The 5 Best Thickness Planers of 2018
Thickness planers make working with wood an absolute pleasure whether you’re a DIY enthusiast, a professional, or a noobie. A planer is used to shape and shave irregular pieces of wood to the thickness you need for a particular project, saving you time and money. Modern planers, unlike the traditional handheld ones, come with a platform for accurate thickness adjustments, which can be controlled electronically or manually.
Ready to find out which thickness planers made our list?
If you’re looking for a planer that offers smooth and consistent performance every time, the DEWALT DW735 X is the thickness planer for you. When it comes to cut quality, accuracy, and durability, this machine comes out on top every time. DEWALT is a trusted name in the power tool industry, and with its three-knife cutter head and 15-amp motor, the DW735 X gets the job done every time. This two-speed thickness planer is sold with a three-year limited warranty, a one-year free service agreement, and a 90-day money-back guarantee.
- 15-AMP motor and cutter head speed of 10,000 RPM
- Three-knife cutter offers 30% longer knife life that supports a maximum width of 15”
- 19 ¾” base of cast aluminum
- Extra-large turret death-stop for a quick return to most-used thicknesses
- Excellent warranty, service plan, and 90-day money back guarantee
- Two adjustable speeds
- Machine is loud when in use
- You’ll need a larger work area to run boards on both sides
- It’s one of the more expensive options
The Makita 2012NB planer is compact and operates quietly and efficiently. Makita 2012NB is a 12-inch planer that has everything you want in a portable thickness planer. It has a simple and compact design, operates efficiently and quietly, and gives you the ability to change the blade quickly and easily. It also features Makita’s patented “Interna-Lok” automated head-clamp that eliminates any chance of sniping occurring. It’s ideal for jobs like closets, furniture, staircases, and cabinets. While it falls into the higher price category, it comes with a number of accessories including magnetic holders, a blade set, wrenches, and a toolbox.
- 15-AMP motor
- Micro adjustments possible
- Maximum depth of 1/8”
- Fast and easy blade changing
- Adjustable depth-stop to make repeat cuts of the same size easier
- LED light indicator to indicate power on
- Quiet operation
- Lightweight and saves space
- Comes with extensions to increase the size of the table
- Must use Interna-Lok to reduce snipe, but it could work better
- Have to buy dust collector separately
Bosch is another stalwart in the power tool industry, so there’s no question when it comes to the quality of their products. The PL2632K Planer comes with an electric motor that provides a high planing speed, and its Woodrazor Mini Micrograin Blades last up to 30% longer than the conventional carbide blades. It also has a dual-mount guide fence for cutting to precise depths, which helps when planning vertical edges. A feature we particularly like is the ambidextrous button that allows for switching easily between left and right hands. The Bosch PL2632K Planer is an affordable option that delivers on quality and durability.
- 16,500 RPM speed for fast stock removal
- Handles both hard and soft wood
- Comes with an ambidextrous lock-off release button
- A two-blade system that can be converted for use with high-speed steel blades and the dual-mount guide fence
- Includes safety features
- Dual-mount fence that balances machine
- Works well with both soft and hard wood
- Machine is heavy
- Blades need to be replaced
The WEN 6550 Thickness Planer has all the features a woodworker needs. It comes with a foldable granite table that can be used to feed wood at any angle, and it’s able to slide over the smooth surface without any glitches. The 6550 is very reasonably priced, but it doesn’t compromise on quality. Adjusting the thickness is hassle-free thanks to the rubber grip on the handle, which rotates to get to the preferred thickness.
