What is a Planer Machine?
A planer is a larger machine tool that creates precise flat surfaces and cuts slots, much like a shaper machine. However, unlike a shaper where the workpiece remains stationary, in a planer, the workpiece slots move between operations.
With numerous excellent options on the market, selecting one can be confusing. Don’t worry! I’ve done the research and made a list of the best planer machines.
Reviewed & Approved
After carefully reviewing and comparing five outstanding planer machines, the DEWALT Thickness Planer emerges as the Editor’s Choice. With its exceptional craftsmanship, durability, and comfortable design, this planer machine stands out from the rest. We highly recommend it as the top pick for anyone in need of reliable and high-performing Product.
Our Top Picks
Best Overall – CRAFTSMAN Planer 8,000 RPM
Best Value for Money – WEN PL1252
Best Recommendation – POWERTEC PL1252V
Points to consider while buying Planer Machines
When purchasing a Planer machine for woodworking, there are several key factors to consider:
- Motor: The power of a benchtop planer’s motor should match your project needs. For softer woods like pine, 1 to 1 1/2 horsepower is sufficient. If working with hardwoods like oak or maple, opt for a 2-hp motor. Ensure it’s a 15-amp motor for efficiency and reliability.
- Blades: Thickness planer blades come in straight and spiral styles. Straight knives are common, with some being reversible or sharpen able. Spiral blades offer consistent results but are usually for commercial-grade machines.
- Cutting Depth: Choose a planer with a cutting depth suitable for your needs. More powerful planers can remove more material in one pass. However, it’s often best to err on the side of caution and remove thinner amounts to prevent overheating.
- Allowance: Consider the maximum board width and thickness a planer can handle. Look for models that accommodate thicker materials, not just wider ones.
- Snipe: Snipe is an unwanted dip at the end of a board after planning. Minimize it by having a helper support the board as it exits the planer. Leaving extra length on boards and cutting off sniped ends later can also help.
- Gauge and Depth Stop: Many planers have built-in gauges for setting board thickness. Depth stops prevent you from exceeding the machine’s maximum cutting depth, ensuring precise results.
- Dust Collection: Planers create a lot of dust and wood chips. Models with dust ports can connect to a vacuum or collection system, reducing mess and preserving the machine.
- Speed: Different speeds matter: cutterhead speed (rpm), cutting speed (cuts per minute), and feed speed. Higher cutterhead speeds lead to smoother results. Adjustable feed speeds allow control over the finish quality.
By considering these points, you can make an informed decision and select a planer machine that meets your specific requirements.
List of Best Planer Machines
- Purchase includes one stationary 13″ Planer, in/out feed tables with fasteners (attached to the base…
- Three knife cutter head of the thickness planer delivers 30% longer knife life and makes knife…
- Two-speed gear box of the wood planer allows users to change feed speed to optimizing cuts per inch…
Consider the DeWalt 13-inch thickness planer for high-capacity needs. It can handle materials up to 13 inches wide and 6 inches high. It weighs about 92 pounds for stability. This DeWalt model features a robust 15-amp motor, a three-blade cutterhead at 10,000 rpm, and adjustable feed speed (96 or 179 cpi). It performs well on various woods, with minimal snipe due to an extended outfeed table. The chip ejection port is powerful but may require adjustments for dust collection.
|Removes up to 1/8 inch with each pass||Expensive|
|Equipped with integrated infeed and outfeed tables||Inconvenient placement of the chip-ejection port|
|Comes with two included feed speeds|
|Features fan-assisted chip ejection|
- HARD AND SOFT WOOD MATERIAL REMOVAL: 15 Amp motor of the woodworking planer provides power for both…
- MAXIMUM STOCK REMOVAL: The thickness planer features Poly-V Cutterhead drive for maximum stock…
- SMOOTH OPERATION: The wood planer featuring two knife, quick change, solid steel cutter head mounted…
Consider the Craftsman Electric Benchtop Thickness Planer for its affordability and ability to handle up to 12-inch boards. This 61-pound planer, with a 15-amp motor and two-blade cutter, can remove a maximum of 3/32 inch from boards. It lacks a feed-speed adjustment but runs at an approximate speed of 23 feet per minute. Expect a 2-inch snipe at the end of each board. It features fold-up infeed and outfeed tables for convenient storage in small spaces.
