A hand planer has always been a highly effective tool used to shape, straighten or smoothen wood surfaces for industrial or DIY purposes. This is one of the most indispensable tools in a carpenter’s toolbox. Despite the invasion of similar power tools like jointers, routers, and sanders in the woodworking industry, a hand planer, either manual or electric, has always been a delight to many.
You will be amazed at how easily you can peel off a piece of wood or shave off the edges of a sticking door with a hand planer. This unique tool can also be used without a power source and is safer when straightening some twisted or warped piece of wood than using a power tool. These are some of the reasons why you will always find it in my workshop.
There are many brands manufacturing this type of power tool and choosing one that suits your needs could be confusing as a result. This review is packed with useful information that you must know before buying the best hand planer. We painstakingly conducted our research in ranking the top 10 best value models on the market.
In case you were wondering about the Drillly team, we're a cluster of craftsmen, metal, and woodworkers with decade-long experience with different woodworking tools. Our first-hand experience with the tools that we work with gives us a valuable understanding of their ergonomics, performance, and reliability. The team members' shared interest and passion brought them together from all over the US to launch this website where we share our research-backed reviews on top-of-the-line wood and metalworking tools.
You will find a number of how-to blogs and power tool reviews on our website as well that will hopefully give you crucial pieces of information on different types of power tools used in the industry. Before we start reviewing a tool, we maintain a strict protocol of collecting the most authentic data on it. We carry out field-testing for each of our selected product models. We also consult with industry experts for the reevaluation of our results.
Nonetheless, we don't have any affiliation with any particular brand or manufacturer. Our objective is to attain the trust of our readers and we present fact-based reviews in a bid to prepare them for making an informed buying decision.
How did we pick these products?
The Drillly team maintains a strict protocol for attaining fact-based research results. Initially, we spent around 30 hours doing extensive online research, sifting through hundreds of woodworking magazines, online forums, video reviews and consumer reports in a bid to track down the most popular units of that time.
That way we listed down 25 top-rated high-end hand planes based on their ratings, features, design, and reliability of the manufacturing companies. After the initial sorting process, our team members and a group of community-based volunteers started field-testing the tools for attaining first-hand experience with them. We applied the tools on different woods with various sizes and shapes. It took around 15 days of rigorous testing to shortlist 10 units.
After that, we reached out to some of the leading industry experts for their insights into our top list. We were further assured by their nods on our choices. Our repeated revision of our final list certified it to be flawless from our end.
From our research, we found that each tool has it's distinctive specialty when it comes to application. We believe our readers will find this research-backed buying guide useful when choosing the right planer model for themselves.
Our top 10 Best Hand Planer
So, what are the best hand planes? Let's figure that out. If you already know the type of wood you’ll be using and how much output you want from your tool, I hope this buyer's guide will help you choose the ideal model from our top 10 list.
The DEWALT DCP580B is our most favorite hand planer model as its overall performance was better than any other model we tested. This machine is powerful, featuring a brushless motor that runs at a no-load speed of 15000RPM. It can be a great tool for commercial projects as it produces 32000 cuts per minute so, you can complete your task in record time.
It has a maximum cut depth 2mm which helps to increase its rate of removal and to produce a smooth and accurate finish. In addition, it weighs 6.8 pounds with dimensions of 8 x 6.9 x 16 inches making it one of the most versatile hand-held models.
The DCP580B is designed for precision and reliability as it features front and back-aluminum shoes that ensure that the cuts are accurate and parallel at all levels. In addition, you will notice the machined groove at the front shoe which ensures that the edges of the wood are chamfered.
Moreover, it features a kickstand that allows you to place the machine comfortably on the work surface without any effect on the material. Another thing that made this machine our top pick hand planer is that it features an ergonomically designed handle that helps you to hold the machine conveniently without feeling fatigued. Still, on the design, it features a calibrated adjustment knob that allows you to set the approximate cut thickness that you desire. This helps you to cut the boards easily with speed and precision.
Also, you will appreciate its unique Poly-V drive belt which is made from a solid material to increase the belt’s durability and reliability. Other things that come with this product include a user guide to provide you with the necessary maintenance tips. You will also find a wrench which is a handy tool for adjustments and maintenance and a guide fence which helps you to enjoy a comfortable planing operation.