- 15-AMP motor for great performance
- More than 3,500 RPM and can do up to 18,800 cuts per minute
- Comes with granite table for a very sturdy surface
- Comes with a fan-assisted dust port and pre-drilled mounting holes
- Blades are reversible
- Easy installation of different blades makes alternating simple
- The dust port fan minimizes particle inhalation
- Feed application keeps snipes to a minimum
- Comes with a two-year warranty
- Stable, sturdy, and durable
- Given the nature of the product, it’s not 100% snipe-free
- Some customers have commented on how loud it is
- It’s quite heavy compared to other planers
The Delta Power Tools 22-555 Thickness Planer’s main selling points are its powerful motor and its smooth cuts. The 15-amp motor handles larger projects with ease and will impress with its endurance and precision. Another unique feature, especially for a tool in this price range, is the adjustable table that acts as a support. The Delta 22-555 comes with a 5-year warranty.
- 15-AMP motor and 18,800 cuts per minute
- Comes with adjustable infeed and outfeed tables
- Comes with dual-edge disposable knives that are easy to replace
- The motor is controlled by a toggle with a removable key
- Maximum depth of cut is 3/32”
- Great accuracy and control over your work
- It has a powerful motor that can cut any type of wood
- The reversible dust port keeps your work area clean
- 5-year limited warranty
- Some users have mentioned a rattling noise when operating the planer
- Is fairly expensive
Thickness planers are handy tools to have in your toolbox or workshop. They help to smooth wood and also reduce its thickness to suit your needs. They’re ideal for DIY projects around the house and for your woodworking business. All five of our listed products will serve you well, but the one you choose depends on your needs and your budget.
If you’re buying a new thickness planer or maybe updating your old faithful, there are a few factors to keep in mind. Knowing what to look out for will help you find the perfect planer whether you’re a DIY guru or are a professional woodworker.
Different types of planers are used for different purposes. You need to make sure you choose the right planer for the job at hand. The tools in our review are primarily for smoothing and reducing the thickness of wood. If you need to do any kind of woodwork beyond this, you might want to look for something a little more industrial.
Quality usually comes with a hefty price tag, but it’s not always the case. Newer brands don’t cost as much as the more established ones, but they’re giving them a run for their money when it comes to durability and features. We suggest looking at the warranty – it indicates how much the manufacturer believes in the product.
You want to look at the build of the machine and what it’s made of. Steel, aluminum, and iron will last longer, offer more stability, and withstand the wear and tear that comes with the job.
Do you plan on taking your planer out on jobs, or will it be staying in your workshop? There are loads of compact models available that you can move from one area to another and even transport from one site to the next.
Ease of Use
No matter how good you are with a planer, ease of use is always a bonus. Do you want to deal with difficult assembly or operating guidelines when there are thickness planers that get the job done quickly and efficiently? There are products that work straight out the box and don’t require a whole lot of extras or attachments
Size of Table
Something worth considering is the size of the table and the cutting area. Some planers might not be big enough to handle larger pieces of wood, so make sure you check the maximum width and thickness a planer can accommodate before buying it.
Look at the cutting area and the blades. You’ll find different shapes and sizes of blades, all of which work towards a different purpose. Some will offer a smoother finish than others. If you’re not sure, ask on a forum or drop us a message for more information about the various blades and cutting areas.
Both the type and size of the motor are essential. The power you need will depend on the type of wood you work with. Some of the cheaper planers may not be strong enough to use with thicker wood or larger pieces. If you want a machine that can be used for long hours at a stretch and cut through anything, you’ll need to look for a planer with a strong motor.
A thickness planer is a power tool, and power tools make some noise. However, some models are louder than others. If noise is a problem for you or your neighbors, you may want to look at a model that operates quietly.
Snipe can be a problem with all types of planers, as most tend to chip off wood at the edges of the piece of wood you’re working with. There are ways to reduce this, but in general, it’s always going to be an issue. Our suggestion is to look for a machine that doesn’t have a lot of snipe or that can at least be operated in such a way that reduces it.
Thickness planers are handy for both professional workshops and enthusiastic hobbyists. Our reviews include high-end products as well as entry-level and mid-priced planes to suit every budget. Whichever types of woodworking jobs you plan to do, our reviews, buyer’s guide, and comparison table will give you all the information you need to make a smart buying choice.