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Best Benchtop Thickness Planers For Every Budget

Benchtop planers, box-shaped power tools that reduce board thickness while smoothing the surface, are at the top of many woodworkers’ wish lists. They are used to fine-tune the wood used to make cabinets, bookshelves, and other items, replacing old-fashioned hand planes because they are much faster and easier to use.  

Insert a board into the intake slot, and the internal rollers of the benchtop planer will pull it through the machine to shave off the surface quickly. On the other hand, benchtop planers can be expensive, so it’s critical to find one that can handle specific wood-planing needs.  

We wanted to know which of today’s popular models perform well in real workshop situations, just like our readers, so we tested them. We chose high-quality benchtop planers and began planing boards by the hundreds! We shaved both new and reclaimed wood, softwood, and hardwood boards.  

We also noted each benchtop planer’s best (and worst) features. Continue reading to learn essential elements to look for when shopping and why the following models made the list of the best benchtop planers for novice and experienced woodworkers. 

What Is a Benchtop Thickness Planer? 

A benchtop thickness planer is a powerful machine that allows you to ensure uniform thickness and smoothness on the woodworking project’s workpieces. This type of planer is typically placed on a bench and has a sturdy base that prevents it from swaying or moving due to vibration. 

Benchtop thickness planers typically have a loud operation, so it is advisable to find one with a lower noise rating or keep a pair of earmuffs on hand when using one. Not only are they highly useful and convenient, but they are also accessible to users of all skill levels, including novices. 

How To Use a Benchtop Thickness Planer 

Once you have mastered the benchtop thickness planer, achieving consistent thickness levels in your woodworking projects will be a breeze. Be sure to wear safety goggles, gloves, and a mask to protect yourself from the flying dust before you begin. 

Assuming you’ve already selected the pieces of wood, you’ll be working with, there are a few things you must do before starting the benchtop thickness planer. Initially, you will use the planer’s depth adjustment feature to determine the desired thickness. Ensure that any additional trays or accessories with the planer are also installed. 

The next step is to position the workpiece on the plate while keeping it away from the cutter head. Now, you can turn on the machine and move the material slowly towards the blades. A gentle push would keep the workpiece moving towards the cutter and exit the device on the other end, where it could be reinserted if the desired thickness has not yet been reached. In nearly all models, a material removal gauge will indicate this. This procedure will be repeated until the planer shows that the thickness of the workpiece is appropriate. 

Best benchtop planer under $300

1. CRAFTSMAN Benchtop Planer, 15-Amp (CMEW320)

If you’re looking for a simple benchtop planer for your next woodworking project, you’ll need one with enough cutting speed and power. The Craftsman CMEW320 15-Amp Benchtop Planer is an excellent example of this, as it can handle both hardwood and softwood and will aggressively remove materials.  

Because of its sufficient cutting speed, excellent stock removal, and reversible knives, the Craftsman CMEW320 is a benchtop planer suitable for both novice and intermediate woodworkers. This benchtop planer will appeal to you whether you are new to woodworking projects or have been working on them for a while.  

With its two-knife system and solid steel cutter head mounted on ball bearings, this 15-amp benchtop planer is designed for hardwood and softwood stocks. The cutter head speed can be increased to 8,000 RPM, sufficient for most woodworking tasks involving dimensioning lumber.  

It has a motor speed of 16,000 CPM (cuts per minute). The benchtop planer comes with a three-year limited warranty, during which Craftsman will replace any unit that has defects due to poor manufacturing or materials. In any case, the benchtop planer is made of the finest materials to ensure the quality of its material.  

For example, it has high-carbon steel knives that are double-edged and reversible. These knives will last longer because they are reversible. In terms of usability, it has a quick-change system for the dual knife setup, saving you time on maintenance and allowing you to be more productive on your next woodworking project. Furthermore, the vacuum port helps keep things neat. 

Key Features 
  • HARD AND SOFT WOOD MATERIAL REMOVAL: The 15 Amp motor is powerful enough to remove both hard and soft wood materials. 
  • STOCK REMOVAL MAXIMUM: Poly-V Cutterhead drives for maximum stock removal. 
  • SMOOTH OPERATION: The two-knife, quick-change, solid steel cutter head is mounted on ball bearings for smooth operation and long life. 
  • LONG-CUTTING LIFE: High carbon steel, double-edged, reversible knives provide a long cutting life. CLEANER WORKSPACE: Dust collection port with a vacuum. 
Specifications 
  • Model: Craftsman CMEW320 
  • Amps: 15.0 Amp 
  • No Load Speed: 8,000 RPM 
  • Cuts Per Minute: 16,000 
  • Blade Count: 2 
  • Assembled Height (Inches): 23 
  • Maximum Board Width (Inches): 12.25 
  • Maximum Depth of Cut (Inches): 0.125 
  • Blade Type: High carbon steel, double-edged, reversible knives 
  • Weight: 64.8 lbs 
  • Planer Type: Bench stationery 
  • Cutter Head Type: Straight Knives 
  • CSA Certified: Yes 
  • Cord Length: 6′ 
  • Warranty: 3 years limited 
  • Price: $299 
PROS
  • It has reversible knives
  • It comes with dust collection capability
  • It has a four-column design to decrease snipe.
  • The blade system is easy to change
CONS
  • The gauge could be better.
  • It only has two knives instead of three.

Overall, I think the Craftsman CMEW320 is an excellent benchtop planer for beginners, casual users, and even intermediate woodworkers. If you don’t need a three-knife system right now (which is more recommended for frequent hardwood jobs anyway), this is a good enough planer for most cutting and planing tasks. 

2. WEN PL1252 15-Amp 12.5-Inch Two-Blade Benchtop Thickness Planer

The Wen PL1252 Benchtop thickness planner efficiently flattens boards and other pieces of wood. This planner is suitable for a variety of wood types. Typically, wood purchased from a store is easier to work with. However, if you want to work with rough lumber, reducing its overall thickness will be more challenging.  

