Last updated: 19th September 2016
If you are looking for a herculean machine for your shop that can handle anything you throw at it, then you should go for Dewalt DW735X, which leads the pack with unmatched power and precision. This one’s a beast with a 15 Amp motor that can handle the toughest of projects.
However, if you are looking for something affordable, that can get the job done, then we recommend the Makita KP0810. Easily the most advanced hand planer, it packs quite a punch with a 7.5 amp motor and a two blade cutter head, and it can get job done on a budget.
If you’re a real woodworker, you’ll agree with me when I say:
It’s just not the same without a good thickness planer…
Well, there is only ONE big problem. Finding that “Good” thickness planer isn’t an easy job.
This is why we’ve created our list of the best thickness planers for 2016. We’ve spent hours researching, analyzing and reviewing these planers so that you can make the right buying decision, right now!
Planers are essential to get the desired thickness and finish on your workpiece. But it is difficult to pick the right one that caters to your specific needs. We have reviewed the top 20 planers recommended by industry veterans and experts and have narrowed down the list to the Top 6 planers and sorted them according to various needs.
If you are just starting out and need something for relatively smaller tasks, you can go with these budget friendly options.
A complete heavyweight when it comes to wood planers, the DW735X can handle the toughest and the most uneven of woods. It gives the same smooth finish on different types of woods like the Oak, Walnut, Maple or Hickory.
Most surface planers have a 15 AMP motor, but this one goes an extra mile with efficiency. You can work on this continuously, and it won’t heat or stop. The cutter head is powered at 10,000 RPM speed which gives a much better CPI (Cuts per Inch).
Talking about CPI, you get 2 speeds, with speed 1 you get 96 CPI and with speed 2 you get 179 CPI. Speed 2 takes more material off quickly, and is recommended if you have many jobs. However for a smoother finish go for Speed 1.
Depth adjustment is taken care off and you can lower the head with a big handle on the left. One full rotation is equivalent to 1/16th of an inch. For depth stop you can use on the knob on the right.
The max depth capacity you get is 1/8th of an inch and yes the maximum width it can support is 13”. The removal gauge bar is full width (13”) so if you are operating with narrower wood, you can place it anywhere on the planer.
Also, the blades are two edged so you can turn them over frequently to ensure smooth finish. Three extra knives are also included, so you won’t be needing replacements for 6-8 months.
Finally, the fan-assisted chip ejection system is an absolute delight, and directs the shavings out of the machine. If you have a vacuum installed, you won’t have to worry about the dust.
This is the major differentiation between Dewalt DW735 and DW735X Planer Review. The extension tables are adjustable, and almost nullifies the snipe. This gives buttery smooth finish throughout the length of the wood.
The overall result, will keep you and your clients happy and with 3 year warranty your investment is secure and will pay for itself with 3-4 projects.
A slightly compact planer with a width capacity of 12”. The all metal built provides better support and with low noise levels of 83dB, it’s a perfect buy for smaller shops.
IT comes with a 15 amp motor with 8,500 rpm cutter head. That renders a clean cut however you do face some sniping issues (discussed later).
The double-edged blades are of premium quality and with feed rate of 28 feet per minute, it runs for hours, without any hiccup.
Firstly, you can easily change the blades or turn them upside down. The planer has a flat top so you can resting your wood becomes much easier during repeated feeds.
The depth adjustment is not as user-friendly as the Dewalt DW735X but just as accurate.
Finally, we highly recommend the additional dust hood if you don’t want huge mess after operation.
The Makita 2012NB has a little bit of sniping issues. The Interna-Lok automated head clamps help to some extent, but it leaves professionals wanting for more. There are two workarounds to this.
First, you can either build or buy an extension table. Second, the cheaper option, you can slightly incline the wood piece while feeding it in and do the same when it is coming out from the other side. Two-people operation will make this process faster.
If space is an issue in your shop, this Makita planer will be an ideal fit and if you follow our recommendation regarding sniping you can expect the wood to be smooth as a baby’s bottom.
The Makita KP0810 is built for beginners. It’s portable, easy to handle and would handle 99% of the home jobs with complete ease.
