The 10 Best Wood Planers of 2020

Best Wood Planer

Photo: DeWalt

For any woodworker, whether a beginner professional, straightening and smoothing boards is an essential process in most applications, and a planer is just the tool for that.

Wood planers rely on sharp knives/blades to shave off wood stock, creating smooth finishes and even chamfers. Uniform thickness can transform your wooden creations, hence the essence of investing in a planer.

When choosing a wood planer, motor power, cutting width, and planer type are some key considerations to make.

That’s why we’ve prepared this comprehensive wood planer review to help you choose the right to for your woodworking applications.

You can also read other product reviews of electric hand planer, jointer planer combo.

IMAGE

​PRODUCT

​FEATURES

Makita KP0810

1. Makita KP0810 (Best Overall Wood Planer)

  • Optimal power-speed balance
  • Premium 2-edge carbide blades
  • Durable aluminum construction
  • Efficient chip ejection support
Wen 6530

2. Wen 6530 (Best Budget Wood Planer)

  • Pocket-friendly price
  • Decent 17,000 RPM speed
  • 16 versatile positive stops
  • Kickstand offers protection
Porter-Cable PC305TP

3. Porter-Cable PC305TP (Best Professional Wood Planer)

  • Powerful 15-amp motor
  • 2 reversible carbon-steel knives
  • Advanced cutter head drive system
  • Superior 4-column stability system
Makita XPK01Z

4. Makita XPK01Z (Best Cordless Wood Planer)

  • Powerful 18V battery system
  • 2 heavy-duty carbide blades
  • Simplified depth adjustment
  • Rubberized rear/front grips
Bosch PL1632

5. Bosch PL1632 (Best Lightweight Wood Planer)

  • Lightweight at 6.3 pounds
  • Optimal power/speed combination
  • Protective lock-on/off button
  • Accuracy-enhancing components
DeWalt DW734

6. DeWalt DW734 (Best Planer for Hardwoods)

  • Heavy-duty 15-amp motor
  • 3 reversible knives for smooth cuts
  • Reversible and disposable knives
  • A long 33-1/2-inch feed tube
Wen 6550T

7. Wen 6550T (Heavy-Duty Benchtop Thickness Planer)

  • Superior cutting speed and power
  • Heavy-duty all-granite table
  • An advanced tri-roller feed system
  • Fan-assisted dust collection
Porter-Cable PC60THP

8. Porter-Cable PC60THP (Beginner Handheld Wood Planer)

  • Reliable 6-amp motor power
  • 10 robust positive depth stops
  • 3-groove edge chamfering support
  • Convenient dual-port dust extraction
Delta Power Tools 22-555

9. Delta Power Tools 22-555 (Thickness Planer for Wide Wood)

  • Superior 13-inch cutting capacity
  • Heavy-duty 15-amp motor
  • Reliable 4-column stability system
  • Simplified knife changes
DeWalt DW680K

10. DeWalt DW680K (Versatile DIY Wood Planer)

  • Smooth and even finishes
  • Rechargeable blades support
  • Great ergonomics for user comfort
  • Durable and reliable poly-V belt

PRODUCT

1. Makita KP0810

(Best Overall Wood Planer)

Makita KP0810
  • Optimal power-speed balance
  • Premium 2-edge carbide blades
  • Durable aluminum construction
  • Efficient chip ejection support

2. Wen 6530

(Best Budget Wood Planer)

Wen 6530
  • Pocket-friendly price
  • Decent 17,000 RPM speed
  • 16 versatile positive stops
  • Kickstand offers protection

3. Porter-Cable PC305TP

(Best Professional Wood Planer)

Porter-Cable PC305TP
  • Powerful 15-amp motor
  • 2 reversible carbon-steel knives
  • Advanced cutter head drive system
  • Superior 4-column stability system

4. Makita XPK01Z

(Best Cordless Wood Planer)

Makita XPK01Z
  • Powerful 18V battery system
  • 2 heavy-duty carbide blades
  • Simplified depth adjustment
  • Rubberized rear/front grips