However, with the Benchtop thickness planner, it is possible to cut rough wood. This product is not necessarily required for professional woodworkers; it can also be used at home by people who enjoy DIY projects. The most important thing to know before purchasing this product is that it is unsuitable for small spaces. A thickness planner must be heavyweight and take up a significant amount of space to function correctly. As a result, you must ensure that you have a suitable location for this thickness planner. 

Key Features 
  • 15A Motor Produces 20,000 Cuts Per Minute At a Feed Rate of 26 Feet Per Minute 
  • Plane Boards Up to 6 Inches Thick and 12.5 Inches Wide Comes with 
  • Two Reversible 12.5-Inch SK5 Blades (model BP122K) 
  • With each pass, you can change the depth from 0 to 1/8 of an inch. 
Specifications 
  • Model: Wen PL1252 
  • Amps: 15.0 Amp 
  • No Load Speed: 10,000 RPM 
  • Cuts Per Minute: 20,000 
  • Blade Count: 2 
  • Assembled Height (Inches): 23 
  • Rabbeting Depth (Inches): 0 
  • Maximum Depth of Cut (Inches): 0.125 
  • Blade Type: Planer Blade 
  • Weight: 55.6 lbs 
  • Planer Type: Bench stationery 
  • Cutter Head Type: Straight Knives 
  • CSA Certified: Yes 
  • Cord Length: 6′ 
  • Warranty: 2 years limited 
  • Price: $297 
  •  
PROS
  • It has a good stock capacity.
  • The motor is quite powerful containing 15 spins at 8500 RPM.
  • The table offers good stability and additional weight for more precise work.
CONS
  • This device is not a good fit for cramped areas.
  • Needs to be placed on flat surfaces.

The WEN PL 1252 is excellent for portability and use in the shop. It has incredible features for transforming wood into project-ready material. This planer is appropriate for all user levels. It’s a perfect choice for both amateur and professional woodworkers. 

Best benchtop planer under $400

1. WEN 6550T 15 Amp 12.5 in. Corded Benchtop Thickness Planer

The WEN 6550T is the best sub-$400 planer on the North American market. It is one of the least expensive planers available, but it also has some excellent features and specifications that set it apart from the competition. Several brands (Craftsman, Porter Cable, and others) sell nearly identical benchtop planers in this price range. They’re all the same machine, just with different branding. That was also true for the previous WEN 6550 model. However, WEN’s latest 6550T model distinguishes itself from the competition while maintaining the same competitive price.  

It now has three blades rather than two, which results in better cut quality because there is less space between each blade’s contact with the wood. This lessens the ‘choppy’ pattern produced by some planers. It also has a cast-iron table and a powerful 1800-Watt (15 Amps) motor, comparable to competitors such as DeWalt and Makita.  

The depth of cut indicator, which measures how much wood you’re shaving off as you feed it in, is another upgrade. This allows you to quickly determine whether you’re shaving too much or too little. It’s a simple feature that makes life much more accessible and is absent from other machines at this price. The dust port is also fan-assisted, which aids in clog prevention. 

Key Features 

  • The granite table provides a sturdy, non-marring surface for the wood to travel over. 
  • Boards up to 6 inches thick and 12.5 inches wide can be planed. 
  • At a feed rate of 26 feet per minute, the 15A motor produces 17,000 cuts per minute. 
  • With each pass, adjust the depth to plane off anywhere from 0 to 3/32 of an inch. 
  • A fan-assisted dust port collects sawdust from the workpiece. 
PROS
  • Powerful 15A motor
  • High feed rate
  • Twin, double-sided cutting blades
  • Affordable
CONS
  • Must be bolted to table for stability
  • Not wise for small shops
  • Very loud

Overall, it’s a good benchtop planer to get the job done. You cannot expect high-quality construction at this price, but that is a problem shared by all competitors. This is unquestionably the best benchtop thickness planer under 350 dollars. 

2. Mophorn Benchtop 13 Inch 1800W Wood Thickness Planer

This 13-inch thickness planer gives aged, weathered, rough, and worn wood an exceptionally smooth finish. The strong 1800W motor can efficiently plan at a 236 RPM “/min (6 m/min) feed rate. They are combined with a sturdy stand to prevent the planer from walking or swaying while in use. In addition, it includes a dust exhaust interface for connecting to the dust collector, thereby creating a clean working environment. It is an ideal instrument for revitalizing worn boards! 

The benchtop planer has foldable tables and a detachable stand for additional working space. Both tables can be adjusted to the proper angle for smoothly feeding boards. And the automatic feeding design is accessible, enabling the materials to be provided automatically to facilitate efficient and secure work. 

The 1800W, 15-amp, high-power thickness planer (cutter head speed of 8,000 RPM) easily handles larger cuts in broader materials. It has a feeding rate of 236″/min (6 m/min), a maximum cutting width of 13″ (330 mm), a planing depth of 0-0.12″ (0-3 mm), and a cutting depth of 0.24″-6.3″ “(6-160 mm) of planing height for superior efficiency. 

The wood planer has been designed with security and durability in mind. The dust exhaust interface, electromagnetic switch, two return rollers, and carrying handles provide a stable and dependable working environment for various professional and do-it-yourself woodworking projects. 

A comfortable crank handle makes adjusting the height of the cutter head effortless. In addition, the scale displays the thickness of the board being machined, allowing you to control the required thickness following your specific needs precisely. 

The woodworking planer is the optimal tool for smoothing old, weathered, rough, and worn wood to an exceptional degree. It is widely applicable to processing wood, bamboo, nylon lining, etc. 

