9 Best Benchtop Planers for 2021| Reviews & Buying Guide

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Sure, you could always plane wood by hand and skilled craftsmen have done so for generations, but it’s not exactly efficient. Nowadays, there’s a much easier way of doing things.  Benchtop planers are perfect tools for DIYers, handymen, and contractors because they allow greater accuracy and speed, meaning you not only get the job done quicker but the end result is often way better!

A decent benchtop planer is a few hundred bucks and so if you’re in the market for one you’ll need to know more about the choices available before you make a purchasing decision.


Here’s a rundown of what we’ll provide in this best benchtop planer review article:

  • First, we compare the 9 brands side by side in a comparison table
  • Second, we share the features and benefits of each model that you’ll find useful
  • Then, we’ll take a look at any drawbacks we think you should know about
  • Lastly, we’ll provide a buying guide packed full of information to give you a better insight into your needs (which makes your product selection easier)

Sound ok to you?  Let’s dive in!

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Comparison Of Our Favorite Benchtop Planer Models

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The 9 Best Benchtop Planers | Reviews

 

1. DEWALT DW735X (Best Overall)

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • It is a very stable corded planer.
  • It has a 2-speed system for prime operation.
  • It has a powerful motor.
Cons
  • It is a noisy benchtop model.
  • The blades dull quickly when used on hardwoods and knots.

 

2. WEN 6552T (Best Value)

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • It has a two-year warranty
  • Has adjustable infeed and outfeed tables
  • Has an effective dust management system.
  • The heavy-duty base provides maximum stability.
Cons
  • Fasteners could come loose
  • Snipe at start and end

 

Related review: WEN 6552 Planer Review – Exactly How Good is it?

 

3. Makita 2012NB

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • It has double-edged planer blades
  • Quiet operation
  • Has an easily adjustable cutting depth.
Cons
  • Some consumers have complained that the size of the chute is odd.

4. POWERTEC PL1252

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • It is relatively cheap.
  • It comes with a warranty for quality assurance
  • It has a high-precision cutter head.
  • Can cut through all hardwoods with an excellent feed rate.
Cons
  • Users complain of snipe on both ends.

 

5. Grizzly Industrial (Model G0889Z) Benchtop Planer with Spiral Cutterhead

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Durable
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to use
  • Spiral cutter head
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Noisy
  • Less power

6. DEWALT DW734

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • A powerful motor powers it.
  • Has a 2-speed adjustment system.
  • Has features for accuracy.
  • Comes with extra-long infeed and outfeed tables.
Cons
  • It is heavy, and therefore, not the most portable.

 

7. CRAFTSMAN Benchtop Planer

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • It is light
  • It is relatively cheap
  • It has several features for easy operation
Cons
  • The gauge is not impressive.

 

8. Porter-Cable PC305TP

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • It is relatively cheap.
  • It is well-built
  • It can plane glued-up materials.
  • Delivers 16000 cuts a minute due to its powerful motor.
Cons
  • It is mostly suitable for a hobbyist and not a professional.

 

9. Morphon Thickness Planer 

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • It is packed with impressive features.
  • It is reliable and safe.
  • It is highly versatile and can even be used to line bamboo.
  • It has a thoughtful design.
Cons
  • The assembly instructions are not included.

 

Related: 10 Best Electric Hand Planers of 2021 | Honest Reviews & Buying Guide

 


Video: How to Operate a Wood Planer

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Benchtop Planer Buying Guide

The number of wood planers available in the market may shock you and return you to the drawing board. There are several brands offering this woodworking device due to the high demand brought about by the increasing numbers of DIYers. 

It would be best if you considered not only the price range but also the different types of tasks and projects that you do in your workshop or around your home. Here are some of the considerations that we advise you to make before settling on a wood planer. 

Table size 

Even though this may not cross your mind at the time of purchase, it is still one of the most critical considerations that woodworkers should make. The table size dictates the size of the boards that the planer accommodates. 

Most benchtop models only allow 12-13-inch-wide boards, which can be limiting at times. Depending on your projects, you may need planers that can accommodate up to even 20-inch long. If you are not planning to work on such projects, the benchtop wood planer will serve you well.

All in all, make sure that you do not limit yourself. Get something that will work for you for the best results.  

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Noise 

One of the biggest problems that we have observed with most workshop tools is the level of noise they omit. We advise that you try and see a tool in action before committing your money to it. 

Commercial and professional woodworking shops have soundproofing features and earmuffs and are therefore not affected by the level of noise that DIYers experience. Well, even though the noise may not be a problem for you, you need to be mindful of others who may even go ahead and sue for disturbance. 