5. Bosch PL1632

(Best Lightweight Wood Planer)

Bosch PL1632
  • Lightweight at 6.3 pounds
  • Optimal power/speed combination
  • Protective lock-on/off button
  • Accuracy-enhancing components

6. DeWalt DW734

(Best Planer for Hardwoods)

DeWalt DW734
  • Heavy-duty 15-amp motor
  • 3 reversible knives for smooth cuts
  • Reversible and disposable knives
  • A long 33-1/2-inch feed tube

7. Wen 6550T

(Heavy-Duty Benchtop Thickness Planer)

Wen 6550T
  • Superior cutting speed and power
  • Heavy-duty all-granite table
  • An advanced tri-roller feed system
  • Fan-assisted dust collection

8. Porter-Cable PC60THP

(Beginner Handheld Wood Planer)

Porter-Cable PC60THP
  • Reliable 6-amp motor power
  • 10 robust positive depth stops
  • 3-groove edge chamfering support
  • Convenient dual-port dust extraction

9. Delta Power Tools 22-555

(Thickness Planer for Wide Wood)

Delta Power Tools 22-555
  • Superior 13-inch cutting capacity
  • Heavy-duty 15-amp motor
  • Reliable 4-column stability system
  • Simplified knife changes

10. DeWalt DW680K

(Versatile DIY Wood Planer)

DeWalt DW680K
  • Smooth and even finishes
  • Rechargeable blades support
  • Great ergonomics for user comfort
  • Durable and reliable poly-V belt

1. Makita KP0810 – Best Overall Wood Planer

Makita KP0810

Photo: Makita

  • Type: Handheld
  • Power: 7.5 amp
  • Cutting Width: 3-1/4 inches
  • Speed: 16,000 RPM
  • Weight: 7.3 pounds

Coming in first is Makita KP0810, the best overall wood planer on our list for its perfect balance of performance, usability, and versatility for all-round woodworking.

It has engineered to excel in demanding woodworking applications thanks to its powerful 7.5-amp motor that outputs a 16,000-RPM speed. And because this planer features a 2-blade cutter head, the cutting speed increases to almost twice the motor speed for smoother finishes.

Performance is further enhanced by the planer’s premium double-edge carbide blades. In a single pass, the tool will plane width of up to 3-1/4 inches, and depth of 5/32-inch.

The tool is guaranteed to serve you for many years with consistent reliability because it is housed in die-cast aluminum with a ball-bearing construction.

For operational convenience, the tool supports left and right chip ejection. Also, there is a lock-on/off button you can operate from either side of the tool for continuous operation.

Your Makita KP0810, does, however, miss out on a dust collection bag, which means you may need to hook it up to a shop vac to reduce dirt and debris dispersal.

Pros:

  • Superior stock removal
  • Premium carbide blades
  • Durable construction
  • Supports chip ejection

Cons:

  • No dust collection bag

2. Wen 6530 – Best Budget Wood Planer

Wen 6530

Photo: Wen

  • Type: Handheld
  • Power: 6 amp
  • Cutting Width: 3-1/4 inches
  • Speed: 17,000 RPM
  • Weight: 6.5 pounds

If you’re looking for an affordable wood planer that doesn’t compromise on quality and performance, the Wen 6530 is a great choice.

It goes for less than $50, making it the most affordable on our list. And in this pocket-friendly price, Wen managed to squeeze a powerful 6-amp motor that pushes out an impressive 17,000-speed for extra-smooth finishes.

Complementing this speed are 16 superior positive stops that increment by 1/128 of an inch from 0 up to 1/8-inch. The high number of positive stops to provide you the versatility needed to achieve a wide variety of cutting depth.

And for enhanced safety and productivity, a multi-directional dust chute has been included for capturing loose chips and sawdust, while the protective kickstand will prevent unintentional contact with workpieces to preserve them and also protect the planer’s blade.

Also, at 6.5 pounds, the unit is notably lightweight, compared to most of its handheld rivals.