Another feature of this machine we cannot ignore is that it is operated without the power cord thanks to the 20V lithium-ion battery that helps to power the brushless motor. Also, it comes with a 3-year warranty, so you wouldn’t have to be concerned about losing your investment if theirs is any defect after buying.
If you are interested in getting a model with power, durability ergonomics, and precision, DCP580B should be the ideal choice.
Weight: 6.8 pounds
Dimensions: 8 x 6.8 x 16 inches
Motor Speed: 15000RPM
Cuts per minute: 32,000
Maximum depth cut: 5/64 inches
Power source: Lithium-Ion battery
Measurement system: Metric
Warranty: 3 years
It comes with a calibrated depth cut knob that helps you set the cut depth easily
It comes with 3 years warranty
It is lightweight and portable
It features a powerful motor that runs at high-speed
It is operated by battery
The blade is not very suitable for hardwood projects
This product is highly efficient and powerful. The handle is ergonomically designed to feel great in the hand during the planing operation. It can cut a great portion of the wood quickly and accurately. One of the greatest assets of this machine is that it operates without a cord attached which makes it ideal for planing operations where there are no power mains close by. You will be amazed at its extreme durability and the ease with which you can set up and operate.
If you are not comfortable with the price of DEWALT DCP580B, you can consider the WEN 6530. This model is one of popular power tools from the reputable WEN production line. It is affordable too, so, if you’re on low-budget it can be a great choice.
This budget-friendly model features a powerful 6-Amp motor that produces 34000 cuts per minute making it ideal for smoothening and aligning your board surfaces and edges.
It will interest you that this machine has can accommodate woods up to a width of 3 ¼ inches and with a cutting depth of 1/8 inches, you’ll have the ideal tool for squaring and fitting boards. It features 16 positive stops to help you the cut depth conveniently from 0 to 1/8 inch at an increment of 1/128 inch.
One of the things you’ll appreciate with the WEN 6530 is that it comes with a V-shaped groove at the base plate shoe for the perfect chamfering and smoothening of your board corners. Also, this product comes with a warranty period of 2 years which is a mark of its reliability and durability.
In addition to its multiple cut depth settings, the WEN 6530 features a protective kickstand that helps to prevent unwanted cuts on your workpiece while resting the machine.
In this package is a reversible dust chute that lets you change the direction of the dust from left to right to your convenience. Also, you can attach a dust bag on either the two sides of the dust collection port to help keep your work environment safe and clean.
The tool comes with a lightweight design that weighs a little above 6 pounds that lets you carry it comfortably without feeling any fatigue. Still, on the design, the rabbeting guide on the machine allows you to make rabbets to a maximum size of 7/10 inches.
Weight: 6.5 pounds
Dimensions: 7 x 7x 12 inches
Feed speed: 34000CPM
Cutting width: 3 ¼ inches
Cut depth: 1/8 inches
Dust chute: 2 directions
Warranty: 2 years
Power source: corded-electric
It is cheap
It removes wood very fast
It comes with a two-direction dust collection port
It comes with cut depth adjustment stops
It is portable and lightweight
It is equipped with a protective kickstand
There is no locking mechanism in the depth control knob
This model by WEN has a good price to quality ratio. It comes with a chute that alters the direction of the dust to suit your preference. One of the advantages of this product is that features a depth control knob that allows you to maintain the thickness of the cut accurately. Also, you’ll notice that it comes with an onboard adjustment range and can be used any time for maintenance and for changing the blades. If you are a beginner and want a model that offers almost everything other expensive models boast of, go for it.
The PC60THP has some great and unique features that make it the ideal choice for both amateur and advanced woodworkers. It is one of the best portable hand-held planers on the market in terms of power and affordability.
This model features a heavy-duty 6-Amp electric motor that runs at a maximum speed of 16500RPM and can cut both hard and soft boards smoothly and conveniently. Still, on the design, it features a depth control knob that allows you to adjust the thickness of the cut to 10 steps for better control and accuracy of the planing operation.
One of the outstanding features that make this model friendly to your safety and the environment is its two terminal dust collection ports. This design offers you the flexibility to place the dust bag on the side that will offer you the desired results in terms of cleaning and evacuation of the dust. Exposure to wood dust may cause cancer, hence this tool does really great in this regard.
