Best Benchtop Planers - Reviews & Buyer’s Guide 2019

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Choosing from the best benchtop planers can be a breeze if you understand your project needs exactly.

Before you buy, consider the cost, as it relates exactly to your needs.

You don’t need extra features of a high-end industrial planer if you’re working with woods whose widths are less than 13-inches.

More than that, power source is an important consideration, because it determines whether a planer can slice thicknesses in the hardest of hardwoods.

With insufficient power, your planer can grind to a halt.

Extra knives can give you an edge, and more so if they’re made of resistant materials, such as carbide or granite.

Consider feed speed if you want to accomplish more in less time. Two-feed speed tables can accelerate your work.

When it comes to the ease of replacement, double-edged knives perform better. Replacing blades is a time- and effort-consuming process.

Best of all, double-edged blades last longer.

You need a planer to thickness a board, not to flatten it.

Your goal isn’t to achieve the level of smoothness, as in a hand-plane or a sandpaper.

Read our thickness planers review to learn more.

Top 3 Benchtop Wood Planers With Great Performance and Budget

10 Best Benchtop Thickness Planers Review

1. DeWalt DW735X Two-speed Thickness Planer

Key Features:

  • 15-ampere power source
  • Three-knife rotating cutter-head
  • Two-speed feed tables
  • Carriage lock limits snipe
  • Built-in dust blower

DeWalt produces top-rated benchtop wood planers for professional woodworkers.

With a board width for a small workshop, 13-inches is at the apex, lying somewhere between a small and an industrial size.

Powering the motor rotating at 20,000 RPM, which, in turn rotates a cutter-head bearing three knives at 10,000 RPM, a 15-ampere power is enough to cut any tough hardwood without straining the motor.

You get an industrial feel on a smaller scale.

You don’t need to limit snipe-causing motion manually, as a carriage lock takes care of that.

Unlike most planers, there are two different speeds, which the knives cut lumbers you feed into the device – 179-cuts-per-inches (179 CPI) for a fine finish and 96-cuts-per-inches (96 CPI) for quick dimensioning.

Made of cast aluminum, a base where the planer sits is twice as rigid as a standard 10-inch counterpart.

Moreover, no need to worry about wood chips and dust piling up on the blades, as a built-in blower removes them.

All you need is a dust collector, because air flow from the fan-assisted blower can send off wood chips everywhere, making your workshop untidy.

There’s a dial, which you can use to set depth, ranging from 1-¼-inches to 1/8-inches, enabling you to convert rough lumbers to even boards.

Changing blades using an Allen wrench is easy, as there is enough space inside the cutter-head when you remove the cover.

Blade life is 30% more durable than the standard, as you don’t need to sharpen them again.

You need to wear earmuffs to shield your ears from noise.

2. DeWalt DW734 Review

Key Features:

  • Extra-long feed tables
  • Three-knife rotating cutter-head
  • One-speed feed tables
  • Carriage lock prevents snipe

Anyone with enthusiasm for woodcutting would find a delight with this benchtop planer.

What’s more striking about the dewalt DW734 planer is the extra length of in-feed and out-feed tables that come with it.

Accuracy is almost a guarantee with every pass.

Coming with a three-blade cutter-head, which rotates at 10,000 RPM, feed speed is fixed at 96-cuts-per-inch.

You’ll find the feed speed much more suitable for quick dimensioning than smoothing.

But the cutter-head rotates under the influence of a motor rotating at 20,000 RPM with a 15-ampere power.

And so, the benchtop planer can comfortably cut through not more than 12-½-inches and 1/8-inches of tough hardwood width and depth, respectively.

Preventing snipe-causing movement is a carriage lock with four columns.

Blades last 30% longer than the standard – no need to re-sharpen.

And since you can switch between blades, retightening and finding a fresh blade is quick, as a machining of a pin set penetrates a machining of holes on the blade.

You may need to remove manually wood shavings, dust or debris that’s built up on the blades.

Thankfully, a hood at the back can connect with any collector, including a shop vacuum.

No doubt a heavy duty device at 80-pounds (36kg), the one-speed thickness planer gives you a solid feel.

You can set depth to a maximum of 1/8-inches using a gauge.

Just as any other heavy-duty thickness planer, dewalt DW734 is noisy. Protect your ears by wearing earmuffs.

While not nearly as pricey as other DeWalt models, the one-speed planer is a worthwhile investment, given its amazing features.

