A thickness planer is the first and foremost equipment of repurposing projects. For cost-effective projects, there is no alternative of using old, weathered, rough and worn out wood material. A thickness planer takes only minutes to scrape off the dirt and open up the underlying untouched part of the wood. Sanding also does the same work manually but takes days to get the job done, not to mention how tiring that can be.
On the other hand, if invested in the right benchtop thickness planer once, you can do hundreds of projects in record time without running to other’s workshops for planing large pieces. You can do this in the comfort of your own workshop or a garage. For small-sized woodshops and occasional DIY projects, we have listed some top-rated benchtop thickness planer that can handle most of the needs of small projects. It also saves your time to research all the thickness planers that are available in the market.
List of Best Quality Benchtop Thickness Planers
1. WEN 13 inch, 3-Blade Thickness Planer (6552T)
- 26 FPM, 25,500 cuts per minute;
- Reversible three blades.
To be honest, this one is the fanciest planer for finer but seasonal woodworking. So far, this model from WEN has received a lot of negative reviews from its customers mainly because of abuse. If you want a benchtop planer to support a large production business, then this one will surely disappoint you.
The three blades are efficient to cut faster even on the hardest engineered lumbers. But you will rarely have any complaints about the wood chip it creates in the process. The fan-assisted dust collection system efficiently throughs all the debris on the vacuum, where they belong, leaving a lean workplace.
The price is very high for a WEN product. WEN is a renowned brand for making affordable power tools with useful features. However, this one may serve you well for a certain time, but its all-plastic parts may fall apart if you overdo it.
- Depth gauge for precise thickness planing;
- Fast material-removing;
- Excellent dust collection.
- Not for professionals;
- High price.
2. POWERTEC 2-Blade Portable Benchtop Thickness Planer (PL1252)
- 2 knives included;
- 18,800 cuts per minute;
- 9,400 RPM.
This unit is no light that you can carry this around to different job sites. For installing doors, windows and other woodworking in different sites, a portable planer is a must. With only 64 pounds weights, it is a perfect choice for any production company or freelance woodworkers. The infeed table is designed to fold when not in use, which also makes this space-saving.
It includes two knives for super-fast cutting. These are also easy to replace for your convenience. Just like any other benchtop planer, this one also accepts boards up to 12 inches wide and 6 inches thick. The stability of this porter cable planer is not compromised due to its lighter weight. The four-column base does a great job to prevent tilting, wobbling and to reduce snipe on the wooden pieces.
However, in every aspect, this one is the best option for someone who is looking for a portable benchtop planer. All the bells and whistles work all right. Just one problem may arise and that is, the dust port is four-inch, but for some awkward reason, it does not fit to most vacuum without an adapter.
- Removes large material fast;
- Reasonable price;
- It may not fit every vacuum.
3. Mophorn Double Cutter Benchtop Thickness Planer With Heavy Duty Stand
- Maximum cutting width of 13" (330mm), cutting thickness of 0.2"-6" (5-150mm);
- Blade speed: 9000 RPM, and feeding speed: 315"/min (8m/min).
Looking forward to starting a woodworking business of your own? Or do you want to pursue your dream of making your own minimalist furniture? In both cases, the Morphon thickness planer will support you with its sturdy stand. Yes, this affordable thickness planer comes with a stand to make a snipe-free flawless finish. We all know stability is the key to reduce snipe in wooden boards, and a stable base is the prerequisite of stability.
Unlike a cheap foldable table, the tables in this model are made of stainless steel. It is not only durable but also sleek and smooth to make feeding consistent. Moreover, it has an automated feeding design. Now, feeding for worn-out wooden boards will be hands-free and smooth. Don’t need to hold it upright or push it inwards.
Morphon planer also equipped with auto power off switch. It shuts off the unit in case of overload and overcurrent to save the unit and the workpiece both. For a professional performance in an affordable range, this planer is unbeatable.
