Tools & Equipment

Wen 6530 Review: Budget-Friendly Electric Hand Planer

Wen 6530 Review

Photo: Wen

What We Like

  • Affordable
  • Adjustable cutting depth with 16 positive stops
  • Rabbeting guide with 0-7/10-inch cutting depth
  • Chamfer groove
  • Protective kickstand

What We Don’t Like

  • Does not come with a dust port adapter

Bottom Line

A fairly priced hand planer with an impressive list of features that are ideal for beginners or DIYers.

Introduction

Electric hand planers are a big improvement from the manual type because they are faster and easier to use. Additionally, they cut with higher precision but this comes at a higher price.

There are a few options though that are quite affordable and Wen’s 6530 is the best example. This tool has a powerful motor that delivers fast cuts with smooth finishing, all at a very fair price. The planer has much more to offer and this is explained in the review below.

Wen 6530 Review

Wen 6530

Photo: Wen

Performance: Creates Smooth and Clean Cuts

Powered by a 6-amp motor, this electric hand planer is quite strong because it spins the blade drum at a speed of 17,000 RPM. This drum is fitted with two high-speed steel blades and therefore, you get double the number of cuts, which are 34,000 per minute.

With these many cuts, the unit delivers smooth and clean cuts that are of a higher quality as compared to those made by the old manual type.

Each of the two blades has a double-sided design that can be reversed if the cutting edges become dull or chipped.

An adjustment wrench is included in the set for maintenance purposes, including changing/reversing the blades. This wrench is kept in a convenient onboard storage slot for quick access.

That said, with these blades, the tool can be used to make a wide variety of cuts. Apart from the regular material removal and chipping for smoothing, it can be used for chamfering and rabbeting.

For chamfering, the planer has a V groove on its base plate that fits into the edge of the wooden piece to guide you in making these angled cuts accurately. On the other hand, for making rabbet cuts, you get a rabbeting guide, which can be easily attached to the side.

Other features include a parallel fence bracket for keeping your cuts accurately straight and parallel with the edge, a large two-finger trigger with a trigger lock for easy use, and a protective kickstand that raises the blades from the wood surface.

This stand helps to prevent unwanted damage to your blade and workpiece when resting.

Design: Highly Adjustable

One of the greatest strengths of Wen’s 6530 is its adjustable design. In fact, the most noticeable feature is the depth gauge knob, which sits at the front. This component is used to adjust the planer’s cutting depth anywhere from 0 to 1/8 inches deep.

These adjustments are made in increments of 1/128 of an inch and the knob has 16 positive stops that make it easier to adjust to any depth when incrementing or decrementing.

Aside from that, the included rabbeting guide is also adjustable and it allows you to adjust the rabbet depth anywhere from 0 to 7/10 of an inch.

However, this component does not have positive stops and therefore, you have to approximate the depth setting.

You can do this by physically placing the tool on the workpiece then position the depth gauge once it touches the un-planed section of the workpiece. You can also test this on a scrap piece of wood until you get the correct measurement.

The blades must also be adjusted to align with both the rear and front shoes. However, this is more of a manual process that requires you to loosen the blade’s clamping screws, align the blades then tighten the screws using the onboard wrench.

Detailed alignment and adjustment instructions are included in the user manual for more accurate guidance. 

Dust Management: Reversible Dust Chute

Wen’s 6530 is fitted with a reversible dust chute mechanism that has two dust ports: one on the left and the other on the right. There is a switch that can be used to set which port to use and this comes in very handy when working on different sides of your workpiece.

If you are chamfering, rabbeting, or planning along the left edge of the wood surface, you should place the included dust bag on the right side so that it gets out of your way and the vice versa is true.

For efficient use, you should not let the bag exceed half its capacity before emptying. This is because if it gets too full, there won’t be enough airflow inside.

However, you can avoid this inconvenience by hooking up the dust port to a shop vac. This will allow you to work for longer periods uninterrupted. You have to buy the required dust port adapter though because this is not included in the set.  

Note: If you are cutting damp wood, there is a high possibility of the dust port jamming and therefore, you must check it now and then.

You should also avoid sticking your finger into this port, especially if the planer is running. Instead, unjam the port using a stick or an old toothbrush.

Portability: Relatively Lightweight

Weighing in at only 6.5 lbs., Wen’s 6530 is relatively lightweight as compared to its peers. Combined with its large handle, this makes it easy to transport within your worksite or to different worksites.

However, the tool is corded, and therefore, you need access to a wall outlet, which limits its portability. Luckily, it has a long 6-foot power cord, which gives you some room to walk around.

You can also add on an extension cord and since the required power is 6 amperes, for a 25-ft cord, it should be an 18-gauge size. For a 50-ft cord, it should be 16-gauge, 14-gauge for a 100-ft cord, and 12-gauge for a 150-ft cord.

The lower the gauge number, the thicker the cord wires. Therefore, a 12-gauge cord is thicker than an 18-gauge type and the longer it is, the thicker it should be to minimize resistance.  

Price: Very Pocket Friendly

Since it costs less than $50, Wen’s 6530 is very affordable and for this price, you get a lot of impressive features.

In comparison, the manufacturer produces a wide variety of these planers but those that are close to the model under review in terms of performance are the Wen 6528 and Wen 6534.

The Wen 6528 is cheaper than the 6530 but it has a less powerful 3.8-amp motor that delivers 32,000 cuts per minute (16,000 RPM).

It also has a shorter cutting depth (1/16 inches) with 9 positive stops, a single direction dust chute (right), and a narrower cutting width of 2-3/8 inches. On the bright side, it weighs only 5 lbs.

On the other hand, Wen’s 6534 is the most expensive option but it has a more powerful 8-amp motor, a wide 4-3/8-inch cutting width, two V-shaped chamfer grooves and it comes with a dust port adapter for hooking up to a shop vac.

Verdict

A low budget electric hand planer that delivers fast and smooth cuts, and is recommended for beginners or DIYers. 

Coming in at less than $50, Wen’s 6530 is a very affordable electric hand planer. Despite this, it is equipped with very impressive features, such as a multi-directional dust chute, a protective kickstand, and a chamfer groove, just to name a few.

That said, other more expensive options have more features than this model, and therefore, it is recommended for beginners or DIYers. Professionals should consider the full set of features in the costlier options.

Specs

  • Product Name: Wen 6530
  • Product Brand: Wen
  • Motor: 6-amp
  • Speed: 17,000 RPM (34,000 cuts/min)
  • Cutting Width: 3-1/4 inches
  • Cutting Depth: 0-1/8 inches
  • Positive Stops: 16 (1/128-inch increments)
  • Rabbeting Depth: 0-7/10 inches
  • Weight: 6.5 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 12 x 7 x 7 inches
  • Warranty: 2-year limited

Key Features

  • Variable cutting depth adjustment with 16 positive stops.
  • Built-in rabbeting guide.
  • Parallel fence bracket.
  • Multi-directional dust chute.
  • Onboard adjustment wrench.
  • Protective kickstand.
  • Chamfer groove.
  • 6-foot power cord.
  • Includes a dust bag and two HSS reversible blades.
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