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.
Our Best Wood Planer Picks For 2021
The 9 top wood planers for your next woodworking project
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.
BEST OVERALL WOOD PLANER: DeWalt DW734 Benchtop Planer
The DeWalt DW734 Benchtop Planer 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 DeWalt DW734 Benchtop 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 DeWalt 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.
BEST Wood Planer For Professional Workshops: JET Planer 13″ Helical Benchtop Planer
If you are looking for ample lumber-milling capacity, then we recommend checking out the JET Planer 13″ Helical Benchtop Planer. This quality planer boasts of a 13-inch width capacity and the ability to handle up to 6 inches thick. The JET Planer 13″ Helical Benchtop 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 JET Planer 13″ Helical Benchtop Planer 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.
BEST Wood Planer For experienced Woodworkers: Cutech Planer 40200H-CT Spiral Cutterhead
The 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 Planer 40200H-CT Spiral Cutterhead benchtop planer, it will fit in nicely with any professional woodworker contractor’s arsenal of tools.
BEST Wood Planer for Tighter Budgets: WEN 6552 3-Blade 15-Amp Benchtop Thickness Planer
The WEN 6552 3-Blade 15-Amp Benchtop Thickness Planer 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 come 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.
BEST Wood Planer for Entry-Level Woodworkers: Delta Planer 22-555 Portable Thickness Planer
For the more casual user or smaller projects, the Delta Planer 22-555 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.
BEST Wood Planer for Cutting Boards: Makita 2012NB 12-Inch Thickness Planer
Equipped 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.
BEST Wood Planer for Entry-Level Longevity: Porter Cable PC305TP 12″ Thickness Planer
The Porter Cable PC305TP 12″ Thickness Planer is the best 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 PC305TP 12″ Thickness Planer 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 Porter Cable PC305TP 12″ Thickness Planer 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.
BEST Wood Planer for Consistent Use: DeWalt DW735x Two-Speed Thickness Planer
The DeWalt DW735x Two-Speed Thickness Planer 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.
BEST Wood Planer for Handheld Use: Tacklife TGGLA152 Electric Hand Planer
Perhaps 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
FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING The Best 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.
Our Final Thoughts on The Best Wood Planer Options
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.
ADDITIONAL WOOD PLANER RESOURCES
EXTERNAL RESOURCE RECOMMENDATIONS