The Ultimate Guide To Buying The Best Benchtop Planer

The Ultimate Guide To Buying The Best Benchtop Planer

A wood planer is an excellent addition to any craftsman’s equipment. It is an essential accessory to produce wood boards of even thickness. The conventional wood planer served more like a handheld tool.

However, today’s consumers benefit from an updated version that comes with a planing platform. The platform guarantees accurate, and you can electronically or manually control all adjustments.

Finishing Wood Board

This tool significantly helps when you are dire need of creating smoothly shaped boards having a fixed thickness. There are many types of wood planers. However, the purpose of this tool remains the same. It dramatically works for projects where the user needs to adjoining parts or sides together.

There is a wide variety of planers that are popular among consumers. Different types of various specifications and sizes include many power-held and benchtop planers.

There are various designs available to you. However, consider the comfort level and the nature of your projects when you are about to purchase a benchtop planer.

Product Name

Our Rating

Best Benchtop Planer

Winner: Makita 2012NB 12-Inch Planer

Runner-Up: Dewalt DW734 Benchtop Planer

Alternative: WEN 6550 Benchtop Thickness Planer

2nd Alternative: Powertec Pl1251 Planer

Best Portable Wood Planer

Grizzly G0505 Benchtop Planer

Best Benchtop Planer

We have recommended a few reputed models that are hugely popular among today’s consumers.

Winner: Makita 2012NB 12-Inch Planer

The Makita Planer ranks as the winner on our recommendation list. The product is a helpful addition to all occasional and professional users who are looking for a competent benchtop planer. Some notable features:

  • Designed for maximum stability
  • plusCompact and portable
  • plusEasier and faster blade changes
  • Low noise for a quiet operation
  • Utterly adjustable depth stop for repeat cuts
  • plusLarge table extensions
  • plusLED lights help determine  a power source

Thanks to its convenient use and the impressive Interna-Lok head clamp, the Makita 2012 is an excellent investment for people who are looking for a portable planer. Users can quickly change the blade without much hassle. The brand’s patent Interna-Lok automated head-clamp is the highlight of this model.

The model boasts everything you are looking for in durable and compact benchtop planer. It features an elegant design and offers smooth operation. One of the best features about the machine is that it promises quiet operation.

The product is perfect for professional artisans who specialize in closets, cabinets, staircases and furniture projects. The Makita 2012 also features additional accessories including wrenches, magnetic holders, and a toolbox.

Makita 2012NB 12-Inch Planer

Source: makitatools.com

OUR RATING

If you are looking for the perfect finish regardless of the kind of wood you use, the product emerges as a clear winner. Not only you can deliver your work faster, and you are less likely to make any accuracy errors.

Apart from having an incredibly stable design, the model also features significant table extensions. Thanks to a powerful 15 motor, you get a power-packed performance with an 8,500 rotations/minutes load speed.  The engine offers a quiet operation with the noise level coming up at just 83dB.

Moreover, it takes no significant effort to change the disposable double-edged blades. Users benefit from the general Interna-Lok features, which improves the entire planing procedure.

Although the Makita 2012NB is a bit expensive, it is the best planer for the money. The planer holds an impressive rating score on Amazon.com. Hundreds of buyers have given mostly positive reviews to praise this gem. All interested buyers can purchase the Makita 2012NB for $490 with free shipping.

CHECK PRICE ON AMAZONRead Our In-Depth Review

Runner-Up: Dewalt DW734 Benchtop Planer

The DW734 Benchtop Planer attains our runner-up spot, thanks to its impressive 12-1/2 inch cutting thickness. The machine offers an incredible 20,000 RPM. The device features a 15-amp motor with a three-knife cutter head, providing a 10,000 RPM speed. Some notable features:

  • Three knife cutter-head offering 96 cuts per inch with 10,000 RPM
  • plusRobust 15-amp motor for handling deeper cuts
  • plusLong-lasting, reversible and disposable knives
  • Extra-long infeed and outfeed tables
  • Four-column carriage lock

One of the best features about the DW734 is its quick and efficient performance in smoothing out the roughest of boards. The machine delivers unmatched performance with accurate depth adjustments in just one or two passes depending on the hardness and roughness of the boards.

