Woodworking Tools

10 Best Benchtop Planers (2021): A Cluster of High Performers With Various Motor & Blade Speeds, Ergonomic Portable Designs & Advanced Features for Different Types of Users—Full Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

There I was. My hobby was beginning to earn some extra cash. A neighbor asked me to create a stand for his son’s stereo equipment. So, down I went to my local lumber supply store and bought the pieces of wood I needed.

Little did I know that not every piece of wood was necessarily of the same thickness. I should have checked, but I didn’t. The first time around, I wasted materials and my time. On my second try, I ran everything through a thickness planer. Had I planned correctly, I might have saved an hour or two of my time. I only made that mistake once.

Now I have a benchtop planer, which is great for my work hobby. I let the wood sit in my garage for a few days and then I run it through. This is a great planing machine to mill your lumber, smooth out the rough edges, shave your wood pieces to your preferred thickness, and flatten the warped boards. If you’re serious about your carpentry projects, you won’t want to be without one.

Do you need a benchtop planer? How do you find the best benchtop planer from a myriad of options? Go through our top reviewed choices and buyer’s guide and make your final decision today!

Top Benchtop Planers: Comparison Chart

Pick NameThumbnailProduct NamePrice
Our Top PickDEWALT DW734Check Price
Best Benchtop Thickness PlanerDEWALT DW735X Two-SpeedCheck Price
Easy to OperateMakita 2012NB 12-InchCheck Price
High-End ChoiceJet – JWP-Helical HeadCheck Price
Portable ChoiceDelta Power Tools 22-555Check Price
6thWEN 6552T 3 Blade Corded Thickness PlanerCheck Price
7thDEWALT DW735 Thickness PlanerCheck Price
8thPORTER-CABLE PC305TPCheck Price
9thGrizzly G0505 12-1/2-Inch PlanerCheck Price
10thPOWERTEC PL1251Check Price

Why Follow Our Lead

Here at Drillly, we prioritize facts over marketing jargon. We maintain a systematic research protocol in pursuing our objective goal of revealing facts. We focus on detailing our reviewing products as much as possible. We rely on field-testing sessions for collecting practical and authentic data.

Also, we spend days online flickering through hundreds of reviews, blogs, forums, and magazines to collect the most relevant information. Our passion for the ever-increasing technological development of drilling and cutting tools motivates us.

Some of our team members are experienced professionals with years of factory training. We employ our experts to do research on the tools they specialize in. We also maintain connections with some of the top industry experts for their precious insights. Our well-structured research framework incorporates all the data we gather from different sources to finally come up with our top list.

We are not associated with any brand or manufacturer whatsoever. Our aim is to provide our readers with maximum information on the products that they want to buy with their hard-earned money.

Our Product Selection Procedure

Our selecting process was outlined by our research framework that undertook three major steps. First, we did a 30-hour long online searching for tracking down 25 best rated benchtop planer models with maximum features from the most reliable manufacturers. We did hands-on testing of these 25 initially selected models. For that matter, our team members and a group of volunteers spent over two weeks testing the units.

The field testing data along with online community-based user data were added to our research database for final analysis. We had to focus on certain features to categorize the testing items into their respective fields. Based on performance, design language, handling comfort, building material and reliability we shortlisted our final 10.

Our quest for the best planers did not end there. We got in touch with other industry experts and university professors for their thoughts on our final list. Their suggestions helped us edit and finalize our list a second time.

Hopefully, our readers will be able to use our buying guide as a reference point for further analysis of their choices. We aim for quality, not quantity. Here in our benchtop planer review, we tried to describe the vital points of each item we tested and we are pretty much confident about our final list.

Our Top 10 Best Benchtop Planer List

So, What is the best benchtop planer on the market today? We have placed our top picks in categories to help you find a planer that’s most adapted to your needs. Let’s begin!

01 Our Top Pick: DEWALT DW734

If you’re looking for the highest performing benchtop planer, this model is worthy of your undivided attention. Manufactured in Taiwan, you can depend on this choice for superb results. It boasts a 15-amp motor that will produce 10,000 RPMs when running at its maximum and administers 96 cuts for every inch. The DW734 is fitted with a triple-knife cutter.