On the downside, the Wen 6530 can get uncomfortably loud, especially at maximum power, while its dust bag is rather small and fill up in seconds, thus requiring constant emptying.

Pros:

  • Budget price
  • Decent cutting speed
  • Superior positive stops
  • Safety enhancements

Cons:

  • Noticeably loud
  • Small dust bag

3. Porter-Cable PC305TP – Best Professional Wood Planer

Porter-Cable PC305TP

Photo: Porter-Cable

  • Type: Thickness
  • Power: 15 amp
  • Cutting Width: 12 inches
  • Speed: 16,000 RPM
  • Weight: 64.8 pounds

If you’re a professional or expert woodworker who demands power, accuracy, and reliability for a wood planer, Porter-Cable PC305TP is your best bet.

Fast and easy stock removal is guaranteed by the tool’s powerful 15-amp motor and high 16,000-RPM speed. The power especially comes in handy when you're planing hardwoods by reducing the burden on the cutting knives.

Speaking of knives, the planes 2 premium ones made of high-carbon steel. They are also double-edged and reversible for extended cutting life and reduced demand for maintenance.

Maximum power transfer is promoted by an elaborate drive system combining a poly-V belt cutter head drive and a rugged chain/gearbox feed roller drive.

And because this tool is a heavy-duty one, stability is critical. That’s why the planer features a patented cutter elevation, which relied on 4 precision-ground columns to enhance cutting stability.

At 64.8 pounds in weight, the Porter-Cable PC305TP is heavy and although it is intended to be portable, this task may prove challenging, ultimately requiring a dedicated space for the tool.

Pros:

  • A high-performance motor
  • Premium reversible knives
  • Reliable cutter drive system
  • Superior tool stability

Cons:

  • Heavy at 68 pounds

4. Makita XPK01Z – Best Cordless Wood Planer

Makita XPK01Z

Photo: Makita

  • Type: Handheld
  • Power: 18 volts
  • Cutting Width: 3-1/4 inches
  • Speed: 14,000 RPM
  • Weight: 7.4 pounds

Flexible cordless wood planers are treasured by my users, and that’s what the Makita XPK01Z offers, alongside superior cutting blades, and ease of use.

It runs on Makita’s famed 18V LXT Lithium-Ion system, which rivals the power of the corded model. Delivering a speed of 14,000 RPM, the planer’s motor guarantees rapid stock removal.

When it comes to cutting, the planer relies on cutter head supporting 2 high-performance carbide blades that guarantee smooth finishes and extended sharpness. Planing accuracy is further enhanced by a precision-machined aluminum base.

The tool planes a 5/64-inch depth in a single pass, and offers a simplifies click depth adjustment knob with an easy-to-read scale to help enhance precision in this process.

And when it comes to handling performance, the XPK01Z delivers well by adopting rubberized soft grips on both the rear and front handles. It is comfortable in the hand even with extended usage.

We were disappointed in the fact that the required battery, Makita BL1830B-2 18V LXT Lithium-Ion, and its charger are included. You will need to buy these separately.

Pros:

  • Powerful battery system
  • Convenient cordless operation
  • High-performance blade
  • Simplified depth adjustment
  • Comfortable grip

Cons:

  • Battery and charger sold separately

5. Bosch PL1632 – Best Lightweight Wood Planer

Bosch PL1632

Photo: Bosch

  • Type: Handheld
  • Power: 6.5 amp
  • Cutting Width: 3-1/4 inches
  • Speed: 16,500 RPM
  • Weight: 6.3 pounds

Bosch PL1632 comes in as the best lightweight wood planer on our list. At only 6.3 pounds in weight, it has proven easy to handle especially for extended planing tasks around the home.

It packs a decent punch with the 6.5-amp motor and 16,500-RPM speed, which combine well to ensure fast stock removal and smooth finishes in both hard and softwoods. When you want to plane your home doors and other wooden surfaces quickly, this should be your planer of choice.

You can count on the tool’s reliable safety features to ensure safe operation. A lock-off release button helps prevent accidental tool starts, which can be hazardous. And if you want to run the planer continuously, just engage its lock-on button for extended operation.

