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Best Wood Planer

Best Planers of 2020

Are you looking for the best electric, benchtop, jointer, thickness or hand planer? We’ve reviewed 12 of the best wood planers in 4 different categories to help you pick.

All 12 Planers We Recommend

1

Best Handheld Planers

Are you looking for an easy to use portable planer for DIY jobs? Powerful enough for smoothing rough lumber or cleaning up salvaged boards, electric planers are a good choice for light-duty DIY projects.

Best wood planer for: Small, DIY projects

2

Best Benchtop Planers

If you work with a lot of rough wood that requires extensive plane work, a benchtop planer is a more powerful option than an electric planer.

Best wood planer for: Large, bulk projects

3

Best Jointer Planers

If you do a lot of joinery woodwork as a hobby or profession, a jointer planer combo is a must-have tool for your workshop. This will allow you to create flat, square stock to make the rest of the project much easier.

Best wood planer for: Joinery projects

4

Best Hand Planers

A manual hand planer (or block plane) is an affordable alternative for small projects such as chamfering, finishing work, or removing glue lines that don’t need the power of an electric or benchtop planer.

Best wood planer for: Small DIY jobs, intricate projects

All Wood Planer Reviews

1

Best Electric Planer

key considerations
Handheld Planers Reviews

Looking for an portable electric planer to create custom thicknesses for your woodwork projects? Whether you’re after a cordless or corded planer, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Adjustable thickness: The best electric handheld planers are adjustable with a maximum of 5/64” thickness in a single pass, making them great for precision work.
  • Cordless: Some electric planers are cordless, others are wired. Cordless models are portable and easier to maneuver but corded models are more powerful.
  • Lightweight: The best portable planers are lightweight, so you won’t get tired during precision work.
  • Precision projects: Handheld planers are best for intricate woodwork that requires more control. This is tough to get with a benchtop planer.

Best Electric Planer Reviews of 2020

Best-in-class
Makita XPK01Z

Makita XPK01Z 18-Volt LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless 3-1/4 in. Planer

Cordless but powerful

If you do woodwork outside without access to outlets, this cordless electric planer is a must-have.

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1 Makita XPK01Z Review

Are you looking for the best electric planer that’s cordless to give you more freedom when working on projects? The Porter Cable PC60THP is our best pick. Being cordless makes this ideal for outdoor projects where power outlets are an issue or on sites where cords tend to get in the way.

The Makita 18V battery is powerful enough for most jobs including trimming doors and cabinets but won’t stand all-day use without recharging. However, the battery only takes 45 minutes to recharge which is good if it runs out mid-project.

Although the Makita XPK01Z won’t replace corded electric planers for heavy-duty projects, it’s a great tool for outdoor projects where portability is key.

Best value
Porter Cable PC60THP

PORTER-CABLE PC60THP 6-Amp Hand Planer

Great for large projects

A powerful motor, dual side extraction, and edge guide make this planer great value for money.

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2 Porter Cable PC60THP Review

If you’re looking for something with a little more power, the Porter Cable PC60THP is a good choice. Unlike our best pick, this electric planer is corded and gives a better output of 16,500 RPM. This makes it a great choice for large DIY projects.

The Porter Cable also has dual side dust extraction, allowing you to adjust depending on the angle you’re using. This gives more flexibility of movement and much easier clean-up. Plus, this electric planer comes with an edge guide, dust bag, and kit bag so is excellent value for money.

Overall, the Porter Cable PC60THP wood planer is great value for hobbyists and professionals looking for the best planer for heavy-duty projects.

Best budget
WEN 6528

WEN 6528 3.8-Amp 2-3/8-Inch Electric Hand Planer

Best for small projects

If you’re a beginner looking for a planer for small jobs, this is the one for you.

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3 WEN 6528 Review

Just like our best value pick, the WEN 6528 is a corded electric planer, meaning you’ll get limitless run time. However, this wood planer has a smaller 3.8 AMP motor, so isn’t as powerful as our value pick. This makes it powerful enough for small projects like trimming doors or smoothing strips of wood but won’t stand up to large joinery or cabinetry projects.

If you’re a beginner that’s just starting out, the WEN 6528 is a great budget solution for small DIY jobs. But if you’re a hobbyist or professional looking for something for heavy-duty work, our value pick is the better option.

2

Best Benchtop Thickness Planer

key considerations
Benchtop Planers Reviews

If you work with a lot of rough lumber or large pieces of wood with inconsistent thickness a benchtop planer will save you time and effort getting a smooth, parallel finish.

  • Set Width: Benchtop planers have a set width of wood that will fit through, usually around 12 to 13”.
  • Timesaving: If you make cabinetry or furniture from rough wood, a benchtop planer saves considerable time by setting the thickness and feeding wood through seamlessly.
  • Powerful motor: Easily handles larger, deeper cuts in hardwoods.
  • Variable Speed: The best benchtop planers have a variable feed speed, giving the most accurate cuts per inch.