- Stand included;
- Durable worktable;
- Depth gauge.
- Poor instruction.
4. DEWALT Single Speed Benchtop Planer (DW734)
- 33-1/2 inches table;
- Three reversible knives; produces 10,000 RPM cutter head spin,
For professional level woodworking, a beginner’s toy is not enough. Forget all other units we have discussed if you manage your living by serious woodworking. This DW734 model of a thickness planer is the boss of all other planers in the market. The best thing is, while other planers include a pair of knives, this one is equipped with three knives. Moreover, the knives are reversible to reduce your downtime of sharpening or replacing those in the middle of a project.
Another advantage of the Dewalt planer is, the feeding table provides a total of 33-½-inch support for long stocks. The capacity for wooden boards is limited to 12 inches wide and 6 inches thick, but for this added support, there will be less chance of snipe.
You have to pay a lot to own this industrial-grade thickness planer. For flawless planing and reduce downtime to remove snipe from your workpiece, this planer is top-notch.
- Long-lasting reversible blades;
- Sturdy base;
- Extra-long feeding table.
- High price.
5. Triton High-Performance Benchtop Planer (TPT125)
- 3 blades produce 17,500 cuts per minute;
At this price point, it is hard to find a benchtop planer that offers three knives with super-fast cutting speed. This is the reason, this Triton planer is different than other competitors. Its high-quality blades remove material super fast to get the job done quickly. Besides, the depth gauge is excellent to precise measure cutting depths for multiple work pieces.
To match dust collection to its super-fast cuts, there are two dust ports on both sides on this machine. You can use one on either side or two for a super clean work environment. For safety mechanism, a circuit breaker is incorporated into this unit.
In my opinion, to support a large business, an inexpensive and efficient benchtop planer like this one is compulsory. There are few negative reviews regarding some quality issues of this unit, but the fast responsive customer service makes it up for the clients.
- Super fast cutting;
- Convenient dust port;
- Precise cutting depth;
- Easy assembly.
- Not to mention.
6. Delta Power Tools-Portable Thickness Planer (22-555)
- Reversible dust port;
- Two reversible knives.
For its space-saving design and lightweight, it has won the hearts of many homeowners and hobbyists. Not only that, the performance you get from this planer is as good as professional or industrial planers. The quality is not compromised a bit to make this unit small and light. All you need is a stable benchtop to settle this portable benchtop planer from Delta Powers.
The reversible knives are great to lengthen the duration or a replacement or resharpening. These beauties are long-lasting too! Even if you use this planer to shave hardwoods all the time, the knives hardly get dull too quickly. These are able to produce 18,800 cuts per minute with a feeding rate of 28 FPM. the rate somehow changes for the type of boards you are passing through.
Long story short, for professional performance in a portable planer, this one is the right hit. But don’t get me wrong, there is no way it can support a woodshop of large production rate.
- Backed by a long warranty;
- Quick-change knives;
7. PORTER-CABLE Planer, 12-Inch (PC305TP)
- 15 amp motor;
- Two reversible blades.
For me using this planer from Porter cable felt like an affordable machine for casual jobs. Yes, it is affordable and does its job right. The cutting speed is not the highest, but the elevated cutting does a pretty good job to minimize snipe on both ends to a minimum.
The blades are proven to be the most long lasting ones of its kind. These are reversible too! But for hobby-led projects or occasional woodworking, you will hardly need to change the blades in the near future. The quiet operation is just like ‘a cherry on the top’. What else do you expect from a benchtop style planer?
There are mounting holes on the base of this unit. If you want to, you can mount it on a sturdy table for smooth planing. It is quite handy for small shops, I don’t get why other manufacturers don’t include this feature in their planers.
- Easy blade change;
- Suitable to use on jointed material
- Nothing found.