It comes with chamfering grooves that help you to achieve a smooth and accurate cut on the edges of the board in addition to its extreme flexibility in keeping your workplace clean. This product features an 11.5 inches durable shoe which is made from cast aluminum that helps you to obtain a smooth and accurate finish. Also, you appreciate its 0.47-inch maximum rabbit depth that helps to enhance its maximum cut per pass.
One of the things you will like about the PC60THP is its ability to remove materials speedily and to a depth of 5/64 inches. At 7.85 pounds weight and dimensions of 14.6 x 7.8 x 8.2 inches, you have a tool that can be carried easily. in addition, the carbide blades make it the ideal hand planer for heavy-duty tasks because of its high cutting power and durability.
Weight: 7.85 pounds
Dimensions: 14.6 x 7.8 x 8.2 inches
Cut depth: 5/64 inches
Motor speed: 16500RPM
Power source: corded-electric
Warranty: 3 years
It is very portable and lightweight
It can be used easily
The depth knob allows you to adjust the thickness of the cut to suit your needs
The cast aluminum shoes help to enhance its finishing
It is very strong and durable
A lock mechanism should be introduced in the depth adjustment system
It does not come with a kickstand
This high-quality product works like a charm without any setup issues. It is very portable and lightweight suitable for heavy and light applications. It comes with a 6Amp powerful motor that runs at a speed of 16500RPM and removes the material smoothly and accurately.
You will notice that it has two dust collection points each on its side for the dust bags which helps to keep your workplace clean and dust-free. This model is designed to offer you excellent performance at an affordable price.
The Makita XPK01Z is a fantastic product for its price. You will be amazed at some of its brilliant features making it one of the top choices in the portable category. Now, let’s look at its most outstanding features.
The XPK01Z allows you to make several cuts in just a little time. It comes with a powerful motor that runs at a maximum speed of 14000RPM that helps to remove the woods at a fast rate.
Also, it features a calibrated cut depth adjustment knob that helps you to set your cut thickness easily while ensuring that its accuracy is maintained. You will be amazed at its extreme planing capability that helps to cut boards of a maximum width of 3 - ¼ inch at a depth of 5/64 inch in just a single pass.
Still, on the design, the base is made from aluminum material to enhance the smoothness and accuracy of the cuts. In addition, you will appreciate its spring-loaded stand feature which is designed to protect the workpiece and the blades from unnecessary damage while resting.
XPK01Z has a weight of 7.4 pounds which brings its an excellent power to weight ratio. Also, it features an appreciative ergonomically designed handle that lets you grip the machine easily and conveniently.
This model features a unique blade setting system that simplifies the process of blade maintenance and installation. You will also appreciate the two cutter blades and the two-edge carbide blades that help to enhance its performance and finishing. In addition, it comes with an electric brake system that allows you to stop the machine easily which helps to maximize its productivity.
This advanced model from Makita is powered by an 18V battery which has a fast charge rate and a lasting runtime that lets you spend more time on the work than to wait for a recharge.
One of the greatest assets of this machine is the Computerized control which is an invention of Makita to help maximize its productivity while prolonging the life of the battery. This additional feature monitors the condition of the machine in real-time and helps to safeguard the machine against damages from overheating or over-discharging.
This model is designed to serve the needs of carpenters, door and window fitters, deck installers, and other professional woodworkers.
Weight: 7.2 pounds
Dimensions: 14 x 9 x 8 inches
Motor speed: 14000RPM
Max cut width: 3 – ¼ inches
Cut depth: 5/64 inch
Depth adjustment range: 0 – 5/64 inches
Power source: battery
It is operated by battery
It has overload and over-discharge protection
It is durable
It produces a smooth and accurate finish
The front and rear handles are designed to be gripped easily
The battery and charger are sold separately
It is not very suitable for cutting hardwoods.
The Makita XPK01Z is a combination of speed and quality to produce smooth and accurate plane surfaces. It features a high-speed motor that is powered by an 18V battery that can deliver cuts through woods that are 3-1/4-inch wide at a cut depth of 5/64 inch in a single pass.
