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The Ultimate Wood Planer Buying Guide-Home Woodworking Tools

28 min read
a Thickness Planer

Are you interested in purchasing a wood planer? If so, then you need to read this guide. It will provide you with information and tips that you will find useful in your wood planer search, and your wood planer purchase.

Also, one of the most common questions woodworkers have is what is the best wood planer? Finding the right planer will not just save you money, but it will also help you increase your productivity while creating better-quality pieces. Each craftsman has their own requirements for a wood planer that depends on their specific project and skill level. Because of this, I have created an individualized wood planer buying guide to help you find the right one for you!

What is a Thickness Planer?

A planer is a wood working tool that produces boards that have an even thickness. It can also smoothen boards. This is done by shaving off thin bits of wood from the board in many passes across the in-feed table and out-feed table.

Thickness planers come in different sizes, from tabletop models up to machines with five-foot beds. The smaller planers are normally belt-driven or have a small 10 hp (7.5 kW) motor; larger models have spindle drives or large motors, as much as 33 hp (24 kW).

Must have for Home Workshops

Wood planers are a must-have for woodworkers, and you already know that. They need this in their home workshop.

It is used in preparing wood surfaces for finishing or assembly. There are manual and the electric wood planers. If you have a small project then you can use a manual planer where you roll it by hand to flatten boards while they pass thru a cutter head.

Electric planers have faster production rates due to them being powered with electricity; however they cost more and are heavier than a manual plane.

What is the Best planer to buy?

DEWALT Thickness planer

Wood Planer Buying Guide

Main Features

  • This is a powerful thickness planer- has a powerful 15 AMP, 20,000 RPM motor
  • Its capacity is 13 inches wide
  • Comes with in-feed and Out-feed table
  • Its DW 735 model
  • Comes with extra set of knives
  • It has 2 different speeds
  • Handles larger cuts
  • This lunchbox planer comes with a three knife cutter-head
  • Has a fan-assisted chip ejection that vacuums chips

The DEWALT Thickness Planer (DW735) is a powerful and versatile machine which produces professional-quality results with minimal effort, while also saving on costs thanks to its high performance. It can be the cornerstone of any serious woodworking workshop, and is subject to daily use by industrial carpenters, builders, etc.


The DEWALT Thickness Planer is one of the most powerful tools on the market. It is equipped with a mighty 15 amp, 20,000 RPM motor that can easily handle hardwoods, it will cut you anything you want.

2 Speeds to choose from

Cutting down excess wood can be a bit tricky. That’s why the DEWALT Thickness Planer is made to make smoothing, smoothest possible. It makes your planing work amazing by providing you with two great speeds to choose from.

Different woods require different speeds to get the best cut. The DEWALT Thickness Planer features two different speeds at which it can be run, allowing you to choose the speed that is right for the type of wood being planed. Many thickness planers only have one speed, meaning there is no control over the blades while they are in use – leading to poorer cuts.

You don’t have to worry about not having more space for your planer since it has a wide 13 inches capacity, it wouldn’t take much of your working area.

What is a planer used for?

The thickness planer is one of the most versatile pieces of equipment in a woodworking shop; it can be used to reduce the thickness, smoothen and flatten pieces of wood.

Planer Tool gives Precision

They are used to reduce the thickness of the wood by shaving off a thin layer at time. Wood planers have been used since the ancient times. These tools are used to get rid of excess materials from hardwood.

Using wood planer is so much easier than taking out all the unnecessary parts by chopping it outside. It gives precision and it’s also safe as you are protected by a shield with this wood planer.

It is a good Investment

A planer is a good investment if you are serious about working with wood. A planer will give your boards a professional finish you wouldn’t have otherwise. It is worth noting that there are several different models to choose from plus many types of planers that I will discuss in this guide.

What is a planer jointer?     

a planer jointer

A jointer planer is the perfect addition to your home woodworking shop. Especially if you are a hobbyist carpenter or do wood jobs around the house, you will love having this machine.

 It helps you make more precise cuts and prepares your wood for more accurate finishing work. A jointer planer combo offers an important combination of tools in one machine at an affordable price.

Smoothen, flatten and Joint Lumbar

It was designed especially for the wood worker who wants to do it all – smooth, joint, and flatten with one machine

Stop wasting so much money. You can buy a jointer planer combo for half the price of both tools separately

It ensures an excellent finish on all your projects and is a must if you wish to bring the best out of your carpentry and furniture making skills.

Save Cash and Space

You may have noticed that I’m a big fan of buying combo machines which include a jointer and planer in the same machine. These are much more space efficient machines, and also cost less money.

A jointer planer combo is a great option for people living in small apartments or for those who keep tools in the garage.

Jointer vs planer

The jointer vs planer is a rough comparison between two important wood working machines: the jointer and the planer.

Both are essential to your wood working business, and you will use them often. I’m going to compare each machine thoroughly in this jointer vs planer section so you can make an informed decision about which one to buy.

A Jointer

A woodworking jointer is a type of woodworking machinery that is used to straighten and smooth surfaces, most often the edges of boards. It will not remove the material from a board like a planer will. You can use this tool to create pieces of flat wood.

It is a must-have tool for anyone who wants to create really straight edges from rough lumber. Jointers have been around since the nineteenth century but they have not changed much in shape or design.

 The first woodworking jointers were made from cast iron and they were very heavy machines, around twenty pounds of solid cast iron weight. These days jointers are lighter and made of aluminum, with steel rollers, gears and levers.