And accuracy is guaranteed by the tool’s precision-machined aluminum front and rear shoes. Its premium Woodrazor micrograin carbide blade also delivers sharp cuts for enhanced precision.

We did notice, however, that the adjustable fence lack marking, especially to indicate a square, at first glance. It’s an inconvenience that takes some getting used to.

Pros:

  • Lightweight and easy to operate
  • Powerful for fast stock removal
  • Robust safety features
  • Fine-tuned for precision

Cons:

  • No markings on the adjustable fence

6. DeWalt DW734 – Best Planer for Hardwoods

DeWalt DW734

Photo: DeWalt

  • Type: Benchtop
  • Power: 15 amp
  • Cutting Width: 12-1/2 inches
  • Speed: 20,000 RPM
  • Weight: 80 pounds

Planing hardwoods demands the superior performance and reliability that the heavy-duty DeWalt DW734 benchtop planer offers with its industrial-grade power and features.

It boasts of a 3-knife cutter head, which delivers 96 cuts per inch at a speed of 10,000 RPM, effectively executing one of the finest finishes possible from a portable wood planer.

The knives are not only reversible but also disposable. At peak performance, they offer about 30% more knife life while also supporting easy knife changes for convenient operation.

And because the tool is optimized for cutting into hardwood, the DW734 is powered by a top-of-the-range 15-amp motor with a 20,000-RPM speed. This performance helps the planer execute deep cuts in hardwoods.

You’ll be pleased with the extra-long infeed and outfeed table, which offers a superior 33-1/2-inch space for material support so that you can load large pieces of wood and speed up your work.

The superior performance of DeWalt DW734 does, however, come at a premium price, as this is the most expensive planer on our list. It is, nevertheless, worth every cent.

Pros:

  • Powerful and fast motor
  • Delivers fine wood finishes
  • High-performance reversible knives
  • Long feed tube for convenient operation

Cons:

  • Pricey

7. Wen 6550T – Heavy-Duty Benchtop Thickness Planer

Wen 6550T

Photo: Wen

  • Type: Benchtop
  • Power: 15 amp
  • Cutting Width: 12-1/2 inches
  • Speed: 17,000 RPM
  • Weight: 70 pounds

If your woodworking tasks constantly involve intensive thickness planing, there’s no better tool for this job than the heavy-duty Wen 6550T, which is also engineered for precision.

It is a planing workhorse that’s powered by a high-performance 15-amp motor, which generates an impressive 17,000 cuts per minute at a top-of-the-range feed rate of 26 feet per minute, for the bust workshop.

To support heavy wood and boards for smooth and consistent cuts, the planer features an all-granite table, which offers a flat surface that will never warp nor get distorted.

The tool also offers a robust tri-roller feed system that is designed to minimize snipe. You can also reverse the dual SK-5 blades on the middle roller to extend their lifespan.

Finally, a fan-assisted dust port has been included to allow wet/dry vac attachment for efficient dust extraction.

The Wen 6550T does offer 2 side handles to facilitate transportation, but it is still heavy at 70 pounds. You may want to consider mounting in on a bench using the pre-drilled mounting holes.

Pros:

  • Superior planing performance
  • Heavy-duty granite table
  • Advanced feed system
  • An efficient dust collection mechanism

Cons:

  • Heavy at 70 pounds

8. Porter-Cable PC60THP – Beginner Handheld Wood Planer

Porter-Cable PC60THP

Photo: Porter-Cable

  • Type: Handheld
  • Power: 6 amp
  • Cutting Width: 3-1/4 inches
  • Speed: 16,500 RPM
  • Weight: 7.83 pounds

If you’re just getting started with woodworking and planing, specifically, the Porter-Cable PC60THP offers just the right power, speed, and flexibility you need to fast-track mastery.

A 6-amp motor drives the unit, and while this output is modest compared to other high-performance models, it is enough for light-to-medium-duty planing applications, especially around the home.