At under 8 pounds Makita has managed to provide a 7.5 amp motor with 16,000 RPM cutter head speed. This gives it the power to get 5/32” deep cuts, which is by far the highest for handheld planers.
It can breeze through small wood pieces and give a clean finish near door hinges. Also with the knob you can quickly make precise depth adjustments.
Power tools are generally meant to stay on table, not this one though. You can store it your cabinet and transport it to any place. The handles are ergonomic and shields beginners from vibrations. The weight is balanced around the centre, right where your hand will go, this eases the pressure and you can work at a stretch without feeling the need to stop.
Finally with lock on-off button you can work from both the sides, and this can help you getting a much smoother cut.
It’s hard to pin-point any particular flaw, but the use of this is limited. It will do just fine for your initial projects, but you will have to upgrade once you undertake slightly bigger projects (Dewalt DW734 would be a good option then).
Also, if you are beginner be prepared for huge of pile of chips. Get a dust bag, if you want to want some respite though.
Overall this is the best you can get at this budget. and will be you go-to machine for small planing tasks
If you are looking to upgrade from a simple planer, this will be our top recommendation. With a universal 15 AMP motor, smoothening hard woods won’t be back-breaking. The CPI at 96 is at the lower end but the quality of the cuts makes up for that.
It has all the depth adjustments you would expect from Dewalt planers, however have a second look at the scales while making the final pass.
Dewalt provides added extension tables and locking mechanism to reduce Snipe. The tables can be adjusted according to your preference, and the finally the locking mechanism ensures you get that smooth finish even at the absolute corner.
Alright Dust handling capabilities of DW734 aren’t the best. Although the removable dust hood directs most of the saw dust outside the machine but repeated instances have shown that few particles get stuck near the belt or the rollers.
This jams the wood piece and takes a hit on flatness of the wood. Apart from that you have the usual mess to deal with. Attaching a vac to the dust hoods solves these issues and the smooth wood will be ready for the next task.
Apart from the dust issues, like other Dewalt Planers, this also makes a lot of noise. If you are going to operate this at a stretch, it is almost mandatory to get ear-protection. The blades are also not re-sharpable, and you have to get replacements (It’s fairly easy to do that).
Overall. The Dewalt DW734 works well as all-rounder and gives you high-grade depth control, comparable to the high-end planers.
A decent mid-priced planer which on paper has all the features of a top performer. A 15 AMP motor, extension tables, accurate adjustment settings and dust collection port, but it falters when it comes to durability.
It uses thin sheets of metal for the housing and this can cause serious vibrations while the machine is operating. It also takes a hit on the cut efficiency. The vibrations increase with use and if the machine is operated at a stretch, it gets heated up pretty quickly.
If you use if for one or two feeds per day, it will give satisfactory results.
But again spending close to 300 bucks on two feeds a day isn’t a recommended investment and this one will probably appeal to previous users of Delta tools.
There are many factors to consider while buying a planer but it boils down to three major reasons, the kind of work you will be doing, the cut quality of the planer (which includes the power of a motor) and finally how well it works against snipe. Here is a bit more about these.
Your Need – This should be your primary concern before looking into the features. If you are professional woodworker with more than 5 hours of operation each day you would need the heavyweights like Dewalt DW735X or the Makita 2012NB.
Such machines with powerful motors and great cutting blades can handle thick woods and give you deeper cuts.
They can do job, however you will have to take care of the snipes. Portable planners are generally recommended for such woodworkers but with most planers weighing more than 50 pounds, they do stretch the definition of portable.
Finally, if you are looking for something for personal projects or woodworking is your hobby, much cheaper hand planers will do the job.
Cuts Quality – Cuts per inch (CPI) determine how smooth your wood will be. The higher the value, better the results.
To achieve better quality, powerful motors are used with increase rotation of blades. The quality of the blades and the knives also plays an effect on smoothness of the wood.
Also the knives and blades will eventually wear out and you will have to get replacements. The process to change the blades should be simple, for your convenience.
Snipe – Finally, planers have tendency to go for deeper cuts near the ends of the wood. This leads to an uneven surface.
This is huge annoyance and can literally spoil your wood. We in our recommendations have taken special note, that sniping is minimal.