Combing through endless reviews and product specifications to find just the right thickness planer is a daunting task.
Choosing the right one doesn’t have to mean scooping up a popular brand name with a high price tag to match.
The right thickness planer will be suited to individual needs and budget, which looks different for everyone.
Choosing the perfect planer for your needs is important for woodworkers – both new and experienced. It can mean the difference in project completion timeline and improvement of precision in the work.
Thickness Planer Comparison Table
We’ve reviewed some of the best affordable thickness planers, to help you find the right one. We go over each one in detail below, but for those in a hurry here is a quick feature comparison:
Thickness Planer Features To Consider
Ideally, the research process will start with a goal in mind. Deciding which features of a planer are absolutely necessary will help in finding the best wood planer. Some universal factors of a planer to have in mind when evaluating a potential buy include the motor, quality of construction, and thickness allowance. Other factors include portability, especially for benchtop models. Since this is an investment, look at the warranty and find a company you are willing to work with again in the future, if needed.
- The Motor – The motor is going to play a huge role in determining the power of the planer. If the ideal thickness planer needs to cut through everything from soft pine to hard oak, look for higher rotations per minute in the motor speed.
- The Construction – A solid planer will also feature solid construction. A good planer will be able to withstand rigorous and continuous usage. It should be able to perform well even with high levels of shaking and vibration. Generally speaking, the best wood planers are made from heavy duty metals, like cast iron.
- The Allowance – Another universal feature to be aware of is the thickness allowance. This is the largest width of rough wood the planer can handle. Ideally, six inches of allowance is good for a portable planer. Again, this is something that should be able to adjust to fit individual needs and projects.
So, now that the expert details have been discussed, it is time to start the research. Rather than scrolling through endless reviews and websites, here are five of the best thickness planers for every budget and project.
Starting with this piece of equipment introduces a highly rated and long-lasting thickness planer. The three-knife cutter-head produces a very powerful result. It also sports a 20,000 RPM motor. With a two-speed gear box, users are able to change feed speed in order to optimize the cut. The maximum depth for a cut is 1/8 inch with a full capacity of 6 inches in depth and 13 inches in width.
The downside to this planer comes in two forms: price and weight. It is on the higher end of the price spectrum, making it a serious investment. This is why it is ideal for the professional or heavy user. It is also rather hefty, coming in at just over 100 pounds. The weight makes it better for a stationary workshop function rather than a portable piece. The three knives also have a short life span with expensive replacement cost. Some reviewers opted to purchase different knives in order to have higher quality results, but that would be a separate purchase and based on individual needs.
On the reverse side, the DeWalt planer will also bring solid customer service and a three-year warranty. The thickness planer reviews attest to the customer service and equipment quality with 75% of reviewers granting five-stars. Most reviews do indicate it is worth the price tag.
DEWALT DW735X Pros
- 20,000 RPM motor
- Three-knife cutter head
- Two-speed gear box
- Ideal for professionals
- 3-year warranty
DEWALT DW735X Cons
- Weight not suited for portability
- High price
- Replacement knives are expensive
- Your purchase includes One Stationary 13" Planer, in/out feed tables, extra blades and dust hose adapter. Stand is not included.
- Planer dimensions: 24” L x 22” W x 18” H. Depth capacity: 6-Inch. Max depth cut: 1/8-Inch. Width capacity: 13-Inch. Tool weight: 92 pound
- Specifications: Made for 110V, not convertible to 220V. Includes automatic carriage lock that reduces the movements and snipes. Not compatible with Wi-Fi or Bluetooth
- Two-speed gearbox allows users to change feed speed to optimizing cuts per inch at 96 or 179 CPI
- Compatible with DW735 13", DW735X 13"
In direct contrast to the weight of the DeWalt DW735X there is the Makita 2012 NB. This machine is a little over 60 pounds and has a compact design, thus strengthening its portability feature. If project needs include transport to different worksites, this is a solid option. It also has low noise emittance, making it more comfortable and safe to operate. For safety, it has an LED light feature to indicate when it is plugged into a power source and ready to operate.
Don’t let the size fool you – this is still a powerful piece of equipment. The Makita has an 8,500 RPM motor and the maximum input width is 12 inches. The cut depth is 1/8th of an inch. The planning depth is 1/16th of an inch. Reviews indicate it is easy to use – making this a suitable choice for new woodworkers. It has a one-year warranty. This purchase does come with the double edge planer blades, wrenches, and a tool box.
Similar to the DeWalt DW735X, the downside is price. However, there are some financing options available from select retailers. The dust collection hood is also sold separately – creating another purchase. Some reviews also report blade change can be difficult.
Makita 2012NB Pros
- 8,500 RPM motor
- Compact design suited for transporting
- Low noise emission
- 1-year warranty
Makita 2012NB Cons
- Dust collection hood is sold separately
- Compact with less weight for easy transporting to the jobsite
- Engineered for faster, easier blade changes
- Low noise (83dB) for operator comfort
- 4-post design and diagonal cross supports for stability
- Large table extensions to support the workpiece
Say hello to the powerful DeWalt DW734. This benchtop planer has a 20,000 RPM motor and is able to handle large, deep cuts into hardwoods. It also has a 3-knife cutter head with disposable and reversible steel knives. The power of this thickness planer brings 96 cuts per inch – one of the best rates in portable planers.
In addition to its power, the price is also a good match for many budgets. It is a g