Woodworking can be a rewarding and fulfilling hobby, but achieving smooth and precise results requires the right tools. One essential tool in any woodworker’s arsenal is a power planer. In this blog post, we will present six must-have power planer products that will take your woodworking projects to the next level, ensuring smooth and precise cuts every time. Whether you are a seasoned woodworker or just starting out, these power planer products will help you achieve professional-quality results and make your woodworking experience more enjoyable.
DEWALT 13-inch Thickness Planer
The DEWALT Thickness Planer, 13-inch 3 Knife for Larger Cuts (DW735X) is a powerful and efficient tool that every woodworker needs. With a 15 AMP, 20,000 RPM motor, this planer can handle larger cuts in wider materials with ease. The three knife cutter-head delivers 30% longer knife life, making knife changes faster and easier. The two-speed gear box allows for optimized cuts per inch at 96 or 179 CPI. Equipped with a fan-assisted chip ejection system, this planer vacuums chips off of the cutter-head and exhausts them out of the machine. The 19-3/4″ cast aluminum base provides added rigidity and stability, while the automatic carriage lock reduces snipe without the need for manual engagement. The planer also features a material removal gauge and an extra-large thickness scale for accurate cuts. Purchase includes an extra set of knives, infeed and outfeed tables, and fastener attachments. The DEWALT Thickness Planer, 13-inch 3 Knife for Larger Cuts is a reliable and durable tool that will exceed your expectations.
WEN Spiral Benchtop Thickness Planer
The WEN PL1326 15-Amp 13-Inch Spiral Benchtop Thickness Planer is a heavy-duty and well-made tool that brings old, jagged boards back to life. It features a spiral cutterhead with 26 staggered HSS blades, providing a clean and smooth finish on both hard and soft woods. With a powerful 15-amp motor that rotates the cutterhead at over 10,000 RPM and a 26 feet per minute feed rate, this planer can handle boards up to 13 inches wide and 6 inches thick with ease. The onboard planing gauge informs users about the cutting depth of each pass, while the adjustable depth adjustment knob allows for precise material removal from 0 to 1/8 of an inch per pass. The planer also includes a height-adjustable infeed and outfeed tables to limit snipe and provide extra support to your workpiece. With a sturdy cast iron base and compatibility with the WEN BP510H Replacement Spiral Blades, the WEN PL1326 Planer is a reliable choice that delivers exceptional results.
The WEN PL1326 Planer has received rave reviews for its performance, ease of use, and value. Users have praised its ability to produce a sanded and smooth cut, even on challenging woods like hickory. The spiral cutterhead with rotatable blades allows for easy maintenance, as a dull blade can simply be rotated to provide a sharp surface. The onboard material removal gauge and the front gauge make it easy to achieve the desired cutting depth, while the adjustable dust port efficiently removes chips and sawdust from the workpiece. While support from WEN could be improved, overall, the WEN PL1326 Planer is a top-notch tool that outperforms pricier options, making it a fantastic choice for both professional woodworkers and hobbyists.
Makita 18V Cordless Planer
The Makita XPK01Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless 3-1/4-Inch Planer is the perfect combination of speed, capacity, and convenience. It offers fast and accurate stock removal without the hassle of a cord. This cordless planer is part of Makita’s extensive 18V Lithium-Ion series, which is powered by a slide-style battery that has the fastest charge times in its category. With a 2-blade cutter head featuring double edge carbide blades, this planer delivers exceptional performance and a smooth finish. It weighs only 7.4 lbs and has a high power-to-weight ratio, making it easy to handle. Whether you need to remove stock quickly or create a precise finish, this planer with its 14,000 RPM motor is up to the task. Note that the guide rail or “parallel stop” is not included, so if you require straight-line planing, you will need to purchase it separately.
PORTER-CABLE Hand Planer, PC60THP
The PORTER-CABLE Hand Planer is a powerful tool that provides smooth cutting in hard materials. With its 6 Amp motor, it offers fast material removal with up to 16,500 RPM. The dual-side dust extractor allows for easy attachment of a dust extractor bag on either side of the tool, keeping the work area clean. The overmold depth knob offers 10 positive steps for enhanced depth control, and the planer also features 3 chamfering grooves for options on edge chamfering. The 11.5-inch cast aluminum shoe provides added control and better finish quality. Whether you need to encase windows in a hundred-year-old house or tackle interior doors, this hand planer is well-built and powerful. It has received positive reviews for its performance and affordability, making it a fantastic option for woodworking projects.
