Benchtop Planers

Best Wood Planer | Complete Tool Analysis and Buyers Guide


A wood planer is a power or hand tool that is used for reducing or trimming down the thickness of wood/lumber, making both faces parallel and also smoothening the rough wood surfaces.

At least, it is safe to say that without wood planers, cabinetry/furniture work will be almost impossible or very difficult.

Depending on the project you’re trying to handle or the volume of the wood you need to plane, there are different wood planers that will be suitable for you.

If you’re a simple hobbyist or DIY who simply wants to get some cabinetry/furniture work done at home simply for the love of woodworking or to impress your wife or your friends, then a portable wood planer like a benchtop planer will be suitable for you.

A portable benchtop wood planer will also be very suitable for you if you’re wood worker who needs a planer to work onsite. You definitely can’t take a stationary heavy duty wood planer to the worksite. So, a portable planer is definitely your best bet in this case.

On the other hand, if you regularly work with a large volume of lumber that needs planing. Then, a portable wood planer like a benchtop planer might not be able to handle the task. A stationary or heavy duty wood planer will then be your best option.

There are also hand planers suitable for minor planing jobs. Whatever kind of project you’re into or want to go into right now, there’s surely a wood planer that’s fit for it.

However, whether you’re in for a stationary thickness planer, a portable benchtop planer or a hand planer, you surely want the best wood planer that will be able to handle the job you have at hand.

In this article, we’ll be going in-depth and reviewing some of the best wood planers from the different kind/category of planers we mentioned about above.

Here is a list of some of the best wood planers and their different features

Heavy Duty Wood Planers

As the name implies, these planers are meant for huge production jobs. They come with 3+ horse power motors and are able to chew through hardwood quickly no matter the depth of the cut.

If you are looking for a wood planer with these features, here are some of the best ones you can find.

Powermatic 1791213 15HH Wood Planer

Features

wood planer, powermatic wood planer, thickness planer, stationary planerOne of the most important part of a wood planer is the cutterhead because the overall performance of the planer depends to a large extent on the quality of the cutterhead.

Talking about cutterheads, the Powermatic 15HH wood planer comes with a Tom Byrd’s Helical cutterhead. Byrd cutterheads are usually made from stress proof steel, which means you’re going to use the hell out of this beast, and it’ll still be going strong.

The helical cutterhead is made up of 74 carbide inserts which are arranged in helical shaped rows, thereby producing unparalleled efficiency and quality in the cuts produced on your wood stock.

Another impressive feature of the Powermatic 15HH wood planer is the powerful motor that spins the cutterhead. It is a 3 horsepower 230V TEFC, single phase motor which can run continuously to provide the 15HH wood planer an endless supply of raw power, to withstand any task thrown at it.

The infeed roller of the 15HH is serrated while the outfeed roller is very smooth. This is a very purposeful design that ensures feeding of boards into the machine, while the smooth outfeed roller ensures that the wood is unmarred upon exit.

What I like about it

The Powermatic 15HH is nothing but pure quality, and it’s the right wood planer for an avid woodworker. Everything seems to work impeccably well on this machine.

One thing I like the most about the planer is the helical byrd’s cutterhead. Unlike the straight knife’s cutterhead that has three knifes, the Byrd’s helical cutterhead consist of 74 carbide inserts instead.

They stay sharp for a longer time, are easier to maintain and they just perform better with the kind of glass smooth finishes they produce on wood.

Helical cutterheads are the way to go, and I just love the quality of this one.

You’ll expect that a machine of this size would produce a lot of noise. But the opposite is actually the case. The helical cutterhead in this bad boy helps to reduce the noise a lot. This provides a healthier working environment for you and anyone around you.

Finally it is relatively very easy to easy to set up and start working with the 15HH, even a total newbie will be able to find his way along as he closely follow the instructions in the manual.

Where it needs improvement

After examining this planer, there’s actually little room for improvement because everything works perfectly. The performance is just mind boggling, seriously.

Being that it is a little bit pricey, that may deter some people from actually purchasing it. However, if you can chunk out the cash to purchase this planer, you’ll be very satisfied with the product.

The absence of a digital read out is also something that may also discourage some people, but that to me is not an issue. Overall, the Powermatic 15HH is very fantastic. It is tough as well as it is efficient.