For depth adjustment flexibility, this planer offers 10 positive stops, which you can toggle using an overmold depth knob that’s very easy to operate.

And when you get to mastering edge chamfering, there are 3 grooves to help you with that. Chamfered edges are very popular in woodworking.

It would give you any problems when it comes to cleaning up. The planer supports dual side dust extraction, which you can hook up to your evacuation system of choice and reducing dirt/debris.

A slight inconvenience in the tool is that depth adjustment has been integrated into the front handle, which means you need to keep an eye out to avoid tripping it accidentally.

Pros:

  • Optimized for light-duty planing
  • Robust depth adjustment stops
  • Supports edge chamfering
  • Convenient dust extraction

Cons:

  • Inconvenient depth adjustment knob placement

9. Delta Power Tools 22-555 – Thickness Planer for Wide Wood

Delta Power Tools 22-555

Photo: Delta

  • Type: Thickness
  • Power: 15 amp
  • Cutting Width: 13 inches
  • Speed: 18,800 RPM
  • Weight: 58 pounds

Delta Power Tools 22-555’s 13-inch cutting width makes the wood planer the ideal choice for those extra-wide boards and workpieces that other planers cannot accommodate.

But planing capacity is not the only area where the tool excels. It also packs a high-performance 15-amp motor that easily excels through the most demanding woodworking tasks. The power is complemented by a superior speed of 18,800 RPM for extra-smooth finishes.

Such a powerful tool demands a high degree of operational stability, which the 22-555 achieves through its 4-column design. This design enhancement contributes to the tool’s high planing accuracy.

Even though the planer is a heavy-duty one, it is very easy to use. It adopts a quick-change knife system that accepts dual-edge disposable knives for easy changes. Also, its infeed and outfeed tables are adjustable to support long workpieces.

The Delta Power Tools 22-555 is, however, a pricey unit that will not appeal to buyers on a budget.

Pros:

  • Superior cutting capacity
  • Powerful motor and speed combo
  • Stability-enhancing design
  • Easy knife changes

Cons:

  • Not pocket-friendly

10. DeWalt DW680K – Versatile DIY Wood Planer

DeWalt DW680K

Photo: DeWalt

  • Type: Handheld
  • Power: 7 amp
  • Cutting Width: 3-1/4 inches
  • Speed: 15,000 RPM
  • Weight: 6.2 pounds

DeWalt DW680K is a rich blend of versatility and ease of use, making it the ideal tool for hobby and DIY projects especially around the home.

Powering the tool is a heavy-duty 7-amp motor that is more than capable of delivering smooth finishes even on tough wood. And when you want to do some framing or edging, the planer accepts large, rechargeable steel blades.

Versatility is further enhanced by the tool’s capacity to accept reversible carbide blades to enhance woodworking detail and accuracy in the projects where it counts.

You will enjoy using the planer as is adopts an ergonomic design that offers a 2-finger trigger to increase user comfort and reduce operator fatigue. Also, the height adjustment knob at the front has been rubber-coated to enhance control and increase comfort.

And to enhance belt durability, the planer adopts the reliable poly-V drive belt.

The DeWalt DW680K does, however, lack the all-important dust collection system offered by many of its rivals. It may make your work area messy, making cleanups tedious.

Pros:

  • Delivers smooth finishes
  • Accepts a wide blade variety
  • Easy and comfortable to use
  • Durable drive belt

Cons:

  • No dust collection system

How to Buy the Best Wood Planer

How to Buy the Best Wood Planer

Photo: Wen

1. Types of Wood Planers

There are 3 main types of wood planers you need to be familiar with before deciding to purchase one: handled, benchtop, and thickness planers.

Handled Planers: Small, compact wood planers with a typical cutting capacity (width) of 3-1/4 inches. They are loved for their operational flexibility and ability to fit powerful motors in a compact housing.

Benchtop Planers: Larger than handled planers, these accommodate larger workpieces in both in thickness and width. They are powerful and will accommodate thick wood boards and even hardwoods. They do, however, demand stable operating surfaces.

