If you need to even out and flatten boards for your carpentry needs, you need the right tool. In this case, what you need is a wood planer, which is what we are here to look for today. Let’s get right to it and help you find the best wood planer of 2020, one that works well, is durable, and won’t cost you a fortune.
Best Wood Planer Reviews
DEWALT DW735X Wood Planer
This DEWALT wood planer a fairly high-end planer, one of the best one in the business, at least in its class. It might not be huge, but it has a number of features worth talking about.
The DEWALT DW735X Wood Planer is one of the more portable options around, as it’s not overly large, and light enough to take to various jobsites. That said, it can just as easily be used as a stationary wood planer at home. In terms of capacity, this planer can handle boards as wide as 13 inches, with a depth capacity of 6 inches. For its compact size, it can actually handle some fairly large boards.
When it comes to cutting depth, the DEWALT DW735X Wood Planer can go as deep as 1/8 inches per cut. Moreover, this is a two-speed wood planer; you can set it to 96 or 179 CPI to suit your needs. This wood planer is a 15-amp model with a cutterhead speed of 10,000 RPM, and you do get some very high-quality cutterheads, 3 of them actually.
At the end of the day, you should be able to flatten and even out boards with ease and precision. It is also worth noting that the DEWALT DW735X Wood Planer is designed for long-term use, as it is made with some of the most durable materials around. That said, the cutterheads will eventually wear out, but this is why the DEWALT DW735X Wood Planer comes with an extra set. What’s also good is that you get a small infeed and outfeed table included, just to make life a little easier.
What's to like
The good part about the DEWALT DW735X Wood Planer is that it’s just a really convenient and user-friendly wood planer. It’s fairly compact, it’s easy to use, and super durable. If you need a wood planer to use at home or on the jobsite, this is a great option to keep in mind.
What's not to like
Alright, so the DEWALT DW735X Wood Planer is a bit expensive, this much we know, but that said, it is a fairly high-quality item. A small issue as well here is that the depth change lever can be a bit sticky.
DEWALT Benchtop Planer
Here we have another wood planer from the same brand name, DEWALT, with this particular option being slightly smaller, but also slightly more affordable. Let’s take a closer look.
In terms of portability and ease of setup, the DEWALT Benchtop Planer is definitely a top option to keep in mind. It weighs only 80 pounds and is not particularly heavy, which why it is called a benchtop planer. It’s fairly small, compact, and lightweight, making it a great option to use at home if you have limited space, and it certainly helps with ease of transportation too. That said, the DEWALT Benchtop Planer is slightly smaller than the previous option we looked at, although not by much.
The DEWALT Benchtop Planer has a maximum width capacity of 12.5 inches, with a depth capacity of 6 inches, and a maximum cutting depth of 1/8 inch. Therefore, while it’s not ideal for massive pieces of wood, it can handle the smaller stuff just fine. The DEWALT Benchtop Planer might not be the number one most durable item on the market, but it should serve you well for basic wood planing purposes.
Moreover, the DEWALT Benchtop Planer features a powerful 15-amp motor than delivers a cutterhead speed of 10,000 RPM. Unlike the other DEWALT planer we looked at, this one is only a single speed model, coming in at 96 CPI. What is pretty convenient is that this planer comes with reversible and disposable knives, which actually allows you to get much more use out of each set. We like how this item comes with a dust hood that you can attach to a debris management system.
What's to like
The good part about the DEWALT Benchtop Planer is that it’s just an all-around user friendly choice. It is fairly cost effective, super easy to use, can be used virtually anywhere, and is very portable too.
What's not to like
The DEWALT Benchtop Planer is not huge, and it won’t be able to handle very large boards, which is a bit of a downside, plus it’s just not the most durable planer around either.
WEN 6552T Benchtop Planer
This is a wood planer that is kind of like a combination of the first two we looked at, as it comes in at the size of the first one, roughly, but with around the same price of the second.
In terms of ease of setup and portability, the WEN 6552T Benchtop Planer is so far the best option on the list today. It’s very compact and comes in at 66 pounds, making it our lightest option. It’s definitely one of the more portable options, something which makes it ideal for small spaces and taking to various jobsites. What is surprising is that the WEN 6552T Benchtop Planer is so compact and lightweight, yet still has a great cutting capacity.
This particular wood planer can handle boards as thick as 6 inches and as wide as 13 inches, which is not bad at all for such a lightweight and compact planer. What is also really convenient about the WEN 6552T Benchtop Planer is that it comes with a very accurate and easy-to-set depth adjustment system, that can make cuts as deep as 1/8 of an inch or as shallow as 1/32 of an inch. It’s a very precise planer to say the least.
The WEN 6552T Benchtop Planer is a 15-amp planer that can deliver over 25,000 cuts per minute, and although it is a single speed planer, it allows you to work with considerable speed. This planer also comes complete with folding infeed and outfeed tables, plus a nice little dust port too. In terms of overall durability, the WEN 6552T Benchtop Planer is OK, although not the best, but what can be said is that the included blades last for a long time and can deal with the hardest of woods with ease.
What's to like
The good part about the WEN 6552T Benchtop Planer is that it is very affordable, yet can also handle some decent sized boards, plus it’s also one of the most portable options around, not to mention precise, accurate, and user-friendly.
What's not to like
Something we do not like about the WEN 6552T Benchtop Planer is that various components could be made with higher-quality materials. Particularly, there seem to be some issues with the feed rollers.
Makita 2012NB Wood Planer
Here we have what is by far the most expensive wood planer on our list, but it also seems to be the most durable and user-friendly by far. You know what they say, you get what you pay for, and here, you do get a whole lot.