|Up to 16,000 cuts per minute||Must be securely bolted to a workbench to prevent movement.|
|Foldable infeed and outfeed tables||Generates slight snipe on the final 2 inches of the board.|
|Built-in dust-collection port|
- Compact with less weight for easy transporting to the jobsite
- Engineered for faster, easier blade changes
- Low noise (83dB) for operator comfort
Consider the Makita 2012NB 12-Inch Planer for its portability and 6 3/32-inch height capacity. It’s stable at 61 pounds, quieter (83 decibels), and has a 15-amp motor with an 8,500 rpm cutterhead. It offers a maximum cutting depth of 1/8 inch, minimal snipe on shorter boards, and smooth results. The feed speed isn’t adjustable (28 feet per minute), but it’s efficient. It comes with a bump power switch, precision gauge, and offers a separate dust collection attachment.
|Ensures board stability with its Interna-Lok head clamp.||Dust collector port is not included; sold separately.|
|Minimizes or eliminates snipe.||Comes at a high cost.|
|Provides excellent stability during operation.|
|Operates more quietly compared to competing models.|
4. WEN PL1252
- Plane boards up to 6 inches thick and 12.5 inches wide
- 15A motor generates 20,000 cuts per minute at a 26 feet per minute feed rate
- Includes two reversible 12.5-inch SK5 blades (model BP122K)
Consider the Wen 15-Amp Thickness Planer for robust woodwork. It handles up to 1/8 inch wood removal from boards up to 12.5 inches wide and 6 inches high, with a powerful 10,000 rpm motor and two straight blades. The height adjustment allows 1/16-inch precision. Expect minor calibration on the gauge. Be mindful of slight snipe on the last few inches of the board.
The planer lacks feed-speed adjustment but moves boards at about 26 feet per minute. It weighs 55.6 pounds, so bolt it down for stability. It includes a dust collection port, but some chips may remain on the feed plate. Safety features include a bump-type on-off switch.
|Eliminates up to 1/8 inch of material from the surface.||Exhibits snipe in the final few inches.|
|Leaves the wood with a smooth finish.||Needs to be securely bolted down to prevent any movement.|
|Ideal for the task of resurfacing rough lumber.|
- FUNCTION: This portable thickness planer serves as an essential tool and workhorse for a wide range…
- POWERFUL: Combines an impressive 15 amp motor with an innovative 2 blade cutting system that…
- EFFECTIVE: Has a heavy duty, anti-wobble base that’s ultra sturdy – providing a non-marring…
Consider the PowerTec Benchtop Thickness Planer for lighter-duty tasks. It can handle a 12 1/2-inch width and 6-inch thickness, primarily removing up to 3/32 inches from boards 5 inches wide or less. Be cautious with wider boards and adjust the depth accordingly to prevent overheating.
The planer has a 15-amp motor, 9,400 rpm two-blade cutterhead, and foldable tables for storage. It weighs 63.4 pounds and is generally stable during operation. Expect minimal snipe at board ends. Note that it lacks a built-in dust collection port, but one can be purchased separately.
|Includes foldable infeed and outfeed tables.||Removes a maximum of 3/32 inch of material from the surface.|
|Features an anti-wobble base for stability.||Does not include a dust collector.|
|Equipped with side-mounted carrying handles.|
|Offers an affordable price point.|
Choosing the right planer machine can be challenging due to the variety of options available. This guide will simplify your process so that you can make an informed decision. We’ve also highlighted our top pick for manufacturing in 2023. Also check out our article on Best Shaper Machines in 2023. Feel free to ask questions in the comments if you need further assistance.