Benchtop Planer

Essential in a woodworking man’s shop, the planer makes itself an indispensable gear piece to own as it allows you to trim wood boards to a consistent thickness throughout their entire length. Ideal for use when performing other tasks as well, like integrating square stock with beadboard and preparing rough stock for gluing on furniture pieces, it is a workshop tool you simply cannot afford to go without. In the following, we will present you with the best benchtop wood planers and talk more about these useful tools to help you easily decide what the right model is for you.

Top 5 Benchtop Planer Comparison

1. Makita 2012NB 2. DeWalt DW734 3. Grizzly G0505 4. WEN 6550 5. Powertec PL1251
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General Info

Manufacturer Makita DeWalt Grizzly WEN Powertec
Dimensions (L x W x H) 30 3/8″ x 19 1/64″ x 15 25/32″ 24″ x 17″ x 21″ 21 3/4″ x 27 3/8″ x 18 3/4″ 23.5″ x 24″ x 19″ 24″ x 18″ x 18″
Weight 61.9 Lbs 80 Lbs 71 Lbs 73 Lbs 63.6 Lbs
Table Construction Stamped Metal Metal Precision-Ground Cast Iron Granite Metal

Technical Specifications

Voltage 120V 120V 110V 120V 120V
Measurement Scale Inch, Metric Inch, Metric Inch, Metric Inch, Metric Inch, Metric
Cord Length 8.2′ 8′ 7′ N/A N/A
Cutting Details
Maximum Cutting Width 12″ 12.5″ 12.5″ 12.5″ 12.5″
Maximum Cutting Height 6 3/32″ 6″ 6″ 6″ 6″
Maximum Cutting Depth 1/8″ 1/8″ 3/32″ 3/32″ 3/32″
Performance Details
Motor Amperage 15 Amps 15 Amps 15 Amps 15 Amps 15 Amps
Cutterhead Speed 8500 RPM 10000 RPM 10000 RPM 8500 RPM 9400 RPM
Feed Rate 27.9 FPM 26 FPM 32 FPM 26 FPM 26 FPM
Number of Cuts per Inch 50 96 52 N/A N/A
Number of Cuts per Minute 17000 18000 20000 17000 18800
Cutterhead Details
Type Two-Knife with Reversible Blades Three-Knife with Reversible Blades Two-Knife with Reversible Blades Two-Knife with Reversible Blades Two-Knife with Reversible Blades
Number of Knives 2 3 2 2 2
Knife Type HSS M2 Laminated Steel HSS HSS HSS
Knife Length 12″ 12.5″ 12.5″ 12.5″ 12.5″

Features

Adjustable Cutting Depth
Adjustable Depth Stop N/A
Other Features
Interna-Lok Automatic Head Clamp 4-Column Carriage Lock On/Off Toggle Switch with Safety Lock Foldable Infeed and Outfeet Tables 4-Column Design
Detachable Tool Box Material Removal Gauge Thermal Overload Protection Fan-Assisted Dust Port Side Mounted Carrying Handles
4-Post Design and Diagonal Cross Dust Hood Top-Mounted Return Rollers Tri-Roller Feeding System Spindle Lock
Large Table Extensions Dust Hose Connection Port Index Pin Set-Up
LED Lights

Warranty&Support

Product Warranty 1 Year 3 Years 1 Year 2 Years 1 Year
User Manual
Customer Support
Telephone Support 1-800-462-5482 800-433-9258 (570) 546-9663 800-232-1195 847-780-6120
E-Mail Support
Online Chat Support

Benchtop Woodworking Planers Reviews

1. Makita 2012NB

The compact design of this woodworking tool, alongside its numerous user-friendly features, make it ideal for beginners while catering to the need for speed of pros as well. It measures 30-3/8 inches in length, 19-1/64 inches in width, and 15-25/32 inches in height, and it weighs only 61.9 pounds, which is considerably less than the industry standard. It is designed to increase productivity as it provides a quiet operation that won’t deter you when you are working. Furthermore, as it is manufactured by a class-leading company and made with stamped metal that ensures a durable construction, you can rely on it for years to come.

Performance

It features a 15 AMP motor that provides a no-load speed of up to 8500 RPM to ensure high performance when operating. This motor is the one we must thank for its quiet 83 dB operation as well, a noise output level that is sure to not bother you as you work. It provides a 28 feet per minute feed rate that ensures you will be done with your projects fast, while the cutting depth can be adjusted according to your needs to ensure precision planning every time you use it.

