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Woodworking Tools

The Best Hand Planers, According to 14,000+ Customer Reviews

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 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 perfect hand planer. We painstakingly conducted our research in ranking the top 10 best-value models on the market.

Top 10 Best Hand Planers Reviewed

01 DEWALT DCP580B (Top Choice)


The DEWALT DCP580B is our 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 of 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 planning 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
  • Voltage: 20V
  • 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 a battery


  • The blade is not very suitable for hardwood projects

Our Verdict

This device 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.

02 WEN 6530 Electric (The Budget King)

WEN 6530 Electric

If you are not comfortable with the price of DEWALT DCP580B, you can consider the WEN 6530. This model is one of the 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 of 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
  • Amperage: 6A
  • 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

Our Verdict

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.

03 PORTABLE-CABLE PC60THP (Top Thickness Hand Planer)


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 unit 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
  • Amperage: 6A
  • Motor speed: 16500RPM
  • Voltage:120V
  • 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

Our Verdict

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.

04 Makita XPK01Z 18V LXT (The Cordless Powerhouse)

Makita XPK01Z 18V LXT

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 it’s 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
  • Voltage: 18V
  • 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 a 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.

Our Verdict

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. This is the best hand planer for professionals that require powerful but mobile planing tools.

05 Makita KP0810 7.5Amp (Advanced Option)

Makita KP0810 7.5Amp

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 remove 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
  • Wattage: 850W
  • 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

Our Verdict

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.

06 Bosch PL2632K

Bosch PL2632K

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 is 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 allow 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
  • Amperage: 6.5A
  • Motor speed: 16500RPM
  • Voltage: 120V
  • 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

Our Verdict

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
  • Amperage: 7A
  • 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.

Our Verdict

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.

08 DEWALT D26677K


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
  • Amperage: 5.5A
  • Voltage: 120V
  • 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

Our Verdict

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 cuts 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.

09 BLACK & DECKER 7698K 5.2-Amp Hand Planer

BLACK & DECKER 7698K 5.2-Amp Hand Planer

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. It is 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 the dust bag, an 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 guide.


  • Sturdy construction
  • Excellent stability
  • Robust motor
  • Suitable for multipurpose tasks
  • Ergonomic design
  • Affordable


  • A bit loud when in action

Our Verdict

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.

10 Makita 1806B

Makita 1806B

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
  • Amperage: 10.9A
  • Planing width: 6-3/4 inches
  • Planing depth: 1/16 inches
  • Voltage: 115V
  • 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

Our Verdict

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.

Best Hand Planers – A Comprehensive Buying Guide

Best Hand Planers 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.

1. Types

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. Their spokeshave design is a bit different but they fall in the manual category.

2. Power

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.

7. Ergonomics

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.

8. Warranty

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.

9. Material

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.

11. Cost

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.

What are hand-held planers used for?

What are hand-held planers used for

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 planer 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.

Planer storage

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.

Eliminate rust

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.

Replacement parts

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 make periodical adjustments using the wrench and screwdrivers to ensure that there is no loose part that may bring some damage to the machine.

Hand planers 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


Q. 1: What are hand planers used for?

Ans: The primary use of a hand planer is shaping woods. Since these are hand-held 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 unlike the manual ones.

Q. 2: Can a hand planer be used as a jointer?

Ans: Hand planers are mainly used for shaping and planing wood workpieces. They can do the job of a jointer to some extent but you can’t expect the level of finish and accuracy of a jointer from them.

Q. 3: 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.

Q. 4: Hand planer vs electric planer – What’s better?

Ans: Hand planers cost less and are good for home-based DIYers for occasional use while electric planers are faster, provide a wider surface for better results, and won’t wear you out.

Q. 5: Can I use a sander instead of a planer?

Ans: The main purpose of a sander is to smoothen out the surface of the wood. Planers can also do the same but they can cut deep into the wood that a sander cannot. This means removing layers of wood with a sander will be time-consuming and expensive.

Q. 6: Can I use a hand planer across grain?

Ans: No, you should not because it can be harmful to the tool and to yourself as well. The product quality won’t be satisfactory in most cases.

Q. 7: Can I use a hand planer on a cutting board?

Ans: Yes, you can but don’t try it if you are a beginner, especially on the end grain side of the cutting board.

Q. 8: Can I run glued boards through a planer?

Ans: The answer is yes if you’re talking about some big wads of glue. But the glue should be dry so it doesn’t stick to the blades or clog up the planer.

Q. 9: Can planer knives be sharpened?

Ans: Yes, you can try sharpening to around 600 grit. If you go any finer, the edge won’t last long. You can use a diamond hone for refining the edges of the knives.

About the author

Brent Butterworth

A Professional Woodworker & Custom Furniture Builder

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 improvement and woodworking. He’s always amazed at the depth and breadth of woodworking all over the globe, and feels proud to be a part of this great effort. Brent has built everything one can imagine, from unique art furniture to different types of home furniture to canoes and even a sailboat.

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