This product comes with a special protection system that guards the machine against damages that could have resulted from overheating, over-discharge or overload. It is designed to serve the needs of professionals and industrialists who require powerful but mobile planing tools.
This is another product from Makita that has a reputation for power, durability, accuracy, and performance. The Makita KP0810 comes with features which are a display of its high power to size ratio.
It features a 7.5Amps motor that runs at a speed of 16000RPM which does not only enhance its durability but can create cuts through woods that are 3-1/4 inch wide. In addition, it comes with a double blade cutter head that helps to removes wood chips at a fast rate even at a maximum thickness of 5/32 inch per cut.
Another interesting feature is its double dust collection port at the sides which allows you to decide on the direction of chip flow that will be convenient. You will notice that you can conveniently control the lock button from either the two sides of the handle.
The Makita KP0810 comes with a depth adjustment feature that is calibrated to help you have an easy read while setting the desired cut thickness. The adjustment stops have an increment of 0.1mm which makes it flexible and accurate as it passes over the wood.
As it is common with other models on our list, the Makita KP0810 features an ergonomically designed handle that is made from rubber to enhance the comfortability of the grip. In addition, you’ll appreciate the placement of the depth adjustment knob on the handle to help simplify its mode of operation.
This advanced model comes with 3 chamfering grooves at its front base which helps to enhance the smoothness and accuracy of its performance. At a weight of 7.3 pounds and dimensions of 11.4 x 6.6 x 6.9 inches, this machine can be compact and lightweight enough to be handled easily without having to deal with issues of workspace or fatigue.
Finally, it comes with a spring-loaded stand that helps to safeguard your workpiece and the carbide blades from damages during the planing process.
Weight: 7.3 pounds
Dimensions: 11.4 x 6.6 x 6.9 inches
Motor speed: 16000RPM
Power source: corded-electric
Warranty: 1 year
Maximum cut width: 3- ¼ inches
Cut depth: 5/32 inch
It comes with a spring-loaded stand which protects the blades and workpiece
It can cut at a very high speed
The handle bears the on/off lock button for convenient
It is constructed with durable materials
The depth adjustment knob is calibrated to make your setting easier
Chip ejection outlet is located on both sides of the machine
It produces loud sounds during the cut which can be deafening
This model is among the most advanced all around electric hand planers for sale. Makita equipped it with advanced features to help you to enjoy a smooth and accurate planing after jointing operations at a reasonable cost. It is easy to set up and has a rubberized handle that enhances your convenience while gripping.
You will appreciate its spring-loaded stand that helps to elevate the machine from the workpiece thereby protecting the blades from accidental damage. In addition, the KP0810 has its overall body made from cast aluminum material to enhance its stability and durability.
If you are ready to spend some bucks on an advanced level machine, this might be the one for you.
This model from Bosch is packed with smart features in a simple design language making it an ideal choice for amateur and professional woodworkers alike. It may not be the cheapest product on our list, but its unique features make it worth the investment. Let’s consider its astonishing features.
First, it equipped with a 6.5A motor that runs at a speed of 16500RPM which allows it to remove stocks in both soft and hardwood at a fast rate. It weighs just 6.3 pounds but can deliver accurate and smooth cuts conveniently. Also, the lightweight design and the carry case allows you to handle or transport the machine easily.
One of the greatest assets of this machine is its lock-off release button that enhances its safety during an accident while the lock-on button is responsible for its extended operation.
Still, on the design, this portable planer features a spring-loaded stand that keeps the workpiece safe at the machine’s resting point while the blades are prevented from any accidental damage.
In addition, the Bosch PL2632K features a machined groove that helps in the chamfering of the wood edges while the front and rear aluminum shoes help to enhance the accuracy of the cuts.
Another interesting thing about this product is the ease at which its dual blade system can be replaced with high-steel blades to increase the speed, smoothness, and accuracy of the cuts. Also, it features a guide fence which can be fixed on either side of the machine which guards and helps to enhance the finishing of the workpiece.
Weight: 6.3 pounds
Dimensions: 17.8 x 14.5 x 7.2 inches
Cut width: 3 – ¼ inches
Motor speed: 16500RPM
Power source: corded-electric
It comes with a lock on/off button that helps to prevent accidental startups
The dual mount fence helps to keep the workpiece from damages
It has a high feed speed
The dual blades can be replaced with high steel blades
It comes with dust collection ports on both sides of the machine.