3. WEN 6550 Benchtop Thickness Planer

Key Features:

  • 15-ampere power source
  • Three-roller rotating system
  • Two-knife middle roller
  • Fan-assisted dust port
  • Abrasion-resistant granite table

While you may go down to 6-inches deep after several passes, the maximum depth you can go with every pass is 3/32-inches.

Shaving any tough hardwood with this benchtop planer isn’t a problem. A 15-ampere-powered motor rotates a system of three rollers with two blades on a middle roller to slice wood thickness at a decent rate of 26-feet-per-minute.

Translating to about 18,800-cuts-per-minute, the machine shaves any hardwood without hesitation.

Woodworking using any planer generates lots of wood shavings, and debris and dust can build up on the blade, making it blunter and less durable.

WEN knew this; and so, included a fan-assisted port to expel sawdust and shavings. The port connects with a hose.

Like no other base upon which the benchtop planer sits, cast iron makes it up for a heavy-duty and firm planer.

You can be sure of a smooth, grind-free pass, as the 100% pure granite table composition is abrasion-resistant. Nor does the foldable table warp, ensuring precision in support of wood passing.

Best of all, wood shavings won’t hang around the granite surface.

Feeding requires a rugged board not wider than 12-½-inches.

There’s a knob you can use to adjust depth.

While it’s nearly impossible to remove snipe completely, an extension of the extra-long granite table plus firm base do a good job of limiting snipe-causing movement.

Not just that, but a system of three rollers reduces snipe.

Just as awesome are reversible knives on the centermost roller. Hence, no need to re-sharpen the blades.

4. Jet Planer JWP-208HH

Key Features:

  • Spiral rotating cutter-head
  • 92 four-sided carbide-tipped knives
  • 27-ampere power source
  • Two-speed feed tables
  • Heavy-duty and robust construction

If you’re looking for a benchtop planer for a larger-scale capacity work than a small workshop, consider JWP-208HH.

Far much pricier than its medium-sized counterparts, this benchtop planer processes lots of woodwork within a short period, as the table moves quickly and precisely.

On a spiral cutter-head are 92 carbide knives with four sides to shave up to 20-inches wide work-pieces. In addition, work-pieces need to have a length of between 6-¾-inches and 25-¾-inches.

With every pass, cuts can go as deep as 3/32-inches at the 20-inch width. Not more than 8-inches deep can cuts go after several passes.

Powering the induction motor is a powerful 27-ampere corded-electric source, empowering the cutter-head to make 5000 revolutions per minute (RPM).

There are two feed speeds, ranging from 24- to 31-feet-per-minute (FPM), which you can adjust automatically using a chain tensioner.

What’s most awesome about this product is its silence and speed. You can do a lot of work within a short period.

Without doubt, the helical head planer is heavy, weighing 837-pounds (380kg). You may need some sort of a pulley system to lift it if you want to save your back.

Cast iron and steel combine to make up the heavy-duty construction. Thus, you’ve a little cause for concern over sniping, as the robust construction gives a firm support. Contributing to minimizing sniping is a set of three in-feed and out-feed rollers.

Accessing the gear box shouldn’t be a problem.

Dust removal is a breeze, as you can connect your collector with the port through a hose.

5. WEN 6552 Planer Review

Key Features:

  • 15-ampere power source
  • Three-roller rotating system
  • Three-knife middle roller
  • One-speed feed tables
  • Variable tri-roller height

Not requiring a deep pocket for planing, WEN 6552 has everything you need for woodcutting at an affordable price.

A powerful 15-ampere source provides power to a motor, which rotates three rollers, the middle of which has three knives.

Each of the three knives has a double edge, so you can reverse them, saving you the need for re-sharpening. And that counts toward extending knife life.

Snipe is minimal as a result of the three-roller system of feeding.

What’s most unique about this benchtop planer is that you can comfortably vary the height of the tri-roller system using a handle with a rubber grip.

All you require is to feed a work-piece no thicker than 13-inches to the planer. What you get after a single pass is no more than 3/32-inch less thickness than before. Several passes slice thickness to a depth of not more than 6-inches.

A one-speed table moves your work-piece at a rate of 26-feet-per-minute (FPM) through the device.

With an extra knife, you’ve an advantage, because the knives chop off thickness at a rate of 25,500-cuts-per-minute.

Like most planers, there’s a fan-assisted port, which blows out wood shavings out of the work-piece and can mess your workshop if don’t connect any dust collector through a hose.

You can even tell the amount of wood shavings from the gauge for onboard planing.

