Best Thickness Planer For The Money

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:

DEWALT Thickness Planer, Two Speed, 13-Inch (DW735X)
Makita 2012NB 12" Portable Planer
DEWALT Benchtop Planer, Single Speed, 15-Amp, 12-1/2-Inch (DW734)
Delta Power Tools 22-555 13 In Portable Thickness Planer
WEN 6552T 13 in. 15 Amp 3-Blade Benchtop Corded Thickness Planer

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.

1. DEWALT DW735X Two-Speed Thickness Planer

DEWALT DW735X Two-Speed Thickness Planer review
The DEWALT DW735X Two-Speed Thickness Planer

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 gearbox, 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 costs. 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.


  • 20,000 RPM motor
  • Three-knife cutter head
  • Two-speed gear box
  • Ideal for professionals
  • 3-year warranty


  • Weight not suited for portability
  • High price
  • Replacement knives are expensive
DEWALT Thickness Planer, Two Speed, 13-Inch (DW735X)
4,031 Reviews
DEWALT Thickness Planer, Two Speed, 13-Inch (DW735X)
  • Purchase includes one stationary 13" Planer, in/out feed tables with fasteners (attached to the base of the Planer base), extra blades and dust hose adapter. Stand is not included.
  • Three knife cutter head of the thickness planer delivers 30% longer knife life and makes knife change faster and easier
  • Two-speed gear box of the wood planer allows users to change feed speed to optimizing cuts per inch at 96 or 179 CPI
  • Fan-assisted chip ejection vacuums chip off of the cutter head and exhausts them out of the machine
  • 19-3/4-inch cast aluminum base is 2 times more rigid than a standard 10-inch base and folding tables

2. Makita 2012NB 12-Inch Planer

Makita 2012NB Planer review
The Makita 2012NB 12-Inch Planer

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 a project needs to 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 double edge planer blades, wrenches, and a toolbox.

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

  • Expensive
  • Dust collection hood is sold separately
Makita 2012NB 12' Portable Planer
502 Reviews
Makita 2012NB 12" Portable Planer
  • 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

3. DEWALT DW734 15 Amp 12-1/2-Inch Benchtop Planer

DEWALT DW734 Benchtop Planer review
The DEWALT DW734 15 Amp 12-1/2-Inch Benchtop Planer

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 great alternative to the more expensive models on the market. It is durable and built to last through many projects. Most wood planer reviews indicate this is a solid investment for woodworkers. It also features a 3-year warranty.

There are some downsides of course. Similar to the DW 735, this planer is best suited for a benchtop setting. It is heavy despite being considered portable. The standard blades will become worn over time and will require replacement. Some reviews indicated the dust collection system leaves something to be desired.


  • 20,000 RPM motor
  • Three-knife cutter head
  • Price point
  • 3-year warranty


  • Weight not suited for portability
  • Dust collection system
  • Replacement knives are expensive
DEWALT Benchtop Planer, Single Speed, 15-Amp, 12-1/2-Inch (DW734)
2,833 Reviews
DEWALT Benchtop Planer, Single Speed, 15-Amp, 12-1/2-Inch (DW734)
  • Powerful 15 amp, 20,000 rpm motor of the woodworking planer handles larger, deeper cuts in hardwoods.
  • Three-knife cutter head with 10,000 rpm cutter-head speed of the thickness planer provides 96 cuts per inch, one of the finest finishes of any portable planer
  • Disposable, reversible knives of the wood planer deliver 30% more knife life and make knife change fast and easy.
  • Four-column carriage lock drastically reduces the movement that causes snipe
  • Extra-long infeed and outfeed tables provide 33-1/2-inch of material support.

4.Delta Power Tools 22-555 Portable Thickness Planer

Delta Power Tools 22-555 Portable Thickness Planer review
The Delta Power Tools 22-555 Portable Thickness Planer

For smaller projects or the more casual user, there is the Delta thickness planer. This model has a small but powerful 15-amp motor, perfect for a small shop. The maximum cut depth is 3/32”; while the maximum in-feed width is 13”. It has an adjustable infeed and outfeed to reduce snipe and handle long pieces.

The knives are dual edge and disposable. It has a low price point, making it a great value. It is accurate and solidly built with easy blade change and little snipe production. It also has a five-year limited warranty from a well-established brand: Delta has been in business for nearly 90 years!

