Thickness Planers Buyer Guide
Planers can be a man’s best friend when it comes to general woodworking, but with so many options, it can be very difficult to find the right planer for you. Today, we review the best of the best, to ensure that you get the right one for your task, whether it be building a small box or a full cabinet for your home.
Ridgid R4331 Review
Ridgid are no underdog when it comes to power tools, even more so with planers. The Ridgid R4331 is a 13 IN. thickness planer with a 3-blade cutter head. For maximum power and operation, the R4331 uses a 120-Volt, 15 Amp motor that delivery 9000 RPM, along with its 3-blade cutter head which is not only quick-changing but has dual-edge blades that are reversible and self-aligning meaning a smooth surface with minimal blemishes.
DeWalt DW735x Review
One of the leading manufacturers of power tools, DeWalt offers the DeWalt DW735x. This planer is very small and compact for its powerful capabilities. Inside, it has a 13in. Three knife cutter, which delivers around 30% longer knife life and makes knife change faster and easier for anyone who is not used to planers. Along with that, the two-speed gearbox allows for users to change the feed speed to optimize cuts per inch at both 96 or 179 CPI.
As with any DeWalt product, the DW735x comes in a yellow and black finish, topped off with a cast aluminum base. The depth capacity of the DW735x is 6 Inches, with a width of 13 Inches. With this, the maximum depth of the cut can only be ⅛ Inch. If you feel that the machine won’t be sturdy enough, DeWalt offers a 3-Year Limited Warranty, as well as their 1-year free service and 90-day money-back guarantee should anything go wrong.
More notable features are;
- Powerful 15 amp, 20,000 rpm motor (10,000 rpm cutter head speed) which can handle larger cuts in wider materials with ease.
- Fan-assisted chip ejection vacuums chip off of the cutter head and exhaust them out of the machine.
- Automatic carriage lock reduces the movement that causes snipe without the need for manual engagement by the user.
- Extra-large turret depth-stop allows users to return to most frequently used thicknesses with ease.
- Material removal gauge and extra-large thickness scale deliver accurate cuts with every pass.
- Includes infeed and outfeed tables and an extra set of knives.
Pricing for the DeWalt DW735x comes in at X (or specify price point) which is on par with the other planers on this list.
Overall, the DeWalt DW735x is a great buy for anyone who is looking to use a planer for the first time or simply want a powerful upgrade to a previously owned planer. DeWalt has made using and caring for the machine simple, so much so that anyone can replace consumable parts with help from a guide.
WEN 6552 Review
The power tool veterans WEN created the WEN 6552 which is a simple planer for all skill levels. With its large infeed and outfeed potential, WEN has not pulled any stops from the machine receiving an Amazon’s Choice product on both Amazon UK and Amazon US.
The Wen 6552 has a 13-Inch 3-Blade Benchtop thickness planer, which repurposes worn wood to give it an exceptionally smooth finish. The powerful 15-amp motor can provide 25,500 cuts per minute at a 26 feet per minute feed rate. With that being said, the machine can plane boards up to 13 inches wide and 6 inches in thickness with no problems at all. When combined with the heavy-duty cast iron base, the planner does not walk or wobble during operation. WEN also value their customers, so if you get stuck or are having problems, their customer service will help you through it. Included is an owner’s manual that includes tips on how to use the device as well as planing in general. Along with this, if anything breaks on the machine, WEN has a very nice warranty and generally receives high praise for its customer service.
The WEN 6552 has a very rugged build quality, which is good when a planer can experience a lot of stress in use, so the machine must be strong and rugged to produce a durable platform when planing. After a while, the blades do eventually grind down, however, WEN has extremely affordable blades for when you need them.
Some notable features of the WEN 6552 are;
- The 6552 has an onboard removal gauge which informs users about the cutting depth of each pass.
- It can plane boards up to 6 Inches Thick and 13 Inches wide.
