If you’re serious about your woodwork, then an electric hand planer will most likely be the next power tool you’re looking to invest in ahead of the DIY season! Whether you have some shelves that need to be built and assembled or are about to start on an antique furniture restoration project, there are plenty of uses and applications for an electric hand planer, even if you’re not a professional tradesman. A power planer is one of those innovative and useful tools that all bona fide DIY enthusiasts should own as part of their comprehensive arsenal of tools! Knowing which one to invest in though is the tricky part and in short, that will be a function primarily of the kind of jobs you envisage undertaking as well as your budget. So let’s delve in today and take a look at our top list of recommended wood planers that will shave both time and effort off those carpentry jobs you’ve promised you’ll complete this year.
The Best Electric Hand Planer
We’re getting this review underway as always with our Best Choice product and today that is reserved for the Wen 6530 3 1/4 inch Hand Planer which certainly packs a powerful punch. You could say it’s plane sailing all the way with this Wen in your workshop! It’s affordable, gets great consumer reviews and runs smoothly and reliably plus it’s easy to use. Overall, it’s both powerful and portable and comes with everything you need including the power planer, a convenient reversible dust bag as well as kickstand and parallel fence bracket. All that, and it’s accurate too, weighing in at just 6 pounds which provides it with plenty of maneuverability.
With an impressive 6-amps motor it can deliver 34,000 cuts per minute, and the depth can be adjusted in 16 positive stops increments from 0 all the way up to 1/8-inches. The blade drum is double sided for smooth and clean cutting power, and those blades are also reversible and easy to replace. There’s a very convenient multi-directional dust chute that can be changed from left to right to pick up loose sawdust and wood chips while you’re working plus a kickstand for added protection. Besides all of that, there’s also an onboard adjustable wrench that’s housed neatly and discreetly inside the body of the planer as well as a parallel fence bracket and a rabbeting guide. It has a practical 6-foot long power lead and also comes with a two-year manufacturers warranty. Be sure to also check out our list of the best random orbital sanders for more great items like this.
6-amp motor provides 34,000 cuts per minute
16 positive stops adjust cutting depth from 0 to 1/8 inches
Lightweight design offers comfortable and accurate use
Includes power planer, reversible dust bag, rabbeting guide, kickstand, and parallel fence bracket
- Weight8 pounds
Easy to use
Reversible dust bag
Varies cutting depths
No carry case
Dust bag fills up quickly
Another highly affordable and powerful option up next from Porter Cable, their PC60THPK offers excellent value for money and overall functionality. Besides the hand planer itself which is certainly robust and sturdy looking, you also receive 2 carbide curing blades along with a wrench, edge guide, a dust bag and a kit bag to keep your planer safe when not in use. The depth of those cuts can be controlled by 10 positive stops which are positioned every 1/16-inch plus there are also three chamfering grooves and accurate control thanks to that 11.5-inch cast aluminum shoe. The 6-amp motor slivers 16,500 RMP of power which make it more than adequate for tackling a range of jobs from planing wood planks, to chamfering and profiling edges, as well as tackling doors and joists.
There’s also dual dust extraction on either side of the planer which helps to keep your workplace tidy and clean as you plane away. Porter Cable offers a generous 3 years manufactures warranty with your purchase which should provide you with good peace of mind, and the device comes with a long 6-foot cable so there should be plenty of flexibility to work on projects both indoors and outside too. Our handy guide to the best angle grinders features more great products like this.
6-amp motor delivers 16,500 RPM motor for smooth operation
10 positive stops positioned every 1/16-inch
Dual-sided dust extraction
Includes hand planer, carbide cutting blades, HSS cutting blades, wrench, dust bag, and kit box
- Weight13.15 pounds
Easy to use and smooth to operate
Great for home DIY’er
Dual dust extraction lever
Soft not hard carry case
Dust bag fills up quickly
We’re taking a look at a portable power planer next from Dewalt, and it’s their 3 1/4-inch Brushless Max DCP580B to get the review treatment. This 20V high-performance planer from the Dewalt family has the users best interests at heart with an ergonomic handle designed to minimize operator fatigue. The molded grip fits comfortably and securely in hand to provide power and reliability even in the toughest of working environments.