In case your work-piece is long, you can fold out the in-feed and out-feed tables to extend the length. That can also count toward minimizing snipe.

6. Grizzly G0505 Review

Key Features:

  • One-speed feed tables
  • 15-ampere power source
  • Two-knife rotating cutter-head
  • Double Knife thickness
  • Extra-long foldout tables

If your main concern is speed, you won’t mind a thickness planer, with one-speed feed tables moving with a rate of 32-feet-per-minute, at a slightly greater price.

A 15-ampere power source enables the induction motor to cause the cutter-head to spin at a rate of 10,000 RPM.

On the cutter-head are two double-edged blades, slicing board thickness at a rate of 52 cuts per inch.

You may need a hand-plane or a sandpaper to remove small machine marks, although thickness remains accurate.

G0505’s edge is in its 1/8-inch thick blades, which are twice as thick as the standard blade thickness at 1/16-inches.

Thus, you can reverse the blades, saving you from the hassles of re-sharpening and contributing to durability. In relation to that, blades won’t become blunt until after a long period.

Boards shouldn’t be more than 12-½-inches wide to pass through the machine. Each pass chops off board thickness by a depth of not more than 3/32-inches, depending on your setting.

Several passes shave not more than 6-inches of thickness. However, your board should be thicker than 13/64-inches.

Compared to other planning machines, G0505’s weight of 78-pounds (35.41kg) is light and portable. And so, its muscle quality may not match up to its heavy-duty counterparts.

Cast iron makes up the table construction, giving you a solid feel necessary for withstanding vibration. With vibration-free pass-through, tear-outs and snipes are minimal.

However, you’ll have to wear ear protection, as the one-speed thickness planer is noisy.

Even if you’re working on extra-long work-pieces, foldout tables extend accordingly.

7. Makita 2012NB Reviews

Key Features:

  • No need for earmuffs
  • 15-ampere corded-electric power source
  • Feed rollers support cutter-head
  • Two-knife rotating cutter-head
  • Interna-Lok design minimizes snipe

Weighing 61.8-pounds (28.06kg), you may not need a cart to transport Makita 2012NB to your jobsite.

Most outstanding other than its lightness is quietness. You won’t need earmuffs to shield your ears from an 83-decibel noise.

Rotating the cutter-head at a speed of 8500-revolutions-per-minute is a 15-ampere corded-electric source that powers the motor.

Supporting the cutter-head are feed rollers to minimize snipe. With that power, you can cut most of hardwoods without any problems.

At such a speed, two knives rotate to shave board thickness at a rate of 17,000-cuts-per-minute.

Every knife has a double edge and indexes itself, so you can reverse, reducing its risks of becoming blunt.

As you reverse the knives, the cutter-head locks in position and won’t rotate. Reversibility contributes to durability, too.

Feeding requires widths of boards not exceeding 12-inches. The table conveys your board through the machine at a rate of 28-feet-per-minute.

Every pass chops off thickness by not more than 1/8-inches. And you can slice up to 6-3/32-inches of thickness with repeated passes. You can set depth using a stop to maintain cutting thickness for an even finish.

Snipe is minimum, since the head-clamp has an Interna-Lok design to improve performance. Contributing to an anti-snipe ability is a four-post design plus a diagonal cross for firm movement.

And because a built-in hood frees the board from wood shavings, you require a hose to connect it to a collector.

The foldout table extends for an extra-long board.

All these amazing features you get at a bit higher price than most thickness planers on the market.

8. Powertec PL1251 Review

Key Features:

  • Side-mounted handles for portability
  • 15-ampere power source
  • Four-column construction design
  • High 18,800-cuts-per-minute rate
  • Return rollers are present

If you intend to even out surfaces of old, worn-out boards, consider a thickness planer with a two-knife cutter-head at a very affordable price.

While not belonging to the heavy-duty category, Powertec PL1251 weighs 63.6-pounds (28.87kg). You can lift it without necessarily breaking your back, as side-mounted handles ensure portability.

What’s more outstanding about budget benchtop wood planers is that they’re not outrageously expensive, as you can get them under $300.

Don’t mistake low-cost for subpar quality. Powertec has features that will surprise and delight you in equal measure at its price range.

Knives chop off thickness in boards with a width of up to 12-½-inches. Rotation speed of cutter-head is 9400-revolutions-per-minute – a reasonable speed under the influence of a 15-ampere rotating motor. Rate of cutting is quite high at 18,800-cuts-per-minute.