BOSCH Hand Planer with Carrying Case
The BOSCH 3-1/4 Inch Woodworking Hand Planer with Carrying Case, PL2632K is an industry-first tool designed to provide maximum convenience and efficiency for woodworking projects. It features a planer lock-off/lock-on button to prevent accidental start-ups and allow for extended operation. The dual-mount fence ensures non-flexing guidance and protects the door or work piece face from marring. With a powerful 6.5 amp motor and a speed of 16,500 RPM, this planer offers fast stock removal and a smooth finish in both soft and hard wood. The tool is lightweight, weighing only 6.3 lbs, making it easy to handle. It also comes with a variety of accessories including wood razor micro grain blades, a dual-mount guide fence, no-mar plastic overshoes, a shavings bag, a blade wrench, and a carrying case. Customers have praised the quality and performance of this planer, highlighting its ease of use and the convenience of the shaving bag that can be attached to either side.
WEN Electric Hand Planer
The WEN 6530 6-Amp Electric Hand Planer is the perfect tool for smoothing out joists, fixing stubborn doors, and fitting wood. With its 6-Amp motor, this power planer delivers over 34,000 cuts per minute, ensuring that your workpiece is sliced smoothly and evenly. The cutting width of 3-1/4 inches and maximum cutting depth of 1/8 inch make it ideal for fitting and squaring boards. The 16 positive stops allow for precise depth adjustments, while the included rabbeting guide enables you to make rabbets up to 1 inch in size. The lightweight design of only 6 pounds makes it easy to handle, and the included dust bag keeps your work space clean and sawdust-free. With a 2-year warranty and excellent customer support, the WEN 6530 6-Amp Electric Hand Planer is a reliable and affordable choice for DIY enthusiasts.
Electric Planer: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Power Planer
- Cutting Depth and Width: Check the maximum cutting depth and width of the power planer. This will determine the size and type of wood you can work with. Make sure it meets your requirements for your woodworking projects
- Power and Speed: Consider the motor power and speed of the planer. A higher power rating and variable speed options will provide more control and efficiency when planing different types of wood. Look for a planer with a powerful motor and adjustable speed settings for versatility
- Blade Quality and Replacement: Examine the quality and durability of the planer’s blades. Look for blades made of high-speed steel (HSS) or carbide, as they tend to last longer and require less frequent replacement. Additionally, consider the availability and cost of replacement blades to ensure you can easily maintain and prolong the lifespan of your power planer
Frequently Asked Questions about Power Planers
What safety precautions should be taken when using a power planer?
When using a power planer, several safety precautions should be taken to prevent accidents and injuries. These measures include:
- Wearing personal protective equipment (PPE): Always wear safety goggles or glasses to protect your eyes from flying debris. Additionally, use ear protection to block out the loud noise generated by the power planer.
- Read the manual: Familiarize yourself with the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines for operating the power planer. Pay attention to any specific safety precautions mentioned in the manual.
- Secure the workpiece: Ensure that the material you are planing is securely clamped or fixated in place. This prevents the material from moving or slipping during operation, reducing the risk of accidents.
- Check the power cord: Inspect the power cord for any cuts, frays, or damage before use. Avoid using the planer if the cord is damaged, as it could result in electric shock or fire hazards.
- Clear the work area: Remove any obstructions, debris, or loose materials from your working area to prevent tripping hazards. Maintain a clean and well-lit workspace to enhance visibility and prevent accidents.
- Use the proper technique: Ensure that you understand and apply the correct technique while using the power planer. Always adjust the depth incrementally and avoid aggressive passes to prevent kickback and maintain control of the tool.
- Keep fingers away from the blades: Never place your fingers or hands near the cutting area of the power planer, especially when it is powered on. Maintain a safe distance and use auxiliary tools, such as push blocks, to guide the material safely.
- Disconnect the power: Before changing blades, making adjustments, or performing any maintenance on the power planer, always disconnect it from the power source and wait for the blades to come to a complete stop.
What are some common mistakes to avoid when using a power planer?
Some common mistakes to avoid when using a power planer include:
- Failing to wear safety equipment: Always wear safety goggles, ear protection, and a dust mask when using a power planer to protect your eyes, ears, and lungs.
- Not securing the workpiece properly: Secure the piece firmly using clamps or a workbench to prevent it from moving while planing. This will ensure a smooth and even cut.
- Not checking the blades: Before using a power planer, inspect the blades for any damage or dullness. Replace or sharpen the blades as necessary to achieve clean and precise cuts.
- Taking off too much material at once: It is crucial to set the planer to remove a small amount of material at a time. Trying to remove too much material in a single pass can strain the motor, result in uneven cuts, or even damage the workpiece.
- Planing against the grain: Always plane in the same direction as the wood grain to achieve smooth and tear-free cuts. Planing against the grain can lead to splintering and an uneven surface.
- Neglecting to use a depth stop: A depth stop is a feature found in most power planers that allows you to set the desired thickness of the cut. Utilize this feature to ensure consistent and accurate results.
- Ignoring the power cord: Keep the power cord away from the planer’s cutting area to avoid accidental cuts and damage to the cord. Always be aware of the cord’s position to maintain a safe working environment.