Best Benchtop Thickness Planer Reviews of 2020

Best-in-class
Dewalt DW735X

DEWALT DW735X 13-Inch Three Knife Thickness Planer

Bestselling benchtop planer

Solidly built with variable speeds, it’s easy to see why this is a popular benchtop planer.

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1 Dewalt DW735X Review

Do you do a lot of bulk woodwork like building cabinets or bespoke furniture? Then a benchtop planer is one of the best woodworking tools to save you time and energy. And when it comes to the best benchtop planers, the Dewalt DW735X is a popular choice.

The impressive 15 AMP motor makes quick work of multiple cabinet doors or other bulk projects. The Dewalt planer also has two speed settings which is great for getting the best control on both hard and softwood.

It is a heavy planer at 92lbs so it can be a little bulky to move, but this is a testament to how well-built it is.

Best value
Dewalt DW734

DEWALT DW734 15-Amp Benchtop Planer

Good quality, less customizable

Although this planer doesn’t have variable speed, it’s still great for most hardwood projects.

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2 Dewalt DW734 Review

With the same powerful motor and cutting depth as our best pick, the Dewalt DW734 is great value for money. The two key differences in this surface planer are the slightly narrower maximum width of 12.5” and the lack of variable speeds.

If you use both soft and hardwood, you might find the variable speed an essential feature. But the Dewalt DW734 is plenty powerful for maple, oak and other hardwood, so good value for most woodwork projects.

If you like the quality of the Dewalt brand but don’t want to splash out on an expensive model, this tabletop planer is a great option.

Best budget
Craftsman CMEW320

CRAFTSMAN CMEW320 15-Amp Benchtop Planer

Best budget benchtop planer

With fewer added features than our other picks, this is a good benchtop planer for beginners.

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3 Craftsman CMEW320 Review

The Craftsman CMEW320 has 2 knives, unlike our best and value picks which have 3. This means it has less cuts per minute so isn’t as smooth or quick. Having said that, it still has a decent output of 16,000 CPM which is powerful enough for light woodworking projects.

This budget thickness planer also lacks a depth of cut indicator, which the value and best picks both have. Although this doesn’t hinder the performance, it is a nice feature to have.

But if you’re just starting out and you’re on a tight budget, this the best surface planer for beginners.

3

Best Jointer Planer Combo

key considerations
Jointer Planers Reviews

A jointer makes a board perfectly flat by removing warps and twists. A planer then allows you to get the precise thickness you need for your project. Together, a jointer planer combo makes joinery projects much easier.

  • Dual functionality: A jointer and planer in one is a great tool for resizing cabinets, sizing table legs, building fences, and more.
  • More control: Jointer planer combos come with a built-in fence giving more control when feeding wood through.
  • Speed control: Easily compensate for various sizes and thickness of wood with a variable speed.
  • Dust exhaust: Removes excessive dust during large joinery projects.

Best Jointer Planer Combo Reviews of 2020

Best-in-class
JET JJP-12

JET JJP-12 12-Inch Jointer Planer

Great for professionals

This heavy-duty jointer planer is a popular addition to professional workshops.

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1 JET JJP-12 Review

Are you struggling to decide whether to buy a jointer or planer? If you do a lot of joinery, the best planer is a jointer planer combo as these two tools complement each other well. The JET JJP-12 is overkill for anyone who does semi-regular DIY, but if you’re interested in making furniture regularly, it will save a lot of time and space in a workshop.

The extra-large fence gives added control when using the jointer, and since it doesn’t need to be removed when converting to the wood planer, it saves time and effort.

The 12” jointer and planer capacity is large enough for most projects, but the large capacity makes this a large tool that will need dedicated space in any workshop.

Overall, this jointer planer combo is the perfect tool for professional joiners who need fast, efficient results every time.

Best value
Jet JJP-8BT

Jet JJP-8BT 8″ Jointer / Planer Combo

Best for small workshops

This jointer planer combo has a compact design for small workshops, making it great value for money.

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2 Jet JJP-8BT Review

If you’d like the convenience of a jointer planer combo but are on a tight budget, the Jet JJP-8BT is excellent value for money. Like our best in class pick, it’s a Jet model so a quality tool. However, this one is the smaller version at 8” capacity rather than 12”. The smaller design is also great for anyone with a smaller workshop or limited space.

With an impressive 13 AMP motor, it can handle moderate use for regular projects. Although it won’t live up to heavy-duty work over long hours.

If you’re a budding woodworker who’d like a decent jointer planer combo for a small workshop, the Jet JJP-8BT is your best value option.