Saving you from the tedium and time-consuming hassles of making many passes, knives slice as large a thickness as 3/32-inches with a single pass as long as the board’s width doesn’t exceed 5-inches.

A set-up of an index pin enables you to replace the knives easily. While you replace the knives, a spindle lock prevents their motion, which may cause an injury.

Even a slicing thickness of 1/32-inches with every pass for widths ranging from 5- to 12 ½-inches remains acceptable. You can slice thicknesses up to 6-inches with multiple passes.

Snipe shouldn’t be a big issue, as a four-column design of the construction ensures precise and stable movement.

Even if a board is longer than the table, return rollers are present to provide the necessary support.

9. Dewalt DW735 Review

Key Features:

  • 15-ampere power source
  • Two-speed feed tables
  • Three-knife rotating cutter-head
  • Double-edged and reversible knives
  • Two shrouds clear shavings

Without question, DW735 is among the top brands for wood plane.

For a professional woodworker who requires extra features at a reasonable price, a thickness planer with a two-speed table would captivate you.

Rotating at 10,000-revolutions-per-minute under the influence of a 15-ampere-powered motor rotating at twice the rate, the power is sufficient to slice thickness off of wide and deep boards without hesitation.

Speaking of slicing thickness, no more than 1/8-inches can be removed with every pass. Even though, with multiple passes, you can shed off as much as 6-inches at a width not exceeding 13-inches.

As has been said, there are two feed speeds – 96- and 179-cuts-per-inches for fast dimensioning and a fine finish, respectively.

The cutter-head bears three blades, each of which is double-edged.

Therefore, all you need to do is to reverse the blades from time to time to ensure that they last longer before you need to re-sharpen them. By the by, re-sharpening is a time-consuming and expensive process.

As long as your board isn’t longer than 33-½-inches, you can feed it to the machine without problems.

You also don’t need to memorize your favorite depth settings, as a turret stop takes care of that.

Belonging to a heavy-duty category, as it weighs 80-pounds (36.32kg), DW735 has a muscle quality.

While every thickness planer generates lots of wood shavings, there are two shrouds which clears them from the work-piece.

While one shroud blows out the shavings onto the floor, the other sends them to a collector.

When you’re working on several pieces and you don’t feel like emptying the collector when full, the double shroud system comes in handy.

10. Cutech 40200 HC-CT

Key Features:

  • 26 two-sided carbide-tipped blades
  • Quieter than most planers
  • 15-ampere power source
  • Heavy-duty guide posts
  • Variable height depth stock

At a reasonably affordable cost, you can get a benchtop planer with a helical cutter-head bearing 26 double-edged carbide-tipped knives with two sides.

As a professional woodcutter who can’t afford an industrial machine but wants to get more work done in a relatively short period, Cutech 40200 HC-CT is a suitable replacement.

Quieter than most planers, no need for ear protection.

A 15-ampere power drives the motor, which influences the rotation of the cutter-head.

Minimizing snipe are four heavy-duty guide posts. These combine with two heavy-duty height screws and a snipe lock on the cutter-head to reduce snipe.

So, your first-end feed won’t develop “dips” in it.

More appealing about the 92-knife thickness planer is that tables are extra-long, and internal gears and a depth stock are available for you to adjust height.

Thus, you can always set depth, so as to get even surfaces when doing repeat passes.As long as your board isn’t longer than 33-½-inches, you can feed it to the machine without problems.

You can run multiple boards of various sizes through the machine, because a slide stop enables you to adjust cut depth easily.

At 90-pounds (40.86kg), 40200 HC-CT is a heavy-duty machine, given the material construction.

A chute is present to blow out sawdust from the work-piece. The design of the chute ensures efficient dust removal to prevent tear-outs when working on warped boards and hardwoods, no matter how hard.

Changing or rotating the carbide-tipped knives on the cutter-head is a breeze, as you don’t have to spend lots of time and effort. Therefore, blades won’t get blunt until after a very long period.

The Ultimate Guideline to Choose Benchtop Wood Planers

This guideline intends to equip you with tools to guide your buying decision-making. We hope you’d be able to make the right decision in choosing a thickness planer for your needs.

In the end, results matter. Whether you want to convert a warped piece of wood or a fine finish, it’s up to you to choose what feels like you. More than that, you want a great investment for a woodcutter.

Consider the following factors before you decide to buy a benchtop planer.

Cost

We’ve different budget limits, and not all of us may be able to own every planer available on the market.