Other impressive features of the product are its snipe-free rollers and a cutter head with 30,000 RPM cutting knives. Users also get a draw-board with an adjustable table relative to the cutter head. Thanks to these handy features, it is easier to control the thickness to garner professional results.

Dewalt DW734 Benchtop Planer

Source: dewalt.com

OUR RATING

The razor-sharp knives of the DEWALT DW734 because can reverse or dispose of without much hassle. The blades also last 30% longer than conventional knives.

Another great feature of this model is its fantastic debris management system, thanks to its dust secure shop vacuum attachment. There is also a standing dust collector for quick and efficient debris collection.

Over 300 customers have purchased it from Amazon.com and consider it the best portable planer for the money. It has an impressive rating score with hundreds of positive reviews. You can save $30 and purchase it for just $399 from Amazon.

CHECK PRICE ON AMAZONRead Our In-Depth Review

Alternative: WEN 6550 Benchtop Thickness Planer

Nothing like the standard wood planers out on the market, the WEN 6550 looks great with a granite table. Although the granite table adds to the weight of this machine, it offers excellent support to the wood without marring its surface. Some notable features:

  • Sturdy granite table to offer a non-marring surface for wood
  • plusPlane boards up to 12.5 inches wide and 6 inches thick 
  • plus15-amp motor for 18,800 cuts per minute
  • Fan-assisted dust port efficiently takes care of sawdust
  • Powertec Pl1251 Planer

Individuals who thought granite was only for kitchen counters get a pleasant surprise when they come across the WEN 6550. Thanks to this feature, your boards move smoothly through the machine without any scarring or marking.

The granite also reduces the chances that a wood board might lodge in the center. It features an efficient 15 amp motor, capable of producing more than 18,000 cuts in just one minute.

WEN Benchtop Thickness Planer

Source: wenproducts.com

OUR RATING

The model is engineered to accommodate 26 feet of wood boards in a single minute. Users particularly like the dust port that collects dust off the machine as well as the adjustable depth functionality.

The WEN 6550 is a valuable addition to any professional or amateur woodworker to guarantee accurate results within minutes. The benchtop thickness planer is one of the most affordable planers that are currently available in the market.

The model is a proof of the manufacturer’s commitment to providing the best of products to their clientele. WEN is a trusted brand that has a nationwide network of highly qualified professional technicians.

Buyers get a two-year warranty on this product. If you want to purchase a planer that handles even the toughest of woods, you will find WEN 6550 in dozens of thickness planer reviews.

It is hugely popular on Amazon where hundreds of buyers have purchased it for just over $250. The model has received mostly positive reviews and offers excellent value for your hard-earned money.

CHECK PRICE ON AMAZONRead Our In-Depth Review

2nd Alternative: Powertec Pl1251 Planer

The brand Powertec has impressed both users and critics with the launch of the mighty Pl1251 benchtop planer. The manufacturer of this engineering gem is known to push the limits with its affordable yet highly functional product-range. Some notable features:

  • Index pin set-up for EZ blade replacement
  • plusSpindle lock for safe blade Change
  • plusWorkpiece return roller for planing extra long boards
  • Incredible accuracy and stability with four-column design
  • Portability with side mounted carrying handles

The Powertec PL1251 is one of the best affordable and high-quality benchtop planer that features all the characteristic of a planer engineered for long-term use.

The PL1251 offers an impressive blend of efficiency, price, and power to design a unique accessory to speed up your woodwork. Users are impressed with its remarkable specs including a fast cutter head and a durable 15 amp motor.

The model delivers exceptional performance to assist all professional projects. However, it is particularly helpful for DIY enthusiasts to benefit from its impressive capabilities for its economical price.

Powertec Pl1251 Planer

Source: powertecproducts.com

OUR RATING

The PL1251 features a compact design. Being lightweight, it weighs just about 60 pounds and serves as a valuable addition to smaller shops that do not offer too much space for a large-sized planer.

