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10 Best Thickness Planers in 2021| Reviews & Buying Guide

If you are looking for a rough lumber planer in your woodshop, then a wood thicknesser is all you need. This is the term used in Australia and the United Kingdom. Other than that, you can call it a thickness planer tool or surface planer as it smoothly shears the rough irregular surface of the wood plank, turning it into a newer polished piece. You may also use the tool on any old wooden piece for refurbishing purposes and give a finer look to it.

Basically, it is highly difficult to work with a rough wooden lumber without a surface planer. This tool has a wider application in the woodworking industry, starting from a rugged, old, worn out surface to unusually thick lumber job. This is the reason, the users find wider application of this planer tool to maximise their woodworking potential.

The fact is that the construction of the thickness planer is usually bulk as it is a heavy duty floor tool. Plus, the tool is quite expensive, typically suited for the average-grade DIYers and occasional users. So, the need for the lightweight thickness planer is important. They are called the benchtop planers, whose function is similar to a bigger floor planer model, that too at lower capacity.

Well, a number of thickness planer brands are available these days, each having its exceptionals features. Yet, picking the best of the kind after going through a lengthy market list is difficult to decide which one is right for oneself. Therefore, we have come with a list of subtle quality thickness planers for you. Also, we have added the buyer's guide section to make your search precise and accurate.

10 Best Thickness Planers

Dewalt DW735 13-Inch Two Speed Thickness Planer

The first one that we will talk about is Dewalt DW735 13-Inch Two Speed Thickness Planer. This tool undoubtedly serves as a long-term investment that helps you save money as you will not need to buy a new planer every time. It is a compact machine of around 92 pounds and has an efficient 15-amp motor. These two components make the planer powerful enough to manage deep cutting efficiently in tougher hardwoods.

People often get confused between this product and the DW735X planer. The significant difference however is the lack of additional knives and infeed & outfeed tables in this product. Three-knife cutter heads increase the shelf life of this tool by 30 percent and also enhances its working speed. The two-speed gearbox lets users modify feed speeds to maximize cuts per inch at either CPI 96 or CPI 179. In addition, DW735 also has a fan-assisted chip ejection vacuum which chips off the head of the cutter and removes it from the unit all of which make it the best thickness planer for the money.

PROS

  • It is fitted with reversible knives.
  • Has 2-speed gearbox
  • Dust hose adaptor for chip ejection
  • Three blades enhance the cut precision
  • High quality and can last for a longer time

CONS

  • No additional knife set
  • No infeed and outfeed tables

2. Wen 6552T 13-Inch Thickness Wood Planer Best thickness planer under $400

Wen 6552T 13-Inch Thickness Wood Planer

Did you ever imagine that it is possible to bring old jagged boards to life again? But now you can do that with Wen 6552T 13-Inch Thickness Wood Planer, as this one helps in refurbishing a worn-out wood by providing an incredibly seamless finish. This tool is capable of handling 26 feet per minute, making this one of the fastest planers. The planer also has three-blade cutters that can also be reversed to increase its length. Not only this, but the model also comes with advanced fine-tunable depth adjustments.

For maximum precision, you can adjust the cut by as little as 1/64th of an inch. What really distinguishes this model from others is the affordable price of this machine. Wen planer has an on-board planing gauge which tends to keep users up-to-date about how many materials are collected after each run. It has a heavy-duty cast iron base that makes the product durable and prevents wobbling when not used.

PROS

  • It also has infeed and outfeed tables for enhancing the width capacity
  • Comes with a warranty of two years
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Affordable price
  • Fine-tune depth adjustment
  • Fitted with three-blade cutter
  • Fast feed rate

CONS

  • It is not appropriate for heavy-duty professional projects.
  • No extra set of bladed are provided

Powertec PL1251 15 Amp 2-Blade Benchtop Thickness Planer

Powertec PL1251 15 Amp 2-Blade Benchtop Thickness Planer is undoubtedly efficient and convenient. Every professional can think of purchasing this one due to its guarantee of providing accurate results. It is fitted with a robust 15 A electric motor, which helps accomplish all the woodworking projects. The Powertec planer also features a two-blade cutting device and a precision steel cutter head with a lack that produces 18,800 cuts per minute. All of these features make this one an efficient and quick planer tool for the professionals.