You want to maximize value for your money. To do that, you need to evaluate your needs – know exactly what you want.

It won’t serve you well if you buy an expensive machine with extra features that you don’t need. And that boils down to your level of experience. Trust us, it matters a lot.

Is it your first time working with wood? Or, are you a seasoned woodworker?

These are salient questions.

Besides, industrial desktop planers are very pricey.

You don’t expect to buy a heavy-duty planer with a capacity to slice thicknesses of work-pieces 20-inches wide if you often work with less than 13-inch wide woods.

But if you handle large volumes, and you want to accomplish much in a relatively short period, you require a machine of JWP-208HH caliber.

Width and Depth

The size of work-pieces, boards or stocks you’re working with matters.

If you’re working with softwoods, a thickness planer with razor-sharp blades meant for slicing the hardest of hardwoods would be an overkill.

For a small workshop owner, we recommend working with widths less than 13-inches wide, as anything beyond that is industrial.

Depth matters because it determines how deep you would like to chop off thickness.

Luckily, most planers we’ve discussed so far have variable depth adjustment. As you may realize, maximum depths range between 1/8- and 3/32-inches.

Deeper cuts mean less passes, and a 1/8-inch thick knife slices deeper than a 3/32-inch thick knife. With several passes, planers give you a maximum depth ranging between 5-inches and 8-inches.

Blade or Knife

Knives with double edges are easier to replace and last longer than single-edged counterparts, as they won’t become blunt until after a very long period.

You won’t need to re-sharpen them often, as re-sharpening is a tedious and time-consuming process.

Knives with carbide tips tend to be more resistant and durable. They won’t break easily on difficult-to-cut hardwoods.

Type of Material

Not all knives can cut same types of hardwoods. The presence of knots contribute to difficulty in cutting.

The harder the material, the more power you require.

If you attempt to cut a harder material and a deeper depth with lower power, your machine may stall.

Dust Collection System Performance

Some thickness planers have a single port, hood or shroud while some have both. Ones with both tend to be more advantageous, as they save you the need to clean up the collector when you’re working fast.

Type of Job

You require a planer to thickness wood not to flatten it.

Moreover, you can remove unsightly edges left by sawing, convert old, worn-out lumber into a wonderful product and even out rough wood pieces.

If your focus is on quick dimensioning, accuracy is important. Planers with depth stops enable you to adjust thickness of your work-piece. You won’t have to worry about the depth setting when working quickly.

While desktop thickness planers may not produce smoothness that matches hand-planes or sandpapers, they are very precise.

On top of it all, benchtop planers cut deeper than hand-planes, as they have larger motors. Support system of desktop planers ensures unmatched precision.

Safety Tips for Benchtop Thickness Planers

Types of Hazards

  • Working with planers is generally noisy, time-consuming and tedious.
  • Ports and built-in blowers clear shavings from a work-piece and knives scattering them around the workspace.
  • Your workshop can be one hell of a messy place.
  • Shavings, chips, debris, sawdust or dust can enter your eye, causing irritations and injuries.
  • Noise above certain decibel levels can make you deaf over time.
  • Rotating blades and rollers can catch loose clothing putting you in harm’s way, especially when you’re replacing them.
  • Tear-outs, ridges and snipes are problems when you use a bench-top wood planer incorrectly.

Safety Precautions

  • Avoid wearing jewelry or gloves.
  • Ensure to turn off the planer before you plug it in.
  • You need to protect your ears, eyes and body.
  • Once you finish working, unplug the tool, son children won’t switch it on.
  • Avoid putting your hand under the cutters.

What to Wear

We recommend you wear the following in your workshop:

  • Tight-fitting clothing
  • Ear protection
  • Safety goggles
  • Dust mask

To avoid tear-out, feed the work-piece with the correct end forward.

Gang-feed to reduce sniping on the edges of the work-piece.

Before planing, be sure to remove grit and metal.

Conclusion

In this bench-top wood planers review, you’ve learned about our selection of the best thickness planers. You’ve also learned about what factors you need to consider when selecting the right planer for your needs.

Cost is an overarching factor, as it goes hand-in-hand with your needs. You don’t need to spend an arm and a leg on a pricey planer if you don’t have an idea of what you’re supposed to do with them.

Remember, extra features come with more cost and weight. In addition, consider the power source, as it relates to the revolutions of the rollers or cutter-head.

Use too low a power on a hard wood, and you risk your planer stalling. More power on a softwood is an overkill.

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