Therefore, before you buy a wood planer, make sure that it either produces minimum noise or has features to deal with the noise delivered. You do not want to be served with an eviction notice because neighbors cannot stand the noise from your workshop. 

Motor

The motor provides the driving force for the operation of your wood planer. You need to consider the type of motor and its dimensions to be safe. Most cheaper models have universal motors, which are often light, convenient, and effective but do not perform well when used with hardwood. 

There are also induction motors, which are heavier than the rest but work more efficiently on all wood types. Induction motors are best used in planers that are permanently installed in workshops or used for industrial purposes. 

Also, ensure that the motor meets your cutting needs. It should be powerful enough to deliver the cuts you want, which is dictated by the voltage. 

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Size of your workshop 

It would be best to have the right measurement of your workshop or the area housing the planer. Ensure that the planer you get gives you adequate room for safe movement around the workshop. Do not only think about the size of the machine, but also the average size of your room. 

While doing this, make sure that you also think about the length of the workpieces you will handle. Do not end up getting a bulky planer that will not fit your working place, but instead, go for something that will also leave you some space. 

You will not have to worry if you intend to get a portable planer since they are compact to fit the smallest spaces possible. You will just have to worry whether it will be light enough for proper usage and heavy-duty at the same time so that you get the perfect results. 

 

Type of planer

This should be the first consideration. Do you know what you want, or are you just settling on anything? You have to take some time and think about whether you only need a thicknesser or only or a jointer too. 

If you do not need a jointer, think about whether you want something that can easily be carried from place to place or a stand-alone unit. Remember, all these depend on what you want, and we cannot give you a fixed answer or recommendation. 

All in all, make sure that you settle on an item that fits your woodworking needs and not just any type of planer. 

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Dimensions (Thickness and width) 

Thickness capacity means the most astounding thickness that your planer can comfortably take in. You need to think about the stock needed for your projects and their maximum capacity so that you do not mess up in the future. 

Large volumes of extremely rough wood call an industrial planer, and therefore, you cannot settle on something lightweight and expect the same results. In case you are worki9ng on smaller projects, portable planers will offer you just the right thickness capacity. 

You must also look at the depth stops in the respective planers, which allow you to set your device to the requisite width without having to measure it all the time. 

Stroke count 

You must have noted that your planer’s blades have knives that rotate at a high velocity chipping off wood from board surfaces. Well, your machine will have a streaker stroke count if it has more knives and a higher blade speed. 

You do not have to consider the speed only since you have to be slow when working on some materials. Therefore, you need a planer with variable speed to allow you to work on different surfaces and wood. 

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Dust collection 

It would be best to have a dust-free operation for the best results and experience. It also keeps you healthy and safe from possible respiratory complications. You must have noticed many chips forming as you go about your plane calling for a dust collector or shop vac. 

Your planer should have integrated fans to such the chips away from the cutter head, blowing them to the dust port, which comes in handy if your dust collector is far away. All in all, make sure that your wood planer has a proper dust management system. 

Knives

Most cutters have between two and five knives. Like we mentioned earlier, a more significant number of blades and a higher speed means a higher stroke count, giving you a smoother cut. When it comes to the best material for this, we highly vouch for carbide steel

Keep in mind that your knife’s quality makes or breaks your planer, greatly influencing your woodworking results. 

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Do you require a jointer? 

 If you strongly feel that you will need a jointer, you should settle for a 2-in-1 jointer planer combo. Well, you can also decide to get one separately, but you will end up spending more on the two. Having two tools in one body also gives you a multipurpose tool that is easy to use. Take some time and look at the applications that you intend for your planer before settling on one. 


Conclusion

 

If you’re in the market for a solidly made, yet affordable benchtop planer, then you have come to the right place.  Of the 9 we reviewed the  DEWALT DW735X won our Best Overall prize. DEWALT is a world-leading manufacturer of high-quality tools and this upgraded X version is simply the best for the money.  A vast amount of people from different walks of life have praised its features, durability, and speed – and I have to agree with them!

 

 

If your budget can’t quite stretch that far the Best Value benchtop planer is the WEN 6552T. It has great features and is ideal for the DIYer.  This actually performs much better than some other planers that are way more expensive!


Here are some other articles you may like:

DEWALT DW735 Vs. DW735X – How to Quickly Spot The Difference

DEWALT DW735 Planer Review – Affordable Excellence?


Here are our favorite electric hand planers:

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Walter Snyder