In addition, the planer can also avoid wobbling with the help of the anti-wobble base. This planer supports an array of plane boards that can measure up to 12.5 inches long and a width of 6 inches. The two-knife cutting system is perfect for making deep cuts in both soft and hardwoods. As a result, we can say that it is a versatile tool for a variety of tasks done by professional and DIY woodworkers. 

Check Out: best electric hand planer

PROS

  • Affordable price
  • Light in weight
  • Comes with a warranty of one year
  • Powerful 15 Amp motor
  • Heavy-duty anti-wobbling base

CONS

  • Two-knife cutter head
  • Snipe issues
  • Poor depth

Grizzly G0505 12-1/2-Inch Portable Planer

The Grizzly G0505 12-1/2-Inch Portable Planer is definitely one of the best benchtop planers for woodworking. This compact planer is made up of metal that makes it robust and extremely durable. Using this planer, you can cut through all kinds of hardwood that are available in your workshop. The cutter-head has two knives, which give noticeable results when used by the professionals.

Grizzly planer comes with a 2 HP motor, feed rate of 32 FPM, and a cutter head of 10000 RPM. The maximum cutting width for the planer is 12-1/2 inches, the maximum cutting depth is 3/32 inches and the maximum thickness is 13/62 inches. This machine is portable due to its lightweight and is built for high-quality performance. It is a very safe product with an on/off toggle switch and a security lock. This will ensure that the machine stays turned off when not in use.

PROS

  • Very easy to assemble
  • Affordable price
  • Blade is sharp enough to cut through any type of wood
  • Long-lasting construction
  • Accurate results
  •  Lightweight and portable

CONS

  • Produces a lot of unwanted noise
  • Poor-depth cut

Dewalt DW734 Benchtop Planer

Dewalt DW734 Benchtop Planer is an older version of the aforementioned DW735 planer. One of the main benefits of this planer is the affordable price. Yes, you can save a lot of money on purchasing this planer when compared to the others. The powerful 15 A electric motor of this planer can execute on a wide range of hardwoods, and its three-knife cutter head rotates at 10,000 RPM to deliver 96 cuts per inch.

The DW734 uses changeable and disposable razor-sharp knives. Such knives last longer than conventional disposable knives by 30 percent. They also help you prevent expensive and time-consuming resharpening. In addition, the planner also provides a dust hood for the collection of chips and debris. This hood is mounted to a vacuum or standing dust collector. Very long infeed and outfeed tables attached to this planer provide material support of 33-1/2 inches. Turret depth stopper helps in saving your time while setting the machine depths.

PROS

  • Three-knife cutter head
  • Has a wide base
  • Does not make much noise
  • Cheaper alternative to DW735
  • Works efficiently

CONS

  • Very heavy and hence cannot be carried everywhere
  • Bladed get worn off very easily
  • Many users say the dust collection system isn't very successful

Makita 2012NB Thickness Planer

If you are looking for a portable planer for woodworking, then Makita 2012NB Thickness Planer is needed. This planer is very light in weight and can be carried very easily from one place to another. Furthermore, this also has a large table extension which is suitable for supporting the required workpiece. The noise level of this planer is very low which is 83dB, and hence you can use Makita planer anywhere and it makes it the best thickness planer for a small shop.

Do not get deceived by the small size of this convenient planer, as in real Makita planer is a potent tool for the professionals. It produces around 8,500 RPM with the help of an efficient motor. In addition, the maximum input width is 12 inches, and planing depth is 1/16th of an inch. To ensure the user's safety, the tool is fitted with LED lighting. The light shows whether or not the planer is connected into a power source. Many accessories like wrenches, disposable double-edged blades, key & toolbox, and a double edge planer blade are available in this planer kit.