This machine brings long feeding tables to support your materials, and the knives are reversible as well as disposable, adding convenience for the user. When consumed, the knives can be easily disposed of.
There are several quick, precise depth settings to facilitate its use. The finishes on boards planed with this beauty were definitely comparable to professional finishes. Dust collectors are easily attached, making cleanup minimal.

This is the best benchtop planer for hobbyists to trim down boards to an even thickness. The material-removal gauge and scale for extra thickness ensure accuracy and a four-column carriage lock reduces board movement to avoid snipe. Dewalt offers a three-year limited warranty together with a one-year free service contract. If you’re not satisfied, this product comes with a 90-day money-back guarantee.

Specifications

  • Motor Amperage: 15 AMP
  • Motor Speed: 20,000 RPM
  • Cutter Head: Three Knife cutter head
  • Power Source: electric with cord
  • Extra-long infeed and outfeed board supports of 33 ½ inches
  • Weighs 80 lbs.
  • The maximum cut depth of 1/8 inch
  • Depth capacity is 6 inches and Width capacity is 12 ½ inches

Pros

  • A good solid tool you can depend on with deep clean cuts
  • Excellent finish on boards with reduced snipe
  • Clean with easy dust collection, thanks to a dust hood

Cons

  • Not a heavy-duty machine
  • Some hesitation when dealing with hardwoods such as oak or hard maple

Our Verdict

Considering that cleanup is easy, that the in-feed and out-feed permit various sizes of wood to be planed, that there is a significant reduction of snipe, and that the knives are reversible, disposable and last up to 30 percent longer, this tool is extremely cost-effective when evaluating the quality/cost ratio. As reported in other reviews, the only real limits emerge when dealing with the hardest of woods. All things considered, this tool gets our vote as the overall top benchtop model.

02 Best Benchtop Thickness Planer: DEWALT DW735X Two-Speed

If you’ve read any other reviews of benchtop thickness planer, this particular model will have surely popped up. This Dewalt model boasts a motor of 20,000 RPMs and its cutter head speed is 10,000 RPM. This type of power permits this machine to plane wood with great ease.

It boasts a two-speed gearbox, which permits you to change speeds while permitting you to perfect your cutting. The automatic carriage lock reduces movement to avoid sniping. When working with heavier woods such as oak, there appears to be no snipe, unlike most other models that produce some snipe toward the end of the board.

This wood planer, like all Dewalt models, follows the highest possible standards for safety and build quality. Dewalt builds for the long run, and this model is no exception being built to last. The DW735X’s 20,000 Rpm engine and 10,000 cutter head facilitate larger cuts in wider boards. The cutter head has three knives and features a chip ejection system, which is fan-assisted. In terms of cut quality, the depth capacity is 6 inches and you will be able to optimize your cutting with either 96 or 179 cuts per inch.

The DW735X comes complete with infeed and outfeed tables as well as an extra set of knives. Knives are reversible and disposable. Dewalt, with its enviable reputation, offers a three-year limited warranty that guarantees parts. Moreover, Dewalt offers amazing customer service.

Specifications

  • Motor Amperage: 15 AMP
  • Motor Speed: 20,000 RPM Cutterhead speed is 10,000 RPM
  • Cutter Head: Three Knife cutter head with 30 percent longer life
  • Power Source: electric with cord
  • Dimensions 24 x 22 x 18 inches
  • Weighs 105 lbs.
  • The maximum cut depth of 1/8 inch
  • Depth capacity is 6 inches and Width capacity is 13″

Pros

  • Very easy to use
  • No snipe
  • Excellent dust pickup

Cons

  • Blades are fundamentally the same as in the DW735 model and may dull quickly
  • Very noisy

Our Verdict

This wood planer has incredible power without a doubt. With a weight of 105 lbs, however, it isn’t exactly convenient for portable use. If you detach the infeed and outfeed tables, you can reduce the weight somewhat.

The fantastic feature is the 2-speed gearbox, which allows you to save time when reducing the thickness of your boards and rendering them so smooth and ready to be used. We really like the digital lock mechanism and the fact that it automatically measures the board thickness. This entry-level model is undoubtedly one if not the top quality benchtop thickness model in its category.