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Jet JWP-15HH Wood Planer

Specs
Cutterhead typeHelical Cutterhead
Motor Power3 Horse Power 230 Volts
Maximum Cut depth1/8 inch
Cutterhead spead4500 rpm
Knives68 four-sided inserts

Features

jet wood planer, thickness planer, woodworking power tools, industrial planerJet is one of the few companies that has gathered a lot of trust through the years because of the superior quality power tools which they’ve produced over time.

The Jet JWP-15HH wood planer is a testament to the above statement. The frame/body is constructed with heavy duty cast iron to ensure that the planer is stable, tough and able to withstand all external/internal forces.

To enable superior finishing, the Jet JWP is armed with a helical cutterhead with 68 carbide four-sided inserts. These carbide inserts stay sharper for a longer time than their straight-knives counterparts, which is a very desirable feature of a wood planer. Even when they get blunt, a quick switch between any one of the four sides provides a fresh sharp edge for a continuous planing operation.

Helical cutterheads are generally quieter than straight knives cutterheads. This is a feature which makes the Jet JWP-15HH wood planer a little more desirable, because a quiet machine is every craftsman dream. Though it is not totally quiet, but every decibel of noise reduced is much appreciated.

It also features a two speed gearbox which helps to adjust the feed rate as needed, to even fine-tune the quality of the surface finish.

The large cast iron and feed tables are not something that will easily escape your notice. Large feed tables ensure that materials being planed are properly supported. This will also make it possible to plane long boards with ease.

The 3 horse power induction motor provides the needed force to drive 3 V-belt transmissions to make the planer run smoothly and efficiently.

What I like about it

Everything I like about this planer is as a result of the kind of cutterhead it possesses. The helical cutterhead functions like nothing I’ve seen before.

Whether you feed in hard or soft wood, the boards come out extra smooth and it’s just amazing. Everything promised by the manufacturer is dead on point.

If you’ve owned or operated a wood planer with straight knives cutterhead, then you are really going to appreciate the quietness of this helical head planer. I really like it a lot.

Overall, the Jet JWP-15HH wood planer is strong, tough and it’s built to last for a long time. It is parked with all the right features that every wood planer needs to enable it run smoothly and efficiently.

If you’re planing large volume of boards per day, you can be sure that this wood planer will be able to handle it without any problem.

It’s a bit expensive though. However, good things don’t come cheap.

Where it needs improvement

After critically examining the Jet JWP-15HH wood planer, I can’t really pinpoint any cause for concern in the planer, because everything is working well.

The power is great, the finishing is superb, and the dust collection system works as it should. Though it’s not a perfect machine, because there’s none, but it tops the chart in performance.

Jet-JWP-208HH Wood Planer

Jet-JWP-208HH Wood Planer

This planer is a beast. It comes with a 5 HP TEFC induction motor, which means it can easily chew through hardwood quickly no matter the depth of the cut.

It has a helical insert cutterhead with carbide inserts which produces superior and clean finishes and with less noise or during operation.

Check out the full features of this monster by viewing it on Amazon.

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Benchtop Wood Planers

If you just need a wood planer for your home workshop, then a benchtop planer might just be the kind of wood planer you need.

In contrast with heavy duty planers which can chew through hardwood at a much faster rate, benchtop planers requires more passes of the wood through the planer to achieve the same effect.

However, there are many reasons why you should consider purchasing a benchtop planer.

First of all, they are budget friendly. A heavy duty wood planer can set you back for as high $8000 and as low as $3000. For someone whose intention is not commercial, this might just be too much.

Whereas, the price of some of the best benchtop planers range from $300 to $600, which is meager when compared to the $3000 to $8000 of a heavy duty planer.

Secondly, a heavy duty planer is also known as a stationary planer. It can only be operated in one particular position. If you’re working out of the convenience of your workshop, and you need a wood planer, you need something you can easily carry along with you. A benchtop planer comes to the rescue.

A benchtop planer is smaller and lighter. This means you can easily take it with you to the job site and work with it. This is something that is not possible if you only have a stationary wood planer.

