electric hand wood planer

5 Best Electric Hand Planers 2019

Using an electric hand planer instead of the old fashioned manual planer will improve the finish as well as boost your efficiency. The purpose of these power tools is purely to flatten or thin wood pieces for a better finish to the wood.

The best hand planer for woodworking is the DEWALT DCP580B Brushless Planer that provides a runtime of 32,000 cuts per minute with a no load speed of 15,000 RPM.

Using a handheld planer instead of the larger and more powerful bench planers have many benefits. The main advantage is of course the lightness but the latest compact planers are very powerful and can handle heavy duty wood planing.

Best Electric Hand Planers

Hand PlanerTypeDepth of Cut
DEWALT DCP580BCordless5/64 Inch
Bosch PL1632Cordless5/16 Inch
Makita KP0810Corded5/32 Inch
Makita 1806BCorded1/16 Inch
Porter Cable PC60THPCorded5/64 Inch

The majority of DIY’ers will use a hand planer to strip away discolored wood or improve faulty fittings such as wooden doors that are not shutting properly. The list of woodworking tasks you can use a wood planer for is endless.

Handheld planers are more lightweight and offer more use than those that are stuck inside a workshop. For this reason alone, they are more popular and is a power tool found in the majority of carpenters toolboxes.

There is a variety of wood planers that are suitable for both beginners and professional carpenters. Below is a list of the best hand planers that will easily strip away defective wood and improve edges.

DEWALT DCP580B Hand Planer


The Dewalt DCP580B uses a brushless motor that provides a maximum runtime of 32,000 cuts per minute and can achieve an impressive removal rate with 5/64 inch depth of cut. It weighs 6.7 LBS, which is slightly heavy for a hand planer but the additional power makes up for the weight.

Unlike many of the other hand planers, it is a cordless type, which makes awkward planning such as window frames much easier and hassle-free. If you are going to be using the tool for long periods of time and on heavy duty wood, it is also designed for comfort with an ergonomic design, which is a big bonus.

Other features that are worthy of a mention include a Poly-V drive belt for additional durability and a calibrated depth adjustment knob for maximum control of the hand planer. It is a high quality power tool that also features front and back aluminium shoes for precision cuts for the ultimate finish.

Overall, the Dewalt DCP580B is the best cordless planer and offers features to further improve your planning ability for the best finish. For peace of mind, this hand planer also comes with Dewalt’s reputable 3 year limited warranty.

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Bosch PL1632 Cordless Planer


The Bosch uses a 6.5 Amp motor that delivers 16,500 RPM, which is more than enough to cut through a wide variety of wood. It is a 3 1/4 inch with a dual mount fence that improves the guidance of the cut, which is very useful and prevents flexing.

In order to increase the life span of this hand planer, Bosch have designed protected the blade by using a spring loaded stand with a tool resting spot. It is even very safe with a on/off locking mechanism to prevent accidental start-ups.

Bosch are known for produces high quality power tools and this PL1632 is another one of those tools. It lacks some of the useful features from the Dewalt alternative but it is much cheaper. Cordless hand planers are known to be pricey but this model seems to be reasonable priced and made by a brand you can trust.

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Makita KP0810 Electric Planer


Makita is a brand that is much loved by professionals and they produce a wide array of power tools for the high and low budgets. The KP0810 model by Makita is a corded hand planer that packs a lot of power for hardcore wood planing.

It will plane up to 3 1/4 inch wide and 5/32 inch deep with a single pass and delivers 16,000 RPM from the 2 blade cutter head for fast removal of wood. It has the desirable depth adjustment knob that is adjustable in 0.1mm increments for accuracy.

The Makita hand planer features a lock on/off switch, ergonomically designed rubber grip, 3 groove options, double edge carbide blades, aluminium housing, ball bearing construction and much more. Even with such a heavy duty construction, it still only weighs 7.3 LBS.

It is a hand planer for woodworking that uses the latest innovative technology to improve the efficiency of your woodworking. The Makita KP0810 is the best electric hand planer with a whole range of unique features that will make removing materials and achieving a smooth finish much easier.

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Makita 1806B Professional Planer

The Makita 1806B is an electric planer that is designed for professionals requiring a powerful planer for tackling large woodworking projects. The 10.9 Amp motor delivers 15,000 RPM and it will cut 6 3/4 inches wide and 1/16 inch deep with a single pass.

For additional accuracy, this 1806B model by Makita uses front and back grips for better control, large sole plate for stability and an easy depth setting for the perfect finish. Precise and smooth grooves are easy to accomplish with the Makita 1806B.