03 Easy to Operate: Makita 2012NB 12-Inch

This 12-inch machine has just about everything you could wish for when choosing a portable thickness planer. The design is compact, with limited noise and you can change blades quickly if need be. It also boasts Makita’s special “Interna-Lok”, which is an automated head clamp to eliminate sniping. This clamp keeps the cutter head locked in place as you shave the wood.

This is the best benchtop wood planer for particular jobs like staircases, closets, furniture or cabinets. It is also accessorized with its own toolbox, wrenches and magnetic holders. Apart from being lightweight and portable, it houses double-edged and disposable knives that create less noise than others.

The Makita 2012NB boasts a design of four posts with cross supports that improve the stability. It features bigger table extensions to support your wood and there are adjustable depth settings if need be.
An LED light tells you that the machine is plugged into a power source.

Specifications

  • The motor is three horsepower, 220 voltage, 15 AMP
  • Cutterhead speed is 5,000 RPM
  • Three Knives
  • 28 feet per minute feed rate
  • Dimensions 30.4 x 19 x 15.8 inches
  • Weighs 72.4 lbs.
  • The maximum cut depth of 1/8 inch
  • Depth capacity is 6 and 3/32 inches and Width capacity is 12 inches

Pros

  • Extremely smooth finishes
  • Built to last
  • Lightweight and portable

Cons

  • Some reported tear-out problems
  • Some reported feed roller problems

Our Verdict

We like the small portable size that allows you to use it on-site for certain jobs. The blades are quickly and easily substituted preparing it for a consistently smooth finish whether working with softwood or a hardwood like hard Maple. The reduced noise is a real plus.

This Makita 2012NB is well built for the long run. It’s fast, safe, accurate, and effectively eliminates the snipe. We think it’s definitely worth the price and particularly adapted to woodworkers on the move.

04 High-End Choice: Jet – JWP-Helical Head

The Jet JWP has a great cost to quality ratio for a full-size planer. Both width and thickness capacities are convincing at 20 inches wide and 8 inches thick. This is a credible machine for high volume board work and for large board work as well.

The engine is a five horsepower with two speeds. It boasts a helical cutter-head with 92 carbide inserts and at 5000 RPMs, it produces a wonderfully smooth surface.

This machine is designed to be as steady as they come with a cast iron, sturdy table. It features sets of three steel infeed and outfeed rollers with the objective of avoiding snipe.

It also has a 4 inch angled dust port to assist in keeping any dust out of your way. Jet has, rightly so, a good reputation as a manufacturer and this machine is in keeping with that reputation.

Considering the price, this is definitely the best benchtop planer for serious woodworkers as opposed to novice or the every-so-often woodworkers.

Specifications

  • The motor is five horsepower, 27 AMP
  • Cutterhead speed is 5,000 RPM
  • The maximum cut depth of 20 inches
  • Maximum Board Thickness is 8 inches
  • Helical head with 92 carbide knives
  • Dimensions 44 x 28 x 23 inches
  • Weighs 753 lbs.

Pros

  • 5-year warranty
  • easy-to-read owners manual
  • No snipe
  • Low noise

Cons

  • Some reported problems with customer service
  • May not be for everyone’s wallet

Our Verdict

Considering the power in this machine and the incredible noise reduction, we really like this planer. It works effortlessly, producing wonderfully smooth surfaces that appear to have been sanded. The cast iron infeed and outfeed tables are outstanding.

Although the cost of this machine may not be in everyone’s budget, if you have the possibility to invest economically in this type of machine, the Jet JWP is worth every penny.

05 Portable Choice: Delta Power Tools 22-555

As per our research findings, Delta Power Tools 22-555 is the portable powerhouse. One important feature of this 13-inch thickness model is its motor together with the smooth cut into the woods. The 15 Amp motor is capable of completing small and large projects. It is great for precision and durability.

This planer can easily work both soft and hardwoods with ease. It has a generous width capacity of 13 inches. If you consider that most lumber sold is not wider than 10 inches, this machine is perfect for the average woodworker. The thickness capacity is 6 inches high while again, most commercial lumber is about 1½ inches, making this model more than capable of handling just about any project.