Thickness Planers: Similar to benchtop planers, but more suited for shaving off a few inches from wood planks to achieve the desired thickness. They require more storage and operating space compared to handheld planers.

2. Motor

Wood planers are driven by electric motors that produce varying degrees of power, measured in amps(A).

Heavy-duty and high-performance planers, such as the thickness and benchtop models tend to have powerful motors of 10 amps and above. These are good for intensive and continuous planing, especially in busy workshops.

But handheld ones, such as the Makita KP0810 and many 6-10-amp planers are more than capable of delivering on intensive operation.

3. Available Space

Since you’re likely to be using your wood planer in the workshop or garage most of the time, space becomes a critical consideration when choosing the model to buy.

Handheld planers such as the Bosch PL1632 are fairly compact and do not occupy a lot of storage space. And since these are not mountable, you never really have to worry about bench space.

When it comes to benchtop and thickness planers, size really matters. The larger the tool, the more space it demands both on the bench, and in storage. But if your woodworking tasks demand such planers, then the space tradeoff is worth it,

4. Thickness and Width

It’s important to establish the thickness of materials you’ll be working in mostly, which will then inform the type of planer you get.

Handheld planers, for instance, offer a typical cutting width of about 3-1/4 inches, while benchtop and thickness planers support wider panels of more than 10 inches, in most models.

When it comes to cutting thickness, your planer offers more versatility through its depth stop system, which can be adjusted to different sizes without manual measuring.

5. Stroke Count

Stroke count represents your planer’s cutting speed, relative to the number of knives it accommodates.

The knives execute the cutting action by rotating at high speeds. If your planer has a no-load motor speed of 15,000 RPM and has a dual-knife head, then it can achieve a no-load stroke count on 30,000 cuts per minute.

When it comes to stroke count, high speeds do not necessarily mean better outcomes. Some materials and planing contexts require fewer cutting strokes, so it all depends on the nature of tasks you’ll be undertaking with the tool.

6. Dust Collection

Dust collection is a top priority for woodworkers as they decided on the tools to purchase because this work generates a lot of sawdust and debris, which can be hard to manage.

Wood planers especially eject a lot of stock from wood even in the shortest operating intervals. That’s why a dust collection system is important in these tools.

Most planers come with dust ports that allow attaching of dust evacuation systems such as shop vacs. If you get a dual dust port model, you can attach a dust hose or dust bags on either side.

How to Maintain a Wood Planer

How to Maintain a Wood Planer

Photo: Bosch

Just like every other power tool, a wood planer requires regular maintenance to ensure it is constantly running optimally.

Maintenance also helps with extending the tool’s life, and here are some handy tips to help you with that.

1. Dust Regularly

The fact that all of a planer’s operations involve the production of dust does not mean the dirt and debris are good for it.

If dust accesses the delicate motor, for instance, it can interfere with the tool’s performance and possibly make it less optimal over time.

Therefore, regularly dusting the unit is a good practice. If your planer has a dust port, you can hook it to a vacuuming system or a shop vac and it will suction away much of the dust and debris.

2. Ensure Blade Sharpness

If your planer’s knives and blades are constantly dull, the motor may have to overwork to compensate for this drop in performance.

Ensure these components are constantly sharpened so that the motor runs within a safe capacity to prevent accelerated wear.

Also, remove all objects that can damage the blade from the tool’s proximity.

3. Lubrication

Lubricating the moving parts of your wood planer will help to reduce the wear caused by friction between components.

Overcoming frictional force also consumes a lot of energy, which can strain the motor and degrade its performance rapidly. Hence, make lubrication a regular practice.

Conclusion

Our wood planer review demonstrates the value these tools add to your woodworking projects.

If you’re looking for the best all-round planer, choose the Makita KP0810, which is our top pick. It is powerful, versatile, compact, and easy to handle.

For professional projects that demand more power and planer capacity, the Porter-Cable PC305TP can handle all sorts of demanding tasks.

And if you’re on a budget, the pocket-friendly Wen 6530 offers some decent performance at a low price.


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