The hand planer has always been the best tool used to shape, straighten or smoothen wood surfaces in the house or workshop. This has been one of the most indispensable tools in a carpenter’s toolbox. Despite the invasion of power tools like jointers, routers, and sanders into the woodworking industry which performs similar tasks faster, the best hand planer either manual or electric powered 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 the hand planer. This unique tool can also be used independently of 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 you will always find it in my workshop.
There are many hand planer brands on the market and choosing the one that suits your needs could be confusing. This hand planer review is packed with all you need to know before buying a hand planer and details of the top 10 best hand planer models on the market.
What Are Hand Held Planers Used For?
A hand planer is used to create woods of equal thickness and to flatten their surfaces. They are equipped with a knob that allows you to control the thickness of the cut.
In addition, the planer 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 by using a hand planer 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 wood planer, you can easily process rough woods to obtain the right board size or thickness for your projects instead of spending money on already processed boards.
Hand held planers are light, easy to use and easy to maintain. You shouldn’t be a professional woodworker before buying a hand planer. However, I will be discussing the various factors you should consider before buying any of these products to help you in picking the best hand planer.
Things to Consider While Buying Best Hand Planer
Hand planers are very useful for flattening and smoothing of wood surfaces. Buying the best 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 product.
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.
The higher the power rating of the machine the better. Motors with high power rating can deliver more cuts in record time than those with lesser ratings.
3. Performance and Precision
Many of the products on the market offer good performance and accurate cuts that enhance the quality of your finishing. You should buy a hand planer that can create the cuts exactly as you desire.
4. Feed Speed
This is the speed which the planer passes through the board. The feed speed is higher in thickness planers than portable hand planers.
5. Cuts per inch
This is another important factor to consider when buying the best wood planer for yourself. 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 hand planer with a good cuts per inch rating.
6. Planing Height and width and depth
These three features determine the dimension 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.
This includes special designs on the hand held wood planer that helps to increase its durability, ease of use, maintenance and safety. The best wood planer models on the market should come with good ergonomic design.
You will have more confidence in buying a product with a warranty because of the protection that it offers if the product is defective. You should consider buying a product 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 buy products that are 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 products description. You should consider buying products with these extra features and choose the right type of hand planers for your project.
You should consider buying a product with 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. However, you should read various reviews on the product to know if it’s worth the investment.
How Did We Pick the Best?
I and my team started the search for the best planer by testing and reviewing several products, so we could present a reliable and dependable hand held planer review. My years of using this machine for my projects has taught me some of the most important requirements of the woodworker from the best hand wood planer. How did we go about this?
We started by itemizing the major features that the best planer models should have, and we selected and tested them based on these criteria. These features include power, performance and precision, cuts per inch, feed speed, type, budget, ergonomics, and warranty. After we had successfully examined these products, we compiled a report based on their performance and quality features.
We were assisted by community-based volunteers who tested and examined the selected products based on their features, price, and performance. During the test, we discovered that each of the products had their advantages and disadvantages and non-was completely perfect. Our volunteers compiled their reports which helped us to have a deeper understanding of their hidden qualities.
My team and I spent time on web research to compare and analyze various reports from users who bought these products from online stores. We observed that their ratings and comments were based on the performance and durability of the hand planers.
In addition, we read other hand planer reviews and articles from different blogs and sites. We examined how each of the sites rated these products and the criteria they used. We observed that their major criteria for the top picks were on price, quality, and performance which is the same as ours.
Finally, we consulted with experts who have had years of experience with hand held planers. Some of the experts recommended to us most of the models that we tested.
We combined the data from web research, experts, community-based volunteers, and opinion to create a list that will help you to buy hand planer that matches your desire and budget. Before we jump to the list of our top hand planer products, we would like you to know some of the things to look for in the best planer models.
Our Top ten Best Hand Planer
This hand planer reviews section covers the products which have been selected based on their features and budget. If you already know the type of wood you’ll be using as well as your rate of production, you can easily choose the ideal product that suits your needs from our list of the top 10 best hand planers.
Care and Maintenance Tips
The Best hand 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.
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 planer 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 the best 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 tighten them periodically using the wrench and screwdrivers to ensure that there is no loose part that may bring some damage to the machine.
Hand Planer Safety Tips
- 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 planing.
- 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 best hand planer reviews, now, you should have the confidence to shop for the best hand planer on the market. You will enjoy numerous benefits by using the right tool. We are confident that our detailed review and ratings will help you to buy the best planer that suits your preference. You should keep a good quality benchtop planer in your collection too for a great woodworking project.
Our best overall model is the DEWALT DCP580B which features a brushless motor that is powered by a 20V battery and runs at a no-load speed of 15000RPM. This product is very sturdy and durable, still, at a very affordable price.
Our second-best model is the WEN 6530 which has a very good power to weight ratio. It is a cheap hand planer yet can make 32000 cut per minute on woods of maximum width of 3 ¼ inches. Its features and specifications are much higher than the price.
It will interest you that all our top picks are quality products with excellent performance to give you the expected value for your money. These models will be ideal for any project that you will be embarking upon.