Have you ever found yourself with irregular pieces of wood midway through a project, with no way of leveling their thickness?
Then you need to acquire a wood planer for all your woodworking projects.
Whether you are a professional artisan or a Do-it-Yourself enthusiast, a wood planer is a handy tool when it comes to smoothening boards and leveling irregular pieces of wood. The fact that this device works with great precision makes it a must-have tool for anyone with a keen interest in woodworking.
With a wood planer in your possession, you no longer need to go through the frustrations of ordering boards of custom thickness from your supplier. In addition, using a conventional jackplane or a table saw would all be a thing of the past, once you get a hold of this planer.
Without taking much of your time, we are going to show you 10 best wood planers that will transform how you work on your custom boards.
Elegant in design and superior in performance, the WEN 6550 is exactly what you need for all your planing tasks.Read Our Review
The Delta 22-555 thickness planer is specifically designed for small workshops where planing is not a regular activity.Read Our Review
The Bosch PL2632K Planer is a highly portable tool that comes with an easy to carry carrying case.Read Our Review
The Cutech 40200HC-CT 13” Spiral Cutterhead Planer with Carbide Inserts is a workhorse when it comes to cutting wood and boards to the preferred thickness.Read Our Review
The Cutech brand makes another grand appearance as we wind up our product reviews. This time, it is none other than the Cutech 40200H-CT Spiral Cutterhead Wood Planer- Professional.Read Our Review
What Is a Wood Planer?
A wood planer is a carpentry tool used for trimming wood surfaces and smoothing board edges to the desired thickness. It is the perfect tool for producing custom boards and pieces of wood of even thickness, hence the name thickness planer.
It also comes in handy when restoring jaded boards and reclaiming rough and irregular pieces of wood to a smooth, even finish. In essence, you can use this tool on any piece of wood, regardless of the size, and achieve the preferred thickness.
A planer can be a handheld tool (manual) or an electronically/battery powered machine. Unfortunately, manual handheld planers are dying out slowing, due to advancements in technology. Gone are the days when a jackplane or a table saw were the only planing options you had.
You no longer need to use your muscle power to chip out pieces of wood. With an electronically powered planer, you can produce accurate, precise custom boards in a matter of minutes.
All Types Of Wood Planers
Do you want to know more about the different wood planers available?
We bet you do. Check this out.
Typically, wood planers come in more than five different types to suit the various woodworking needs. The most common types of wood planers include:
Manual planers are handheld woodworking tools that do not require electric power or battery power to function. The planer is powered using your hand movement.
This type of planer gives you more control and is ideal for smaller projects like fine planing. Manual planers are extremely affordable and do not produce noise
Power hand planers are similar to manual planers, but require electric power or battery power to function. They are more powerful compared to manual planers and they can work well on both small and large projects.
They can be used for leveling surfaces, cutting and shaping different types of wood. Nevertheless, power hand planers are limited in speed, and their level of precision is not 100% perfect.
This refers to a type of electronically powered planer that rests on top of a bench, hence the name “bench top planer.” This machine can work on any type of wood of different lengths and widths with relative ease.
It comes with various distinct and highly sophisticated features, including a cutter head, feed tables and motor. They cut and even boards with great precision thanks to these advanced features.
Just as the name implies, a stationary planer is a freestanding machine that works on heavy-duty and more complex woodworking projects. These planers come in their own tables and they do not require a bench in order to work on boards.
They can be fed large pieces of wood as they feature stronger cutter heads that function at faster speeds.
A 2-in-1 planer tool features either a planer and a jointer or a planer and a molder. This tool is used for different sets of tasks. The planer/joiner is used to even the thickness of surfaces before smoothing out the edges with a jointer. The planer/molder is used for creating high-quality patterns on pieces of wood.
Jointer VS Wood Planer
A wood planer is used to reduce the thickness of a workpiece to a desirable depth or height while a jointer is used to achieve a smooth surface between two pieces to be joined. Most woodworkers prefer owning a planer, as it can reduce thickness and smooth out surfaces as well.
Jointer vs Planer: What Does Each One Do?
Video about Jointer vs Planer: What Does Each One Do?
How To Buy Best Wood Planer
With so many options to choose from, buying a wood planer can be somehow overwhelming, especially if you are a beginner. However, we are here to help you make the right choice in selecting the best wood planer for all your woodworking needs.
As earlier mentioned, there are several types of tools. You should choose a planer that can be able to deliver exceptional results on all your projects, based on your preferences. Older woodworkers prefer handheld planers as they offer more control. However, a handheld planer cannot be viable when working on large projects.
Select a planer that is efficient, yet easy to use. Anyone in your workshop with woodworking experience should be able to use the planer conveniently without facing any challenges.
