The Best Wood Planer Options For Woodworkers In 2021

Wood may possess lots of natural beauty. However, to bring that beauty out in pieces of furniture and other carpentry projects, a woodworker needs to operate within very tight tolerances. He must try to achieve the perfect joinery, a machine shop-type of fitment. A bench planer is a highly useful tool for attaining this level of craftsmanship. Using a wood planer also enables the woodworker to reveal the inherent beauty of the grain that hides inside a weathered, old piece of wood—probably the most noteworthy benefit of using a wood planer.

Even experienced woodworkers and carpenters need some help when it comes to squaring or straightening wooden boards. A wood planer, also known as a thickness planer, becomes a “must-have” tool for every home or workshop, particularly if you regularly work on different projects.  The best wood planer makes the normally tiring and tedious task of squaring and straightening boards easier and more effective in a shorter time. 

Not all wood planers have the same features and capability, the reason we have come up with this comprehensive review of the leading best wood planers to help you make your purchase decision.

DEWALT DW734 Benchtop Planer

best wood planerThe DEWALT DW734 is one of our best wood planer picks for several reasons. This is also among the higher end options available, but will you will be getting value for your investment. The main hallmarks of the DW734 planer are power and speed. It comes with a powerful motor at 10,000 RPM cutting-head speed which allows this machine to achieve 96 cuts per inch.

The DW734 Benchtop Planer boasts of a 3-knife cutter head. The cutter head uses reversible and disposable steel knives. This wood jointer helps create cuts with a maximum width of 12.5-inch and max depth of 1/8 of an inch. To remain level, you need to monitor both the infeed and outfeed foldouts. Similarly, for maximum stability, you might be required to replace short screws using longer bolts.

Features and Specifications

  • Available with or without knives.
  • Increased stability and reduced movement 
  • Powerful motor at10,000 RPM
  • Long-lasting knives
  • Easy blade changing
  • Well-designed and durable
  • Good for pros and newbies alike
  • Easy to change blade system
  • A less costly version of the DEWALT models

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JET 13” Helical Style Bench Top Planer

best wood planerIf you are looking for ample lumber-milling capacity, then we recommend checking out the JET Jwp-13Bt Planer. This quality planer boasts of a 13-inch width capacity and the ability to handle up to 6 inches thick. The JET Jwp-13Bt Helical Style Bench Top Planer also allows the user to switch the feed speeds per minute between 18 and 26 feet, effectively adjusting the CPI. This JET model comes with a max 1/8-inch depth of cut, uses 6 rows of 24 individual teeth designed to give a smooth, clean surface.

This planer gives consistent results courtesy of the helical cutter head. It’s equipped with 6 rows of two dozen individual quick change inserts which are easily replaced or rotated if worn or damaged.  Other notable features are a 4 post rugged design, 2 infeed speeds, adjustable folding tables, and a robust cast iron base that reduces snipe.

The Jwp-13Bt is powered by a 15-amp and a 2-horsepower motor that’s great when milling through dense hardwoods such as maple and oak. It’s equipped with four depth stop presets: 1/4, 1/2, ¾ & 1 inch. Additional features include a dust collection port plus a folding, adjustable infeed/outfeed table.

Features and Specifications

  • Helical Style Cutter head 
  • Cast Iron Bed and Steel cover 
  • Four post design for maximum support control 
  • Powerful 2HP 15 Amp Motor @10,000 RPM
  • Dual infeed speed control (18/26fpm)
  • Capacity stands at 13″ in width, 1/8″ depth cut & 6″ depth 
  • Folding adjustable infeed/outfeed tables 
  • Dust Port Toggle switch with removable safety key
  • Adjustable depth stop 

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Cutech 40200H-CT Spiral Cutterhead Planer

best wood planerThe 40200H-CT Spiral Planer is an excellent choice for your heavy-duty jobs. The model is ideal for professional and experienced builders as it comes with a manually operated cutter head snipe lock. The Cutech 40200H-CT wood jointer is armed with a 13-inch spiral cutter head, perfect when working with spiral type of wood. It features high-speed steel tips to easily handle your tough jobs. The high-speed steel is extremely strong and will stand up to all forms of heavy use. It makes smooth cuts to give beautifully finished wooden board surfaces.