Key Features 
  • 13-Inch Thickness Planer 
  • 1800W Powerful Motor 
  • Adjustable Cutting thickness 
  • Infeed & Outfeed Tables 
  • Heavy-Duty Stand 
  • Dust Exhaust Interface 
  • Safety Precautions 
Specifications 
  • Model: M1B-LS-3301 13″ 
  • Power: 1800W : Voltage: 110V 
  • Material: Iron + Stainless Steel + Aluminum + ABS 
  • Max. Cutting Width: 13″/ 330 mm 
  • Cutting Thickness: 0.2″-6.3″/ 6-160 mm 
  • Feeding Speed: 236″/min (6 m/ min) 
  • Max. Cutting Depth: 0-0.1″ (0-3 mm) 
  • Blade Speed: 8000 rpm 
  • Product Size: 20.7 x 18.9 x 27.4 inch/ 52.5 x 48 x 69.6 cm 
  • Work Table Size: 12.5 x 11.4 inch/ 31.8 x 29 cm 
PROS
  • Detachable stand for ease of operation
  • Very good build quality
CONS
  • There is no warranty description available
  • Cutting speed could be better

3. VEVOR Thickness Benchtop 12.5 inch Wood Thickness Planer Foldable 1500W

This 12.5-inch thickness planer gives aged, weathered, rough, and worn wood an exceptionally smooth finish. The 1800W motor can efficiently feed at a rate of 236″/min (6 m/min). They are combined with a sturdy stand to prevent the planer from walking or swaying while in use. In addition, it includes a dust exhaust interface for connecting to the dust collector, thereby creating a clean working environment. It is an ideal instrument for revitalizing worn boards! 

The 1500W high-power wood planer has a metal workbench, a steel floor stand, and two double-cutter blades. With a maximum cutting width of 12.5″ (319 mm), a cutting thickness of 0.2″-6″ (5-150 mm), a blade speed of 9000rpm, and a feeding speed of 315″/min (8 m/min), this saw has a maximum cutting width of 12.5″ (319 mm), a cutting thickness of 0.2″-6.” 

A crank handle for simple height adjustment of the cutter head, a scale ruler for precise machining, grooves on both sides for easy mobility, and a mechanical feeding design capable of automatically feeding the materials. 

The dust exhaust interface can be connected to dust collectors for simple cleanup of flying wood chips, fostering a clean working environment; a detachable and heavy-duty stand is available for more secure wood planer attachment. 

The overcurrent protector can be tripped when the motor is overloaded and is equipped with a power-off protection electromagnetic switch. This design enhances security performance by ensuring a stable and dependable operation, thereby extending the service life. 

Designed for planing old, weathered, rough, and worn wood to an exceptionally smooth finish; utilized for planing wood, bamboo, nylon lining, etc. 

Key Features 

  • 12.5-Inch Thickness Planer 
  • 1800W Powerful Motor 
  • Adjustable Cutting thickness 
  • Infeed & Outfeed Tables 
  • Heavy-Duty Stand 
  • Dust Exhaust Interface 
  • Safety Precautions 

Specifications 

  • Model: M1B-LS-3302 12.5″ 
  • Power: 1800W 
  • Material: Iron + Stainless Steel + Aluminum + ABS 
  • Max. Cutting Width: 12.5″/ 318 mm 
  • Cutting Thickness: 0.2″-6.3″/ 6-160 mm 
  • Feeding Speed: 236″/min (6 m/ min) 
  • Max. Cutting Depth: 0-0.1″ (0-3 mm) 
  • Blade Speed: 8000 rpm 
  • Product Size: 20.7 x 18.9 x 27.4 inch/ 52.5 x 48 x 69.6 cm 
  • Work Table Size: 12.5 x 11.4 inch/ 31.8 x 29 cm 
PROS
  • Fairly Accurate
  • Easy to assemble
  • The stand is nice to have
  • Works great for hobby woodworking
CONS
  • It doesn’t have a depth gauge built in
  • It also lacks a locking mechanism to lock the motor carriage in place

4. PORTER-CABLE Benchtop Jointer, Variable Speed, 6-Inch (PC160JT)

PORTER-CABLE PC160JT variable speed motor the 6″ jointer has a variable speed range of 6,000 to 11,000 RPM and a Cutter head speed of 12,000 to 22,000 cuts per minute, enabling the selection of the correct rate based on the size and hardness of the material. Two-knife Cutter head with Jackscrew knife leveling arrangement and integrated Cutter head Lock permits simple knife replacement and adjustment. The jointer is ideally suited for edging, flattening, and face jointing. 

It comes with highly versatile jointers that produce perfectly flat wood surfaces. A high-quality jointer is essential for home improvement projects for all woodwork enthusiasts, from novices to experts. You can do even more than general woodwork with a high-quality jointer in your workshop. 

As a jointer allows you to create one straight surface and one flat surface, you will be able to accurately shape and size wood. With DIY fences, table legs, chairs, frames, and much more, you can decorate your home with original, handcrafted works of art. 

You will not have to worry about losing control of this powerful tool because the speed range is adjustable. You can select the appropriate cutting speed based on the material’s hardness and size. The extra-long table and centrally mounted fence provide ample work support for a precise cut. 

If you are enthusiastic about renovating your kitchen, a jointer will be your best friend. You will be able to express your creativity through a work of art if you have a tool for installing doors and cabinets. As the versatility of a jointer is dependent on the user, you will get better at handling this tool with each use. 

The Porter-Cable PC160JT is an excellent jointer for general woodworking. It may not have a helical set of knives, but its variable speed makes it adaptable to hard and soft wood materials. Flexibility in the garage or on the job site is a significant advantage of a benchtop jointer for saving time and energy. 