PROS

  • Very compact and can be carried easily
  • Low noise emission
  • Fast planing
  • Produces 8,500 revolutions per minute
  • Comes with a one year warranty
  • Has large table extension
  • Comes along with many accessories

CONS

  • Dust collection hood is sold separately
  • Very expensive

Wen 6550 Benchtop Thickness Planer

The Wen 6550 Benchtop Thickness Planer helps refurbish worn-out and jagged wood by giving a smooth finish to it. WEN 12.5 inches Benchtop Thickness Planer with Granite Table repurposes raw and deteriorated wood to provide it with an incredibly smooth finish. When combined with a two-blade cutting system and a robust 15 A motor, this product can make around 18,000 cuts per minute at a feed rate of 26 feet/minute. This Wen 6550 planer can plane wooden boards that are 12.5 inches long and are 6 inches thick.

It also has an all-granite table to ensure that the wooden boards can get a perfectly flat surface. The granite used in this planer maintains its quality for the coming decades by not getting distorted or warped. Using the two side-mounted handles and foldable outfeed and infeed tables, the planer's transportation, and rearrangement become simple. The handles are hollowed inwards to make space for fingers to wind around freely.

PROS

  • Excellent value for money
  • Solid heavy base
  • Portable
  • High Quality
  • Works Excellently

CONS

  • It is not suitable for heavy-duty projects.
  • No spiral head cutter

Porter-Cable PC305TP 12″ Benchtop Thickness Planer

Porter-Cable PC305TP 12″ Benchtop Thickness Planer is the one that is perfect when you need something that is affordable and has a high shelf life. This is an excellent thickness planer to add to your workshop, as it happens to come at a very reasonable price with the amazing advantages. This one also has a strong 15 A electric motor, which facilitates superior stock removal with the help of 8,000 RPM cutter head speed. This cutter head provides 16,000 cuts per minute on the hardwood.

Double-knife and solid steel cutter head guarantees smooth operation and increased shelf life. Porter-Cable planer is ideal for structuring the lumber to the required thickness, and also does the planing of glued materials. For increased power transfer, the planer has a poly V belt cutter head drive fitted with a gearbox and sprocket feed roller. Lastly, when working with this planer, you can stay relieved as it does not produce much noise when operated. There won't be any complaints from the neighbors regarding loud noise.

PROS

  • Disposable knives are available
  • Compact and portable
  • Includes cutter elevation technology
  • Outfeed and infeed rollers increase the width capacity
  • Easy depth adjustment
  • Dual dust extraction 

CONS

  • Produces snipes
  • Single-speed planer
  • Can face quality control issues very often

Cutech 40600H-CT 13″ Spiral Cutterhead Thickness Planer

The Cutech 40600H-CT 13″ Spiral Cutterhead Thickness Planer is an excellent choice for the specialized woodworker who looks to preset the thickness for repetitive cuts. The quick depth stop is placed at the same position as in the original model. Even though the planer has a solid aluminum base and is enclosed in a stamped steel case, this still is very light in weight. This high-quality Cutech product will be doing the exact job as you want. It also features 26 two-sided cutting inserts that can be indexed very quickly.

Even though there is a solid aluminum base and sturdy stamped steel case, it is still lightweight in nature. The product is powered by a solid 15 A rip-roaring engine, making the planer very strong and hard enough to cut through hardwood. Planer tends to come with 14" X 9" infeed and outfeed tables, which are the perfect sizes needed for most woodworking projects. One of the best features of these products is the four leveling screw posts, which help eliminate snipe. 

PROS

  • Spiral shaped cutter head
  • Carbide blades
  • Decent dust control
  • Heavy-duty screw posts
  • Four heavy-duty guide posts

CONS

  • Very expensive

RIKON Power Tools 25-130H 13-Inch Thickness Planer

For a smooth and fine finish on any type of wood, RIKON Power Tools 25-130H 13-Inches Thickness Planer is a perfect choice. It is fitted with a very powerful electric motor that operates at 15 A and 115 V. This motor can very efficiently make cuts on wood, which are of maximum 1/8 inches of depth. Using the six-row helical cutter head, the planer can very easily cut both hard and softwood. This cutter head ensures a smooth and fine finish.

There are two dust collection ports available at the back of this Rikon planer. Each of them is present on either side of the machine. This tool includes a side handle for adjustment of table height, 4-post threaded housing for extra stability when operating, huge fold-up extension tables, flat surface for returning stock, and repetitive cut setting lever. The indexable knife insert is sharpened nicely on both edges and can be rotated or changed whenever needed.