Though somewhat heavy at 90 pounds, maneuvering this wood joiner is straightforward and the performance you get is definitely worth dealing with the added bulk. While new plane users may not make use of all of the special features and power presented by the Cutech 40200H-CT wood jointer, it will fit in nicely with any professional woodworker contractor’s arsenal of tools.

Features and Specifications

  • Heavy-duty pro wood jointer
  • 13-inch spiral cutter head 
  • Ideal for professionals
  • High speed steel tips
  • Stable and sturdy at 90 pounds
  • Extremely durable and well-crafted

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WEN 6552 3-Blade 15 Amp Benchtop Thickness Planer

best wood planerThis is a good option for the entry-level woodworker or occasional user. The WEN 6552 model boasts of a 15-amp motor that is capable of handling boards measuring up to 13 inches in width and 6 inches in thickness. Per minute, the WEN 6552 motor can produce 25,500 cuts. The planer has a three-blade design which makes it convenient when you are working with all wood types including hardwoods. Not only does it cone with a 2-year WEN warranty but their products have the support of a network of pro service technicians.

The package comes with a fan-assisted dust port, cast iron base, and adjustable outfeed/infeed tables, among other features. The fan-assist is excellent as it helps remove saw dust and chips at the workplace. The combination of onboard planning gage and cast iron base creates a sturdy wood planer and you won’t have to worry about wobbling. The power and size of this wood planer make it a good option for its price point. 

Features and Specifications

  • The onboard material removal gauge informs you about cutting depth during each pass
  • Works on plane boards measuring up to 6’ and 13’ wide
  • 15Amp motor capable of generating 25,500 cuts per minute
  • Motor feed rate stands at 26 feet per minute
  • Three-blade design for easy working even on the hardest pieces
  • Fan-assisted dust port for saw dust removal
  • Fair price point and 2-year warranty

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The Delta Power Tools 22-555 Portable Thickness Planer

best wood planerFor the more casual user or smaller projects, the Delta Portable Thickness Planer is an excellent option. It’s perfect for a small workshop as it boasts a powerful but small 15-amp motor. The maximum in-feed width is 13 inches while maximum the cut depth stands at 3/32 inches. To handle long pieces and reduce snipes, the Delta 22-555 Planer comes with an adjustable infeed and outfeed.

The knives are not only dual edge but disposable. Beside the low price point, this is an accurate and solidly built planer with easy-to-change blades and little snipe production. It also comes with a limited five-year warranty from a brand that has been in business for almost 90 years!

The Portable Delta Power Tools 22-555 Benchtop Planer has many other useful features. It features a dust port that carefully removes even the smallest particles from the pieces being worked on. This is extremely useful if you have dust allergies or sensitive skin. It comes with a maximum width of 13 inches and a max cutting depth of 3/32 of an inch.  The double edge disposable knives are designed to ensure you have sharp cuts all the time. This planer delivers excellent results and ranks among our best wood planer options. 

This piece is best if you are a casual user because it lacks the kind of power demanded by heavy or professional users. With the warranty, ease of ease, price range, and warranty, this is a safe purchase option.

Features and Specifications

  • Versatile three-knife cutterhead
  • 15-amp motor
  • Good for users with asthma and allergy issues
  • Double edge disposable knives
  • Features a dust port
  • Durable and sturdy
  • Easy to use
  • Low price point
  • Five-year warranty
  • Good for casual user

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Makita 2012NB 12-Inch Planer 

best wood planerEquipped with an Interna-Lok Automated Head Clamp, the Makita 2012NB 12-Inch Planer is a breeze to haul to different locations within your property or job sites. While other versions of planers can be clunky and challenging to move or lift, the 2012NB is portable. It has been engineered to facilitate safer and faster blade changing, a regular maintenance chore that is exhausting and dangerous to do. The price, however, may be a concern for some buyers.