The disposable knives can be substituted easily and the open design of the planer allows you to see how well the machine is performing, and to service the machine more simply. In spite of the fact that it has an open design, the knives are hidden and cannot be touched. Plus there is a power button right at the front in case of an emergency. This also features a dust collection system that contributes to keeping your workplace clean. Moreover, it offers an adjustable table within a reasonable price point.

The column style design offers stability. It features a height handle with an excellent grip to adjust the height of the bed roller. The back of this unit features an Allen wrench compartment to store your tools. The height adjustment boasts a precision scale and the infeed and outfeed rollers are coated in Nitrile synthetic rubber providing durability, easy rolling and some noise reduction.

Specifications

  • The motor is 15 AMP, 120 Voltage
  • Knives: two which are double-edged reversible
  • The maximum cut depth of 3/32 inches
  • Maximum Board Thickness is 6 inches
  • Maximum Board width is 13 inches
  • 18,800 Cuts per minute
  • Dimensions 25 x 17 x 21 inches
  • Weighs 58 lbs.

Pros

  • Handle for adjusting the height
  • Great accuracy
  • Powerful motor
  • Reversible dust port for cleanliness

Cons

  • Has only two knives
  • Overtime usage can produce snipes

Our Verdict

Our testing suggests that Delta Power Tools is delightfully lightweight, making it ideal to be transported from one job to another. Delta has a well-established reputation for its power tools and backs up its products with a five-year limited warranty.

This model is competitively priced with other models in the same category. Whether you’re a novice or an expert, we think this offers great value for the cost and so we willingly recommend it for your woodworking projects.

06 WEN 6552T 3 Blade Corded Thickness Planer

A thickness planer is a necessity for any woodworker whether professional or novice. It allows you to save time when working with rough wood stock. Benchtop planning is an alternative to heavy sanding. The Wen 6552 features a three-blade cutter, which, when compared to a two-knife machine, increases the number of cuts per minute and produces a smoother finish as a result.

The knives in the Wen 6552 3 Blade are reversible to prolong their life cycle and disposable. This particular benchtop model also features a dust port, which is fan-assisted to remove sawdust from your workplace. The Wen 6552 is built with cast iron, steel, and thoroughly durable materials. It uses a tri-roller feeding system to avoid the snipe on your boards.

There is a rubber-grip height adjustment handle to achieve maximum precision unlike the hand planer. Infeed and outfeed tables are foldable and can add support to longer boards that need to be planed. The Wen 6552 can be easily mounted to your workplace just like the 6550t. Wen offers a nationwide network of service technicians with a customer support service as well. Wen offers a two-warranty for this benchtop planer.

Specifications

  • The motor is 15 AMP
  • Knives: three blades
  • The maximum cut depth of 3/32 inches
  • Maximum Board Thickness is 6 inches
  • Maximum Board width is 13 inches
  • 25,500 Cuts per minute
  • Dimensions 25.2 x 21.8 x 16 inches
  • Weighs 66 lbs.

Pros

  • Reasonable price
  • powerful motor
  • granite table to prevent marring and provide support

Cons

  • quality of some parts
  • durability

Our Verdict

The WEN 6552T is a must-try machine. You will rock your woodworking projects if you have a quality woodworking drill press along with this tool. It is easily one of the most affordable benchtop models available, especially when considered next to similar competing products.

While it is not a top of the line product, it has a solid build that produces good results. But if you need professional or commercial results, you will want to search for another option.

07 DEWALT DW735 Thickness Planer

When you first view the Dewalt DW735, it’s immediately apparent that this is a performer. Even though it is not an industrial grade model, it is definitely a step above the regular models. Weighing in at 92 lbs., it will need a sturdy base to sit on. This machine has a cast aluminum base with solid molded plastic casting.

The DW735 features two feed speeds, which are unique in benchtop planers. One speed is for faster thickness planning and the other speed is for the detailed finishing of your boards. The finishing feed speed permits the knives to cut the board 179 times per inch, creating a beautifully smooth finish, while the thickness planing speed lowers the number of cuts to 96 per inch at a faster pace.

