The Ultimate Wood Planer Buying Guide-Home Woodworking Tools

Last Updated on December 26, 2021 by homeguide

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 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?

I’m going to tell you the best hand planer out there. I’ve been through a lot of different planers in my woodworking career, and I have a preference for one type over all others.

My grandpa owns a woodshop, and I’ve used almost every kind of benchtop planer there is. It took me quite some time to decide which one I liked best, but after using the Dewalt DW735 13″ Thickness Planer that I have reviewed here for a while now, I think it’s the best planer on the market. It gets five stars from me.

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 that 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.

Powerful

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 a time. Wood planers have been used since ancient times. These tools are used to get rid of excess materials from hardwood.

Using a wood planer is so much easier than taking out all the unnecessary parts by chopping them 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 a 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 woodworker 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 woodworking machines: the jointer and the planer.

Both are essential to your woodworking 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 as 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

A 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 woodworker 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 workshop 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 woodworking 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.

In the end, you will have a flat piece of wood that 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

So you’re looking for a planer, but you’re not sure which one to get. There are so many brands and models on the market today that it can be hard to tell which will be best for your needs.

Whether you are a professional or just a hobbyist woodworker, these are some things to consider when choosing the best planer for your needs:

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 for, is from a good brand, and is durable.

Power

For workshops 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 woodwork. Power requirements are based on the size of the motor. You can choose from 18-30 amps for small commercial project applications or 55-100 amps for 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.

What is the maximum thickness of wood you will be planning?

You don’t want to purchase one that is going to wear out too quickly on you. Planers have different maximum sizes of boards they can handle before they become dull. The less powerful ones can go up to two inches while the more powerful ones go up to four inches. Make sure you choose one that will fit your needs.

What is the depth of cut?

 This is important because if it is too shallow you won’t get anything done and if it is too deep you may cause yourself damage and break the blades on it.

 How much noise does it make?

 No one wants a noisy machine in their home or shop so make sure that any planer that you purchase has a low decibel rating on it so that it won’t disturb anyone else in your household as well as yourself when you work with.

Consider its Features

The other thing to consider when buying a wood planer is how it works and what features it has. Most wood planers work the same way but each brand may offer something their competitors don’t have. These features can include dust collection, blade speed, chip ejection, cutting widths and depths, table top or stand-alone models, dust removal systems and power sources.

Wood Planer Buying Tips

Top Materials for Planer

Depending on the type of wood you are working with, you may need to adjust your blade accordingly. Wood like oak, mahogany and walnut are good examples of woods that need a harder blade. Soft woods such as pine require a much softer blade.

The next step is to make sure that the blades on your planer are sharp. Dull blades will not only cause rough edges, but could also lead to damage in the machine itself. Make sure when you replace the blades that the old ones get discarded properly so someone doesn’t accidentally use them and get hurt.

Finding the Right Wood Planer

Many people start out by buying a used wood planer because they are often much less expensive than new models. However, you do have to be careful when making this choice. You need to make sure that the used machine is in good working condition before you buy it.

 Look for any cracked or broken parts, which could indicate that the machine has sustained considerable damage. Be sure that the blades are sharp and in good shape as well. You should also check out the motor and other moving parts, paying special attention to grease fittings and oil ports. If there is any visible corrosion, you might want to keep looking until you find a better machine.

Have Enough Power

It’s also important that you buy a planer with enough power so it can handle the thickness of your lumber without bogging down or breaking down completely. You may want to rent or borrow one from a friend before purchasing one yourself so you can see how it works.

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 the 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 the 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 benchtop 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 benchtop 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 a 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 windows, doors, cabinet,s 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.

Portable

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 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 that 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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