Key Features 
  • Variable 6,000 to 11,000 RPM speed range allows the user to select the right speed for the size and hardness of the material being cut 
  • Two knife cutter heads with jack screw knife leveling arrangement for easy replacement and adjustment of knives 
  • Built-in cutter head lock facilitates knife replacement and adjustment 
  • The extra-large table provides ample work support and Surfacing stock up to a full 6″ wide 
Specifications 
  • Brand: ‎PORTER-CABLE 
  • Material: ‎Sheet metal 
  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: ‎32.1 x 12.4 x 11.2 inches 
  • Item Weight: ‎35 Pounds 
  • Style: ‎Jointer 
  • Included Components: ‎PC160JT Jointer 
  • Certification: ‎Certified frustration-free 
  • Amperage: 10 Amps 
PROS
  • It has a variable speed option.
  • The knife is easy to change.
  • It has a center-mounted fence.
  • The machine has a lock for the cutter head.
CONS
  • The knives aren’t helical-style.
  • The knife bed could be designed better.

Best benchtop planer under $500

1. WEN PL1326 15-Amp 13-Inch Spiral Benchtop Thickness Planer

The WEN 13-Inch Benchtop Thickness Planer transforms rough and worn wood into an exceptionally smooth surface. The 26 staggered HSS blades on our spiral cutter head provide a flawless finish on both hard and softwoods. The 15-amp motor rotates the cutter head at over 10,000 RPM at a feed rate of 26 feet per minute.  

Plane boards are as wide as 13 inches and as thick as 6 inches with ease. The onboard planing gauge informs users of the quantity of material removed with each pass. Combine this with the heavy-duty cast iron base to create a planer that does not wobble or walk while in use.  

The convenient depth adjustment knob simplifies removing between 0 and 1/8 of an inch per pass. The dust port can be adjusted to remove chips and sawdust from the workpiece and propel them away. The onboard depth stop enables users to achieve the exact thickness of the workpiece with maximum precision.  

This package also contains height-adjustable infeed and outfeed tables to reduce snipe and provide additional support for your workpiece during planing. Using the predrilled base holes, you can easily mount the planer to a work surface or stand (such as the WEN MSA658 Planer Stand). 

Key Features 
  • The spiral cutter head utilizes 26 staggered and rotatable HSS blades for a clean, smooth finish 
  • The onboard material removal gauge informs users about the cutting depth of each pass 
  • Plane boards up to 6 inches thick and 13 inches wide 
  • 15A motor generates 10,000 RPM at a 26 feet per minute feed rate 
Specifications 
  • Manufacturer: ‎WEN 
  • Part Number: ‎PL1326 
  • Item Weight: ‎80.8 pounds 
  • Package Dimensions: 26 x 21.5 x 16 inches 
  • Country of Origin: ‎Taiwan 
  • Item model number: ‎PL1326 
  • Style: Spiral Cutterhead 
  • Pattern: ‎13-Inch Spiral Blade Planer
PROS
  • Best Value Planer that surprises with Performance
  • It's easy to use and it cuts great
  • Solid piece of equipment
  • Good price
CONS
  • Too much snipe

2. WEN PL1303 15-Amp 13-Inch Three-Blade Benchtop Thickness Planer

The WEN 13-Inch Benchtop Thickness Planer transforms rough and worn wood into a remarkably smooth surface. The 15 amp motor provides up to 30,000 cuts per minute at a feed rate of 26 feet per minute. Plane boards are as wide as 13 inches and as thick as 6 inches with ease. The convenient depth adjustment knob allows each pass to remove between 0 and 1/8 of an inch.  

The 2.5- and 4-inch dust ports remove chips and sawdust from the workpiece, while the depth stop presets prevent excessive material removal. This package also contains height-adjustable infeed and outfeed tables to reduce snipe and provide additional support for your workpiece during planing.  

With rubber-grip handles and dimensions of 63 pounds and 24 by 28.25 by 20 inches (footprint of 23 by 15.1 inches), this unit can quickly move around the shop. If that’s not your style, using the predrilled base holes, you can mount the planer to a work surface or stand of your choosing, such as the WEN MSA658T Rolling Planer Stand. 

Key Features 
  • Plane boards up to 6 inches thick and 13 inches wide 
  • 15A motor generates 30,000 cuts per minute at a 26 feet per minute feed rate 
  • Includes three reversible 13-inch SK5 blades (model BP133K) 
  • Adjust the depth of cut anywhere from 0 to 1/8 of an inch with each pass 
Specifications 
  • Manufacturer: WEN 
  • Part Number: PL1303 
  • Item Weight: ‎78.7 pounds 
  • Package Dimensions: ‎27.5 x 22.25 x 17.75 inches 
  • Country of Origin: ‎Taiwan 
  • Item model number: PL1303 
  • Color: ‎Black 
  • Style: Benchtop 
  • Pattern: ‎Planer 
  • Power Source: ‎Corded Electric 
PROS
  • Affordable
  • Well built and sturdy
  • Perfect for any beginner woodworker
  • Easy to use
  • Discharge of sawdust clogs easily
CONS
  • There are no rollers on the top
  • The dust collection is not very good, and it is very loud.

Best benchtop planer under $700

1. DEWALT Thickness Planer, Two Speed, 13-Inch (DW735X)

DeWalt has dominated the woodworking tool industry for decades. Professionals and amateurs alike appreciate the precise results and user-friendly designs of DeWalt products. The DW735X Planer is one of the unique tools offered by DeWalt. 

This DeWalt planer features a two-speed gearbox that allows the feed speed to be adjusted for each individual cut. One speed is used for rapid thickness, while the other is for fine finishing. This may not seem significant, but it allows you to optimize each cut based on the inches. These reductions can range between 96 and 179 CPI. This impressive CPI rating is exceptionally high for an amateur planner. 

Many users believe they rarely use a slower speed, but its smooth finish makes it incredibly useful. This option is advantageous for both significant and minor cuts. Since the slower option produces a smoother finish, it reduces the time required for sanding. 

Whether a professional or an amateur, you must tailor your cuts to specific thicknesses and make deep cuts. This DeWalt is an excellent product because its depth-setting dial allows deep cutting depth. The dial offers the optimal finish for cutting into dense materials. 