The Makita 2012NB has low noise emittance which makes it more comfortable to operate and safer. An additional safety feature is the LED light that indicate when the planer is plugged and ready to operate. Because the jointer runs at a low decibel, you can safely use it around the house, near kids or people with concerns about the health of their ears. The Makita 2012NB has a large table that extends fully to make working less messy and easier. 

Features and Specifications

  • Portable and easy to transport
  • Well-made and very durable 
  • 83 decibels for hearing health
  • Adjustable repeat cut depth stops
  • Four-post design for increased stability.

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PORTER-CABLE PC305TP 12″ Thickness Planer

best wood planerThe PPC305TP 12” is the wood planer to look for if you are working on a low budget yet looking for excellent service. The features found in this thickness planer make it a good tool to have in your workshop as it will serve you well for many years. It has a 15 amp powerful motor that cuts through wood smoothly and quickly. The double-sided blades are equipped with indexing notches or holes, different from the earlier versions of benchtop planers that required replacement jigs when replacing the blades. Besides, the planer blades are double-sized such that when one side gets blunts, it’s possible to switch to the sharper edge and continue cutting.

Just as it does extremely well when working in a small workshop, the Porter Cable PC 305TP 12” does a great job when reclaiming your old boards. When working, it doesn’t make excessive noise compared to similar products, and your neighbors won’t make a fuss about the noise levels emanating from your house or workshop.

Despite the great features, the PPC305TP 12” has one downside in that it tends to produce snipes in both ends of your board. However, this can be averted by supporting the lumber as you feed it to the planer as well as it comes out at the other side.

Features and Specifications

  • Powerful 15 amp powerful motor
  • Features Cutter Elevation technology
  • Double-sided blades
  • Disposable knives
  • Portable wood planer
  • Infeed/outfeed rollers for increased width capacity

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DEWALT DW735X Two-Speed Thickness Planer

best wood planerThe DEWALT DW735X is a long-lasting and highly rated two-speed thickness planer. It sports a powerful 20,000 RPM motor and the three-knife cutter-head is designed to produce very great results. As it has a two-speed gear box, you can change the feed speed to optimize your cut. The DW735X maximum depth cut is 1/8 inch and a full capacity of 13 inches in width and 6 inches in depth.

The DEWALT DW735X Two Speed Planer is a heavy investment as it comes on the higher side of the price spectrum which makes it ideal for the heavy or professional user. The three knives that make up the DW735X have short life spans and thus make expensive replacement cost. It’s also a heavy tool coming in at slightly over 100 pounds. The weight is more suited for a stationary workshop function and not for mobile use.

On the positive side, this planer comes with solid customer service plus a reliable three-year warranty. The planer has received great customer reviews that also indicate the price as being worth it.

Features and Specifications

  • Formidable 20,000 RPM motor
  • 13 inches in width and 6 inches in depth cut capacity
  • Three-knife cutter head
  • Two-speed gear box
  • Heavy and sturdy
  • Ideal for heavy and professional users
  • Highly durable
  • Has 3-year warranty

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TACKLIFE TGGLA152 Electric Hand Planer 

best wood planerPerhaps you are not looking for the most expensive and biggest wood planer in the market. The TACKLIFE TGGLA152 Electric Hand Planer is probably the best value hand planer if you are interested in cost-effectiveness.

To beat this model’s price is not easy considering the features you get. These include a machine with a solid power-to-weight ratio and an astonishingly high degree of accuracy. While this ranks among our best wood planer options, expect a few shortcomings though. Besides offering fewer options, expect to face issues with things such the leveling surface and maintenance of this product. Nevertheless, this is a cost-effective wood planer for its price range

Features and Specifications

  • Very affordable and cost-effective
  • Packs plenty of power
  • Delivers accurate cuts
  • Has reversible blades.