Ease of Use

As aforementioned, the user-friendliness aspect is one of the product’s highlights. You can easily adjust the cutting depth so that it will suit the specific project you are working on. It features LED lights that indicate whether it is plugged in or not so that you don’t accidentally hurt yourself. As it is a light and compact tool, you won’t have trouble transporting it from one job site to another. It allows easy blade changing, which is a plus considering that you are likely to switch between blades often. Furthermore, if you opt for the dust collection hood that can be bought separately, you will even enjoy a clean working environment in a highly convenient manner.

Mention Worthy Features and Specs
  • Can be used for stock measuring up to 12 inches in width, 1/8 inches in depth, and 6-3/32 inches in thickness.
  • Features an adjustable depth stop that allows repeated cuts.
  • Product is backed by a 1-year warranty against defects.
Automated Head Clamp

Precision is what usually lacks when beginners take up woodworking projects, and the automated head clamp featured by this tool fixes this issue as it keeps the cutter head locked in place firmly. Thus, as you shave through wood, you are bound to enjoy consistency that would have been unachievable otherwise. This is an exclusive feature of the power tool, one that makes it beginner-friendly.

PROS CONS
  • Perfect for professional workshops as it works well even with an extensive workload
  • Specially designed to reduce snap at a minimum
  • Accurate and efficient operation ensures long-term reliability
  • Low operational noise – produces only 83dB
  • Not the best choice for beginner woodworkers
VERDICT

The 2012NB is a capable tool you can confidently rely on even when you are dealing with heavy-duty workloads. Portable and discrete in its operation, it is the right purchase to make regardless of your skill level or the manner in which you intend to use it – either professionally or at home when working on minor projects.

2. DeWalt DW734

This model is widely regarded as being convenient to work with due to its overall design – it measures 24 inches in length, 17 inches in width, and 21 inches in height, so it does not take up too much space in the workshop, and the metal construction ensures durability. However, it weighs 80 pounds, which is a tad heavier than industry standard, so you should find a permanent spot for it as soon as you bring it in.

It puts metric as well as inch scale measurements at your disposal to ensure you will use it hassle-free. The 8-foot long cord ensures positioning it wherever you want won’t be an issue. It boasts a maximum cutting width of 12.5 inches, more than the industry average, and a maximum cutting height of 6 inches.

The 15 amps amperage of the motor ensures it is a powerful addition to your woodworking tool collection. It boasts a hard to surpass 10000 RPM cutterhead speed, and the feed rate is 26 FPM. Furthermore, it produces up to 18000 cuts per minute while it operates, so speed will be one of your strong points when woodworking with it.

PROS CONS
  • Side handles make it easy for you to carry and shift it anywhere you want
  • Strong cutting force due to the powerful motor it features
  • Easy to clean and maintain thanks to dust collection port
  • Allows detailed work and cutting of narrow pieces
  • Customers have complained it does not do the best job when handling hard wood like oak
VERDICT

Boosting an impressive overall quality, the DW734 managed to impress us the most. Although it comes at a relatively high price compared to other models, it is worth the investment considering the smooth surface it leaves behind. Easy to use and coming with a plethora of features that add to its convenience and performance, this is a tool you must acquire regardless of your skill level.

3. Grizzly G0505

Compact and lightweight, the G0505 measures only 21.75 inches in length, 27-3/8 inches in width, and 18.75 inches in height, and it weighs 71 pounds. It comes with a 7-foot long cord which allows you to position it wherever you please in the workshop. Important cutting performance details you should be aware of include the fact that it supports a maximum cutting height of 6 inches, a maximum depth of 3/32 inches, and a maximum width of 12.5 inches.

Undoubtedly, the greatest highlight of this product is the 32 FPM feed rate that exceeds industry standards and ensures a qualitative operation. It delivers up to 52 cuts per inch, and it can produce up to 20000 cuts per minute, ensuring your woodworking project will be done in no time.

It comes with multiple safety features that add to the purchase desirability of this products, like the thermal overload protection feature and the on/off toggle switch with safety key. Thus, you can free your mind of any worries when it comes to your protection while using it as well as when it comes to the tool’s resistance to heavy-duty use.