The dust bag gets filled too quickly
The aluminum case is poorly designed
This is an excellent product from Bosch that can handle both soft and hardwood cutting with ease. The double blades can be replaced easily with HSS blades that can handle tougher materials with ease and accuracy.
One of the things you’ll like about this model is its dust collection port that is designed to accept large dust bags which helps to keep your work environment clean while preventing the blades from wearing out too frequently. In general, this model is very reliable for any of your planing operations.
Our reviews cannot be exhausted without DEWALT DW690K. It is a great option for all manner of planing operations and it’s a good value for the money. This machine features a rugged 7Amps motor that runs at a speed of 15000RPM that produces smooth and accurate cuts on both hard and soft surfaces.
This tool is for serious-minded woodworkers who intend to increase their daily production quota as it comes with a cut depth of 3/32 inch which is responsible for its fast and precise removal per pass.
One of the interesting things about this product is its unique kickstand which protects the workpiece finishing and safeguards the plates from getting damaged at rest.
The DEWALT DW680K comes with a reversible carbide blade which is highly durable and can produce smooth and straight cuts conveniently. In addition, the blades can be sharpened to enhance its productivity and longevity while you save some money that would have been spent on new blades.
Another important feature of this planer is its depth adjustment knob with easy to read scale that helps you to set the thickness of cut with ease, and; to obtain accurate and smooth results.
Moreover, it can be operated easily thanks to the ergonomically designed handles that features two triggers that help to reduce fatigue while allowing you to enjoy a comfortable planing operation. Also, it is equipped with a poly-v drive belt which helps to enhance the longevity of the machine.
In the package, is a carrying case which helps you to store and convey the machine easily. With a weight of 12 pounds and dimensions of 15.8 x 11.4 x 9.8 inches, you can be sure of a machine that is lightweight and portable yet can deliver high-speed cuts through your boards in a single pass.
Weight: 12 pounds
Dimensions: 8 x 11.4 x 9.8 inches
Feed speed: 15000RPM
Cut depth: 3/32 inches
Power source: corded-electric
It is durable
It can be used easily
Reversible carbide blades can be used
It can handle both soft and hardwood conveniently
The cut depth can be easily controlled using the adjustment knob
It does not come with a dust collection port.
This is a great and powerful hand planer. It is designed to withstand both light and heavy-duty planing operations. It is a little larger and weightier than most of the portable handheld electric models on this list.
One of its greatest assets is the reversible carbide blades which make the product very economical. Also, it features a calibrated depth adjustment knob that helps you to determine the thickness of your cuts easily. However, this model does not come with a dust collection mechanism.
DEWALT D26677K has some great and unique features that make it the delight of many professional woodworkers. It is among the top hand planer models for the money. Let us go through its most outstanding features.
First, it is equipped with a powerful 5.5A motor that produces smooth and accurate finish even on the hardest types of woods. Also, the motor delivers 34,000 cuts per minute which is responsible for its fast and precise removal.
One of its important features that we cannot ignore is its reversible carbide blade that does not only helps you to save money but improves the smoothness of the cuts and the overall lifespan of the blades.
You will appreciate the ergonomically designed handles that let you have a comfortable grip of the machine without suffering from fatigue. In addition, the DEQUALT D26677K comes with a depth adjustment knob that allows you to set your cut depth to a maximum point of 1/16 inches.
One of the things we liked is the precision aluminum front and rear shoes that ensure your cuts are smooth and accurate to your setting. Also, with minimum power loss, the poly-v belt does not only enhance the durability of the belt but ensures that maximum power is transferred from the machine to the workpiece to enhance its performance.
In the package is a dust adaptor that allows you to connect the machine directly to DEWALT vacuum cleaners to ensure that your workplace is safe and free from dust particles. Also included, is a socket wrench which is useful for the changing of the blades and other maintenance operations. It comes with a 3-year warranty which helps to boost your confidence in its performance features before and after buying.
Finally, this product weighs just 10 pounds with dimensions of 7.8 x 17 x 10 inches making it the ideal hand planer for homes and small shops because of its lightweight and compact design.
