If you are planning to work on raw lumber and turn it into a blank with smooth sides and uniform thickness, a planer is a must for your workshop. A benchtop planer is a machine used by carpenters to cut the surface of a rough sawn timber. After a few or more moves in the planer, the result is a smoother workpiece with a uniform thickness.
You have searched a lot of information for the best benchtop planer on the market, but the process is a bit complicated for you. There are many facets of tools to consider, and most of them look so similar that it can be difficult to distinguish a good one from a machine you don’t want inside your workshop.
To make shopping a little easier, we’ve reviewed some of the best benchtop planers for sale you can buy. You can also check out our guide to some of the factors you must consider when buying a benchtop planer below.
How to choose the best benchtop planner?
The rule of thumb when buying a planer (or any tool for that matter) is that the more popular the brand, the more expensive it is. But not everyone can afford an expensive planer, and if you only use it occasionally, it’s a no-brainer to buy the most expensive machine you can find.
But choosing a planer just because it’s the cheapest you can find can also backfire in the long run. You either love it because you saved a lot of money in the process, or you hate it because it leaves big cracks or it gets stuck a few weeks after you bought it.
Find the right balance between durability and price when choosing the right wood planer. But if you really want a tool that you’ll use for years, it’s better to save up for something expensive but sturdy.
#2 Limit thickness difference
At first glance, you might not notice it after running the board through the planer, but look closely and you’ll see a cut ripple at the top and bottom of your plank.
When buying a planer, always make sure that the infeed and outfeed are in the same plane as the planer stand.
However, there are certain models that are built with features that can mitigate this situation. For example, the Dewalt DW734 reduces the cut with the help of a shift lock.
Just to be clear, it is perfectly normal to have the top and bottom recesses, especially with smaller portable desktop planers. Since it is not possible to completely remove the dent even if you use the most powerful and expensive planer available, it is best to leave enough length on the workpiece and only cut the cut parts later to get the uniform surface.
#3 Total performance
Whether it can produce a smooth and even surface is the most important aspect that you should consider when purchasing a benchtop planner. The planer must also have a heavy-duty motor so it won’t jam when you load heavy or hard work into it.
#4 Max Width
Most benchtop planners can accommodate boards with a maximum height of 6″ and a maximum width of 13″. For example, the DEWALT DW735X and the Ridgid 27263 planer can accommodate boards up to 13″ wide. However, the rest of the planers in this review can only accommodate boards up to 12 to 12 1/2″ wide.
#5 Dust collection
Planers are notorious for releasing a lot of sawdust and often make your workshop messy. It’s best to hook it to your vacuum cleaner to minimize the amount of sawdust in your work area.
Top 5 Best Benchtop Planner Review
#1 DEWALT Thickness Planer, Two Speed
- It offers dual speed settings; one is for sizing, while the other is for finishing.
- The blade height and depth of cut scales are precise, large and easy to read.
- Has great height to handle thick slats
- The crank is larger than other thickness planers.
- Infeed and Outfeed (conveyor for bringing in and out of wood) are removable.
- It is heavier and bulkier than your average thickness planer.
- This is one of the most expensive benchtop planners on the market.
DEWALT DW735X benchtop planner is designed for professionals and hobbyists who demand more from their planer and are willing to pay a premium for it. This is the most expensive benchtop planner on the list, and with good reason.
First, this DeWalt planer is stronger and heavier than its competitors. Everything – from the engine cover to the maximum width of the board it can hold – is bigger. For example, it can accommodate wooden slats up to 13 inches wide. It features a longer infeed plate to ensure that even the longest boards are supported, and the base remains stable under the weight of the wood. The crank, repeater knob and scale are also more powerful than other benchtop planners.
The base is made of solid die-cast aluminum, and comes with a detachable and foldable infeed base. To minimize cuts and maintain a uniform and flawless finish, DeWalt has fitted it with a carriage lock.
This tool is fitted with a set of 3 blades for maximum efficiency. Furthermore, it has a fan-assisted chip ejection system to prevent sawdust from clogging the dust outlet.
#2 CRAFTSMAN Benchtop Planer
- This is one of the most affordable planers on the market.
