Are you a woodworking enthusiast or a professional?
Either way, you’ve probably found out you can no longer do without an electric hand planer. Producing those cutting boards or fixing drag on a door has never been easier!
You’ve probably also figured out that choosing the right one for you is a daunting task- and it is!
There are dozens of models available on the market today, each one with little bit different parameters and price. After extensive research, I believe I’ve come up with an unbiased and comprehensive review of all the best wood hand planer.
Here is a quick table comparison of the models reviewed.
|Makita 1806B 10.9 Amp 6-3/4-Inch||$$$$||19.3||Check Offer|
|DEWALT DW680K 7 Amp 3-1/4-Inch||$$||12||Check Offer|
|DEWALT DCP580B 20V MAX||$$||6.7||Check Offer|
|WEN 6530 6-Amp||$||6||Check Offer|
|Bosh pl2632k||$$||6.3||Check Offer|
How to choose the best hand planer for you
When you think about purchasing a hand planer, you must be aware of its strengths and limitations.
It is the ideal tool when you quickly need to remove larger quantities of material, in this aspect it has no competition. Another strong suit of this handheld power tool is chamfering edges, you just centre the V-notch located on the front bottom side of your machine on the edge that needs shaping and make long passes until you are satisfied.
On the other hand, it is nowhere near the capacity a benchtop planer has. Any stationary thickness planer will make planing in large scale much easier than doing it manually with a hand planer.
Handheld electric planer review
In this review, we will look at 5 different electric hand planers, we’ve tried to pick the best hand planer for every type of user.
Hopefully, it will assist you as well in picking the best tool for your specific needs and without further ado, let us present the best hand planers.
Makita 1806B 10.9 Amp 6-3/4-Inch Planer
The overall winner is by a large margin model by a household name in the power tool business- Makita.
Don’t let its basic design fool you; this is one of the best tools I’ve ever seen. 1806B model is on the higher end of the price spectrum, but every dollar is well invested when you look at what you are getting for it.
The KP0810 model is ideal for both professionals and hobbyists out there. It will breeze right through any type of wood, and its finishing quality and precision are unparalleled. For short, it is a big brute: high power but also high weight.
Let’s be honest,19.3 pounds is a lot for a hand tool. If you are intending to use it on massive projects, you have no other way, powerful tools will always be heavy. But if your project requires you to plane something overhead, this model probably isn’t the right choice.
Pros & Cons
- Outstanding quality
- Finishing quality
- High weight
DEWALT DW680K 7 Amp 3-1/4-Inch Planer
The runner-up is a planer you are likely to have heard about, DEWALT DW680K. It is effortless to use even for the less skilled woodworkers, the removed height is controlled by a well-calibrated knob on the front, so you are sure to remove the perfect height every time.
While all the before mentioned features are great, the weight is indeed the thing which makes users pick this particular model. It weighs only 12 pounds which means you’ll be able to work even in the most awkward of positions for an unlimited amount of time.
The problem I have with this model is its power cable, as it comes directly from the back at an unfortunate height, it can get in the way of some of your projects and let me tell you: you’ll be very conscious of it.
Pros & Cons
- Great for beginners
- Very precise
- Low weight
- Bad power cable position
DEWALT DCP580B 20V MAX Brushless Planer
A small cordless planer perfectly suited for those without the option to plug their planer in, or to look to use their tool on medium to small projects. Don’t be fooled, the brushless motor is much less energy consuming than a regular one and will provide you with astonishing 32,000 cuts per minute. Another notable feature of this unit is the noise; or rather lack thereof. When left on low speed, you can barely hear it.
The only problem I have encountered is surprisingly not the running time of the battery, but the power of the fan. We would gladly trade some of the battery life for some more power to the fan.
Pros & Cons
- Easy to transport
- Energy efficient
- Long batter life
- Low fan power
WEN 6530 6-Amp Electric Hand Planer
An excellent budget picks when you are in need of a hand planer but are looking to use it sporadically.
The model itself is the best value for money we could find, as is to be expected from the WEN brand. The motor is 6-amp with 34,000 cuts per minute, which is more than enough for the price.
The weight is mere 6 pounds, ensuring easy manipulation. The dust chute can be directed either left or right, which has proven to be very useful.