The DCP580B features twin blade drums with reversible carbide blades with a smooth, adjustable knob which makes a reassuring audible clicking sound whenever those settings are increased or decreased. Besides the power planer itself, this device also features other handy on-board tools including a tort key and Torx wrench storage plus a convenient kickstand which protects the planer when it’s resting and not being used. If you are looking for are portable yet powerful planer then this is a smart investment, capable of providing 32,000 cuts per minute for fast and smooth results. A ploy V drive further provides belt durability and enhances the overall reliability of this portable Dewalt planer. Unfortunately, no dust extraction is supplied with this particular unit although one can be purchased separately. Love tools? Check out our review of the best bench grinders for our top picks.
Powerful brushless motor delivers 32,000 cuts per minute
Calibrated depth adjustment knob to 5/64”
Precision machined front and back aluminum shoes
Increased belt durability thanks to inclusion of Poly-V drive belt
- Weight6.8 pounds
Cordless Portable Design
Powerful Brushless Motor
Twin reversible carbide blades
No dust extraction supplied
Battery and charger sold separately
It would be hard to imagine drafting any kind of power tools recommended list without something from Bosch featuring in the top ten, so it should come as no surprise that we’re reviewing one of their hand planer’s today. The Bosch PL2622K conveniently comes with its own carry case and while not the most budget friendly on our review, still represents a reasonable price point given its functionality. Included with your purchase besides the hand planer are 2 wood razor mini micro grain blades, one dual-mount guide fence, a shavings collection bag, that carrying case we already mentioned along with a straight no-mar plastic overshoe.
The planer provides excellent power and performance and is also relatively lightweight to deliver a good amount of flexibility too. It’s apparently the first ever power tool to feature ambidextrous lol-off release and besides that function, also has further protection features including a spin loaded stand to elevate the device, protecting the blade when not in use. That powerful 6.5-amp motor provides 16,5000 rotations per minute which means smooth and consistent results and with both front and rear aluminum shoes and a dual-mount fence guide, you get good precision too. It’s a quality product, from a well-respected brand and receives excellent reviews and feedback from consumers. It’s durable, reliable and performs well. Find more great products like this by checking out our guide to the best rolling tool boxes.
6.5-amp motor delivers 16,500 RPM motor for smooth operation and clean finish
Ambidextrous lock-off release button
Spring-loaded protection stand
Versatile two blade system with dual-mount fence guide
- Weight14.53 pounds
High quality and durable construction
Well renowned brand
Smooth and powerful to use
Dual dust ports
Lots of safety features
Some concerns depth knob doesn’t firmly click into place
Our Best Value surface planer comes from internationally recognized brand Black + Decker, and it certainly offers plenty of power as well as versatility for performing a wide range of planing functions for any DIY enthusiast. It’s incredibly budget friendly but certainly not lacking in functionality, fitted with a 5.2-amp motor that can deliver 16,500 revolutions per minute and has a 5/64-inch deep cutting capacity. This power is also combined with a 5/16-inch rabbeting depth as well as a chamfering groove to support more decorative style finishes.
As you’d expect from Black + Decker, their 769K Planer has been built to last and includes four, reversible and solidly constructed HSS blades guaranteed to last for longer. This powerful hand planer also includes 10 positive stops which make it easier to perform more precise and accurate cuts along with a foot adjustment hand and convenient lock-on button. This makes extended use more comfortable for the operator and limits the potential for fatigue. Included along with your purchase is a dust collection bag, and edge guide, vacuum adapter, and hex wrench plus all of that can be stored in the kit box provided, so your planer is safely protected when not in use. Black + Decker also offer their usual 2-year warranty. This is a powerful, reliable and budget-friendly option for any home and a perfect DIY gift for the DIY enthusiast.