Weight: 10 pounds
Dimensions: 7.8 x 17x 10 inches
Cut width: 3 ¼ inches
Cut depth: 1/16 inches
Cut feed: 34000CPM
Warranty: 3 years
It is portable and lightweight
It can be used with ease
It is durable
It comes with a reversible carbide blade
The depth adjustment is scaled for easy reading and setting
It has an ergonomically designed handle
It has a poor dust collection attachment
This powerful product from DEWALT comes with exciting features including a depth adjustment knob that is calibrated to help you set the required cut thickness with ease.
It features a powerful motor that produces clean and accurate cut at 34000 cuts per minute. One of the greatest assets of this machine is that it comes with a reversible carbide blade that helps to enhance the accuracy of the task while prolonging the life of the blade.
This product is a sure deal and is designed to handle both light and heavy-duty tasks conveniently.
Black & Decker Corporation, the prestigious American manufacturer, is widely known for its top-of-the-line power tool productions. They did an excellent job in this 5.2 amp 7692K model hand planer. It’s a versatile piece of tool that will ensure a wide range of uses.
With a cutting capacity of 5/64" the motor is able to generate 16500 revolutions every minute. This allows it to be useful for most standard wood projects at an industrial level production enterprise. We found it designed ergonomically with depth adjustment for the front handle and a button activating lock-on mode for ensuring comfort during long working periods.
We were happy with its inclusion of ten positive stops as it makes the job less stressful. It did an excellent job in chamfering groove while crafting decorative edges.
We received 4 carbide HSS blades that are reversible, a vacuum adapter for dust bag, Edge guide and a kit box with the package.
Motor: 5.2 Amperes
RPM: 16500 RPM
Cutting Depth up to 5/64″
HSS Reversible Blades: 4
Contains: Dust bag, edge guide, kit box, vacuum adapter, Hex Wrench, planer body and user’s guide.
Suitable for multipurpose tasks
It’s a bit loud when in action
BLACK & DECKER built an excellent planer with professional grade materials. The 7698K is a performer and you can’t really go wrong buying this. It comes with all the necessary tools. The quality of the tools and the planer itself impressed us. We are sure, you will be impressed too once you get a hand on this.
Makita is widely known as a top manufacturer of industrial and domestic power tools. The company has been consistently producing high-quality precision power tools for both professional and beginner woodworkers alike. Now, let’s talk about this unique model from Makita.
The Makita 1806B is the last but not the least on our list. It is equipped with a powerful 10.9A motor that runs at a speed of 15000RPM and has the capacity to cut materials with a thickness ranging from 6 – ¾ inches with precision. It comes with a 2-blade cutter head to maximize its rate of removal.
One of the things you will like about this model is its high-speed steel planer blades that enhances its performance and allows it to plane to a depth of 1/16 inch per pass. Also, it is equipped with a specially engineered aluminum base to enhance the smoothness and accuracy of the task.
Moreover, the Makita 1806B features two ergonomically designed handles at the front and back of the machine to improve the comfortability of the grip. In addition, these handles are perfectly aligned to reduce fatigue while giving you more control over the process.
Meanwhile, the depth setting on the handle allows you to adjust the thickness of cuts per single pass. Also, you will appreciate the lock on stop on the machine that helps to improve the continuity of the operation. The Soleplate of this tool is designed to be large and sturdy to enhance its stability.
This model weighs 19.3 pounds and has dimensions of 20.8 x 9.1 x 6 inches to make it portable and light for its easy carrying and storage. Other items that come with this product include a sharpening holder, blade set, guide rule, wrench, triangular rule, and a wooden case. Also, you’ll appreciate its one-year warranty and 30-day money-back guarantee.
Weight: 19.3 pounds
Dimensions: 20.8 x 9.1 x 6 inches
Motor speed: 15000RPM
Planing width: 6-3/4 inches
Planing depth: 1/16 inches
Power source: corded-electric
Warranty: 1 year
The length of the base is increased to enhance its stability
It features a lock-on button to improve the continuity of operation
It can handle thick sized woods
The handles are perfectly aligned to enhance the comfortability of the grip
It comes with a depth setting to enhance planing accuracy
It is compact and durable
The sticky power cord can be annoying
The Makita 1806B is one of the most suitable hand planers for hardwood applications. It features two sharp blades that produce fine shavings on the board in a single pass. It has a high-quality build that does not only enhance its durability but its performance and stability as well.