If you are planing to use your planer regularly, I would suggest to pay an extra couple of dollars and get a higher-end model, if you just want to have an electric planer at your disposal for the odd jobs around the house, this might just be the perfect one for you.
There was one review that stuck with me, and I think it sums up this budget planer perfectly: “as good as it needs to be”.
Pros & Cons
- Great value for money
- Very budget friendly
- Directable dust chute
- Lower quality when compared with higher priced models
The flagship of Bosh was sure to find its way to our list. I recommend this model to those with less experience with power planers. This tool will make sure your first experiences with it are enjoyable and productive. Planing doors suddenly become the most comfortable and most natural of jobs, and you are sure to start looking for other projects to use it on soon. The PL2632K is retailing at the lower end of the price spectrum and is a high quality yet affordable pick. There is one issue to be noted, the aluminium base was quickly scratched when used. This is just a cosmetic problem and will not influence the performance whatsoever, but it makes me wonder why a protective coating was not included.
Pros & Cons
- Ideal for beginners
- Low quality base
That concludes the review. All the models I examined were great tools for a different type of project one may be faced with.
There are many factors to look at when choosing the best electric hand planer for you, as there isn’t one „fits all“ tool. The things you should base your decision on include:
It is a fact that without the power of the planer’s motor, you are not going to plane anything. The more powerful engine, the more and harder wood you can plane in one pass with better finishing quality, generally speaking.
CORDED vs. CORDLESS
This should be your primary concern when picking a planer and will narrow the options quite a bit. Designs of these planers are usually a bit different, as the cordless motors try to bring the efficiency up, which usually means bringing the power down.
Preferred type by serious woodworkers and professionals, the energy is unlimited, and you don’t even have to think about it, plug and play. Things to look out here for are the length of the cable and where is it coming from the tool.
Usually equipped with a brushless motor (more effective, nearly noiseless), this tool finds many projects which would be impossible to do without it, like planing a plank fence around your home. These models are usually much lighter than their corded counterparts.
When picking a cordless planer, you need to select whether you want a removable battery or not. The option to remove the battery and use a fresh one is indeed a handy feature. Be careful when going with a planer without a removable battery, once that battery breaks, it will cost you dearly to get your planer working again. If you choose to go with the cordless planer, you’ll have to show decent time management skill; otherwise, you’ll run out of power in the middle of a project.
There are two types of knives you can encounter: High-Speed Steel (HSS for short) and carbide blades.
HSS blades can be sharpened multiple times if you have the right tools for it, they are also less prone to damage when they meet with a nail. Freshly sharped HSS blades also give superior finish, but they lose their edge more quickly.
You should set up a budget before starting to look for a planer. Most of them will be in the 100-600$ range, with a couple of outliers. Naturally, you want to pay as little as you have to to get the tool with features you need. Higher price doesn’t necessarily mean better tool, yet when you buy a cheap end planer, you’ll usually get what you pay for.
How to use
1) Secure your workpiece (the wood you’ll be planing)
2) Remove screws, nails and other objects from your workpiece.
3) Adjust the planing depth by turning the knop on the front of your planer
4) Select the desired side for the dust outlet with the switch (if your planer offers this)
5) Attach vacuum or a dust bag
6) Connect your planer to a power outlet
7) Place the front of your planer on the workpiece, without the blades touching it yet
8) Turn the planer on and pass the workpiece in long, continues strokes
TIPS while using a planer
- ALWAYS use proper protection: gloves, face mask, safety glasses or eye shields, ear protection
- The more material you remove in one pass, the worse the surface quality
- Always make long continuous passes with the weight focusing on the front part of the planer
- Try and have fun
Frequently asked questions
How does a hand planer work?
It has blades mounted on a revolving cutterhead which remove material when they get in touch with it. The desired thickness removed is adjusted by changing the elevation of the cutterhead.
What is an electric hand planer?
It is a member of the power tools family, used to remove a couple of inches of material. It is usually used to remove a couple of inches of materials and increase the quality of the surface area of a board. For the best quality, I’d recommend using a sander after.
What is a hand plane?
It is the ancestor of the power hand planer. Instead of using electricity it uses the power of muscles. While unfit for large-scale projects, it is able to reach a higher level of surface quality than an electric planer, which is useful in fine woodworking for example.