The total depth stops on the depth setting dial range from 18 to 114 inches. This assortment enables you to cut various wood types for multiple projects. 

The DeWalt has a convenient blade-changing system for when the blade needs to be replaced. An Allen wrench is included in the kit for loosening screws and removing blades. The Allen wrench’s handle features magnets to make blade removal safe and straightforward. Once the cover has been removed, there is ample space to replace the blades using the magnet. 

The planer also includes a tray for blade mounting screws when changing blades. Although this does not aid in the blade-changing process, it eliminates the fear of losing screws, which is a nice touch. 

This blade-changing system is significantly simpler than alternatives. Even beginners will find replacing the blades on this planer simple, quick, and safe. 

The DeWalt 735X planer is undoubtedly one of the most durable nonprofessional models available. The machine rests on a base made of cast aluminum. Even though the casing is made of plastic, it is incredibly sturdy and resilient. Even though this planer is not intended for professional use, the model’s durability easily qualifies it as professional. 

Additionally, the three-knife cutter head provides a 30% longer knife life. Due to its design, the planer is not only durable but also its knives. This means that your knives will last longer without needing to be replaced. 

The DeWalt DW735 Planer is highly durable in all aspects. It should last for many years due to the quality of its materials and overall design. 

Although expensive and noisy, the DeWalt DW735X is a high-performing, robust, and durable planer that both hobbyists and professionals can appreciate. It has a two-speed transmission, depth-setting dial, quick-change blades, and a unique dust collection system. Extreme durability and additional components complement these characteristics. 

You will be highly pleased if you are willing to pay a higher price for this item. This planer is ideal for serious hobbyists or budget-conscious professionals. The DeWalt DW735X Planer is an impressive combination of a personal and professional planer. Almost everyone would be pleased with this item. 

Key Features 
  • Purchase includes one stationary 13″ Planer, in/outfeed tables with fasteners (attached to the base of the Planer base), extra blades, and a dust hose adapter. The stand is not included. 
  • Three knife cutter head of the thickness planer delivers 30% longer knife life and makes knife change faster and easier 
  • The two-speed gear box of the wood planer allows users to change feed speed to optimize cuts per inch at 96 or 179 CPI 
  • Fan-assisted chip ejection vacuums chip off the cutter head and exhaust them out of the machine 
  • 19-3/4-inch cast aluminum base is 2 times more rigid than a standard 10-inch base and folding tables 
  • Automatic carriage lock reduces the movement that causes snipe without the need for manual engagement by the user 
  • Material removal gauge and extra-large thickness scale deliver accurate cuts with every pass 
Specifications 
  • Brand Name: DEWALT 
  • Color: Multi 
  • included Components: Dust hose adapter; Dust-ejection chute, extra knives 
  • Item Dimensions: 24 x 22 x 18 inches 
  • Item Weight: 101.00 lbs 
  • Material: Plastic 
  • Power Source: Corded Electric 
  • Style: 2-Speed 13″ w/Feed Tables & Extra Blades 
PROS
  • Powerful
  • 2-speed gearbox
  • Depth setting dial
  • Easy blade changing
  • Highly durable
  • Cutter-head provides 30% longer knife life
  • Includes extra knives
CONS
  • Loud
  • Expensive

2. DEWALT Thickness Planer, Two Speed, 13-Inch (DW735)

One of the DeWalt DW735 Planer’s distinguishing features is its dual feed speeds, one for quick thickness planing and the other for detailed finishing. Speed 1 reduces the automatic feed speed, allowing the blades to cut the workpiece 179 times per inch, leaving a nice smooth finish.  

Speed 2 increases the automatic feed speed, reducing the number of cuts per inch to 96 but speeding up dimensioning lumber. The DeWalt DW73513-inch thickness planer is relatively simple to operate and should be self-explanatory to anyone who has used a planer. The power and accuracy of this machine will be put to the ultimate test. Given the number of times, we tripped the breaker on our old model due to overloading the motor or thermal shutdown; power is one of our primary concerns with a new planer.  

The DeWalt DW735 is an excellent upgrade from a benchtop planer and effectively bridges the gap to professional shop machinery. We aren’t ready to open a mill workshop, but this planer does everything we’ve asked and does it well. This upgrade, like many others, is not cheap. This one will cost you $629 to make happen. If you do, be warned: you will never return to a lower-quality model again. 

Key Features 
  • The powerful 15 Amp, 20,000 RPM motor easily handles larger cuts in wider materials. 
  • Three-knife cutter head with 10,000 rpm cutter-head speed provides a 30% longer knife life and speeds up and simplifies knife change. 
  • Users can change the feed speed to optimize cuts per inch at 96 or 179 CPI using the two-speed gearbox. 
  • Fan-assisted chip ejection removes chips from the cutter head and exhausts them from the machine. 
  • The 19-3/4′′ cast aluminum base is twice as rigid as a standard 10′′ base and folding tables. 
  • Automatic carriage lock reduces snipe movement without the need for user engagement Material removal gauge and extra-large thickness scale deliver accurate cuts with every pass 
  • The extra-large turret depth stop allows the user to easily return to the most frequently used thicknesses. 
Specifications 
  • Model: DeWalt DW735 
  • Amps: 15.0 Amp 
  • No Load Speed: 20,000 RPM (Motor)/ 10,000 (Cutterhead) RPM 
  • Cuts Per Minute: 30,000 
  • Drive Motor System: Belt drive 
  • Max Depth of Cut: 1/8″ 
  • Depth Capacity: 6″ 
  • Width Capacity: 13″ 
  • Blade Count: 3 
  • Blade Type: Planer Knife 
  • Weight: 92 lbs 
  • Planer Type: Bench stationery 
  • Cutter Head Type: Straight Knives 
  • CSA Certified: Yes 
  • Cord Length: 13.0′ 
  • Includes: Dust hose adapter 
  • Warranty: 3 years limited 
  • Price: $629 
PROS
  • 15 amp motor
  • 2-speed gearbox
  • Dust ejection system
  • 3-year limited warranty
  • 1 year of free service
  • 90-day money-back guarantee
  • Good for personal or semi-professional use
CONS
  • Heavy
  • Expensive
  • May need to adjust the dust collection system on your own

Overall, this is an excellent planer for home or semi-professional use. It may be a little pricey for beginners, but it is a perfect tool because it will grow with you and is relatively simple. 