You will appreciate its ergonomically designed handles that help you to enjoy a comfortable grip on the machine. This product might appear to be over-priced, but its versatility and excellent performance make it worth the money.
If you want to go deeper into planer brands, let's make sure you do not miss these names: Stanley (popular model-Bailey Jack Plane No.5), Grizzly, Kobalt, Craftsman, Silverline, Rutlands (popular manual model: Qiangsheng Luban), Rockwell, Hitachi, Mastercraft, Ridgid, Stanley Tools (popular model- Handyman).
A hand planer or wood shaver is used to create wood slabs or sometimes wide boards of equal thickness by flattening their surfaces. They are equipped with a knob that allows you to control the thickness of the cut.
In addition, the wood shaver can be used to create parallel faces on two wooden boards. It will be easier to use this tool if you know the working principles of a planer. As I had said earlier, you can use it to smoothen the surface of your door to prevent it from jamming or sticking with the frame.
Recycling an old but good quality wood can help you save some bucks. All you can do is to flatten the wood to expose a fresh surface. Also, with the help of a hand held wood planer, you can easily process rough woods to obtain the right size or thickness for your boards.
These hand held mini tools are light, easy to use and easy to maintain. You shouldn’t be a professional woodworker before buying one. However, I will be discussing the various factors you should consider before buying any of these products.
Hand Planers - A Comprehensive Buying Guide
Buying a good hand planer for the money can be difficult if you don’t have any experience with these products. However, the following factors should come to your mind before choosing your most preferred model.
The type of wood and your rate of production should determine the type of planer to buy. If you have more projects to cover in a short time, you should prefer a thickness planer to a benchtop planer because of its higher rate of production.
In terms of energy supply, there are two major types: Electric and Manual. Electric ones are more efficient and less time consuming than their manual counterpart. Big brands like WEN and Makita manufacture some of the best electric hand planers out there.
However, manual ones are often locally produced. You'll find some overseas companies like Kakuri manufacturing manual models. US-based brand Caliastro manufactures some good quality number 4 manual models. There spokeshave design is a bit different but they fall in the manual category.
The higher the power rating of the machine the better. Motors with high power ratings can deliver more cuts in record time than those with lesser ratings.
3. Performance & precision
High-end models on the market offer good performance and accurate cuts that enhance the quality of your finishing. A good machine can create the cuts exactly as you desire.
4. Feed speed
This is the speed at which the blades of the machine passes through the board. The feed speed is higher in thickness planers than their portable counterparts.
5. Cuts per inch
This is another important factor to consider as it determines the quantity or thickness of wood that is cut within one inch. The finishing of the work depends on the planer’s cuts per inch rating. Also, your likelihood to make finishing touches on the workpiece will reduce if you’re using a model with a good cuts per inch rating.
6. Planing height, width, & depth
These three features determine the dimensions of the wood piece that the planer can handle. The maximum thickness and width of a board that can be accommodated by the machine are determined by its planing height and width rating. Also, the maximum cut in a single pass is determined by the machine’s planing depth. Unlike a jointer, a planer would keep the maximum thickness of a curved wood piece even after the planing. The jointer would turn it completely flat on all surfaces. That’s where the difference between a planer and a jointer lies.
Ergonomics refers to the design language of a tool that increases its durability, ease of use, maintenance and safety. An ergonomic design ensures a better working experience as ergonomics is all about engineering on the design of a tool that aims to improve work-experience.
You will have more confidence in buying a product with a warranty because of the protection that it offers if it is defective. You should consider buying one that has a minimum of 3-years warranty.
The quality and durability of the machine are determined by the material it is made from. Mostly, the material used in its construction determines the cost of the product. You should choose a model that is made from high-quality materials; of course, it does influence its durability and performance.
10. Other features
These are features that are included in the design and construction of these machines to enhance its performance and usability. They are usually found in the product descriptions. You should consider buying models with these extra features and choose the right type of hand planers for your project.
Consider a good price to quality ratio. You should understand that the price tag on a product may or may not be determined by its quality. There are some budget-friendly hand planers that come with high-quality features. Usually, the prices of these tools range from $30 to $200.