Consider the availability of spares before buying any planer. This will ensure that you can easily have it repaired in case something goes wrong.
Wood planers can last a lifetime, but this depends on the type, and how you maintain it. Handheld planers last longer than powered planers because they do not consist of motors or cutter heads, which are susceptible to damage.
Though it is not always a major issue. However, you should select a planer that offers real value for money. Do not buy a cheap planer just for the sake of it, as it might end up being expensive later in terms of maintenance and repair costs.
List of The Most Popular Brands
- Porter Cable
- Delta Power Tools
Wood Planer Top Features
The latest planers come with various top features that can transform your woodworking project into a simple task. These features aim at reducing snipe and preventing tear. They also extend machine life and deliver amazing results.
Here are some of the top features:
- Extra large feed tables
- Snipe lock
- Slide Depth Stop
- Dust Connection Port
- Thermal Overload Protection
- On/Off Toggle Switch with Safety Lock
- Quick Change Blade System
- Spiral cutter head with 26 two-sided carbide inserts
How To Use a Wood Planer
A word of caution:
Using a wood planer is not easy, as it requires a considerable wealth of skills to deliver the right results.
Furthermore, powered planers can be hazardous if care is not observed. For these reasons, it is advisable that you seek the help of an experienced woodworker before using this tool.
1. Wear protective gear include a dust mask and eye protectors
2. Unfold the feed tables
3. Setup the guide fence if any is available
4. Make sure the blades are sharp and tightly in place
5. Set your preferred cut depth
6. Power up the machine by plugging the cord into the power outlet
7. Pass your piece of wood or board along the table several times until you achieve the desired thickness
8. Switch off the wood planer machine after use
9. Clean your work area
10. You may use the dust port that comes with the machine to clear out all the sawdust and chippings
How to Reduce Snipe
A snipe is a deep cut caused by a planer at the infeed end or at the beginning of a long piece of wood or board, causing a slight bend. Although subtle, the effects of snipe can lead to unsightly finishes.
Here are a few tips:
- Adjust the feed table up
- Cut the snipe off the ends
- Use a test board to establish the level of snipe before passing your piece
- Acquire a planer that comes with a snipe lock feature
Safety Tips for Planers
Worry no more. Below are a few safety tips that come in handy when using planers or any other power tools.
• Always wear safety glasses and protective gear • Make sure the outfeed guard is in position • Do not plane twisted boards before straightening one side • Assess stock for loose knots or stuck iron nails • Turn the dust collector on • DO NOT put your hands in the infeed opening • NEVER look into a planer when its running • Plane one piece at a time
Care and Maintenance
The lifespan of your wood planer depends on how you take care of it. Keeping your tool in top condition is essential when it comes to delivering a superior performance.
Fortunately, wood planers do not require extensive care and maintenance. A little bit of cleaning, lubrication and changing of blades is all that it requires. Here are a few maintenance tips that will keep your planer in top shape.
1. Always clean the planer table after use.
2. Sharpen or replace the blades once they become blunt
3. Keep rust at bay by lubricating your planer regularly
4. Check the table for flatness at least once a month
5. Check the motor brushes for wear every 100 hours
6. Clean the drive chain or belt regularly to remove dust and chips
7. Tighten bolts that hold the moving parts
8. Store your planer in a dry place to avoid corrosion and rusting
How to Build a Wood Planer
Do you know that you can make your own handheld wood tool? It is extremely simple, and we’ll walk you through the whole process.
- Pipe (Steel)
- Hard Plywood
- Old saw blade
- Woodworking Tools
Steps to follow:
- Draw and print your plan. You can acquire an easy to use plan online
- Drill the plywood as indicated in the instructions
- Sand the drilled plywood
- Create the blade
- Build the wedge
- Assemble the pieces
Most machine planers come with varying warranties ranging from one year to five years. Depending on the type of warranty, you may also be entitled to free repair service for a specified period.
Always take your planer to an accredited service center, especially when still under warranty. This ensures that you enjoy free repair service with no additional charges.
Yes. However, this depends on the manufacturer. You may also be requested to top up to receive an extended warranty.
So what’s your favorite planer? We trust that you had a good time reading our reviews on the best wood planers available in the market today. Since we can’t have our cake and eat it, we have to select a winner among the ten wood planers we reviewed. The stand out wood planer is none other than the DEWALT-DW734. This planer is a workhorse when it comes to cutting precise parallel pieces, and smoothing out edges and surfaces. What makes it special are the four-column carriage lock. The DEWALT insert not only durable, but also delivers superior cuts more than any other wood planer in its range. Whether you are a newbie woodworker or a professional artisan, this planer is the right choice for all your woodworking needs.