3. DEWALT DW734 15 Amp 12-1/2-Inch Benchtop Planer with Planer Stand with Integrated Mobile Base

The DEWALT DW734 planer is a small bench-top thickness planer that weighs 80 pounds and has a low price that sounded affordable to me. After using it for a month or so, I believe it is ideal for any size workshop, whether large or small. With a 15-amp electric motor and a maximum speed of 20000 rpm, this planer is a highly effective machine capable of cutting large, thick hardwoods. It was thrilling to operate this machine due to its indestructibility. Every time it is used, the finish is flawless and flawlessly smooth. 

Three knife cutter heads with 10,000 rpm and 96 cuts per inch are equipped with blades. The fact that the three knife cutters rotate while cutting wood results in a smooth and flat surface. I have yet to find another planer capable of producing a texture as soft and finished as this one. The blades on the DeWalt DW734 planer are durable, so you can use them for a full two years without having to replace them. As a result, your expenses are drastically reduced. In addition to being resistant to wear, they are simple to reverse when it is time to dispose of the blades. 

The extra-long infeed and outfeed tables prove that DEWALT is a trustworthy brand in terms of construction quality. DEWALT manufactures wood planers that are durable and capable of a variety of applications. When these two elements are combined, the result is exceptional build quality. You will enjoy this product’s capabilities for many years with proper care. 

If you choose DEWALT, you will never have to worry about power, regardless of which wood planer you decide to purchase. The three-blade system is combined with 20,000 RPMs/15Amps of power beautifully. Throw in the 10,000 RPMs of cutter head power, and you’ll be left with something that can typically complete the task. You control how much power this wood planer displays, and it gets to work quickly. 

The performance of this machine is excellent overall. The three-blade system produces a very smooth surface, and most of the wood that passes through the planer achieves the desired results. This planer’s ease of use makes it suitable at home, but it is also ideal for use in a woodworking shop. DIY enthusiasts and professionals alike will appreciate the DeWalt DW734. 

Key Features 
  • Powerful 15-amp, 20,000 RPM motor handles larger, deeper cuts in hardwoods 
  • Three knife cutter-head with 10,000 RPM provides 96 cuts per inch, one of the finest finishes of any portable planer 
  • Disposable, reversible knives deliver 30 percent more knife life and make knife change fast and easy 
  • Maximum versatility 
  • Durable and stable under heavy loads 
  • Easy movement and storage of planer and stand 
Specifications 
  • PRODUCT LENGTH: 5 IN 
  • NO LOAD SPEED (RPM): 10000 
  • TOOL WEIGHT: 80 LBS 
  • WEIGHT (INCLUDING BATTERY): 80 LBS 
  • MAX. WATTS OUT: 2000 W 
  • WIDTH CAPACITY: 12 1/2 IN 
  • PRODUCT HEIGHT: 10 IN 
  • PRODUCT WIDTH: 16 IN 
  • DEPTH CAPACITY: 6 IN 
  • POWER: 2000 W 
  • PRODUCT WEIGHT: 80 LBS 
PROS
  • Three-blade cutter head;
  • 1/8-inch maximum depth of cut
  • Durable construction
  • Strong manufacturer coverage
CONS
  • A higher price point compared to other brands
  • Weighs 80-pounds
  • Has only one running speed.

Best benchtop planer under $1000

1. JET JWP-13BT, 13-Inch Benchtop Planer, Helical Head, 18/26 FPM, 1Ph 120V (722130)

The Jet JWP-13BT is the only benchtop thickness planer listed here, with a helical-style cutter head installed at the factory. 

It has a 2-horsepower, 15-amp motor that spins the helical cutter head at 10,000 RPM. 

Compared to the knives of a straight knife cutter head, the helical cutter head’s six rows of 24 quick-change carbide inserts are much easier to replace. It has a maximum cutting depth of 1/8 inch, a width capacity of 13 inches, and a depth capacity of 6 inches. 

The Jet JwP-13BT features a precision-machined cast iron bed, adjustable in-feed and out-feed tables for workpiece support and snipe prevention, and a snipe-prevention device. 

It has an adjustable depth stop for repetitive cuts and error prevention. To maximize cut quality, the infeed speed can be reduced from 18 feet per minute to 16 feet per minute. 

Key Features 
  • SMOOTH CUTS: Helical-style cutter head, with easy-to-change blades, provides a clean cut. 
  • REDUCED SNIPE: Precision-machined cast iron bed and steel cover assists in keeping boards flat. 
  • POWERFUL MOTOR: 2-HP 15-amp motor turns the cutter head at 10,000 RPM. 
  • MAXIMUM EFFICIENCY: Dual infeed speed control for either 18 fpm or 26 fpm, maximizes cut efficiency on different wood material types. 
  • FOUR POST DESIGN: For maximum control and support of cutter head about workpiece and cast table. 
Specifications 
  • Brand: Jet 
  • Material: Alloy Steel, Cast Iron 
  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: 26 x 17 x 21 inches 
  • Item Weight: 75 Pounds 
  • Style: Benchtop planer 
PROS
  • Helical style cutter head runs quieter and produces better cut quality.
  • The planer is well-built and sturdy.
  • Feed rate can be adjusted for a better finish or to remove more material from the workpiece.
  • Cutterhead inserts are cheaper and easier to change.
  • Increased width capacity of 13 inches
  • Good dust collection
CONS
  • It’s quite pricey compared to the comp

Why Do You Need A Thickness Planer?