The Dewalt DW735 also boasts a built-in blower to clear wood shavings and sawdust from the blades. The blower is quite powerful and should be used with a dust collector. There also is a depth setting dial with various depth stops to assist in planning several boards to the same size. The DW735 also comes with its own Allen wrench to facilitate changing the blades.

When testing several types of hardware such as oak, mahogany or ash, this machine performed beautifully with no overloading of the motor. Thanks to the stability of the cutter head, this model produces little snipe if at all. Dewalt offers a 3-year limited warranty.

Specifications

  • The motor is 15 AMP
  • 20,000 RPM/10,000 Cutterhead RPM
  • 30,000 Cuts per minute
  • Maximum Depth of cut 1/8 inch
  • Depth capacity is 6 inches/Width capacity is 13 inches
  • Knife Blade Count Three
  • Weighs 90 lbs.
  • Dimensions 24 x 22 x 19 inches

Pros

  • Build quality
  • Powerful motor
  • Accuracy and finish

Cons

  • Not inexpensive

Our Verdict

This is a top rated benchtop planer for sale with good build to handle large projects. It is both powerful and accurate. It is easily a great addition to any store that needs something less than an industrial-grade planer, and once you’ve worked with it, you’ll never accept a lesser model again.

While the price tag isn’t small, you do get what you pay for. So if you can invest in this machine, it would well be worth your while to do so. You will not be disappointed.

08 PORTER-CABLE PC305TP

This benchtop planer is a low-cost solution for small wood workshops with planning needs. This particular machine costs less because it offers fewer cuts per inch when planning.

The PC305TP features an infeed speed of 26.2 feet per minute and makes roughly 16,000 cuts per minute or 50 cuts per inch. Translated this means that your planning will be faster but with a poorer finish. The cut depth is 1/16 of an inch, less than other models. You will have to do two passes to obtain the same result that other models achieve in one pass.

This model also features a two-knife solid steel cutter head, which is mounted on ball bearings. The knives are made of high carbon steel and are double-edged, meaning they can be reversed to double their cutting life.

The cutter is elevated on four columns for added stability. The feed drive employs a chain and sprocket feed roller.

Specifications

  • The motor is 15 AMP
  • 8,000 RPM
  • 16,000 Cuts per minute
  • Maximum Depth of cut 1/16 inch
  • Width capacity is 12.5 inches
  • Knife Blade Count Two
  • Weighs 64.8 lbs.
  • Dimensions 23 x 15 x 17.7 inches

Pros

  • Great value for the money
  • Very quick infeed speed
  • Takes 5-inch wide stock

Cons

  • Low depth for planning
  • The low number of cuts per inch
  • 1-year warranty

Our Verdict

PC305TP is a cheap solution for benchtop planning necessities. If you are in need of a budget-friendly tabletop planer, this is definitely a credible alternative which you should consider. When making budget your priority, there will be compromises in terms of what options and features a planing machine can provide for you.

09 Grizzly G0505 12-1/2-Inch Planer

The Grizzly G0505 12 ½ inch model is one of the most inexpensive thickness planers available on the market. In spite of the low price tag, this model is built of metal, making it sturdy and durable. This is a solid piece of machinery with little or no vibration. It is somewhat on the noisy side, however.

Like the Model G0790, it flaunts a 2HP motor. That is enough power for producing a smooth surface, requiring little or no sanding. What’s more, it is lightweight and easily transportable, while heavy enough to stably sit on a bench.

This model features a two horsepower motor, a cutter head with 10,000RPM and a feed per minute rate of 32. It also features large table extensions. It boasts a maximum cutting width of 12 ½ inches and a cutting height of six inches. The maximum cut depth is 3/32” and the minimum board thickness is 13/64”.

The cutter head has only two knives as opposed to three, but even with two, this machine produces quality output as you can smooth out the problems within a short period of time. It also features protection for thermal overload to impede overheating which would cause damage to the machine.