PROS CONS
  • Hand wheel depth adjustment allows you to customize the operation as you like
  • Board return rollers enhance convenience in use
  • Cast-iron table is highly durable
  • Features a toggle switch with safety key to ensure protection when using it
  • High noise output of 112 dB – you should wear ear protection when using it
VERDICT

Highly portable as it is light and thus easy to shift its location in the workshop, the Grizzly is a tool you must get your hands on regardless if you are working on a professional level or just in your free time. Besides coming with a multitude of features that help make it easier to work with, it can be yours for a relatively low price, so you will not have to spend all the cash you have set aside on it.

4. WEN 6550

Able to plane planks up to 12.5 inches wide and 6 inches thick without a problem, the 6550 produced by WEN is a tool you definitely need in your woodworking shop. Although it comes with numerous features, what is to appreciate about it is the fact that it comes at a cheap price, thus catering to the budget and financial possibilities of most people.

It comes with an outfeed as well as an infeed table that can both be folded down when you want to store the tool. In terms of design, it measures 23.5 inches in length, 24 inches in width, and 19 inches in height. When it comes to cutting performance, know that it delivers up to 17000 cuts per minute, more than enough to quickly finish any woodworking project you are working on.

The granite table it comes with ensures an enhanced stability and safety in use, so you need not worry about unwanted accidents taking place. The cast-iron frame it features prevents it from wobbling when it is used. Additionally, it comes with a depth adjustment knob that allows you to decide how deep the smoothing of the surface should be with each pass.

PROS CONS
  • Tri-roller system allows you to cut and plane wood without experiencing snipe
  • Dust hose connection port helps you keep a clean working surface with little effort
  • Cast-iron frame helps reduce vibrations, thus keeping the tool neatly on the surface you place it on
  • Rubber adjustment handles allow easy change and adjustment of blades
  • Some customers have reported the plastic height adjustment knob breaking after regular use
VERDICT

The affordable price this WEN model comes at might have you wrongly thinking it is a cheap product, when in reality, it is one of the best performing tools on the market. Easy to work with and allowing you to adjust and customize the operation as you see fit, you will get accustomed to using it fast as it is designed with your best interest in mind.

5. Powertec PL1251

Cheap yet effective, the PL1251 is the go-to option for hobbyists and beginners alike. It measures only 24 by 18 by 18 inches, so it does not take up much space in the workshop. Although it boasts a durable metal construction, it only weighs 63.6 pounds, so it will not be difficult to change its place whenever you want to.

The 9400 RPM cutterhead speed rating more than suffices for any size woodworking job to be done in no time. Furthermore, as it produces up to 18800 cuts per minute, you can see why speed is not an issue as long as you use it. It allows you to adjust the depth of the cut as you like for the planks or whatever materials you are using to be cut perfectly.

It features side-mounted carrying handles which allow you to move it around the workshop with ease. In addition, it comes with a safety enhancement feature you will surely appreciate in the form of the spindle lock which allows an injury-free blade change.

PROS CONS
  • For safety in use, you can lock the cutterhead when you change the blades
  • Best quality-price ratio out there – comes at an affordable price
  • Minimal snipe even when it is passed through heavy-duty use
  • Adjustments when using it can be easily make thanks to its convenient design
  • Dust port is not included
VERDICT

If your desire is to own a budget-friendly tool that does not skimp on features and does not sacrifice performance quality to be accessible price-wise, this Powertec model is your ideal choice. Designed for light and mid-grade projects, it will not fail you in the long run, regardless of how often you use it. After testing it ourselves, we confidently recommend it to all DIYers.

6. Porter-Cable PC305TP

If you want to more easily handle stock from now on, the PC305TP will help you with its powerful 15 amp motor that makes it one of the heavy-duty tools in this niche. In terms of pricing, it might not be the cheapest purchase to make, but it is still one worth making as it is quite affordable.

It uses two high-carbon steel knives that are double-edged to ensure a smooth cut. Furthermore, as the knives are reversible, you enjoy a longer cutting life with them. It ensures great cut stability and precision due to the cutter elevation it features on the four precision ground columns.

One of its most outstanding specs is the 8000 RPM cutterhead speed which delivers 16000 cuts per minute to make the whole ordeal go faster than you could have ever expected. When it comes to warranty, the agreement it comes with covers it for 3 years since the moment of purchase that exceeds the industry standard.

