Top 5 Best Wood Planers: Reviews & Buying Guide 2019

wood planer

With several wood planners out in the market, it is hard to decide the best wood planer for your use. Wood planer or thickness planer is an ideal tool for furniture construction as it shaves down the materials to the right size. Any wood project will have straightening and squaring stocks or board works which can be easily made using wood planers.  Though sandpapers and power sanders are commonly used today, wood planers are the go-to choice for professionals as it can make straight edges and also ensure both sides of the materials are completely parallel. Choosing the best wood planer for your requirement can be a difficult task. Therefore, below is a curated list of Top 5 best wood planers 2019.

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The table compares the 3 most outstanding products

#1 Top Pick
#2 Runner UP
#3 Best for the money
Preview
DEWALT Thickness Planer, Two Speed, 13-Inch (DW735X)
DEWALT Benchtop Planer, Single Speed, 15-Amp, 12-1/2-Inch (DW734)
WEN 6552T 13 in. 15 Amp 3-Blade Benchtop Corded Thickness Planer
Product
DEWALT Thickness Planer, Two Speed, 13-Inch (DW735X)
DEWALT Benchtop Planer, Single Speed, 15-Amp, 12-1/2-Inch (DW734)
WEN 6552T 13 in. 15 Amp 3-Blade Benchtop Corded Thickness Planer
Rating
#1 Top Pick
Preview
DEWALT Thickness Planer, Two Speed, 13-Inch (DW735X)
Product
DEWALT Thickness Planer, Two Speed, 13-Inch (DW735X)
Rating
#2 Runner UP
Preview
DEWALT Benchtop Planer, Single Speed, 15-Amp, 12-1/2-Inch (DW734)
Product
DEWALT Benchtop Planer, Single Speed, 15-Amp, 12-1/2-Inch (DW734)
Rating
#3 Best for the money
Preview
WEN 6552T 13 in. 15 Amp 3-Blade Benchtop Corded Thickness Planer
Product
WEN 6552T 13 in. 15 Amp 3-Blade Benchtop Corded Thickness Planer
Rating

5 Best Wood Planers 2019 Reviews


1. Dewalt Dw735x Thickness Wood Planer – Top Pick


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Dewalt DW735X is hands down the best wood planer in the market today. More suited to the professionals, the cutter speed of this machine clocks in at an impressive 10000 RPM. It is one of the most expensive planers and the price reflects the quality and features available in the product.  It stands out of the rest of electrical wood planers in the market as it comes with two-speed units. This feature helps to make dimensioning or finishing cut that is, you can go fast for rough cutting and then slow down to get finer finish. The speed in this machine is adjustable which provides you with excellent control over your planning work. The machine has a width capacity of 13 inch and 6 inches of depth capacity along with an extra-large depth turret stop to provide pre-sets.

It also features a three-knife cutter head which reduces the stress on each knife, thus extending the knife life by 30% and helps in making a finer finish. Traditionally wood planers are noisy tool while this machine relatively runs quietly which is another impressive feature. The machine weighs more than 100 pounds as it comes with two aluminium tables to support larger materials.

Dewalt DW735X is the most expensive in this list. However, you get what you pay for- an impressive lifelong machine.


2. Dewalt Dw734 Woodworking Planer – Runner Up


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Dewalt DW734 made to the runner up spot as DW735X mentioned above was made to replace this. DW734 has same features as DW735X except for two-speed unit, large bed, and the price! The cutter head and drive used are the same for both the machines which mean this machine has three-knife head-turning at 10000 rpm, faster than most. This 15-amp/20000 rpm motor can make 96 cuts per inch. This machine comes with an extendable wide base that can hold larger pieces. This model also has extra-large depth turret stop along with 13 inches of width and 6 inches of depth capacity. This machine has a one-speed unit and weighs 80 pounds. It comes with a 3 years guarantee from the manufacturers. This model comes with an extra-large thickness scale for making more accurate cuts and has an additional material removal gauge.

Dewalt DW734 is the best choice as a cheaper alternative for DW735X for its solid features.


3. Wen 6552 Thickness Wood Planer – Best for the Money


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Wen 6552 is the best wood planer for the money on this list. The 15- amp motor of Wen 6552 can provide an impressive 25,500 cuts per minute. The machine can make 96 cuts per inch and 176 cuts per inch for dimensioning and finishing. It is an inexpensive model which costs far less than either of the top 2 models and is a beast of a machine. The depth of the device can be adjusted anywhere between 0 and 3/32 of an inch. To provide a comfortable working experience, the machine has a fan-assisted dust post that can remove sawdust and chips from the workplace. Another feature of the machine is its carbon steel double-edged blades. The foldable infeed and outfeed tables are made of granite that provides a smooth surface to deliver smoothest finish and never warps. The product comes with a 2-year warranty from the manufactures. The machine weighs 70 pounds. It can plane wood 13 inches wide and 6 inches thick. This model has a dual-blade setup and comes with reversible blades that can provide twice as much use of each blade.

Wen 6552 makes a good thickness planer for the money you pay. If you are infrequent or casual users then this is the best machine to buy.


4. Makita 2012nb Thickness Planer


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Makita 2012NB has one of the best compact frames making it decently portable and weighs 60 pounds. This model has 12 inches double-edged blades, which are disposable. The machine has a blistering pace that is, it can plan up to 28 feet per minute. The 15-amp motor produces 8,500 rotations per minute. This machine comes with a LED light which indicates whether the machine is plugged in or not. An impressive feature of this model is its low noise level of 83 decibels. The machine’s cutting ability is another notable feature. It can cut a depth of 1/8 inches and a width of 12 inches. Makita 2012NB makes the best planer for DIY operations as it also comes with an internal-Lok automated head clamp, which prevents snipping altogether. The machine also comes with a large table extension, which provides room for working with larger materials.