Specifications

  • The motor is 2 HP
  • 10,000 RPM cutter head
  • Maximum cutting height is six inches
  • Maximum Depth of cut 3/32 inch
  • Width capacity is 12.5 inches
  • Knife Blade Count Two
  • Weighs 78 lbs.
  • Dimensions 24 x 14 x 18 inches

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Easy setup
  • Larger table extensions to prevent snipe
  • Made entirely of metal

Cons

  • Very noisy

Our Verdict

The Grizzly G0505can cut through any type of hardwood and is easily assembled with a simple setup. This model is also remarkably affordable in comparison with other benchtop thickness planers on the market. It may be an all-rounder for home use. If you’re looking for a bargain that’s budget-friendly but still offers great results, you should definitely consider giving the Grizzly G0505 a chance.

10 POWERTEC PL1251

No matter what if you are a professional craftsman or a woodworking hobbyist, you will need to level the uneven thickness of a piece of wood bought from a random lumberyard. That is where the POWERTEC PL1251 15 Amp 2-Blade model comes into play with its finer finishing results.

This tool comes with great usability and ergonomic design that produces a polished look to the woodcut to a specific thickness as you intend. You put the rough wood at the rear side of the machine, and it will deliver evenly smooth wood of the desired thickness through the other side. You can bring your old wood back to life with this benchtop thickness planer.

It flaunts a two-blade cutting system along with a steel cutter head dedicated to achieving sheer accuracy generating 18,800 cuts in each minute. That means you will be able to work quickly with high precision.

It is designed in a way that it can be equally useful for commercial and DIY uses. The heavy-duty and sturdy base supports any board that is less than 12.5-inch wide and 6-inch thick. The 15-ampere motor helps the users to get deep cuts when needed.

Specifications

  • EZ Blade Replacement
  • Four Column Design
  • 15-amp Motor with Two Blades
  • Speed of Cutter Head: 9,400 RPM

Pros

  • Sturdy and heavy-duty construction
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Strong motor with an excellent feed rate
  • Suitable for a variety of woods
  • Stylish and durable

Cons

  • It does not have a built-in dust port

Our Verdict

This benchtop planer has a robust 15-amp motor which keeps it running smoothly even if you are dealing with hard and thick wood. It saves time and provides added precision. This is one of the top models at this price range. Buy this one if you are on a tight budget but needs a benchtop planer suitable for both professional and personal uses.

Other Tested Products

Apart from the above-listed models, let’s not miss out on some other noteworthy brands and their popular models: PORTER-CABLE (popular model- PC305TP), Harbor Freight (popular model- Bauer), Rikon, Ryobi, Ridgid (popular model- R4330), Bosch, Craftsman (popular model – 21758)

Why You Need Benchtop Planers

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.

But if you know how to use a benchtop planer, things will be much easier. It will make your woodworking projects simpler and more enjoyable.

A benchtop (also known as Table Top or Cabinet Thicknesser) planer is a tool that allows you to prepare boards of the same thickness and flat on both sides. The modern 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. Then you switch on your machine and move your board through it.

Since this type of planing tool helps the wood move forward and out of the machine, you achieve a smooth and even thickness reduction of your wood quickly. Since store-bought timber only comes in specific sizes, a tabletop model is an ideal solution for this type of woodworking need where you must have an exact measurement.

Benchtop Planer – Buying Guide

1. Power & 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 stationary planner should be able to work any type of wood. You will want a motor that produces a super smooth and well-finished surface.

2. Design & finish

Only the best benchtop planers will be able to give you the exact thickness level you want for your woodworking project. A better, more costly model 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 models with substantial cutting RPMs will provide you with the smoothest surface.

3. Gauges & stops

Usually, benchtop planers will have a gauge that will tell you how much wood will be removed every time you pass through it. This gauge can help you to avoid taking too much, in order to avoid sniping. 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 and 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 & Outfeed Tables

All planers should come equipped with tables to hold the wood as you feed it through the machine. If the tables are longer at both entrance and exit they will reduce or eliminate snipe. Find a benchtop model that is equipped with good infeed and outfeed tables.

6. Motor Speed

Many standard benchtop planers have only one speed. Some models 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 twice as much.

7. Cutterhead (Cutting depth and rate)

The machines that we have selected have a maximum cutting depth of 6 inches. Higher-end models will be able to reduce more in a single pass. Selecting the maximum cutting depth will increase your risk of sniping but 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. Snipes 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 model can help you avoid snipe if you plan to work with valuable wood.