Best budget
VEVOR 6-Inch

VEVOR 6-Inch Benchtop Jointer

Budget-friendly jointer planer

The smaller capacity and benchtop design make this a great jointer planer combo for the price.

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3 VEVOR 6-Inch Review

Looking for the best jointer planer for a small workshop? The Vevor is a benchtop jointer planer that helps saves space. It has half the capacity of our best pick but is still large enough for projects using shorter boards under 40”.

The fence is also not as sturdy as our best pick but does the job for smaller projects. Overall, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly jointer planer combo, this is a great option.

4

Best Block Plane

key considerations
Hand Planers Reviews

A hand planer is a manual tool that allows you to get a smooth finish on wood without the need of a power tool. Although a block plane is much slower, it gives a much more accurate result and corrections are much easier to make.

  • Manual power: Unlike electric planers, hand planers are manual tools that require precision to get that smooth, accurate finish.
  • Precision woodworking: Block planers are more suited to precision work as they give a more controlled, accurate result compared to electric planers.
  • Steel alloy plates: The best hand planers have durable alloy base plates which give a smooth result without the planer wearing down.
  • Practice required: A block planer takes skill to use correctly. If you’re a beginner, an electric planer is much easier to use correctly whereas a hand planer will take practice.

Best Block Plane Reviews of 2020

Best-in-class
Grizzly Industrial H7568

Grizzly Industrial H7568 – 22″ Smoothing Plane with Serrated Sole

Good quality block planer

Made with rosewood and a long base, this is a good quality hand planer for straight joinery.

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1 Grizzly Industrial H7568 Review

Are you looking for the best hand planer for finishing work? Block planers are a great option for precision projects that are too delicate for an electric planer, and our best pick is the Grizzly Industrial H7568.

The rosewood handle and cast-iron base make this manual hand planer really great quality. It’s comfortable to hold and has a high-quality feel. The 22” base is impressive, giving a smooth finish with less effort. However, it may need flattening before use so be prepared for some prep work.

Overall, this a solidly built Grizzly planer for most straight joinery projects.

Best value
Amazon Basics DS-WPAMZ002

Amazon Basics DS-WPAMZ002 No.4 Smoothing Bench Hand Plane

Great starter hand plane

Great value block planer for beginners looking to learn to hand plane.

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2 Amazon Basics DS-WPAMZ002 Review

The Amazon Basics DS-WPAMZ002 hand plane is a good starter plane for novices learning the skill. It has a shorter base than our top pick, which makes it ideal for small, precision projects. However, like the best pick, it has a sturdy cast-iron base to help give a smooth finish.

Like any hand planer, you may need to sand the base down to get a completely flat base before use. However, the wood handle has a contoured grip that is comfortable to hold.

Although the DS-WPAMZ002 is likely a little too basic for skilled woodworkers, it’s a great tool for beginners who don’t want to spend a fortune.

Best budget
Kakuri 41931

KAKURI 41931 Woodworking Japanese Block Plane

Japanese style block planer

Known as a pull planer, this hand planer is used a little differently but still gives a great result.

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3 Kakuri 41931 Review

Our budget pick is the Japanese Kakuri 41931 which operates slightly differently to our other picks. Known as a pull planer, this hand planer works by pulling it back over the wood rather than pushing it forwards. The advantage being it requires less force and so is easier to use.

The Kakuri 41931 is compact and can easily be used with one hand. This is great is you have extremely intricate projects that need precise plane work. It’s also ideal for chamfering corners because of the size.

If you’re used to English style wood planers, the Kakuri will take some practice to master. But it is a great budget planer for anyone who likes a challenge.

Wood Planer Buying Guide

all your wood planer questions answered

What is a Planer?

A wood planer is a tool that reduces the thickness of wood boards or planks. As well as reducing the thickness of wood, it can also be used to flatten or smooth rough wood.

A planer is an important tool for cabinetry and joinery. It preps the wood and removes any warps or knots. The result is a nice smooth finish on any woodwork projects.

How does a planer work?

A planer works by shaving down wood in thin layers to give a smooth finish. They work on all types of wood including hardwood, MDF and plywood.

The rotating cutting knives cut away thin layers of the wood, giving the desired finish. Wood planers have built-in thickness dials which allow you to set the thickness the planer cuts.

Different types of planers

There are four main types of planer on the market:

  • Electric handheld planer – runs on battery which gives more flexibility but is less powerful.
  • Benchtop planer – fixed to the bench to allow wood to be passed through.
  • Planer jointer combo – is a dual-action tool that gives a smooth surface and straight edge.
  • Block planer – a handheld, manual tool for smaller jobs.

What Planer is best for my project?

