As you become more experienced with wood projects, you might want to take a look at our list of the ten best thickness planers for woodworking. These tools, which are common in advanced woodshops, cut wooden boards or planks down to a specific thickness. With this ability, you don’t have to rely on your local lumber supplier to have the correct size in stock; you can create it yourself out of the boards you have on hand. What’s more, a planer helps you create a flat, even surface on both sides of a board — something that you can’t always get in standard wood stock. A great planer gives you the power to cut boards quickly and efficiently, so you can build items faster and to a higher quality standard.
1. DEWALT DW735
One of the best thickness planer models on the market, the DEWALT DW735 takes the hassle out of cutting down boards. The magic is in the motor — this planer features a 15 amp motor that runs at 20,000 RPMs, which means that you can make large cuts without sacrificing quality. Choose from two speeds to accommodate a wide variety of wood types; the powerful cutter glides across boards with ease. Inside the head, the knife-cutter design delivers a 30 percent longer life. As you work, you can rely on the fan-assisted chip ejection system to suck wood pieces away from the cutter and propel them away from your workspace. That way, your workspace stays clean and clear for more efficient planing.
2. POWERTEC PL1251
When you need a cheap thickness planer, the POWERTEC PL1251 is your best bet. Built with a powerful 15-amp motor, this planer slices through rough, old wood with ease. The two-blade cutting head leaves the surface of the board feeling smooth and even, so you can fasten it to another board without leaving gaps. Use this planer to make deep cuts in hardwoods — the stainless steel blades make up to 18,800 cuts per minute with perfect precision. The super-stable base prevents wobbling to boost accuracy, and the planer surface won’t mar your wood. With its portable frame, this planer is easy to carry between your garage and an outdoor job site.
3. WEN 6552T
The WEN 6552T is built with three blades that cut through hardwood planks smoothly. With each pass of the board, the built-in gauge lets you know how deep the last cut was. This helps you keep track of the amount of material you’ve removed, so you can create the perfect thickness without the guesswork. To adjust the cut depth, simply rotate the depth handle. It operates in increments of 1/64 inch for maximum precision. As you work, the fan-assisted dust port removes the excess dust, keeping the blades clear and helping you maintain a cleaner work area. The planing area fits boards up to 6 inches thick and 13 inches wide, which means that it’s compatible with most common wood stock.
4. Delta Power Tools 22-555
When you need an affordable thickness planer, the Delta Power Tools 22-555 fits the bill. This model is portable — it weighs 58 pounds, so you can carry it around a job site or move it to a new construction area for convenience. The rugged frame holds up to rough weather or cold environments. The 15-amp motor drives the two-knife cutting head at a feed rate of 28 feet per minute, making it easy to cut boards in less time. As the boards pass through, the polyurethane rollers keep it firmly in place for more accurate cuts. Set your cut depth in seconds using the sliding side scale, and store your extra blades inside the convenient compartment.
5. Ridgid R4330 Planer
When you need to cut boards with ultra-smooth surfaces, the Ridgid R4330 Planer might be the right choice. The magic is in the three-blade cutting head; it removes material efficiently, leaving a perfectly even result. That way, you can stain or paint the board without much additional sanding. The blades feature two sharpened edges — just flip them to double their lifetime and maximize your investment. Inside, a lead-screw system helps align the blades and ensures an even cut. Use this planer with the standard cutting surface, or add the extenders for extra support for longer boards.
6. Makita 2012NB
One of the top thickness planer options on the market, the Makita 2012NB delivers some serious bang for your buck. The frame is built for stability; it uses a four-post base and diagonal supports to reduce excess movement and ensure an even cutting process. When you’re working with longer boards, the table extension pieces provide plenty of support. Use the depth stop to create the perfect cutting measurements. It stays firmly locked in place to allow repeated cuts. Though the 15-amp motor is powerful, it runs quietly to reduce noise in your work area. Built with a compact frame, this planer is lightweight and easy to transport.
7. RIKON Power Tools 25-130H
With its helical cutting head, this RIKON Power Tools 25-130H planer creates a fine finish on your boards. It’s all due to the six rows of cutters, which leave each piece of wood feeling buttery smooth. The rows are fitted with 26 double-sided HSS inserts that you can change out to maintain the perfect cuts. The heavy-duty 15-amp motor slices effortlessly through boards up to 6 inches thick and 13 inches wide. Weighing in at 73 pounds, this planer creates a stable cutting surface; it’s best used as a permanent installation in your wood shop, but can be moved if you need to tackle an outdoor or remote project.
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By BCR Writing Staff