This piece is suited for the more casual user, as its lack of power isn’t suitable for professional or heavy users. It is not quite powerful enough to handle harder woods as well. Reviewers also indicated sniping problems and a desire for a more powerful motor. With the price, warranty, and intended use in consideration, this would be a safe purchase.

Delta Power Tools 22-555 Pros

  • 15-amp motor
  • Dual edged knives
  • Low price point
  • Five-year warranty
  • Well suited to a casual user

Delta Power Tools 22-555 Cons

  • Not powerful enough for a professional or heavy user
  • Not suited for harder woods
Delta Power Tools 22-555 13 In Portable Thickness Planer
  • Powerful 15A motor capable of handling the most demanding jobs
  • Four column design provides excellent stability for smooth, accurate planning
  • Quick-change knife system with dual edge disposable knives lets you change knives without difficult to use alignment jigs
  • Adjustable infeed and outfeed tables to better support long pieces and reduce snipe
  • Reversible dust port allows you to collect chips from the right or left side of planer.Machine Dimensions: 21-5/8 x 23-5/8 x 20-1/8 inches

5. WEN 6552T 13 in. 15 Amp 3-Blade Benchtop Corded Thickness Planer

WEN 6552 Benchtop Thickness Planer review
The WEN 6552 3-Blade 15 Amp Benchtop Thickness Planer

Another option for the occasional user or entry-level woodworker is the WEN 6552T model. This 15-amp motor can handle plane boards up to 6 inches in thickness and 13 inches in width.

An onboard material removal gauge informs users about the cutting depth of each pass. The motor is capable of producing 25,500 cuts per minute at a 26 ft. per minute feed rate. Its 3-blade design makes easy work out of even the hardest of woods. It also has a 2-year warranty and comes in at 66 pounds: on the lighter side for thickness planers. WEN products are also supported by a network of service technicians spread nationwide.

The purchase also comes with a cast iron base, height adjustable infeed/outfeed tables, fan-assisted dust port, and more. The fan-assist is great for removing chips and sawdust throughout the workplace.

The combination of cast iron base and onboard planning gage creates a sturdy planer – no need to worry about wobbly operation. This model is also at a great price point and reviewers indicate quality is not sacrificed with the price.

The size and power of this wood planer do not make it a good fit for the professional user. A home or occasional user will better benefit from this buy.

WEN 6552T Pros

  • Powerful motor of 15 amps
  • Capable of 25,500 cuts per minute
  • Three-blade design
  • Able to handle variety of wood types
  • Price point
  • 2-year warranty

WEN 6552T Cons

  • Size and power not suited for professional use
WEN 6552T 13 in. 15 Amp 3-Blade Benchtop Corded Thickness Planer
  • Onboard material removal gauge informs users about the cutting depth of each pass
  • Plane boards up to 6 in. T and 13 in. W
  • 15 Amp motor generates 25,500 cuts per minute at a 26 ft. per minute feed rate
  • 3-blade design makes easy work out of even the hardest of woods
  • Fan-assisted dust port removes sawdust from workpiece

Choosing The Right Thickness Planer

After conducting the research and weighing all the options, return to your base of operations. Think about upcoming projects and see what the needs are going to look like. It will help in deciding what type of investment to make. Choose first based on demand and then on price and other factors.

If you are just entering the woodworking world, the right investment now could lead to a more intense interest later on. Think about a tool that will teach you to be a better woodworker. If you are a professional or avid user, think about the tool that can handle creative projects or a variety of projects. Most importantly, don’t go off of surface-level impressions alone. Buy this product with the confidence in knowing you are making the right choice for your woodworking plans.

Thickness Planer Video

If you have never used a thickness planer before, here is a good YouTube video giving some tricks to help you make the most from one:

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Timberland Enthusiast Jan 1977 – Present Columbia, South Carolina Since graduating from law school I have worked in various capacities within the real estate, timber management, lumber production and pine straw harvesting markets in South Carolina. Newmark Grubb Wilson Kibler May 2016 – Dec 2020 Columbia, South Carolina Det Bowers joined Newmark Grubb Wilson Kibler in May of 2016. Prior to joining Wilson Kibler, Mr. Bowers served as a licensed attorney practicing in Federal, State and Municipal Courts. Other business involvements have included real estate development, retail development and operations, agribusiness, forestry products, outdoor advertising and insurance.

1 Comment

  1. Wen Cons according to reviewer. Size and power not suited for professional use. It’s virtually the same size as the other planers and all have a 15 amp motor. The weight is about the same as the Makita isn’t it


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