5.2 amp high-torque motor for deep and smooth planing
Convenient lock-on button allows for more extended and less tiring planing sessions
Chamfering groove can deliver a detailed and decorative edge
10 positive stops for accurate and precise cuts
- Weight11.3 pounds
Reliable and robust
Vacuum dust adapter
Solid long lasting HSS reversible blades
Lock-on button feature
No spare belt provided
If professional quality power is the name of the game, then this Triton TPL180 triple blade planer has it in spades! It’s perfect for even the most heavy duty of planning duties, and cuts from all hardwood surfaces like a hot knife through butter! That’s because it’s made constricted from magnesium to give it superior strength and durability and is fitted with a hard working and powerful 1500 W motor and a 3-blade drum that can cut up to 45,000 times per minute. With that power, also comes plenty of precision with a 10-position depth control dial alongside an adjustable bail handle for ergonomic support and comfort.
This Triton TPL180 also comes with a guide fence, dust extraction port and includes a wrench as well as featuring an ultra-wide 7-inch planing surface to get those big jobs done in record time. From a safety perspective, Triton has included a power-on neon light indicator plus there’s a safety lock which has to be actively depressed to activate the trigger. For professional woodworkers and enthusiastic amateurs DIY’ers alike, if you can stretch the budget, then this Triton is a reliable and robust choice. If you love DIY projects, check out our guide to the best digital calipers.
Powerful 1500w motor suitable for heavy duty planing
Wide 7-inch planing surface for rapid removal
Revolutionary pattered 3-blade drum design
10-position depth control dial or precision and accuracy
- Weight22.6 pounds
Powerful and patented design
Superior cutting action
Adjustable and easy to control
Dust extraction unit must be bought separately
The next wood planer to get scrutinized is the Hitachi P2OST portable handheld planer which is fitted with a powerful 5.5-amp motor for smooth, clean and efficient cuts. At just 5.5lbs it’s also a lightweight option so provides plenty of versatility to operate in different working conditions and is great for jobs where you need increased maneuverability and ease of use. A convenient dust bag is also included so that you can clean up as you go as well as an additional vacuum attachment for taking care of larger quantities of wood shavings and dust.
For all kinds of planing, rabbeting, bevelling and tapering jobs, this Hitachi P2OST will be your new workshop buddy, and with re-sharpenable blades, it’s also a cost-effective option that will allow for prolonged use. There’s a max cutting depth of 1/16-inch, and the inclusion of a kickstand saves both your workbench and your blades from unintended damage when the planer is not in use. Don’t forget to also check our reciprocating saws reviews for more great products like this.
Powerful 5.5-Amp motor delivers 17,000 RPM
Prolonged use thanks to re-sharpenable blade design
Lightweight and easy to operate and maneuver
Dust collection capability
- Weight12.75 pounds
Easy to operate
Only works on even surfaces
There’s plenty to love about this Tacklife electric hand planer, not least that incredible price. The manufacturer is all about developing well made, useful and portable professional-style products for the modern DIY enthusiast so if that’s got your name written all over it, then read on! This is a 3 1/4-inch hand planer that packs 900 watts of power and comes with a reliable and robust 7.5-amp high-quality copper motor. It can deliver up to an impressive 32,000 cuts per minute providing smooth and efficient, consistent cuts and thickness.
When it comes to safety features, this Tacklife electric hand planer is fitted with a double controlling switch which helps to minimize unwanted accidents caused by operated carelessness. There’s also an ergonomic, soft grip handle which helps to reduce user fatigue over long periods of work plus an extra long 3-meter power cord that delivers plenty of flexibility for moving around your work area both indoors and out. Various accessories and features are included with your purchase including a chamfer groove, parallel fence bracket, convenient dust collection bag as well as a hex key and open wrench. You really do get a lot of value for your money and don’t forget that it also comes with 12 positive stop incremental increases so that you can adjust the depth from 0 all the way up to 3mm according to the application. If you need new tools, check out our guide to the best stud finders.
