A wood planer is a wood working tool that’s been around for a very long time. Carpenters through the ages have used this simple tool to smooth raw pieces of wood into even surfaces.
There’s something special about sliding a planer across a section of wood and feeling the shavings spill forth. A little pile of trimmings gathers about your feet, and the smell of fresh wood fills the air. A craftsman loves the sensation of being close to his work, shaping the wood, and transforming its roughness into a silky smooth texture.
Whether you’re a beginner, eager to start your first project, or a skilled carpenter looking for the best wood planer for your furniture business, this chart will help you in choosing the perfect power tool for your project.
A strong selection of possible desirable features, and extras has been included in the chart. Please take the time to compare and analyze the selection. While only a few of the vast number of wood planers has been selected for the chart, you’ll still gain a good insight into the best features that various manufacturers have to offer.
Ultimate Electric Planer Guide
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A brief history of planers
The history of the wood planer is almost as old as the art of woodworking itself. Ancient craftsmen have been using the planer for millennia to create furnishings and buildings. Examples of antiques and ruins where you can clearly see signs of the use of a simple wood planer, abound across the world.
The hand-held planer is an electrically powered version of the planer. This power tool uses a guide plate and a motor/blade housing, which is expertly guided by a craftsman’s hands across the wood. A series of rotating blades extends from the housing. These blades rotate at speed, trimming the surface of the wood. Either a power cord or a battery provides the electric power.
The table planer is much larger than its handheld cousin. It’s an electric device, and the work is more focused on feeding the wood along a flat table toward a perpendicularly mounted series of blades. The raw wood enters at one side of the table, with the smoothly worked wood exiting the other side. If you have a stack of wood, the electric wood planer makes quick work of it.
Quite simply, a wood planer is going to make any woodwork you undertake look better. It removes all signs of roughness, allowing you to bring out the natural grain of the wood. You can work on the thickness of the wood, or take an edge off it. If a door is scraping against the ground, it’s a simple matter to take the door off its hinges and shave a fine edge off.
Reviews of the 5 best wood planers
So what should you look for when trying to pick out the ideal wood planer?
There was a time when a carpenter carried around a whole bagful of planes, each set for a specific function.
Today, a woodworker might only have one or two wood planers. It could be that they own a table planer for their business, set in their garage or workshop. On top of that, they may own a portable planer, possibly manual, but more likely electrically powered.
Power tools are designed with a focus toward flexibility and adjustment that no single manually operated hand tool can match. This applies just as much for a wood planer. So it’s really a matter of weighing the many features, specifications and desirable qualities of each planer in question.
High quality construction and a reputable manufacturer are also always good guides.
Finally, a knowledge of the type of planer you’re going to need, based on the work or project you’re undertaking, is essential in making an informed choice.
Here’s five of the best choices for wood planers. Keep in mind all that they can do and what kind of work you’re going to be using them for.
Let’s have a close look and maybe even add one or two of them to your toolkit.
Porter-Cable PC60THPK 6.0-Amp Hand Planer
The heavy duty 6-Amp motor that drives this highly rated hand planer ensures smooth and powerful operation when working with even the roughest wood grains.
Sealed in a tough box with a kit of two carbide cutting blades and two high-speed steel (HSS) cutting blades, this top offering from Porter-Cable is ready for any kind of work.
It’s the perfect companion for a contractor working onsite. Expect to speedily work through smoothing of planks and chamfering of edges with equal ease.
Power is the promise of this smoothly operating power tool. It provides 16,500 rpm of solid woodworking performance.
Add to this the ability to make a 5/64-inch cut in one pass and you’re looking at an extremely powerful handheld wood planer.
The PC60THPK features an attractive low-profile housing, with a comfortable grip. You won’t end up with dust all over the place, because there’s a handy attachable dust bag and two extraction ports for sucking up all of those wood shavings.
Additional Features – 10-stop depth adjuster. 11 1/2-inch aluminum shoe with 3 chamfer grooves. 3 year limited warranty. Power – Corded/electric. Weight – 13.2lbs
Jet JWP-208HH 20-inch Helical Head Planer
Put this helical head planer in your workshop and you’ll see productivity sharply rise as it cuts through piles of raw wood.