The Makita 2012NB Wood Planer comes in at just over 60 pounds, and it’s quite compact too, making it a very portable option. It has been designed as a portable and easy-to-set up benchtop planer that can easily be used at home or on the jobsite. One of the most impressive aspects of the Makita 2012NB Wood Planer is that it is super durable. Hands down, it has to be the most durable planer on our list. It’s made with some very high-quality materials shown to withstand the test of time, and yes, they can handle some punishment.
The Makita 2012NB Wood Planer is not the largest in terms of capacity, as it can handle boards 12 inches wide and just over 6 inches in thickness, making it one of the lower capacity options on our list.
This item can cut up to 1/8 of an inch at a time, and of course, it is fully adjustable for cutting depth, which is very easily done. It features a 15 amp motor with 8,500 RPM. No, the speed is not adjustable, and it’s not the fastest planer around, but it does get the job done just fine. Moreover, the Makita 2012NB Wood Planer comes with several other useful features, such as the LED light a power indicator, the dust hood, and the infeed/outfeed tables.
What's to like
The good part about the Makita 2012NB Wood Planer is its awesome level of durability. Simply put, in terms of benchtop planers, it’s one of the longest lasting options around.
What's not to like
What’s not great about the Makita 2012NB Wood Planer is its price. It will cost you nearly $1,000, which is not cheap.
PORTER-CABLE PC60THP Hand Planer
So here we are totally switching gears, because instead of a larger tabletop planer, this is a small hand planer, something designed for easy and fast wood planing of small objects.
The PORTER-CABLE PC60THP Hand Planer is a very small hand-operated planer. It’s designed to smoothen out small imperfections and to handle smaller objects. It’s not a full-size planer that you can send boards through. Instead of an infeed table, rollers, and all of those aspects, here, you simply hold the PORTER-CABLE PC60THP Hand Planer in your hand and pass it over the wood.
It’s definitely a very small, portable, and lightweight option to go with, convenient and ideal for situations where you need to do some quick wood planing, but don’t need a full-size planer.
The PORTER-CABLE PC60THP Hand Planer does have 10 depth adjustments, plus the cutting knives are quite sharp and long-lasting. For such a small and inexpensive wood planer, it has a surprising level of durability, as it is made of high-quality materials.
The cutting blades are made out of carbide, which is about as good as it gets for this kind of thing. The PORTER-CABLE PC60THP Hand Planer comes with a 6-amp motor and a max speed of 16,500 RPM, which is actually quite impressive for a small handheld tool. This item also comes with dual dust removal ports, one on each side, both of which can easily be attached to a vacuum.
What's to like
The good part about the PORTER-CABLE PC60THP Hand Planer, besides its very low price, is that it is a great item if you just need to some quick wood planing and need a highly portable tool. It’s small, lightweight, handheld, and very easy to use, not to mention quite durable.
What's not to like
Something that is not great about the PORTER-CABLE PC60THP Hand Planer is that it just cannot handle very large tasks. Moreover, planing anything slightly wider is hard because the base is not very wide, making it hard to perform accurate and even cutting on large pieces.
Now, before you go out and buy just any old wood planer that strikes your fancy, there are some important considerations you should keep in mind, so let’s quickly go over these.
Types of Planers
What you need to know is that there are about 50 different types of wood planers out there. However, we are going to assume that you need one for basic wood planing, so for flatting and evening out pieces of wood. In this case, there are 3 main choices to go with. These include full size planers for large pieces of wood, smaller and more portable benchtop planers, and small handheld planers.
Something else to keep an eye out for when choosing a wood planer is how powerful it is. Generally speaking, for a benchtop planer, which is what we mainly reviewed here today, a 15-amp motor will do just fine.
Just as long as your wood planer has enough power, and good enough knives to deal with the hardest of woods, you should be just fine. Remember, the harder the wood, the more power you’re going to need.
When purchasing a wood planer, something else you need to look out for is what the maximum cutting capacity is, specifically the width. This is very important because how wide of a board the planer in question can handle will dictate what kind of task you can use it for.
As you can see, the maximum cutting depth of any planer we looked at is 13 inches. Make sure the planer can handle boards wide enough to suit your needs.
Something you need to avoid at all costs is a planer that is going to cause a lot of scalloping. This is when there are slight indents or a bit of unevenness. The best way to avoid this is to get a high-quality wood planer with good rollers, a fast cutting speed, and very sharp knives.
You also want to look for a wood planer which has an accurate shoe. The shoe is what holds the wood down, and when the shoe is not as good as it should be, it can push down too hard at first, raising the lumber up, and causing a much deeper cut at the beginning. This is of course not ideal.
How do you use a planer?
A wood planer is very easy to use. Simply fold out the infeed and outfeed tables, then choose the cutting depth. The cutting depth will depend on how much evening out you need to do. Then, turn the planer on, feed the wood through, and that’s about it.
What does a planer do?
A wood planer is designed to even out and flatten boards, so there are no high or low points. The purpose is to create a totally straight, flat, and even board.
Should I look for a thickness planer with dust collector?
Although a dust collector is not 100% necessary, it will help make life easier when it comes to cleanup time.
How do you replace knife blades on a planer?
Explaining this with words alone probably won’t be good enough for you, so here is a video to explain it in detail.
How much does a thickness planer cost?
This really depends on what you are looking for. A large cabinet planer may cost several thousand dollars, a benchtop planer can cost up to $1,000, and a smaller handheld unit can cost a few hundred dollars.
If you are looking for the best wood planer on the market, we recommend either of the models from DEWALT. They come at good prices, have great functionality, and the DEWALT brand name always offers excellent customer service too.