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Factors to Consider When Buying Wood Planer

Even after narrowing the options to a few good choices, finalizing your choice of the best wood planer can still be a challenge if you don’t know what to factor in. That’s where this buying guide steps in. Whether you are a pro or a newbie, there are several essential points to consider as you make your final choice. Our sole purpose in writing this guide is to make your purchase decision easier.

The Construction

A good wood planer should feature solid construction, capable of withstanding continuous and rigorous usage. A good thickness planer should perform well even when exposed to high levels of vibration and shaking. In general, the best thickness planers are made sing heavy duty metals such as cast iron.

Support

Larger thickness planers typically have very long very and strong cast iron tables, necessary for heavy work. The length of the bed should be designed to provide better support for the different sizes of lumber. On the other hand, bench top models, tend to have weaker infeed/outfeed tables, suitable for lighter pieces of lumber. Your choice should be guided by the type of planning you plan to undertake.

Power and Speed

A planer’s power is measured by the amp rating of the motor. However, heavier duty versions designed for commercial use are generally measured by their horsepower (HP). It also helps to look at the max cutting depth if you are to know how powerful the thickness planer is. This refers to how much of the wood board the planer can possibly remove to create a smooth board surface.

The motor plays a huge role in terms of determining the power of any wood planer. If the planer needs to cut through all types of wood ranging from soft pine to the more challenging hard oak, you will need to look for machines with higher rotations per minute (rpm). The planer’s cutter head speed is generally an excellent indicator of overall speed. The rotations per minute (rpm) is a specification that informs you about the cutter head’s speed as well as how many cuts the thickness planer makes during each pass.

Cutting Depth

Some planers, although not all, allow the user to adjust cuts by the inch. Cutting depth is used in reference to how much material a wood thickness planer removes in one pass. In general, the more powerful the machine, the more material it removes and the larger the depth of the cut. However, when working on pieces that are thinner than the planer’s maximum handling capacity (width-wise), it draws less on the motor, which allows the blades to remove stuff more accurately and smoothly than had the piece been very wide.

Planers capable of removing up to ⅛-inch in one pass tend to be the best for the sake of speed as you remove lots of material in fewer passes.  If your particular project demands you remove more than ⅛-inch, it might prove faster to run your pieces through a table or band saw first, and then use the thickness planer for removing the last bit, bringing it to the desired thickness.

Risk of Snipe

In our product review above, we have mentioned snipe several times. Snipe refers to instances when the board being cut gets drawn into the blade rather too fast or early, leading to a piece that looks unevenly cut. Unfortunately, this is very common and you need a thickness planer that prevents that from happening. 

If you are concerned about snipe, we recommend you look for machines that specifically offer ways of reducing the risk. For example, a planer that allows for easy adjustment of the tables mitigates this risk. Besides, you can also manually switch the thickness planner to smaller cuts as this greatly reduces the snipe risk.

Feed Rate

A slower feed allows for a greater number of cuts leading to a far smoother surface. Typically, the feed rate is estimated in feet per minute or fpm. When a planer has a lower fpm rate, it means the wood feeds into the blade more slowly. Look for a planer with a slow feed rate for best results.

Dust Collection

Thickness planers generate lots of dust. The machines rip off and spew out a stream of tiny pieces of wood. The floor of your workshop is usually under a thick layer of dust after working on just a couple of boards.

The best planers come with attached dust ports to vacuum the dust or inbuilt collection systems designed to minimize the mess. Advanced collection systems also help in removing the dust from the planer before it settles in the cutterhead. That boosts the cutting speeds and enhances the usable life of your wood planer.

Conclusion

Choosing the best wood planer for your needs is important if you regularly work with wood or run a workshop. It doesn’t matter whether you are a hobbyist or a pro, the choice you make when buying a thickness planer could make the difference in the quality of work done and timely completion of the your project. One last important factor to consider is the price. Make sure you are getting value for your money by buying from a reputable brand. With the above options, we are sure you will find a product that matches your needs and budget. 

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