Overall, it is the best planer for large timber that is ideal for more experienced carpenters that want to reduce time spent sanding and planning with a less powerful hand planer. The major drawback of the Makita 1806B hand planer is the sheer price, however the additional power and the large quantity of features makes it a worthwhile investment for professionals that require the best.

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Porter Cable PC60THP Hand Planer

For those looking for a cheap hand planer but still require power and accuracy, the Porter Cable PC60THP is ideal. It has a heavy duty 6 Amp motor that delivers 16,500 RPM, which is more than enough to smoothly remove materials.

For a budget planer, it has an impressive feature list that includes a dual side dust extraction, over cold depth knob, 11.5 inch aluminium shoe and more. In terms of the cutting ability, it has a 5/64 inch depth of cut and it can be adjusted with 10 different increments.

Overall, the Porter Cable PC60THP is one of the best cheap hand planers for the money and would be a great first planer for beginners wanting to take their woodworking to the next level.

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Electric Hand Planer Buying Guide

A hand wood planer is meant to assist you in reducing the wood to your preferred thickness. This enables you to make your desired product out of the wood. Hand wood planers are an important component in the woodwork industry. They are essential in smoothing to ensure a good finish in your work. The planer is pushed back and forth along a wood surface to cut the particular wood to the desired width and also give it an appealing smooth finishing.

Planer Categories

Several types of wood planers exist in the market. They are divided into various broad categories based on the specific work they are meant to do. These categories are as discussed below to help you choose the right product.

Block plane

The Block plane is small and easily fits in hand. It is a handy tool for any general task in your woodwork. The low angle block planes are suitable for difficult grain because of their angle setting which blends well with a sharpened bevel.

The block plane also has a standard block plane and is suitable for general tasks. Various uses of this particular plane are when working on smooth grain, parts such as the door, smooth marks, and sharp edges.

Bench Plane

The bench planes are mostly used for wood smoothing. They are categorized into longer and shorter bench planes. Smoothing planes are used to smooth the desired area. It has iron and is used for extended wood flattening

Jack planes

Jack planes are used for smoothing an area and also to joint. They are also used for long surface flattening.

Jointer plane

This is the most common. It is designed for use on a flat surface and has an iron for cutting the wood. The main work of Jointer plane is straightening of board sides before joining. Jointer planes have the capability of moving over peaks and ensuring that the edges are flat. They are mostly used for flattening board surfaces.

Rabbet plane

This is a type of plane with a narrow iron strip for cutting. It has a stop that ensures that you do not go past the cut depth needed. It also has a fence to keep in check that the cut being made is similar to the board thus ensuring a perfect cut.

Router plane

A router plane is mostly used for groove cleaning. It is mostly bought with a fence to ensure straight work. However, it can also be used on a free hand. The router plane has two cutting positions. The first cutting position is usually on the plane body while the other cutting position is on the outside and the blade is usually at the front. This allows the router plane to cut in corners.

Plough planes

This type of planes is used for long groove cutting. This particular type of plane has an adjustable fence that enables a clear cut. The plow planes come with several blades which are specific in their cutting capability of the groove.

Spokeshave

A spokeshave is a plane used for finishing in small woodwork to remove irregular wood pieces.

Bull Nose planes

They are excellent in taking cuts when fitting tendons on a small job. The bullnose plane has slightly wider blades which ensure a square cut.

Scrub plane

This is a small handheld plane that is used for finish work to remove any small pieces that are visible.

Components of a  Hand Wood Planer

  • Depth adjusting knob – Responsible for determining the length to which the blade will protrude and thus determining the cut depth level of the blade.
  • Frog – Provides support to the blade. The movement of the blade back and forth leads to opening and closing of the plane’s mouth.
  • Sole – Bottom part of the plane.
  • Toe – Front part of a hand wood planer.
  • Mouth – is an opening that allows the wood shavings to rise.
  • Tote – refers to the main handle that is at the back of the wood planer.

Type of Frog

The frog is responsible for blade support. The performance of the blade will be determined by the design of the frog. Two types of frog exist, Bedrock and Bailey. The bailey, however, is the most common on the hand planes.

The Bailey frog is found on top of the body part. The good side about this type of frog is that it is adjustable and can only be accessed when you remove the iron assembly of the plane.

The bedrock sits on the top body part as well and can move on two plane body ridges. This helps keep the frog on the body. This particular type of frog is able to be adjusted, and one can open or close the plane mouth without the need of removing the whole assembly of the iron.