  • Spend less time shopping. 
  • Improve your accuracy. 
  • Use the appropriate thickness of the wood. 

The best benchtop thickness planers allow small shop owners to save time. Many of us enjoy woodworking as a hobby in our spare time. One of the primary advantages of using power tools, such as a thickness planer, is that it allows us to move on to the next step in the construction process.  

Another feature that distinguishes these power tools is their ability to deliver accurate results. A thickness planer, for example, will produce repeatable and uniform results that would be difficult to achieve with a power hand planer.  

The ability to use boards of the proper thickness improves the appearance and function of your projects. Your thickness planer produces clean boards that can be as thin as a small box or as thick as a kitchen table. A benchtop thickness planer will come in handy if you make boxes, cabinets, or glue-up panels in your shop.

Factors to consider when choosing the best benchtop planer

Benchtop planers, also known as “thickness planers” due to their ability to reduce the thickness of a board, contain rotating blades that remove a thin layer of wood. Keep the following factors and features in mind when shopping for one, especially if you have little experience with this powerful tool. 

Motor 

The benchtop planer’s motor must be powerful enough to complete the task. How much is sufficient for specific projects varies. 

Suppose users primarily work with soft woods such as pine, cedar, and fir, for example, in constructing country-style furniture or birdhouses. In that case, a motor in the range of 1 to 1 1/2 horsepower (hp) may be optimal. To remove a layer from the surface of these materials, a thickness planer doesn’t require much power. 

However, if they specialize in high-end joinery or cabinetry, they will likely work with oak, maple, and walnut. To shave down these challenging materials, a 2-hp planer will be necessary. 

Choose a planer with a 15-amp motor, which may be even more important than horsepower. A 15-amp motor helps ensure that a planer will not break down despite its high electricity consumption. Motors with fewer amperes lack the power necessary for planing wood. 

Blades 

Thickness planer blades (or knives) are available in straight and spiral styles. Each possesses both advantages and disadvantages. Long safety razors resemble straight blades in appearance. They attach to the cutter head (a rotating barrel within the planer) that removes thin layers of wood as the board moves through the machine. Some exceptional cutter heads accept three blades, which is advantageous for those who desire the smoothest wood surface. 

Straight knife cutter models have varying blades. Some are reversible, allowing the user to use the opposite side when one becomes dull. Others have only a single sharp edge, but they can be manually sharpened using a standard sharpening stone, just like a kitchen knife. Until roughly the last decade, most benchtop planers were equipped with sharpenable knives. When the wood being planed appeared rougher than usual, users would remove them from the cutter head, sharpen them, and then replace them. After both sides of a reversible knife have worn down, it is intended to be discarded. 

Different mechanisms govern the operation of spiral (or helical) blades. Instead of long straight blades, spiral cutter heads have a spiral of smaller knives offset from one another. Spiral-knife planers produce more consistent results than straight-knife planers, but these machines are typically reserved for wood-manufacturing businesses. All the tested planers came with cutter heads designed to accept straight blades. 

Cutting Depth 

The cutting depth of a wood planer is the quantity of material that can be removed in a single pass. The greater the planer’s power, the more material it can remove in a single pass and the deeper the cut. 

Planers that can remove up to 1/8 inch of material are ideal for removing the surface of rough or weathered wood. It is not always optimal to eliminate so much depth at once. In general, it is best for the board and the machine to err on caution and remove thinner amounts. The more wood a planer removes in a single pass, the harder it must work, which can result in overheating if many boards are being planed. 

Numerous woodworkers will find it unnecessary to remove more than 1/16 inch per pass, and for fine-tuning boards, they will remove even less—1/32 or 1/64 inch. Do not disregard a planer solely because it cannot remove 1/8 inch per pass. It’s not difficult to set the planer to 1/16 inch and then pass the wood through twice. 

Allowance 

The allowance of a thickness planer indicates the maximum width and height of boards that can be passed through the device. Manufacturers label most planers with ranges between 12 and 13 inches, which is sufficient for most woodworking enthusiasts, but this metric does not tell the whole story. 

For instance, a planer with a width capacity of 12 inches can handle boards with a width capacity of 12 inches, but it does not specify how thick (or tall) a piece of wood can process. To maximize the usefulness of a wood planer, look for a model that can accommodate materials as thick as 5 or 6 inches. 

Snipe 

Snipe refers to an undesirable, sometimes obvious line left on the top end of a board following planing. It is caused by the wood planer removing more wood from the board’s end. When one end of the board clears the first set of rollers, gravity pulls the board downward, putting pressure on the opposite end. When this occurs, the cutter head blades might remove a little bit more wood at the very end. A snipe resembles a thin depression typically less than 1/16 of an inch deep and located in the last few inches of the board. 

A helper who holds the portion of the board that has already passed through the planer to prevent it from falling may reduce snipe. Some snipes may be unavoidable, but some benchtop thickness planers are more effective than others at mitigating their impact. The best way to prevent snipes from appearing on a finished product is to leave boards an extra inch or so longer than necessary when planning and trim the sniped ends before using the board. 

Gauge and Depth Stop 

Shaving the desired amount of wood from your workpieces is a laborious process. For example, five or six passes may be required to reduce the thickness of a hardwood board from 1 inch to 5/8 inch. Before each pass, the user could measure the thickness of the board and adjust the cutter head with a tape measure or combination square, but this would be time-consuming. 

Many modern benchtop planers have a ruler-like gauge attached to the intake slot. The gauge will indicate the proposed board thickness as the user raises or lowers the planer’s carriage (the part that moves up and down) via a hand crank. 

Typically, planer gauges display measurements in 1/16-inch increments, though some gauges display sizes in 1/64-inch increments. Some skilled woodworkers do not use the gauge at all but determine the cutting depth using the hand crank. One rotation of the hand crank on a planer is equal to 1/16 of an inch. A half-crank is equivalent to 1/32 of an inch, and a quarter-crank is equivalent to 1/64 of an inch. 