- It has a 15 Amp motor that generates 25,500 cuts per minute at 26 ft. per minute feed rate.
- The 3-Blade design makes easy work out of even the hardest of woods.
- Fan-assisted dust port removes sawdust from workpieces.
All in all, the WEN 6552 is an all-round affordable planer that produces great results regardless of what you throw in it. It has a solid build quality that can last forever when following the helpful owners manual that includes tips on how to use the machine. With the fine passes and great price point, the WEN 6552 is one to consider when it comes down to buying a planer.
Makita 2012NB Review
Another large power tools company, Makita created the 2012NB planer. This planer has a sturdy, efficient and powerful build to it in the traditional cream and blue Makita colors.
The 220V / 15 Amp machine combines rugged and powerful all under one unit.
Unlike others, Makita’s 2012NB planer can only take 304mm (12”) wide workpieces with a ⅛” cutting depth, however, the Makita can take in 8.5m / minute and has very little noise presence at 86dB(a). As mentioned below in the notable features, Makita has also used its proprietary “Interna-Lok” system which automatically clamps the head down which eliminates the possibility of any snipping occurring. Makita has also thought about the dust that could be created when using the system, and so have included an optional dust hood allowing a dust collection system to be connected to the planer in a matter of seconds.
The Makita also includes mounted pedestal controls, which are very convenient for anyone who wants to focus on the finish rather than which controls to hit.
Some other notable features of the Makita 2012NB are;
- Easy adjustment for an accurate and even finish.
- Downward pressure system when feeding in materials, stop sniping of the timber.
- It can hold a large material capacity.
- Fine depth adjustment
- 16 FPM and 30 FPM feed rate.
- Mostly Metal bodywork, to withstand the test of time.
The price point for the Makita comes in relatively cheap at X (OR PRICE RANGE) which is not too bad when compared to other planers and taking into account their features.
Overall, the Makita 2012NB is ideal for anyone who wants to have a professional look to anything they do with the Makita. Along with this, the additional accessories and easy to use system are convenient for anyone making it an all-round great planer that gets the job done, no matter the task.
Grizzly G0505 Review
The Grizzly G0505 is a small, compact but powerful planer. The Grizzly houses two reversible HSS knives in the cutter head, with a 10,000 RPM cutter head speed. The Grizzly can also feed around 32 FPM with 52 CPI. Grizzly has also made it clear that they’ve put a lot of thought into the planer, by making additional features like larger knives to prove this portable machine can run on the job site for years to come.
The Grizzly has a maximum cutting width of 12 ½ inches and a maximum cutting height of 6 inches. The maximum depth of a cut is 3/32” with a maximum board thickness of 13/64. Along with this, the build quality of the Grizzly is phenomenal for the price point and size, with every part being metal, it’s tough, sturdy and durable. Along with this, the planer is also free from vibration when it’s being used, meaning your workpieces will come out looking great. Not only this, the Grizzly is super easy to set up, and the manuals show you how to replace parts should you need to in the future.
Something that a lot of people have noted when reviewing, is the loudness of the machine when it’s operating. The Grizzly is a little loud, that ear protection should be used.
Some other notable features include;
- It has a 2 HP, 110V/15Amp Motor to pull through the 10,000 RPM / 32 FPM feed rate.
- Thermal Overload protection in the event of overheating.
- On/Off toggle switch with a safety lock.
- The ability to cut through any type of wood, hard or soft. (Super Hardwood may struggle/slow down)
- Full Metal body means the machine will live on for quite some time.
At the price point of only X (Price Range), the Grizzly is for sure a great little planer that can do a large range of jobs with ease.
Overall, the Grizzly G0505 is a great piece of machinery with lots of great features. The portability of the planer, as well as the cutting speed, can be very helpful for the smaller range of projects. The planer will work well for anyone who is looking to get their first planer, but may not be suited for the large scale work that one of the other planers in this list can deal with such as harder woods and longer workload times.