If you’re unsure which type of planer is best for your project, here’s a quick breakdown:

  • Electric handheld planer: These are a popular choice for hobbyists or professional woodworkers who build furniture, fit doors, and need a smooth finish on their wood. An electric planer gives more freedom of movement than a benchtop but isn’t as consistent in finish.
  • Benchtop planer: This is a heavy-duty tool that is best for bulk projects such as making cabinet doors. Since you can set the thickness and quickly feed multiple pieces of wood through, it saves time on bulk projects.
  • Planer jointer combo: These are professional tools that are best suited in professional workshops. If you do a lot of woodwork projects, a planer jointer combo saves both time and space by having the two functions in one machine. However, for most DIY projects, these will be overkill.
  • Block planer: This is a manual tool that is best for small projects that need precision. If your project involves decorative work, a block planer can give intricate finishes. These are also useful if you have a single project such as fitting a door, and don’t want to splash out on an electric planer.

Which planer should I buy?

Planer Type

User

Projects & Uses

Electric Planer

DIYers, hobbyists, professionals

Furniture building, door fitting, finishing work, smoothing

Benchtop Planer

Hobbyists, professionals

Bulk projects, making cabinets, finishing boards, smoothing

Planer Jointer Combo

Professionals

All large bulk projects, cabinetry, finishing work

Hand Planer

DIYers, hobbyists, professionals

Door fitting, precision work

What’s the difference between a jointer and a planer?

Jointers are often referred to as jointer planers which is why they are sometimes used interchangeably by novices. However, they are two different tools with different functions. Although these are two different tools, they do complement each other and so it is best to have both.

A planer is a thicknesser. This means is takes thick wood and makes it thinner. In the process, an electric or benchtop planer will also make the rough side of wood smooth and parallel to the other side. 

Whereas planers give a consistent thickness and parallel sides, a jointer gives a perfectly squared single edge, or one perfectly flat face.

If you’re building furniture, it’s important to have perfectly flat edges and the perfect thickness of wood throughout, so both a jointer and planer will be useful.

Best planer brands

Are you looking for the best brands of electric, benchtop, hand or jointer planers? Here are some of the top planer brands currently on the market:

  • Dewalt planers: are some of the bestselling wood planers on the market. Dewalt is known for benchtop and electric planers that are popular with both hobbyists and professionals. With high-quality planers, Dewalt is one of the high-end brands and is worth the investment if you’re looking for a wood planer that will last years.
  • Makita planers: are also professional-quality. Makita is most well-known for their cordless electric planers, giving freedom and portability for any outdoor woodwork projects. If you’re interested in taking up joinery as a hobby or trade, Makita is a reliable brand.
  • Porter Cable planers: are most popular among avid DIYers or hobbyists. Known for their electric planers, Porter Cable planers are powerful enough for heavy-duty projects without the expensive price tag of Dewalt models.
  • WEN planers: are best for small, DIY jobs since they are more affordable than other brands. Although still well-made, they are not as powerful to stand up to large joinery projects. If you’re just starting out and want an affordable planer brand, WEN are a good option.
  • Craftsman planers: are most popular among DIYers. Craftsman offers an extensive range of affordable planers, both electric and benchtop. If you are beginning to get serious about woodwork and are looking for a reliable but still affordable brand of planers, Craftsman is a great option to consider.
  • Grizzly planers: are some of the top block planers on the market. If you need a hand planer for precision projects, Grizzly are a popular brand. With quality craftsmanship and reasonable prices, they are a top choice among professionals and hobbyists alike.

There are also some other brands you should consider when looking for the best wood planer, including Delta, Powertec, Stanley, and Bosch.

Hand planer vs benchtop: which is best?

Benchtop Planers

Bench planers are best when building furniture. Since you pass boards through the planer, you can easily get a set thickness on multiple pieces of wood quickly and easily.

They’ll also save you money since you can buy unfinished wood and do the finishing work yourself. Plus, there is very little sanding needed on the finished wood, which saves time during every project.

Hand planers

A hand planer is run over the wood, rather than the wood passing through it. This is useful if you have finished furniture that needs smoothing. It’s also useful if you have large or awkwardly sized pieces of wood that wouldn’t fit through a benchtop planer.

Although hand planers are not as quick or powerful as a benchtop planer, they are more portable. Meaning they’re better for smaller DIY jobs and can be taken to different locations.

Electric vs block planer: which is best?

An electric planer is almost always more effective than a block planer. In fact, electric planers:

  • Are easier to use
  • Require less skill
  • Are more powerful so require less effort
  • Save time and energy

If you are planning any woodwork project including building cabinets or furniture, finishing rough wood, or fixing warps or knots in any type of wood, then an electric handheld planer is a good tool.

However, a block planer still has its uses. If you prefer traditional tools, a block planer is still helpful for shaving down doors and other small projects. A block planer also gives much more precision for decorative woodwork projects.

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