PROS

  • Blades can be changed very easily
  • Gives smooth and fine finish on hard or soft wood
  •  Robust electric motor
  •  5 Year Warranty
  • Low noise produced

CONS

  • Very expensive for beginners

FAQs

Can you use a thickness planer as a jointer?

Yes, you can use a thickness planer as a jointer. To know the exact process, have a look at this video.

What’s the difference between a thickness planer and a jointer?

The main difference between a thickness planer and a jointer is their functionality. A jointer helps you even out the surface or create a flat surface. However, a planer is used to reduce the thickness of a wooden surface while also serving the role of a jointer by helping smoothen a surface.

Should you buy a jointer or planer first?

You should buy a planer first since it has more functionality than just buying a jointer. With a jointer, you can even out a surface and do few more things but with a planer, you can do thicknessing and also you get the freedom to make articles with any thickness you want.

Buyer's Guide: What should you look for in a thickness planer?

The best thickness planer does not necessarily have to be the costliest one. If you are expecting miracles could happen in your wood shop project with an expensive thickness planer, it is not so. Just make sure that whichever product you select for the purchase is worth investing in; means it should match your work purpose, how frequently you use the tool and on what type of wooden piece, etc.

Unlike the conventional planers, the recent planer tools have gone through much advanced processes to be innovative in various ways. That is the reason that makes the tool different from the regular planers.

Firstly, evaluate the type of wood shop project to you deal in regularly, then decide accordingly. If your work usually includes hours of effort, choose a lightweight planer tool which can withstand prolonged workload. Plus, check out the model design as the one with an ergonomic handle is better to work longer without getting instant fatigue feeling.

If you require a lot of effort for doing the same task, then go for a thickness planer with an accurate cutting depth or width, to finish your task in no time. The types of knives or material you are applying in the task should also be considered. Certainly, every manufacturer prefers using the top material for the knives, however, sometimes the type of wood piece could be hard to shear.

Think of the area of your work. Based on this, you have to decide if your planer should have the feature of dust collection in it. For example, if you are doing your work in an open area, there isn't much hassle to clean off the dust after work. But, for home garage-type workshops, having a dust collection port in a planer is a must.

Sometimes the wooden jobs need more creative finishing, while the others are straight and more mechanical, however in both cases accuracy and same dimension are the keys. In such cases, seek a planer with a depth stopper so that you can set the required thickness before cutting the board. Consequently, it will be time saving as you won’t have to waste much time learning the planer settings.

This makes handheld planers better for smoothing wood, but precision work is better left to the benchtop models. While you might say that since you are not used to working with such a tool, a lighter one might be easier to handle, in reality, handheld and benchtop do not only differ in matters of weight but mainly in the type of projects they can handle.

Concerning the pro-grade users, the handheld planer product is the most-sought among them as the tool is then easier to work with and carry around. However, a professional woodcrafter, who has years of experience working with different planer types, must be aware of the setbacks of a handheld planer over the portable ones in terms of work output.

Benchtop (portable) models come with a set of bigger motors, allowing easier cutting. On the top of that, the support system of this planer type stands out from the rest when talking about the high work precision.

Conclusion

Do your homework before rushing to the market to purchase a benchtop planer. Do not flow away with the product model look. A planer must be selected in accordance with the user specific demands. Failing to meet the requirements means that the product is either faulty or is not meant for your type of tasks. Correctly select the right model for the right job.

Here are our quick picks from the above planers list:

RIKON Power Tools 25-130H 13-Inches Thickness Planer is generally meant for the professionals as it is too expensive for the newbies or occasional users. The easily changeable planer blade feature makes it the most-sought planer product.

Cutech 40600H-CT 13″ Spiral Cutterhead Thickness Planer is famous for its carbide blade setup with decent dust control features. However, the higher budget of the tool ranked it the second.

Makita 2012NB Thickness Planer is for those who are looking for a compact, low noise emitting tool, and where budget extension is not an issue for the buyer. The separate purchase requirement of the product lined it to the third position.

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