The 20-inch planing width is ideal for feeding in wide, rough wood, and you can’t fail to be satisfied as the wood is rapidly transformed into smooth planks in no time at all.
The reason the JWP-208HH makes such short work of even the toughest wood is its aggressive 5HP induction motor driving 92 staggered carbide blades. This is a tool that will barely hesitate as the wood is fed in.
It just quietly and efficiently outputs wood with a superior smooth finish.
The first thing you notice about this planer is it’s high quality construction. It has been built with durability in mind and there’s plenty of evidence of cast iron and strong steel within the design.
This is the ideal addition to any high volume workshop looking for a power tool to boost production.
Additional Features – Two speed gearbox. Steel infeed and outfeed rollers. Large cast-iron table. Dimensions – 44 x 28 x 23 inches. Weight – 837lbs.
Makita 1002BA 4-3/8 Inch Curved Base Planer
This curved base planer from Makita utilizes an extremely powerful 12-Amp motor to make arches and arcs in timber. This power, driving the motor at 15,000 rpm, quickly and effortlessly planes customized curves and graceful arches into the hardest woods, saving hours of work on difficult projects.
The curved base that is a feature of this planer from Makita, makes short work of any project requiring a curved plane. It’s a heavy duty power tool that means business. It features the engineering build and quality that is a trademark of Makita. Lean down on the large front knob and you’ll feel the barely restrained power of the 1002BA carve out curves. It’s beautifully balanced and allows for fine control with two-handed operation.
This is the ideal high-powered tool for creative hobbyists and log home builders.
Additional Features – 4-3/8 inch curved base. Adjustable bevel radius to 11-13/16 inch. Notches out logs at 12-5/8 inch curved radius. Large ejection chute. Power – corded/electric. Front and rear grips for fine control.
Makita 1806B 10.9 Amp 6-3/4-Inch Planer
Makita produces power tools that are unmatched in design and performance. They are powerhouses built from the finest materials to satisfy workers using power tools in the harshest environments.
The 1806B Planer is an exceptional tool featuring a strong 10.9-Amp motor, and a two bladed cutter head. Running at a super-fast 15,000 rpm, the blades glide unhesitatingly over the toughest woods. The twin planer blades can plane up to 6-3/4 inches in a single pass, and is precision machined for stability and dependability.
What more can you ask from such a superior power tool?
The Makita 1806B puts a check against all of the boxes for user satisfaction. It’s powerful, and built to last by the engineers of Makita. It’s also incredibly comfortable to use, with solid front and back grips.
This is a power tool built to satisfy contractors working on tough projects. The impressive performance specifications ensure that any carpenter will quickly plane through any fine woodworking task. It’s simply ideal for professional contractors working on doors, windows, construction framing and any other challenging work.
Additional Features – Planing depth – 1/16 inch. Wattage – 1200 watts. Dimensions – 20.8 x 9.1 x 6 inches. Power – Corded/electric. Weight – 19.3lbs
JET JJP-12HH 12-Inch Planer/Jointer with Helical Cutterhead
This innovative workshop tool combines the best features of a jointer and a planer into one machine. While a planer thicknesses wood, shaving areas of wood off, a jointer functions differently, flattening the face of a warped or twisted board.
This combination device can easily be switched from being a jointer to a planer with a few swift motions. This is a perfect solution when you need the benefits of both tools but don’t have enough space.
The helical cutterhead is powered by an impressive 3-horsepower induction motor, ensuring a quick and precise cut to planks of wood on its 12-inch wide, 55-inch long cast-iron table.
This ably powered Jet JJP-12HH will breeze through planing wood for any construction project. It’s the perfect machine to get the job done, no matter how complex or intensive the task.
It’s built tough, out of rugged steel and cast-iron. The wood feeds into an individually adjustable infeed table that has been precision engineered to ensure a smooth cut. As the wood is evenly planed by the helical cutterhead, it quickly exits to the outfeed table. The result is a fast and superior cut.
Additional Features – Oversized handwheels for fine control. Dust canopy. Five year limited warranty. Dimensions – 55 x 34 x 40 inches. Weight – 600lbs.