Base plate comes with a simple chamfer groove
Parallel Fence bracket adds precision and consistent cutting
Flat aluminum bottom plate is anti-rust and anti-corrosion treated
Features adjustable cutting depth ruler
- Weight7.76 pounds
Varied accessories induced
High-quality copper motor
Durable and long lasting
Dust bags fills up quickly
Makita is known for their industrial quality power tools and their leading cutting edge technology and innovation so it should come as little surprise that they feature on our best electric hand planers list and are today’s Premium Choice recommendation. This power tool, just like most of the professional devices they manufacture is precise and accurate, powerful and reliable too. Although this is, of course, an excellent choice for DIY enthusiasts, it is also highly recommended for use by professional trades including construction framing, window, and door installation companies as well as fine woodworking professions.
The Makita 1912B may well have a compact design, but it’s certainly not short on cutting capacity and overall power. With an all bearing construction, they pretty much guarantee this beast for life. It’s easy to control and well balanced to operate with front and rear grips positioned for better operator control, and with a precision machined aluminum base, it delivers accurate planning results every time. While it might not include a dust bag, it does come with a host of other useful accessories including a sharpening holder, blade gauge, wrench, guide rule as well as a blade set. Better still, the 2-blade cutter head can make an incredible 32,000 cuts per minute which certainly impressed us. For more great tools like this check out our guide to the best screw guns.
Powerful 7.5-amp motor delivers exceptional performance
Professional style quality with consistent results
2-blade cutter head provides 32,000 cuts per minute
Convenient lock-on button function when in the continuous operation mode
- Weight9.3 pounds
High quality and durable construction
Well renowned brand
Smooth and powerful to use
2 blade cutter head
Lots of safety features
No dust collection facility
Compact, powerful and instantly recognizable as a Ryobi power tool thanks to that bright lime finish, our final product selection in this best electric hand planers review is reserved for their HPL52K, a reversible double-edged blade device with a 6-amp motor. Included with your purchase you also receive a blade wrench, rabbet edge guide plus a dust as well as a tool bag. It runs at up to 16,500 RPM with a maximum cutting width of 3 1/4-inch and a rabbet depth of 1/2-inch. The unit features dual exhaust ports on either side of the planer so that you can blow chips out from whichever side is most convenient depending upon your workspace. When your Ryobi hand planer is not in use, it can be rested on the rear mounted kickstand which prevents it from scuffing and damaging any of your work surfaces.
A handy safety lock button prevents this corded hand planer from accidentally being activated and with adjustable depth options from 1/8-inch to 1/96-inch increments, it certainly delivers plenty of versatility. Also worth a mention is the rubber oversold which limits friction between your hand and the tool itself, ensuring comfortable and smooth operation. You may also like our guide to the best crowbars so check it out.
6 amp motor with speed of 16,500 RPM
Rubber molded grip for precise and comfortable handling
Anti-scuff rear mounted kickstand
Lock off button safety features prevents accidental activation
- Weight3.25 pounds
Versatile and easy to operate
Dual exhaust ports
Rear mounted kickstand
Dust bag quickly fills up
Electric Hand Planer Buying Guide & FAQ
Features To Look For In Electric Hand Planers
The first thing you really need to ask yourself isn’t as such what features you need your electric hand planer to have but rather what jobs you are going to be performing with it. If you’re just building some shelves and repairing some frames, you can go for something more lightweight and portable whereas if you’re about to start an antique furniture restoration job, then you’d be wiser investing in something more powerful and robust. Below are some of the additional key features we recommend you consider once you get straight on your requirements.
Speed and Power - We’ve lumped both of these features together as it makes sense, the higher the cutting speed, the more power you’ll require and the smoother overall your end results will be. Speed, power, and durability are really the essential features you need to be looking for in a hand planer. Think about the types of wood you’re going to be working with and go for the best planer you can afford within your own budget. It’s one tool that’s subject to plenty of wear and tear so our recommendation is that you don’t under-invest and you go for something that can deliver maximum cuts per minute.