Thirdly, you need a lot of space with a stationary wood planer.  If you have an already small workshop, bringing in a stationary planer will be almost impossible. A benchtop planer comes to your rescue again.

It is small and can fit into your small workshop without causing any inconvenience. This is probably one of the most popular reasons why people choose to purchase benchtop planers today.

Those are just some of the most important reasons while having a benchtop planer is quite a big deal.

Here are some of the best benchtop wood planers you can choose from.

DeWALT DW735X 13 Inch Benchtop Wood Planer

dewalt benchtop wood planer

Whether you are a hobbyist or a professional wood worker, this is one of the best benchtop wood planer anyone can have in his workshop.

No matter the kind of wood you feed into the DeWALT DW735X wood planer, it can handle it because it is equipped with a very powerful 10000 rpm motor which can readily get the job done for you.

There are many other features of the Dewalt  DW735X benchtop laner, and there are many other fantastic benchtop planers you can choose from. Learn more here

Hand Wood Planers

Hand wood planers are very common wood planing tools you can find in almost every workshop. They are not heavy and are very easy to carry about, which makes it possible to use them both inside and outside the workshop.

They are mostly used for small planing jobs. There are two types of hand wood planers

Electric operated hand wood planers and manual hand wood planers.

Manual hand wood planers don’t require electricity to operate. You power and control them with your arm muscle. An example is the Stanley 12-136 No.4.

Stanley 12-136 No.4

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Electric hand planers require electricity to operate and they are divided into corded and cordless wood planers.

Corded Wood Planers

Here are some examples of the corded type of wood planers:

DeWALT DW680k 7 Wood Planer 

DeWALT DW680k 7 Wood Planer 

This planer comes with a very powerful 7.0 Amp motor which provides smooth and even finishes in any kind of wood no matter the hardness. It has a maximum cut of 3/32 inch in one pass which helps to reduce the amount of passes on the matterial.

With this planer, there is no need to re-zero your depth when planing because it has a calibrated depth adjustment knob for accurate depth setting.

You can check out the full features of the DeWalt  DW680k wood planer here.

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BOSCH PL2632K Wood Planer

BOSH PL2632K Wood Planer

The Bosh PL2632K planer is a very powerul wood planer with a speed of 16,500 RPM  and a 6.5 Amp motor which enables it to quickly remove hard stocks and produce fine finishes in both hard and soft wood.

For safety reasons, it has an ambidextrous lock-off release button which helps to prevent accidental starts and a lock-on button in case you intend to use it for a long time without switching it off.

It comes with a spring loaded stand which elevates it and protects the blade and the resting spot on the material being worked on.

Check out the full features of this wood planer using the button below.

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Cordless Wood Planers

Cordless wood planers are hand wood planers powered with batteries. Here are some of the best among them.

Makita XPKO1Z Lithium-Ion Cordless Wood Planer

Makita XPKO1Z Lithium-Ion Cordless Wood Planer

This planer is equipped with a 2-blade cutter head. The blades are double edged carbide blades which increase the performance of the planer and produces smooth and better finishes.

It has a 14,000 RPM motor which is engineered to quickly remove stocks and produce better finishes.

Check out the full features of the Makita XPKO1Z wood planer by clicking the button below.

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HITACHI P18DSLP4 Lithium-Ion  Cordless Wood Planer

HITACHI P18DSLP4 Lithium-Ion  Cordless Wood Planer

The Hitachi wood planer comes with an 18-Volt lithium ion slide type battery for long operation time.

It has a cutting width and depth of 3-1/4″ and 5/64″ respectively which ensures there is less number of cutts to produce a fine finish on the material.

The Hitachi planer’s handle is a soft grip handle which improves comfort and reduces fatigue while working with it.

It has a remaining battery indicator which helps to notify the user when the remaining run time is getting low.

The planer also has a safety stand attached to the side to prevent the blade from accidentally coming in contact with the user when it is not being used.

You can check out the full features of the Hitachi wood planer by clicking the button below.

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How to Use a Wood Planer to Plane Boards Smooth and Flat

Conclusion

There are different wood planers meant for different kinds of jobs. Whether you are handling a huge production job or you just need a planer to handle small furniture projects at home, there’s a wood planer fit for it. The one you decide to use depends on the size of your project and the size of your budget.

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