually work hand in hand, but used just at different parts of the woodworking process.
2. As a professional, what are reliable brands to target? What about for beginners?
Based on our experience, Dewalt, Makita, and Wen are the most well-known brands for professional use. Their stability, power, and warranty packages are better suited towards that line of work. On the contrary, newbies may want to check out Powertec or Cutech as potential options. These won’t cost us much.
3. How much does an average thickness planer cost?
Allotting a budget of $400 should be enough to get you a quality model. But of course, the price of the tool you buy must be directly proportional to what you’ll use it for.
Now that we’ve gone through all the best thickness planers available to you, we hope there is newfound confidence that you’ll make the correct decision. Ultimately, it’s just about identifying your needs before finding an option that best answers those requirements.
As for us, the tool we would recommend to you, our valued reader, is the Powertec PL1251 Benchtop Thickness Planer. Its unparalleled combination of affordability, functionality, and performance just cannot be overlooked. And of course, there’s a very clear reason why it’s so scarce out on the open market. Several consumers have already become witnesses to its awesomeness, and we recommend you be one too.