A Planer

Wood planer is a woodworking tool used to shave off the unwanted portions of a piece of wood. Planing reduces any unevenness or unnecessary bits which may spoil the overall appeal of the wooden.

A wood planer is an essential tool for a carpenter. The tool can be used to reduce wood thickness and it can also be used to flatten, smoothen and shape wood. A wood worker has the ability to plane different shapes of lumber effectively. The best wood planers are usually easy to use, even for a person with little experience in the work shop or carpentry.

The Main Differences between a Jointer and a Planer

There are key differences between these two woodworking machines. They operate on different principles, and they’re used for different stages of the woodworking process.

They both have different functions; a jointer will make sure your board is flat and square while a planer will take off some of the wood to make it thinner. Both of them are essential tools for building furniture and cabinetry.

Remove Warping and Cupping

According to Aaron, a wood working expert in the video below, a jointer can remove warping and cupping, unlike a planer. The good thing about a jointer is that it can be used to reduce cup, bow, and twist in a piece of wood.

At the end, you will have a flat piece of wood which can be used for something you had in mind in the first place – making cabinets, furniture or any other project.

A jointer is a better choice if you’re working with exceptionally large or oddly shaped pieces of lumber

How to choose a Planer

Planers are a big investment, so it makes sense to do some research before purchasing one. There are a few things you should consider when shopping for one.

The first step is to determine how many horsepower you want from your planer and at what blade width it’ll need to work. Then, you can choose your brand and style. Here are some tips on how to choose a planer.

Your Budget

Sometimes it is very tempting to buy cheap items. Buying items that are too cheap but do not have good quality can be a wrong investment. You need to learn how to choose the best planer according to your budget and needs.

Depending on your budget, you can choose an affordable or more expensive model. If you have the money and you want your tool machine to last a lifetime, go for the more expensive models. If your budget is limited, there are some cheaper alternatives that do a pretty good job.

Make sure it has all the features that you are looking, is from a good brand and is durable.


For work shops and businesses that require a lot of wood planing, it’s always best to invest in an electric planer. For starters, electric planters are faster and more accurate than their manual counterpart due to the speed, power, and large cutting knives.

Wood planers with powerful motors are ideal for heavy wood work. Power requirements are based on the size of the motor. You can choose from 18-30 amps for small commercial project application or 55-100 amps in bigger machines with large surface areas to cover.

Its Size

An important element when choosing a wood Planer is the ease of operation. The planer should not be difficult to move from one place to another, just in case it needs to be relocated. If the planer provides easy and comfortable transportation, then that can be a big advantage because it will allow you to easily move it around your workshop.

Different types of wood planers

Different planers come at different prices, have different features, and are built to varying standards. Here’s our breakdown of what you need to know about main types of planers and how they can benefit you.

Benchtop planers

a Thickness Planer

Benchtop planers or lunchbox planers are box-shaped power tools placed on a benchtop and are used for reducing thickness of boards. They are made with metal housing and a base for stable working.

A lunchbox planer’s compact size makes it easy to get them to your job location as they are lightweight and easier to handle than a full-size commercial planer.

Save Space

Benchtop planers are a great choice for small woodworking businesses, especially those that don’t have the space or resources to dedicate to large floor-standing machines. Being “benchtop” means they can simply be placed on your workbench or another flat surface without being bolted down.

A benchtop planer is also called a lunchbox planer.

Floor standing planer/Stationary Planer

Stationary planer

A floor standing planer is also called a stationary planer and can be referred to as a cabinet planer.

Achieve maximum efficiency on tough jobs with a stationary planer. Its powerful motor and high performance blades handle even the toughest projects easily—especially when combined with the infeed and outfeed tables.

 The heavy-duty cast iron tabletop provides a stable and sturdy work platform and can accept optional extensions for large stock capabilities.

Work on Large Surfaces

Floor standing planers have a lot in common with robust bench top models, but they can handle much tougher jobs. They’re able to deal with pieces that are longer, larger, or wider than what you could fit on a bench top model.

They also have motors large enough to operate the planer blades at high speeds without bogging down the machine.

A Hand plane

a hand planer

Operated Manually by Hand

Operated manually by hand, a plane is woodworking tool with a cutting blade at the bottom of it. The cutting action is created by pushing down on the handle while the plane is in contact with wood, and allowing the weight of the plane itself to do the work of cutting.

Hand planes are inexpensive tools, just like the ones that I have reviewed here, that can be used for various things including smoothing wood, trimming window, door, cabinet and baseboards that do not fit.

It comes with handles on top and a flat bottom that has razor sharp blades. The blades cut off thin shaving. Compared to an electric planer, it works slowly hence is suitable for small jobs.


The manual hand planes are portable and compact in nature. They can be movable from one place to another, because they are easy to carry anywhere. Their size ranges from 6 to 14 inches long.

Also, it is affordable and will help you achieve a lot of things without the expense of a big machinery. It is portable and compact enough to store in your toolbox or even in your pocket.

A jointer planer combo

a jointer planer combo machine

Are you looking for the perfect combo deal to create the perfect workshop? Although it would be awesome to have a full woodwork shop, the price tag of buying both tools makes it a difficult dream. A jointer planer combo might be the answer to all your needs without breaking your bank.

Just like in the name, a jointer planer combo machine is a combination of two woodworking machines – the jointer and the planer.

A jointer is any woodworking machine which takes boards with uneven or ragged edges and straightens them out so that they can be used in other joinery or woodworking projects.

A planer reduces the thickness of a wood piece. When you combine the two, you will have a machine that will not only reduce the thickness of the lumbar but also work on its edges.

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