Blade Thickness

Blade thickness will determine how the finish will appear. The thickness of the blade is key in determining the flexing of the blade during cutting. It is important to choose a thick blade to ensure you have a rigid cut and also good finish when performing your woodwork.

Blade Angle

The blade angle is very key in determining how the cut will be made to appear. The angle directs the blade how to make a good cut. It is important to understand that having a high or lower blade angle will determine the final outlook.

Lower angles are good when cutting the grain of the wood while higher angles are most important when cutting delicate and wood to minimize any damage.

Most bench planes have a cutting-edge angel of 45 degrees, and this allows one to work on most types of wood comfortably. However, it is important always to know the type of wood you will be using before choosing the plane since that will be a crucial determinant in determining the desired outcome.

Width Capacity

This is the allowable width of the wood that the planer can cut. This is an essential factor that will determine how fast you can work on your woodwork. A wider width will translate into a faster rate of completing the work.

electric planer for woodworking

Type of Body

Two types of body exist, which are metal and wooden. Metal bodies are heavier and have a long lifespan compared to wooden. One advantage of the wooden body is that they are light and easy to work with especially when having a workload of wood. The wooden body is key especially when you desire to have a very clear and smooth finish on your wood. Those are the key factors you should consider when choosing between the two types of bodies.

Application

Before settling on a hand wood planer, it is important to know what you will be working on to choose a fit machine. A very hard type of timber will require a different type of timber than a soft type of timber. Having that in mind will give you peace of mind after buying and guarantee you good service when doing your woodwork.

Safety Tips

  • Always be careful when using a planer because of the blades which can injure you and cause a serious cut.
  • Always have eye protection when operating a wood planer. The small wood bits can cause serious injury to your eyes
  • Use of gloves. Using gloves is important in preventing any cuts on your body from the wood pieces while working.

How to use a Hand Planer

After taking note of the necessary safety tips, you should be able to work with the wood planar easily by following basic steps highlighted below. They will help you get do your woodwork efficiently.

  1. Always sharpen the blade of the plane. Sharpening the razor will ensure you cut your wood with accuracy. Sharpening is also part of the maintenance routine to prevent them from becoming blunt.
  1. Set the right angle. You can start by using a shallow angle first and later progress to a big angle.
  1. Smoothen and flatten the wood to be worked on. Take note of any uneven levels on the wood to know the pressure you will apply on the knob.
  1. Always make a cut along the wood grain to avoid imperfections on the wood. Failing to work along the wood grain can lead to tearing of the wood thus making a nonuniform planing. However, should the wood tear, you can correct it by using a sand paper to smoothen the surface.
  1. Always aim for the highest accuracy. To ensure accuracy, first place a straight edge to guide you when working on the wood. A good tool that can help you in precision approximation is a try square. Using it will help you get the perfect angle between two faces of the wood

Sharpening

A hand wood planer requires periodic sharpening to ensure the blade makes a good sharp cut when in use. You do not need expensive machines to sharpen your plane. You can buy a honing guide which helps to clamp the blade on one position good for sharpening.

Use a grinding machine or water stones to sharpen the blade which is bound to become blunt over time due to continuous wood cutting. However, immediately after purchasing it is important to polish the cutting blade of the plane to have the iron in good cutting shape.

Adjusting The Hand Wood Plane

To avoid any jamming of the plane, you should always take a small bite of the wood. This will help in keeping the grain in good condition and also keep your iron fit. Of importance is always to adjust the block plane to match with the opening of the mouth. Having a narrow opening will produce thin shaving and give good finishing.

Maintenance

Wooden body parts will wear with time, and this will make the plane difficult to use.it will be good to get other another wooden planes for your hand wood plane to continue enjoying the service and have safe use of the tool.

Another important part of the maintenance schedule is a regular coating of the moving parts with oil to prevent rust which can make the whole tool useless. You should also remember always to remove the wood dust and other wood shavings immediately you are through with work.

Conclusion

From the above findings, it is of critical care to first understand the type of hand planer that you intend to buy especially in comparison to your work, understand the type of finish you will always be working with and the type of wood as well.

It is important to appreciate the role of the hand wood planers in the woodwork industry. They are key in helping us get the best out of our wood and in getting the wood into shape when designing a specific product.

The cost will also be a key factor in determining your choice of the hand plane. It is important that you conduct due diligence to ensure that you can make the right choice of tool to take.

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