PROS CONS
  • Uses a powerful 15 amp motor to deliver superior stock removal
  • Delivers up to 16000 cuts per minute to get the job done quick
  • Solid steel cutter knives boast a long lifespan before requiring replacement
  • Covered by a 3-year warranty on parts and labor
  • Some customers report that the snipe is quite aggressive with it
VERDICT

The superior stock removal it provides is best outlined by the 8000 rotations per minute cutterhead speed it provides to reach a staggering 16000 cuts per minute. This being said, it is easy to see why we recommend it so strongly as it is sure to help you get the job done faster than ever imagined.

Proper Use Instructions

Making the most of an investment should always be your main interest. In the following, we will list and debate 4 methods to correctly use a benchtop planer in order to make the most out of this investment, this way enabling you to enjoy the tool to its fullest.

  • Reclaiming old wood: One of the many purposes you can use it for is repurposing old wood. Instead of throwing it out, you can recycle the wood by actually using it in your future furniture building projects, for example. Just get out any nails or screws from the planks and you are ready to go, using it to save the wood you would have otherwise thrown away.
  • Getting rid of saw marks: In case you have boards with saw marks or snipes on them, you can easily restore their edge and surface smoothness. Best of all, the process takes only a few minutes as you are not manually fixing these issues yourself but rather letting the machine handle them.
  • Reducing snipe: Uneven thickness on the extremities of the board is called snipe. This flaw can be easily taken care of by the planer, smoothening out the edges to leave the board perfectly straight throughout the entirety of its surface.
  • Avoid tear-outs: Tear-outs can occur as a result of putting wood in it the wrong way. Avoid this unwanted occurrence by feeding the wood into it correctly, more precisely with the grain.

What Is the Purpose of This Tool?

This is a woodworking tool you use to produce boards that have an equal thickness, thus being able to put together furniture pieces or do other types of projects that involve the use of wood boards. Traditionally, they used to be handheld tools, but they have evolved with the passing of time, now finding on the market a variety of tools, including benchtop, portable, jointer, and thickness planers.

To use it for creating the desired thickness on a wooden board, you must adjust the cutterhead to set the desired cutting depth and turn the machine on. After turning it on, feed the plank through it. Now it will be carried by the rollers forward, and smoothened throughout its surface by the spinning blades the machine features. It comes in handy when you are dealing with irregular wood planks, which is a common occurrence as you already know.

As time passes and you begin to master using the machine, you will even be capable of using it for beveling hinge-less door edges, for example, as well as other more intricate projects. Needless to say, this is a machine you cannot afford to miss from your woodworking collection if you do not want to be limited when performing various tasks and projects.

Safety Advice for Rookies and Pros

Regardless of the woodworking project you take up, safety should be your main priority as you will have to work with power tools most of the time. Seeing how a benchtop woodworking planer is a power tool itself, you must be aware of how to correctly use it in order to keep yourself safe from danger. In the following, we will list the safety considerations you must always pursue when working with it, so check them out and never skip on them to keep yourself out of trouble. Here is our compilation of safety advice you must follow:

  • Make sure it is turned off before you plug it in;
  • When you are finished using it, switch the machine off and unplug it;
  • When changing the blades, do not stick to only turning the machine off but rather unplug it as well as an extra caution measure;
  • When operating it, do not look into the infeed or outfeed;
  • Keep your hands away from the infeed and outfeed at all times – keep a distance of at least 3 inches;
  • Do not pass boards that are too short – shorter than the distance between the infeed and outfeed – or too thin – under ¼-inch thickness – through it;
  • When the board gets stuck, switch the machine off and unplug it, raise the cutterhead, and remove it;
  • Wear proper safety gear at all times when using the machine – safety glasses, a dust mask, ear protection;
  • Never wear loose clothing.

Frequently Asked Questions



?If I am a DIYer, what do you recommend, a jointer or a planer?
The planer would be the ideal choice for you as it offers more utility, allowing you to obtain the desired thickness and smoothen out surfaces with ease. Additionally, it comes at a more affordable price than the typical jointer.

?What does snipe refer to?
These tools generally tend to cause a snipe in the boards. What the snipe stands for is the chipping that appears at the edges of the woods after planning. Fortunately, newer, high-end models minimize snipe, delivering a 100% smooth surface along the wooden board.

?Does the length of the infeed and outfeed tables matter?
Yes, the size of the table infeed as well as the outfeed matter as it shows how much material support the table provides. If you plan on planning long wood pieces, it is important for the machine to feature a lengthy table.

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