What You Will Get Here
- What are Benchtop planers Used for?
- Things to Consider While Buying the Best Benchtop Planer
- How Did We Pick the Best Benchtop Planers?
- Our Top ten Best Benchtop Planer
- Best Overall: DEWALT DW734 Benchtop Planer
- Best Thickness Planer: DEWALT DW735X Two-Speed Thickness Planer
- Easy to Operate Planer: Makita 2012NB 12-Inch Planer
- High-End Planer: Jet - JWP-208HH: 20-inch Helical Head Planer
- Best Portable Planer: Delta Power Tools 22-555 Planer
- A List of 5 Other Benchtop Planners We Reviewed
- Other Tested Products
- Storage and Maintenance Tips
- Safety Tips
What are Benchtop planers Used for?
If you are an amateur carpenter, or even if your profession requires some woodworking, you will already know the difficulty of finding boards with an identical thickness for your woodworking projects even from the most serious and reputable of your local suppliers. You risk wasting time, supplies, and money. And you’ll be mega-frustrated! A top-rated planer is the answer to these problems and if you know how to use a benchtop planer, your woodworking projects will become simpler and more enjoyable.
A benchtop planer is a tool, which allows you to prepare boards to be the same thickness and flat on both sides. And the new modern power tool versions permit you to work quickly and accurately both electronically or manually. You set the depth you want for the cut. You can adjust the planning platform or the cutter head to do this. Switch on your benchtop planer and move your board through the planer.
Since the planer helps the wood to move forward and out of the machine, you achieve a smooth and even thickness reduction of your wood and very quickly. Since purchased timber only comes in specific sizes, a tabletop planer is an ideal solution for this type of woodworking need where you must have an exact measurement.
Things to Consider While Buying the Best Benchtop Planer
There are various characteristics to keep in mind when choosing among the best benchtop planers for your purchase. While we cannot tell you that one specific product is the absolute best on the market, we can help you in considering the available options in order to find the best model for you. Let’s begin with our list of factors that you will want to take into consideration when choosing.
1. Power and Performance
The more power you have, the better your planer will be. You will want to consider this aspect seriously unless you are only using pine. Your planner should be able to work any type of wood. You will want a motor that produces a super smooth and well-finished surface. Motors that have a tendency to hesitate, should be avoided.
2. Design and finish
Most planers will give you the thickness you want for your woodworking project. A better, more costly planer, however, will provide you with a smoother finish as well. Depending on the quality, you may be able to avoid sanding as a result. Three-knives planers with substantial cutting RPMs will provide you with the smoothest surface.
3. Gauges and stops
Usually, benchtop planers will have a gauge that will tell you how much wood will be removed every time you pass the planer. This gauge can help you to avoid taking too much, in order to avoid snipe. You will want to verify if the model you are thinking of purchasing provides this type of gauge.
4. Self-indexing knives
A benchtop planer will usually come equipped with two knives. If you purchase a more expensive model, it may have three. As most knives are reversible, their lifespan will be doubled. Flipping knives is usually a simple, easy operation. As these knives are disposable, don’t try to make them last longer by sharpening them yourselves. In any case, you won’t need to interrupt your project, when you can easily flip the knife and continue.
5. Infeed and Outfeed Tables
All planers should come equipped with tables to hold the wood as you feed it through the planer and as it exists as well. If the tables are longer at both entrance and exit they will help reduce or even eliminate snipe. Find a benchtop planer that is equipped with good infeed and outfeed tables.
6. Motor Speed
Many standard benchtop planers have only one speed. Some benchtop planers offer two speeds. The slower speed will produce more than twice the amount of cuts per inch, which will give you an incredibly smooth surface but may cost you as much as twice as a one-speed planer.
7. Cutterhead (Cutting depth and rate)
The machines that we have selected have a maximum cutting depth of 6 inches. Higher end planers will be able to reduce more in a single pass. Selecting the maximum cutting depth will increase your risk of sniping, however, this measurement will indicate your planer’s capabilities. A deeper cutting depth will cost you more.
8. Handling Snipe
Snipe is also a major concern when considering planers. Snipe are those deep cuts that occur on the leading or trailing edge of the wood. Perhaps your board isn’t supported adequately or perhaps the knives take time to engage or disengage leaving snipe. Don’t be in a hurry to plane off a lot in one single pass. A higher end planer can help you avoid snipe if you plan to work with valuable wood.
9. Size of Boards
The majority of benchtop planers will allow wood boards up to 11 to 13 inches wide and up to 6 inches deep. If you use 12-inch boards regularly, you will want to consider this when choosing. Also, several narrower wood pieces can be passed through simultaneously, such as staircase spindles.
10. Ridges and Marks
You don’t want to plane a beautiful piece of wood and have it emerge discolored or scratched. Feeder mechanisms can leave boards smudged or dirty while knives can tear ridges or leave marks in your wood. This is a significant issue that you will want to consider. Remember that feeding your planer with the grain of the wood as opposed to against the grain will help you avoid scarring your wood.
Noise is a constant with even the best tabletop planer. It will be loud or maybe even louder! Some models make it a priority to reduce the noise while maintaining the power level. This, however, will be listed in the product features. Any planers that do not specify noise reduction should be considered as loud. You can and should use ear protection in any case.
Planers weigh quite a bit. While you may be able to move it around your garage or shop, or from a truck to your desired workstation, it isn’t a tool that is easily portable. You can attach it to a planer table complete with wheels, but that won’t contribute to its portability. You must have a level work surface to attach your planer, to achieve your perfect boards.
Also, choose a brand that gives a good warranty. This implies that the manufacturer stands behind their product, especially if and when your planer needs servicing. Reliability is of the utmost importance when acquiring a tabletop wood planer.
Price is an important factor when selecting any power tool. It is worth considering, however, that you may actually save money in the long run by investing initially in a better tool and spending a bit more money. If the extra expense provides you with better performance and more durability, then you may be better spending more to get the best benchtop planer possible.
How Did We Pick the Best Benchtop Planers?
The objective of this review is to assist you in choosing the best benchtop planer for your specific needs. We want you to feel prepared and confident when choosing the best product for your woodworking. First, we spent an incredible amount of time on web research to study characteristics and pertinent data about a multitude of benchtop planers available on today’s market.
We established a list of criteria that we feel are fundamental when choosing your benchtop planer. We studied customer feedback and observations about the many products available for purchase. Based on our value grid, we developed a short list of benchtop planers to test directly through community usage and expert evaluations.
We tested these benchtop planers in order to give you a critical analysis of the many great products available. We had a great deal of feedback from our volunteers after testing the numerous products, in order to give you as much information as possible. Specific features of benchtop planers were taken into consideration, including design, power and performance, motor speed, the cutter head, gauges and stops, self-indexing knives, handling snipe, ridges and marks, board sizes, weight and portability, noise, price, and warranties.
We also consulted expert professional carpenters and woodworkers who could give us tips to help amateurs and hobbyists get the most out of their investment. Thanks to our community-based research together with our experts’ opinions and feedback, we are able to furnish you with some good basic criteria and information to help you choose a top-rated benchtop planer that is the best for your woodworking activities.
Our Top ten Best Benchtop Planer
We have placed our best picks in categories to assist you in finding the planer most adapted to your needs. Once we analyzed the basics as we discussed in features to consider when buying your planer, we came up with the following list to help you find the product which is best for your woodworking. Let’s begin!