- Assembly is quite easy and simple.
- It is slightly less noisy than the other planers on the list.
- This wood planer leaves a smooth surface and uniform thickness.
- This planer comes with two blades made of carbon steel, reversible and razor sharp.
- You need a little adjustment for the thickness of the board to be even
This is a planer that is not only affordable but can also take on hardwoods. If you want a good tool but at a reasonable price then CRAFTSMAN Benchtop Planer is the most affordable choice.
It’s a bit smaller than most planers of the thickness on the list as it can only hold a single board up to 12 inches wide. However, do not underestimate this machine. It’s powered by a 15 amp motor that doesn’t get stuck easily, along with 2 razor-sharp blades. It leaves a nice, smooth surface while keeping the thickness of the workpiece uniform.
The blade height can be adjusted easily using the handwheel above, but it cannot be locked in place like other planers. It doesn’t come with a vacuum case, so it can get messy in your workshop.
#3 Grizzly Industrial G0505-12-1/2″ 2 HP Benchtop Planer
- It’s lighter than other products we’ve reviewed, making it one of the most portable benchtop planers.
- It has two built-in handles on the side for easy transport.
- It has two durable and reversible steel blades.
- This machine is very easy to install and operate.
- The motor of the planer is very large.
The Grizzly Industrial G0505 is a reasonably priced benchtop planer that still performs well. This handy tool features a powerful 2 HP motor and 2 planers that can handle even the toughest workpieces. It can accommodate workpieces up to 12 1/2″ wide and up to 6″ in height.
While the body is solidly built, it’s not as heavy as the other planers on the list. What’s more, it has two built-in handles on the sides that make transporting it from your desk to storage (or from site to site) easier.
No tool is perfect, but the good news is that this machine prevents uneven wood thickness. The surfaces it produces are impressively smooth for such a compact machine. However, make sure to wear ear protection as it can be very noisy.
#4 DEWALT Benchtop Planer DW734, Single Speed
- The price is quite reasonable for such an impressive machine.
- It has a handle on each side for easy transport.
- The scales are very clear and very accurate.
- Its super sharp blades leave a very smooth and uniform surface.
- The blade can be locked in place to minimize uneven thickness of the board.
- Loud engine noise
- The blades tarnish quite quickly and replacement blades are quite expensive.
The DEWALT DW734 benchtop planer is one of the more expensive planer options we have on our list, and with good reason. This heavy duty tool is powered by a 15 amp motor that delivers an impressive 10000 RPM. It allows you to plan even the most difficult workpieces without damaging the motor while creating the smoothest surface.
The construction is pretty solid, albeit a bit heavy. Like the Grizzly benchtop planer, this DeWalt also features three planers that plan more efficiently and leave a more even surface. The blade is reversible, so you don’t need to order a new one every time an edge becomes dull.
It has an 18-amp circuit breaker to automatically stop the machine in case it becomes overloaded. Just let it rest for a few minutes before hitting the reset button and you can start over.
#5 WEN PL1252 12.5-Inch Two-Blade Benchtop Thickness Planer
- 2 powerful blades that easily work with the hardest woods
- The powerful motor allows you to easily cut multiple boards to a uniform thickness.
- It is equipped with two super sharp and sturdy blades.
- It is quite heavy.
The boards you are working with that have an even surface and uniform thickness can be easily accomplished when you have the right planer. If you are looking for such a planer, then you can consider this model.
This power tool is built in all metal and is powered by a powerful 15 amp motor with 20,000 cuts per minute. The infeed table is large and very sturdy, so it can handle even the heaviest wood panels.
This machine is equipped with 2 planer blades with double edges. Changing the blades is quite simple and they are designed to self-align to minimize any errors on your workpiece.
Adjusting the blade height is easy thanks to the handwheel located on the top of the unit, as well as the rotary knob located on the side. This is one of the best performing and durable benchtop planers on this list.
What’s the best benchtop planer among the products we’ve reviewed? The answer is the DEWALT DW735X planer. The DEWALT DW734 and CRAFTSMAN Benchtop Planer are also great power tools with durable construction and impressive performance, but the DEWALT DW735X simply outshines them all.
Leave a Reply