Resolve Confusion Between Planer and Jointer
A lot of times I have been asked questions about jointer and planer that makes me think that amateur and hobbyists are mostly puzzled about these two. “Do I need a planer or jointer? Which one is the best”, or “ which comes first, a planer or jointer?” is the frequently asked question. It is okay to get confused about these two, but there are some specific use of thee two machines. Let me clear that out so that you can make up your mind whether you really need a planer or jointer for your project. If you don’t need a planer, then this little knowledge will save you the time of reading ahead the rest of the article.
It is used to scrape off the surface of wooden and similar material boards. Generally, to reveal the intact part of worn-out wooden boards, to strip off varnish from used or weathered boards or wooden workpieces, a planer is used. Most of the benchtop thickness planer accepts boards with a 12-inch width and 6-inch thickness. Any material more than that size may require an industrial planer.
On the other hand, a jointer is used when you need to glue up two wooden pieces seamlessly. To do that, we must need the edges of the same size. That’s what a jointer does, works on the edges. On the contrary, the planer works on the plane only, leaving little to no snipe on the edges. A jointer is also used to remove the sniped edges.
How to Tell Which Planer to Buy?
No matter which one you buy for which purpose, it has to be stable. Otherwise, if the base of the thickness planer is not sturdy enough, then it will mess up with long wooden boards. You have to be prepared to deal with the annoying snipes on the edges. So, check the stability of the planer. It is crucial for benchtop planers because there are made small and lightweight. Stability reduces when the machine is light but the workpieces are large.
Frequency of Use
All the thickness planers we have listed below are top quality considering their performance. But I don’t recommend using a planer by a professional that is designed to be used moderately. For that reason, you need to invest some extra bucks and bring the more reliable one to your workshop.
Read more: How You Can Buy the Best Benchtop Belt Sanders With Minimal Budget? Click here
Generally, thickness planers make ugly noises during the operation, but the noise level varies. In our list, you will find some excellent machines that work without disturbing the neighbors. Those are the best to use in a decent neighborhood.
Cutting and Feeding Speed
Some thickness planers are equipped with two blades, some are three. Some blades are reversible to reduce the hassle of blade change or resharpening. You must take all these into consideration. The cutting and feeding speed is always mentioned with the product description. But you have to keep in mind that these are merely some numbers. For hardwood, the speed has to be slower no matter what the feeding rate it.
I don’t need to mention how nasty debris a thickness planer creates. So, effective dust collection is a must. It will keep you busy on the workpiece rather than on the wood chips.
Tips to Reduce Snipe
From my years of experience of woodworking, I can say that snipe is a common thing for benchtop planers. It happens more when we use longer pieces. If you are new to this, you can reduce the snipe to the minimum with some caution.
- First of all, let the machine run for a few seconds to gain its full speed. Don’t feed the board right away after powering up the planer. When the rollers are running in the full force, then slowly put the board on the feeding table.
- Try using flat, knot-free wooden pieces. A bowed board will have a snipe, there is no doubt. On the other hand, using uneven workpieces can ruin the motor as well.
- Seek help to press the board flat on the in-feed and out-feed table. It is crucial for warriors who work solo, but it is necessary when the board is several feet long.
- Use the depth gauge mindfully. To remove large material from the surface, use it on the high setting at first. For final cuts use in the lowest setting. The lower the cut, the less it causes snipe.
- Use a silicone-based lubricant spray to coat the tables of the thickness planer. Over time the sleek and shiny stainless steel table of the benchtop planer gets dull and scratches. Using a lube helps to keep the surface glossy, hence ensure the feeding is smooth.
- Always plan ahead to use a board that is several inches long. If you get snipe even after all this caution, you can still cut the edges to remove it.
The Last Line
Lastly, I must remind you again, one should hurry neither while thickness planing the wooden boards nor buying the right thickness planer for the workshop. Hundreds of upcoming projects depend on this machine a lot. If it is thoughtfully purchased, it can save your downtime of planing the wooden boards manually.