The model is excellent for planing all types of wood with ultimate accuracy with almost 19,000 cuts per minute. With a cutter head speed of 9400 RPM, this model is unique for finishing all sorts of DIY projects.

Thanks to a couple of quick adjustments, set up are minimal and convenient. The Powertec 12-1/2 planer is ideal for amateurs, DIY enthusiasts or even professional users for an ultra-smooth finish with 100% accurate results. However, this model is not particularly suited for heavy-duty planing projects.

The PL1251 has received rave reviews from its dozens of customers who have purchased it from Amazon.com. If you are interested in an affordable benchtop planer for your DIY or small woodworking projects, the model is an excellent choice for just around $240 with free shipping.

CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

Best Portable Wood Planer

Here is our top pick for the best portable wood planer:

Grizzly G0505 Benchtop Planer

A G0505 thickness planer is a light-weight machine. Thanks to its features and weight, the model is dubbed as the best wood planer regarding flexibility and portability. However, do not underestimate its stability and performance. The machine is capable of producing exceptional cuts and sturdy enough to sit when you’re cutting wood. Some notable features:

  • Affordable than other thickness planers
  • plusEasy setup and operation
  • plusLarge table extension
  • Metal construction for durability
  • Capable of cutting through all kinds of hardwood

The model features an impressive design along with a robust performance with its 2 HP motor. Users get a 32 FMP feed rate and a 10000 RPM cutter head. The design embodies large table extensions and top-mounted return-rollers.

Moreover, other features including the knives (1/8” thick) and an optimal cutting width of 12-1/2 inch make sure that this is a product worth your valuable money.

Grizzly G0505 12-1/2-Inch Planer

Source: grizzly.com

OUR RATING

Although its cutter-head boasts just two knives and not three like other regular models, you get the same professional results you get out of other expensive machines. In addition to that, the blades also stay sharp for a longer time and do not get dull over time. The G0505 delivers top-notch and consistent performance.

The machine also features an On/Off toggle switch along with a handy safety lock. With its thermal overload protection capabilities, there is no overheating to damage the tool.

The thickness planer comprises a wrench and a knife setting jig. Accurate height adjustment of the planer ensures you can insert any wood materials to your desired size.

If you don’t want to spend a fortune on a thickness planer that performance like a professional model and comfortably fits into your budget, then the Grizzly G050 is your product. It is available on Amazon.com for around $375 with a $49 shipping price.

CHECK PRICE ON AMAZONRead Our In-Depth Review

Where And When Does A Planer Prove Useful?

When you need to level random pieces of wood, a planer serves by producing your desired results according to your task. If you have purchased wood boards of different sizes from the lumber shop, having a wood planer is the solution to all your problems.

Users can quickly get flat wood boards of even thickness by feeding them into an efficient wood planer. Users can always put any wood through a wood planer, as long as it is of good quality.

Moreover, experts also utilize rough and small cut blocks to feed them into a planer. That helps them to accomplish perfect deck spindles in no time.

If any of your projects require adjoining, then a good quality planer is of great help. It is a must-have accessory for all professional and DIY enthusiasts who are looking to equip their woodshop with all the right accessories.

The flattening capabilities of a wood planer are also helpful for reclaiming and re-using old wood. Although, some craftsmen warn against it since it can nick the blades and affect their sharpness. However, recycling wood is a cost-effective solution that goes a long way since can easily replace a set of carbide tipped knives every once in a while.

Cutech Benchtop Planer

It is an indispensable accessory for all tasks that must utilize individually sized boards. Purchasing a wood planer helps you to use old pieces of wood like pallets, lumber, and floorboards. This way you can save valuable time, money and effort.

Many artisans shy away from purchasing a wood planer since it only does one job. However, considering the convenience it brings to finishing your work on time, it is one of the must-have accessories in any woodshop.

People who are looking forward to purchasing a planer should choose a model with a 12-13″ thickness which is suitable for most home-based wood shops.