Care & maintenance tips
A good planer can always work at maximum capacity if it is given the required care and maintenance at the right time. This will help to reduce its inefficiency that may result from friction or aging. One of the major reasons you should maintain your hand planer is to increase its lifespan. Usually, setting up this machine is not that difficult. The user manual guide should be followed strictly.
Just like other industrial tools available, a hand planer requires adequate and regular maintenance. However, the procedure for the maintenance may vary in accordance with the type of machine you’re using. The following tips will be helpful in your daily care and maintenance routine.
Your hand planer should be stored in a good and secure place. If it is wrongly stored, it exposes the machine to damages while you could as be at risk of accident or injury. The proper storage of the machine is very essential for your personal safety and its durability as well.
Rusting will limit the performance of the machine and consequently, may ground it permanently. One of the leading causes of rusting is poor storage. In addition to storing the machine properly, you should scrape off the rust and apply some penetrative oil on it immediately. This will mitigate its spread and helps to renew the rusted portions.
The moving parts of an electric hand planer should be oiled periodically to reduce friction which may inhibit the performance of the machine. In addition, friction can cause overheating and the energy which would have been spent on the workpiece would be wasted on overcoming friction.
Sharpening the blades
The blades of the wood planer should be adequately sharpened regularly to obtain a smooth and accurate surface. Also, you should maintain the correct orientation of the cutting blades always. This is even more applicable to a manual hand planer.
There are parts of this machine that must be replaced periodically. For example, moving parts and blades. Only the manufacturer’s recommended parts should be used for their replacements. Also, the repairs must only be handled by certified personnel.
Bolts and Nut
The moving parts of the machine are held tight by the bolts and nuts. You should do the periodical adjusting using the wrench and screwdrivers to ensure that there is no loose part that may bring some damage to the machine.
Safety tips & tricks
Always wear safety glasses that are equipped with side shields
All persons working around the machine should be provided with hearing protection
The thickness, length, and width of the wood should be carefully examined before starting the planing operation
Clean off any dirt or foreign object especially metals that are on the workpiece to protect the machine from harm
Examine the dust collection mechanism to see if it’s working before commencing with the planing
Stand on a convenient side while using a planing kit
Don’t focus your eyes on the planer while the operation is on
Stop or lock the machine before making any adjustment or removing any woodchip from the blades
Don’t plane woods that are less than 10mm thick to prevent it from damaging
There should adequate allowance between the board and the outfeed end
The boards should not be too wide to prevent it from catching on the feed which may result in overheating
Having read our top hand planer reviews, you should have the confidence in finding the right one. You will know the difference if you pick the right tool. We are confident that our detailed review and ratings will help you choose for yourself. You should also keep a good quality benchtop planer in your collection as a complementary tool while working on bigger projects.
Our top recommended model is the DEWALT DCP580B which features a brushless motor powered by a 20V battery, running at a no-load speed of 15000RPM. This bad boy is sturdy and durable enough to accompany you through all hand planing needs, yet, coming at a very affordable price.
Second, on the list comes the WEN 6530 which has an amazing power to weight ratio. Despite falling on low-price category, it can make 32000 cuts per minute on woods of maximum width of 3 ¼ inches. Its features and specifications offer a much higher value than its market price.
The Drillly team worked hard preparing these well-researched hand plane reviews of the best hand planers currently available on the market. These models will be ideal for any project that you will be embarking upon.
Q: What are hand planers used for?
Ans: The primary use of a hand planer is shaping woods. Since these are hand tools that involve muscle power to operate, they are not suitable for industry-grade heavy duty tasks. However, motorized hand planers can undertake larger tasks than the do the manual ones.
Q: Can a hand planer be used as a jointer?
Ans: Hand planers are mainly used for shaping and planing wood work pieces. To some extent they can do the job of a jointer, but you can’t expect the level of finish and accuracy of a jointer from them.
Q: What is the frog on a hand plane?
Ans: The blade support of a hand planer employs a casting on the body which is responsible for the side-to-side and back-and-forth adjustments. This casting is known to be the frog.
Brent lives in Wisconsin and is a woodworker, custom cabinetmaker, interior consultant, and a freelance writer who got the opportunity to write several magazine articles for different publications on home … Read More
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