Corded and Cordless options - Cordless tools are very much the fashion these days as they provide the ultimate versatility and maneuverability to work on different projects in varied locations. That said, cordless can have the disadvantage of delivering less power and juice overall, and you may end up having to recharge the battery pack before you’ve completed the job in hand which unfortunately may lead to inconsistent results. Consider your requirements carefully in this respect. Do you want something that’s more agile and flexible or are power and consistency your key considerations Also, think about the power cable itself and how likely that is to cause an obstruction in a busy working environment. Cables and plugged in devices can cause trip hazards so if you are going for a corded wood planer, make sure that the power cord is sufficiently long enough to be practical and safe.
Precision features - When you’re planing wood, the watchword is consistency so that you achieve even and professional looking quality results. To do that you require precision tools. That includes things like ensuring that your fencing stays in place and also purchasing a wood planer that has a high-quality depth gauge.
Durability - Electric hand planers take quite a battering and are a rough and tumble type of tool, constantly in contact with the working surface. That very fact means they generate plenty of heat and wear and tear so buying quality and dependable power planer will overall be a wise decision, even if you do have to pay a little bit more upfront. Ideally, look for a model with sturdy cast iron plates as these will hold and retain their shape better over time.
Comfort - By nature of the size, shape, and usage of a planer, it’s going to be in the user's hand for quite some time so comfort and ergonomics are more important than you might at first have realized. Planers can be bulky and heavy beasts to operate which over time will cause fatigue. The more powerful your planer is, likely the heavier it will also be and the more challenging to manage. Also, consider the waste management system that your electric hand planer has. They create a fair bit of waste, and you don’t want to be spending extra time and effort continually cleaning up after yourself either.
Cutting width - Most of the planers featured in our review come with a standardly sized blade width of 3 1/4-inches which is the perfect size for most DIY as well as professional applications including planing door panels, window frames and furniture for example. If you go for a larger sized cutting width, you will be able to more easily tackle larger items of furniture, panels, and struts but on the flip side, these devices will be heavier and more uncomfortable and cumbersome to operate physically.
Blade types - The blade is a vital component part of an electric hand planer, and there are two main types that you will find fitted in the most popular brands and makes of planers. Those are either high-speed steel or HSS and carbide blades. HSS blades are better suited to softer woods and are an economical choice which can be easily re-sharpened. Carbide blades are stronger and more robust and are reversible, so when one side is worn out, the blade can be turned over and used the opposite way to deliver fresh cutting power. Overall carbide blades are more durable than HSS ones, but they don’t provide the same degree of precision and accuracy.
Types Of Planers
You have three main commercial options when it comes to buying a planer, and the one you ultimately go for will depend upon the type of work you intend performing, the space you have available in your workshop as well as the all-important question of budget too.
Manual Hand Planer - Best suited to smaller jobs and by far the cheapest option they come in a variety of sizes and styles and give you control in your hand. They’re portable, easy to use and great for detailed projects.
Electric Hand Planer - A better option if you need something with more power that will enable you to get the job done quickly and more efficiently. They’re noisier and more difficult to control and of course more expensive than manual planers. You can go for either corded or cordless versions and will require a battery and charger if you go for the latter.
Benchtop Planer - Also known as a stationary planer is the largest the lot and requires a solid surface such as a table or bench in a workshop on which to sit. They can be cumbersome and expensive and will require more regular cleaning and maintenance.
Electric Hand Planer FAQ
Q: What is an electric planer used for?
A: An electric planer, much like a handheld planer can shave a shape as well as acting as a belt sander, and a jointer all rolled into the one powerful handheld device. You can use your electric planer for a variety of wood-based jobs from leveling joists to shaving down door bottoms so that they’ll close more easily to shaping garden decking and making your own shelving. The principal function of an electric planer is to smooth and prepare wood, adjusting the depth gauge so that you can create consistent thicknesses of wood for use in building projects.
Q: Is a jointer the same as a planer?
A: For the uninitiated when it comes to basic woodworking, jointers and planers are not the same things. Each machine has its own specific mode of surfacing operation. A jointer is primarily used to flatten and straighten wood or to straighten and square off edges. A planer, on the other hand, is used on boards that have already been prepared and jointed to make them of equal thickness from end to end for a consistent and smooth, uniform finish. In an ideal world if you really are a woodworking enthusiast, then you’d probably want to own both a Jointer and a Planer!