Before you begin working with a wood planer, make sure you receive proper training to operate it. It is not something you can start right away, and any inexperienced individual must take care while using this too. Improper usage can result in inclined planes, snipes and tear outs.

That can have a devastating effect on the speed of your workload. Hence, practice as much as you can before you start using a wood planer for more extensive or professional projects. When you understand the dynamics and operation of a wood planer, you can quickly get your desired results in no time.

What To Look For When You Are Buying A Benchtop Planer?

Before you are about to purchase a wood planer, make sure you know what you want to buy for finishing your project. There are many kinds of different models having various specifications. Some of these models are electric, cordless or benchtop planers.

It is essential to go through the specifications and to know about the kind of wood you are most likely to use.

Moreover, before choosing a product make sure you find out about the reviews and ratings on a product. If you are looking for the best benchtop planer, you must select a product that is engineered to handle your type of wood surface.

In addition to that, other variables associated with the decision of purchasing a good quality benchtop planer. There are hundreds of models that are available in the market for different price tags. However, not all of these deliver the same results.

Never rely on a cheap benchtop planer that fails to live up to its claim. Moreover, avoid buying expensive products that offer pretty much the same specs as other low-priced alternatives. Not all costly models deliver real value for your money. It is only their features, performance, warranty, and maintenance that help to decide whether it is really the best benchtop planer.

Here are a few important factors you must take into account before you purchase a benchtop planer:

Efficiency

One of the most critical aspects to measure the quality of a machine is its operational efficiency. That is important since it decides whether the performance justifies the price tag.

Using Benchtop Planer

Make sure you read enough reviews and check ratings of a product from a trusted sources such as Amazon.com to understand if the benchtop planer you intend to buy produces the desired results or not. Check for warranty and only buy products from known and trusted brands.

Motor Horsepower

Naturally, the more powerful a motor is, the more efficiency you can expect out of it. It is essential that you choose an engine with enough power to finish your tasks. The most popular types of benchtop planers range from 10-15 amp to deliver convincing performances.

Cost

Different types of wood planers are available for variable price tags. You go for a device that best fits into your budget. This estimate should also include the cost it takes to install the machine in case of electric models.

Moreover, be wary of the maintenance costs associated with a model. Don’t choose inexpensive or mediocre models that are low-priced since maintaining them can prove to be more expensive in the long run.

Flexibility And Ease Of Use

If you are not an expert craftsman, don’t choose a machine that features a complicated mechanism. Newbies and amateurs must purchase a benchtop planer that features convenient and easy to use features. Moreover, follow the instructions that each brand includes every product.

A good benchtop planer boasts the flexibility to operate under all kinds of environments.

Blade Speed

The blades of a benchtop planer rotate at very high speeds. These speeds can range from 15000-22000 RPM. Since you get a higher stroke count with more knives; go for models that have an adequate number of blades.

Safety

Another vital factor that validates the quality of a benchtop planer is its safety options. Always choose a machine that has its blades not exposed. Encountering casualties with this type of devices is easy. Since you have to operate a tool with blades rotation at high speeds, it is essential that you choose a model with cutting-edge safety mechanisms.

Keep it away from children of all ages.

Self-Indexing Knives

Roughly all straight-knife cutter head models boast double-edged and self-indexing knives. Since blades that don’t self-index can take considerable time to set, they make the entire process lengthy and complicated; make sure you also go for self-indexing knives.

Sharpening Planer Knives

Moreover, an automatic cutter head lock dramatically helps to prevent the head from rotating when you are removing the bolts and knives.

Stops And Gauges

Many models feature a gauge to indicate how much wood you will remove with each pass. This way you can avoid taking too large a bite that leads to a more profound snipe. Some updated products also feature adjustable preset depth stops to prevent planing a board thinner than the desired thickness.

In addition to these factors, make sure you compare the price and specs of every model and compare features with other products.

Conclusion

We have elaborated all critical features and aspects that are important for choosing the best benchtop planer for your needs. You can also select a model from our recommended products to help you finish your project with ease and on time.

Resources:

WiseGeekEHowReddit

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