9. Size of Boards

The majority of these machines will allow wood boards up to 11 to 13 inches wide and up to 6 inches deep. If you use 12″ 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 & 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.

11. Noise

Noise is constant even with the high-end tabletop models. 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 planer that does not specify noise reduction should be considered as loud. You can and should use ear protection in any case.

12. Portability

Bench planers weigh quite a bit just like benchtop jointers. While you may be able to move it around your garage or store, or from a truck to your desired workstation, it isn’t a tool that is easily portable. You can attach it to a table complete with wheels, but that won’t contribute to its portability. You must have a level work surface to attach your machine to produce smooth results.

13. Warranty

Also, choose a brand that gives a good warranty. This implies that the manufacturer stands behind their product, especially if and when your product needs servicing. Reliability is of the utmost importance when acquiring a tabletop wood planer.

14. Price

How much does a planer cost? Well, price is an important factor when selecting any power tool. For a benchtop planer, the price ranges from around $300 to as high as $3000. It is worth considering that you may actually save money if you invest in a benchtop jointer planer combo.

Storage & Maintenance Tips

All power tools need maintenance to ensure a long life cycle and continued great performance. A wood planer, like other industrial tools, requires maintenance on a regular basis. Of primary importance is where and how you store your machine.

One of the greatest risks is the formation of rust. It can weaken components within the machine causing them to break or it can cause normal motion to slow or stop. Proper storage can impede the formation of rust. Larger models that cannot be easily moved should be kept covered.

Because electric wood planers have moving parts, these parts should be lubricated to reduce friction and overheating. Any electrical wires and cables should be checked at regular intervals to ensure against leakage. The cutting blades in such machines must be sharpened or substituted regularly to ensure that a smooth surface can always be obtained when operating your planer.

Cutting edges like moving parts may have to be replaced after a certain period of time. Replacements should be done using parts original to the planer or those approved by the manufacturer and only by a certified technician. The final thing to remember is to tighten any bolts in your machine. With moving parts, it is normal that bolts may loosen during use. And remember, keep your machine clean.

Safety Tips

In order to prevent accidents, you will want to have a clean workplace. Fluids, electrical appliances and anything not in use should be stored away. Your workplace should be well ventilated and well illuminated.

Never operate a wood planer without sufficient light to guarantee your safety. It should only be used to plane wood and not for any other type of material. Consider using protective gear when operating the machine. Goggles will protect your eyes, while gloves can protect your hands.

You should regularly inspect your wood planer for any loosened components and check to ensure that buttons for starting or stopping and emergency buttons should be functioning at all times. All cables must be correctly placed and connected. Avoid any bypassing. These machines should be firmly attached to your workbench.

All gripping tools should be serviced and inspected at regular intervals to keep them in topnotch working conditions. Always shut off the machine before turning off the electricity. And finally, no alcohol, prescription drugs or intoxicants of any kind should be ingested before operating your wood planer.

It’s Time to Wrap Up

We believe we have provided a comprehensive, detailed guide to assist you in understanding how a benchtop wood planer functions, what products the market has to offer and how to recognize a quality product that meets your needs and is within your budget.

We chose 10 different models of wood planers in various categories to assist you in choosing the ideal model for your woodworking projects. The project will be a successful one if the right types of hand planers accompany you with these models.  Our overall number one choice is the Dewalt DW734 model because it has all the qualities and features of a great, durable wood planer that can serve you for many years to come.

We also recommended several products geared to specific priorities such as budget or portability. Whatever your needs or your priorities, you’ll find something on our list. Remember to choose for your needs and your wallet. Don’t be dragged into buying something you don’t need and in the end may not want. Buy the very best benchtop planer for your woodworking projects and enjoy!

About the author

Willie Osgood

An Avid Metalworker

Willie doesn’t really consider himself an artist, rather a craftsman involved in practical trades. Yet, most of his projects require him to make interesting and fine objects. Being the eldest son of a carpenter, his background is 100 percent rooted in crafting. He found the art of blacksmithing quite appealing since his teenage years… that fire, the sound of swinging hammers, and those long and shiny blades that came out as a finished product. Soon he literally became obsessed with metal – the way it moved, worked, and changed when heated or cooled.

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