Benchtop planers, also known as thickness planers, are box-shaped power tools with spinning blades inside that allow you to change the thickness of a piece of wood. Two or three high-speed blades within the device cut off tiny layers from the top of the workpiece by passing the wood through the planer. You can strip a layer at a time by changing the cutting height until the wood suits your requirements.
Having a consistent thickness helps you to make level tabletops, joinery, and all-around improved projects. The use of a benchtop planer also makes it easy to uncover the beauty of grain concealed within an aged, weathered piece of wood—one of the most important advantages of the best benchtop planers. Keep reading to learn the features you need to search for in a quality benchtop planer and discover why the following models made it to our list of choices.
1. DEWALT Two Speed Thickness Planer with Planer Stand
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This 13-inch, two-speed planer has a 15-amp motor that produces a 10,000-RPM cutter speed and two feed speeds (96 and 179 cuts per minute). It has a 13-inch wide capacity as well as a 6-inch height capacity. It has a three-blade cutterhead and features a fan-assisted DEWALT ejection chip.
If you don’t use your planer often to ensure that you have a designated place on your bench, you might enjoy the 24-inch wide, 22-inch long stand, which is 30 inches high off the floor. It has a series of lockable casters, allowing you to lock it in place when you’re feeding heavy materials and then roll this heavy tool out of the way when you’re finished.
2. CRAFTSMAN Benchtop Planer
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As a moderately priced planer that can accommodate up to 12-inch boards, the CRAFTSMAN is pretty good. It has a 15-amp motor that generates cutterhead speeds of up to 8,000 rpm. Thanks to its two-blade configuration, this makes 16,000 cuts per minute, which is sufficient for most light-duty hobby work.
The fold-up infeed and outfeed tables make storage a little simpler. These tables, however, lose a bit of rigidity over sturdy cast bases. The CRAFTSMAN can accommodate materials up to 12 inches wide and up to 6 inches thick. There is a maximum cutting depth of up to 3/32-inch for boards up to 8 inches. Beyond 8 inches, the width of the cut varies.
3. DEWALT 13-Inch Thickness Planer
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If you’re on the lookout for a high-capacity planer with lots of specs, consider this 13-inch thick machine from DEWALT. The DEWALT can manage items up to 13 inches wide and up to 6 inches tall. The 15-amp motor spins a straight three-blade cutter at 10,000 rpm. It can shave up to 1/8-inch of material per pass and features an easy-to-read material removal gauge. You can also pick between two speeds: 96 cuts per inch and 179 cuts per inch.
One of the best characteristics of this planer is its 19 3/4-inch cast aluminum frame. Not only is it a flat surface to run the materials over, but it can also be twice as rigid as any other versions. This reduces the snipe and provides much more predictable outcomes. In addition, the DEWALT planer comes with extra in-feed and outfeed table wings. The tool uses a fan-assisted chip ejection to remove vacuum chips from the surface of the material and extract them from the dust collection outlet, making it more effective than the competition.
4. Makita 2012NB 12-Inch Planer
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If you need a thickness planer that offers extra maximum thickness—for wood frame mailboxes, say, or heavy furniture—check Makita’s 2012NB 12-Inch Planer. This unit has an above-average 6 3/32-inch overall thickness capacity, which may help you avoid running back and forth to the bandsaw; in reality, you could be able to push through your thick workpiece and avoid the bandsaw altogether.
This planer has a 15-amp engine that produces 8,500 rpm. It has a two-knife cutterhead with a cut depth of up to 1/8-inch. The Interna-Lok head clamp sets the workpiece in a safer position than the standard rollers, eliminating snipe.
5. POWERTEC 15 Amp 2-Blade Benchtop Thickness Planer
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The POWERTEC benchtop thickness planer is worth a look if you want the mid-range capability. This planer has a board capacity of 12.5 inches and an overall thickness of 6 inches. The extra half-inch width allows a little extra space against the 12-inch competition. It has a 15-amp, 2-horsepower motor that produces up to 9.400 RPMs on a two-blade cutter and has a cutting depth of 3/32-inch for boards smaller than 5 inches wide; above that, the cutting depth is reduced to 1/32-inch.
The POWERTEC is equipped with foldable in-feed and outfeed tables for easier storage. The biggest downside of this model is the lack of an integrated dust collection port, although you can purchase one separately.
Features to consider in Good Wood Planers
1. Type of Wood Planer
There are various types of wood planers available, each of which has its own distinct purpose. They also have benefits over others and their pitfalls. Before you pick a wood planer to purchase, it’s also useful to study these various styles so that you know the one you like.
Benchtop – They’ve got similarities to handheld planers, except they’re a little heavier. If you’re dealing with a benchtop planer, you should be working on a flat surface. They are solid, they can make sharper cuts, and they can handle thicker materials as well. They are reasonably powerful, and they can handle hardwood.
Hand – This kind is the first to come out of. They come with a serrated edge that’s parallel to the surface of the wood. Through a hand planer, you drive over the surface of the wood beginning from the thinner end. In doing this, you’re going to shave the wood until you’ve leveled it full.
Jointer – This style allows you to do 2 tasks at a time. Purchasing a jointer planer would cost you less than buying a separate machine. This style of wood planer is suitable for small workshops and DIY enthusiasts.
Portable – You can set this sort of wood planer automatically, then put the material in and get a constant thickness from it. Portable planers are only smaller models of stationary planers, except they’re a lot more portable. Much like a hand planer, when you’re working, you can put this on a flat surface.
Thickness – This sort of wood planer is going to shave a few inches off your wooden plank so you can get the thickness you like. Thickness planers are usually lightweight and portable, but you need a lot of space to use them.
2. Width Capacity and Thickness
You need to know what thickness you need before you pick a wood planer. Usually, electrical planers have a capacity of 6-inch, although there are other devices available with a higher thickness. Also, most versions come with a depth stop so that you can adapt the unit to the width you usually need.
The maximum width that a glider can accommodate is the width of its capacity. Again, pick a wood planer for what you need. Normally, though, wood planers have a capacity from 12-20 inches.
3. Knives and Blade Speed
When it comes to wood planers, they may have 2, 3, or 5 knives on the cutterhead. If the unit has more blades and higher speed, there will be more strokes. This, in turn, will give you a more polished and seamless finish. Blade speed is also important, and it’s a good idea to select a machine with adjustable blade speed for better flexibility and power.
This is the next aspect to watch out for as you pick the right wood planer to meet your needs and tastes. In the US, standard jacks are 110V while 220V is available in Europe and all other areas of the world. When choosing a machine, think about its electrical features, so you’re sure it’s going to run in your home or workspace.
Having a wood planer in your home or work area would help you to perform your woodworking activities more effectively and productively. Choosing one is not an easy feat, but we hope this guide will make your purchase simpler. If you want to get the right wood planer to meet your needs, then you’ve got to think about a couple of things.
Wood planers are really handy devices, and you should think of them as an investment. Since you’re going to spend some decent money on a wood planer, you can pick one that has all the functionality you need. Remember all the relevant considerations and attributes first, then consider the items we’ve reviewed for you.