However, the price of the machine is higher than, some of the high-quality machines on this list. The features available in this machine for this price tag is marginal for moderate professional use. Overall, Makita 2012NB is a great planer and comes from one of the leading brands in the industry which mean quality is guaranteed.


5. Porter – cable Pc60thp


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The fast planning, affordable price tag, and efficient dust management features have made Porter-Cable PC60THP get a place in this list. If you are looking for easily portable electric handheld planer, then PC60THP is the best choice. Weighing just 8.5 pounds, mainly credited to the great aluminum shoe built, PC60THP is a lightweight planer. The 6-amp motor does not seem very powerful when compared to others on the list yet it is the best choice for DIY project works. This machine has over-mold depth-adjustment knobs, which gives you space to make quick changes in-depth and better planer control. The knobs offer 10 positive stops. This model has dual side dust extraction ports, which make working even more convenient as it extracts dust from either side of the tool. Another feature of this machine is that it has three chamfering grooves, which offer more options for edge chamfering. However, the machine does not provide fine finish but if you are looking for a planer that is lightweight and perfect for small project works, then Porter-Cable PC60THP is the one to buy.


What to Look For? – Buying Guide for Wood Planer

If you are a professional, then you know what features to look for, but in case of a beginner, it is a confusing task. Below are a few points to consider before buying a wood planer.

Types of Planers

There are a few types of planers in the market. All the planers share a few things in common such as a rotating drum with two or more blades. The changes are seen in the speed of the rotation and the portability of the machine.

  • Power Handheld Planers: Handheld planers are commonly used in construction sites. These planers are easy to work on pieces, which are already in place. For ease of use and portability, these planers are smaller comparing to other planers. These planers have smaller motors, with narrower cuts and cut a width of 3-1/4 inches.
  • Thickness Planers: Thickness planers are usually pedestal-mounted stationary units. Like the name, these planers are designed to cut boards to the same thickness. A thickness planer helps in making these materials can be laminated together without differences in thickness.
  • Benchtop Planers: Benchtop planers are commonly used for making surfaces parallel by adjusting the thickness of boards that are inconsistent. Benchtop planers take up minimal space during setup and make the best choice for home workshops. These have a cutting head of 12 inches or more and can be used for all board sizes. Due to its ability to form uniform thickness, benchtop planers can be used for making thin boards.
  • Portable Planers: Portable planers similar to benchtop planer but aresmaller and have the narrower capacity. Portable planers are designed to make transporting it easier. Thus these are made to be lightweight for easy transportation to jobsites. Most of these planers have lightweight frames which are designed to mainly reduce the weight of the machine while some machines have smaller width or smaller motor. The lightweight of the planer might contribute to chatter due to less rigidity of the machine. Therefore, while using the portable planer, it is necessary to make a lighter cut on wide or dense materials to prevent chatter.
  • Jointer-Planer combination:  As the name, this machine combines the function of a planer and a jointer. This contributes to smooth and stable working on the edges and sides of the board. These planers are comparatively more versatile than other planers as it takes up less space and offers you great flexibility while working.

Power

An important feature to consider while buying a planer is the amount of power it has. The size of the motor used to make the unit should be considered. Higher the amperage it draws, more horsepower the machine has. Horsepower plays a key role in determining the consistency and the maximum depth of the cut. While cutting through dense hardwoods, machines with a lower power rate have a higher chance of bogging down. To avoid uneven cutting in dense materials, machines with powerful motors should be used.

Width

This is the width of the board that can pass through the planer. Only the type of planer you choose to buy can determine this. Different planers have a different width. To know about it, you will have to do a detailed search on the machines width capacity. Choosing a machine, which can handle standard widths of materials will be beneficial for future works or projects.

Scalloping

Scalloping is one of the types of finishing. Scalloping are scooping cuts created by the knives or blades on being mounted into a drum. Therefore, rather than making flat cuts in the desired directions, these blades make series of scooping cuts. The finishing formed by scalloping depends on:

  • The number of blades used: More the number of blades mean each cuts will be smaller which in turn reduces the scalloping. Handheld units have only one blade while power planers have two blades and some larger planers have three to four blades.
  • Cutting head speed: Higher the speed of rotation of cutting head, more cuts will be made on the material at the same distance travelled.
  • Cutting head diameter: Larger the diameter of cutting head, lesser the scallop formed in each cut and looks closer to flat cut. However, this characteristic least affects the scalloping.

Snipe

This is another type of finishing. This type of finishing is formed depending on the way the material is fed into the planer. Snipe is the dip formed on the surface of the material during the beginning of the cut. This happens naturally, as the operator cannot lay the material perfectly on the bed and start the feed at a consistent rate. Snipe can be reduced by the use of planer with a longer bed as the material can be easily laid flat on the bed at the beginning of the cut.

CONCLUSION

While buying a planar, you need to be clear about what sort of planer you need. Randomly buying a planer due to its popularity or price will not be helpful in the work you intend to do with it. Always choose the one, which falls within your budget and most important has the features, which are helpful for your requirements. The above-mentioned list of best thickness planers 2019 has machines suitable for professionals and beginners with the best features available in market today.

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