A depth stop prevents the user from exceeding the maximum cutting depth of the machine. For instance, if the maximum cutting depth of the planer is 1/8 inch, the depth stop will prevent the user from inserting boards thicker than 1/8 inch regardless of the thickness setting on the gauge (ruler). The board does not fit into the slot. The depth stop prevents users from exceeding the maximum cutting depth, so they do not need to be concerned about overcutting. 

Dust Collection 

The dust and wood chips produced by thickness planers are substantial. After only a few boards, the floor beneath a thickness planer will resemble a child’s sandbox as these machines rip off and spit out tiny pieces of wood. 

Most modern benchtop planers are equipped with dust ports that connect to a shop vacuum or dust collection system to minimize mess. These collection systems also effectively remove dust from the machine before it settles in the cutter head, thereby preserving the cutter head’s serviceability and cutting speed. 

Speed 

On a benchtop planer, the cutter head, cutting, and feed speed are distinct. 

Cutterhead speed refers to the number of rotations per minute the cutter head is spun by the motor (rpm). The cutter head of the best benchtop thickness planers is rotated by pulleys and belts driven by the motor. For optimal results, look for speeds above 8,000 rpm. 

Cutting speed refers to the number of times the blades strike the board’s surface per minute. For example, a two-blade cutter head with a cutter head speed of 8,000 rpm will produce 16,000 cuts per minute. This increases to 24,000 cuts per minute using a planer with three blades: the smoother the results, the greater the cutter head’s rotational speed. 

The rate at which the board passes through the thickness planer is called the feed speed. Some high-end planers, such as our pick for Best Overall, allow users to adjust feed speed, affecting the blade’s number of cuts per inch (cpi). However, most planers have a fixed feed speed that cannot be changed. The higher the feed speed, the quicker the board moves, but the lower the number of cuts per inch, resulting in a rougher final product. The smoother the board will emerge, the slower the speed. 

How We Evaluated the Best Benchtop Planers 

For testing purposes, we chose various planer models with 15-amp motors and speeds between 8,000 and 10,000 revolutions per minute. In this test, the brand was significant. Each tested planer was produced by a reputable manufacturer of high-quality power tools. DeWalt, Craftsman, and Makita are the first three products in our selection. The quality reputations of Wen, PowerTec, and Ridgid are well-known. 

Our benchtop planer testing aimed to determine which models were the most powerful offered the most profound maximum cut depth and were best suited for projects or wood species. 

We set up every machine individually and ran boards through them. After planing each board, we inspected it for smoothness and nicks (which can be caused by an uneven blade), and snipes at the end. Using a rubric, we rated every function of the machines as we tested them. The quality of the machines’ components, design, and construction was evaluated. In addition, they were graded on how smoothly they planed wood, whether they overheated during extended use, and how user-friendly they were. 

We tested the accuracy of the ruler gauges on each planer by setting them to a specific measurement, running boards through the machine, and then using calipers (precision measuring instruments) to verify the gauge’s accuracy. 

We did not deduct for snipe or the machine moving (walking) during operation because snipe is a well-known issue with planing. Walking can be eliminated by simply bolting the machine to a solid surface. We did, however, make readers aware of both aspects. 

After the testing, we accumulated the points and used them to determine the best categories for each planner. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Benchtop thickness planers are an asset in a woodworking shop alongside other popular power tools such as band saws, table saws, and wood lathes. If this is your first time using a planer, you will likely have questions regarding its optimal use and operation. Following is some of the most frequently asked questions about benchtop planers. If you require additional information regarding your benchtop planer, consult the user manual or contact the manufacturer. 

Benchtop planers reduce a board’s thickness. Woodworkers can use them to create uniform thicknesses on multiple committees for woodworking purposes or to reveal the beauty of reclaimed wood. 

Place a board in the intake feed slot of the benchtop planer while it is off. Using the hand crank, lower the roller carriage (the top portion of the planer) until it just touches the board. This is the point of departure. Using the crank, lower the roller carriage to the desired cutting depth, typically between 1/64 and 1/8 of an inch. The woodworker may use the ruler gauge or the crank rule of thumb to determine the cutting depth; one complete revolution equals 1/16 inch.

Once the desired cutting height has been determined, turn on the planer and feed the board slowly into the intake slot. The planer will do the remaining work; users are not required to push the board. 

Planers reduce the thickness of a board by removing an equal amount of wood from its surface. Jointers flatten the board by removing only the high spots, unlike planers which remove the entire surface. 

Planers for wood can be among the heaviest tools in your workshop. Benchtop planers weigh between 60 and 100 pounds on average, so it may be prudent to keep them stationary rather than move them. 

If a workpiece is warped or curved, a benchtop thickness planer cannot be used to straighten or flatten it. 

Grain tear-out occurs when the benchtop thickness planer is used in the opposite direction of the wood’s grain. Ensure that the grain is aligned with the blade’s rotational movement. 

Sniping refers to the planer shaving off the end of the workpiece. To prevent this, run a scrap piece of wood through the planer several times before inserting the workpieces. 

Conclusion

No planer will be perfect in all directions. There will always be some features present, and others absent. 

Everything depends on what you are willing to sacrifice for another. We hope you can find a machine that makes your job as a woodworker, do-it-yourselfer, or hobbyist as simple and productive as possible. 

Why Trust Us?

Best Top Reviews Online was founded in 2018 to provide our readers with thorough, unbiased, and independent advice on what to buy. We now have millions of monthly users from all over the world and evaluate over 1,000 products per year.

The article above was written by the BestTopReviewsOnline team, which includes many of the US’s most knowledgeable technical experts. Our team includes well-known writers with extensive experience in mobile phones, computing, technology, photography, and other fields.

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