Makita 2012NB 12-Inch Planer Review

The Makita 2012NB has been the leader when it comes to bench top wood planers for over a decade. It continues to win top spots in woodworking magazines and is a preferred choice among professionals. So what makes this planer a standout? We find that out in our review.

Initial Impressions

Makita 2012NB 12-Inch Planer

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With a no load rating of 8500 RPM, the 2012NB is powered by a 15 AMP motor. It is no-brainer that with a powerful motor like this, it will perform well with most woods (someone tested it with IPE and it handled that like a charm). Apart from that the adjustment settings appear to be clear and the maximum width capacity is 12 inches. With regular maintenance this will last for your years and will continue to churn out hundreds of feet of smooth wood.


Makita 2012NB uses a 4-post design which balances the entire setup. The weight is distributed evenly and the structure can support heavier woods without a hiccup. The base at the bottom helps to do this, while the extension tables, ensure that the entire weight of the wood doesn’t fall on the core machine itself.

A true Power lifter

We like to call the 2012NB a true power lifter. It is designed and built to handle the toughest of woods. Pine, Oak, maple and even plywood, it gives the same smooth finish. This is done through three ways. First, as discussed earlier, the weight of the machine is evenly distributed, so no single part of the machine has to bare the major brunt, and this ensures smooth passage of the wood through the planer.

Second, the 15 AMP motor is powerful and powers the cutter head with the right speed to scrape maximum wood.

And finally, the blades are well designed. With the machine you get one single blade, but it will eventually wear it and you will need replacements. We recommend getting the Makita blades only, for best results.

It has a feed rate of 28 feet per minute, so you can have multiple passes, till the desired thickness is reached. Overall a complete smooth finish is attained. Just like a power lifter handles the weights flawlessly at every stage, the Makita 2012NB gives a clean cut right from the start till the end.


Makita 2012NB 12-Inch Planer with Interna-Lok Automated Head Clamp

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It has been more than 15 years since this machine was launched, and the adjustment settings are not as intuitive as some modern planers like the Dewalt DW735X but they are just as accurate. You can choose the depth of the cut, with the maximum being 1/8th of an inch. It has a depth capacity of 6 inches and if you have to make multiple passes of the wood you can use the depth stop. You can also use this to get multiple pieces of wood at the same thickness.

The Interna-Lok System works well the extension tables to reduce snipe, but it is not perfect.


A reason why Makita 2012NB wins praises from professionals and ranks better than planers like Dewalt DW734, is because of its durability. This one is ‘marathon runner’ when it comes to wood planers.

If you clean the rollers and the feed tables every 6 months, you can expect this machine to last, and last long. John A. Martinsky, a buyer from Amazon, has been using this for 15 years now, and he puts it simply stating “It just keeps working”.

Overall, you get low-noise operation even after 10 years. Oh Yes, we completely forgot about noise. The Makita 2012NB, has the lowest noise level at 83dB, so that is another commendable feature.


The machine falls behind in one area though, and it is the dreaded snipe. It isn’t that bad, but slightly deeper cuts near the edges, prevent a 100% smooth finish. You can try the common snipe protection technique of raising the wood while feeding it in and do the same while it’s coming out. But this takes a hit on the speed of your work and makes planing a two-man job.

However, if you are fine with this little flaw, you would absolutely love this.

Recommended For

This planers comes at a price close to 550 bucks. It ain’t cheap, but you get way more than what you pay for. Considering its durability, it will prove to be a very smart investment. We recommend this for woodworkers with dedicated shops and who work on projects on a daily basis. The quality is top-notch and just like hundreds of owners of Makita 2012NB you won’t have any complaints.


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