best benchtop thickness planer

Top 7 Best Benchtop Thickness Planer for Woodworking [2021 Reviews]

Finish your woodworking projects in a flash with the best benchtop thickness planer. This tool will help you make seamless cuts and will sand pieces to perfection. Most benchtop thickness planers work with varying blades and bits and come with excellent features to take your woodworking projects to a whole new level. Whether you’re shopping for your first thickness planer or you’re looking for a substitute, check out our 7 top benchtop models available this 2021.

The Top Benchtop Thickness Planers

Here are the 7 best benchtop thickness planers to consider this year.

DEWALT Thickness Planer

Rating: 4.7 out of 5

Best Two-Speed Thickness Planer from DEWALT

Description:

  • With a reliable, powerful 20,000 RPM motor for easy handling of larger and more demanding cuts.
  • With longer knife life and easy knife changes.
  • Comes with a fan-assisted chip ejector to easily remove chips from the tool.

Product Specs

  • Dimensions: 24 x 22 x 19 inches, 90 pounds
  • Motor: 15-amp 20,000 RPM
  • Special Features: with 3 knife cutter heads, 2-speed gearbox, chip ejector
  • Accessories: knife cutters/blades, router bits, feed tables

The DEWALT Thickness Planer is one of the top thickness planers in the market because of so many reasons. First, it comes with a powerful and durable 15-Amp, 20,000 RPM motor. This power lets you tackle even larger lumber cuts as well as wider pieces with utmost ease. It comes with a knife cutter head which lasts 30% more compared to other planers. Knife changes are also easier and faster with this DEWALT planer tool.

This planer has a two-speed gearbox that helps you change the feed speeds. This will optimize the number of cuts/inches so you’ll be more productive than ever. You won’t have to deal with a lot of dust too as this planer comes with fan-assisted features that remove all chips and dust from the cutter head. Connect your vacuum nozzle to this planer to remove all the dirt from the machine so you can work safely.

Pros

  • With a powerful motor to cut larger materials.
  • With longer knife life, saves you money.
  • Will help you change feed speeds to optimize on any project.
  • Will help you work safely as all the chips and dust are vacuumed away.

Cons

  • Complaints that the blades were not as durable.

CRAFTSMAN Benchtop Planer

Rating: 4.6 out of 5

Best Benchtop Planer from CRAFTSMAN

Description:

  • Can be used for hard and softwoods.
  • With two-knife cutter heads for longer life.
  • With a convenient vacuum port for efficient dust collection.

Product Specs

  • Dimensions: 23.5 x 17.5 x 15.4 inches, 61.2 pounds
  • Motor: 15 Amp
  • Special Features: 2-knife, faster changes, solid steel cutting head
  • Accessories: planer blades

The CRAFTSMAN Benchtop Planer is a very durable machine that can tackle all kinds of projects be it in hard or softwoods. It also comes with a very efficient 15-Amp motor that works great for removing and planing maximum stock. It comes with a Poly-V cutter head drive that will work with old wood, processed wood, thick lumber, and many more.

This planer is easy to operate and works smoothly as well. The solid steel cutter heads are placed on ball bearings which keep the planer moving smoothly and seamlessly with very minimal noise. The knives are made from high carbon steel, are double-edged so these work faster and more efficiently. You’ll save so much money on knives as these last longer and have longer cutting life compared to those on regular planers.

This CRAFTSMAN thickness planer also comes with a vacuum port for easy dust collection. Now, you can work safely and more efficiently without worrying about dust collecting over your working area.

Pros

  • Can work with hard and soft lumber/wood.
  • Can remove more stock thanks to its Poly-V cutter head.
  • Operates smoothly, more efficiently, and quietly.
  • With longer knife life.
  • Will keep your working space clean and safe.

Cons

  • Complaints that the feed area is not flat.

WEN 3-Blade Benchtop Corded Thickness Planer

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Best 3-Blade Benchtop Corded Thickness Planer from WEN

Description:

  • With material removal gauge for accurate depth for every pass.
  • With a powerful 15-Amp motor for 25,500 cuts/minute.
  • 3-blade design to tackle all kinds of hardwoods.

Product Specs

  • Dimensions: 25.25 x 21.75 x 16 inches, 66 pounds
  • Motor: 15-Amp
  • Special Features: maximum board thickness is 6 inches, maximum board width is 13 inches, 3 cutting blades, depth cut gauge, dust port, depth scale, crank handle
  • Accessories: cutter heads

The WEN 6552T is a benchtop thickness planer with a 13-inch width that can take even the toughest materials. There is an onboard removal gauge that will give you an idea of the cutting depth of the tool for every pass.

This WEN benchtop thickness planer comes with a 15-Amp motor capable of producing up to 25,500 cuts/minute with 26- foot/minute feed rate. This planer has a 3-blade design which allows it to work with different types of woods even hard lumber, old and painted wood, and many more.

And just like the best benchtop thickness planers, this comes with a fan-assist dust port which helps remove chips and dust from the working area. You have better control and you’ll be able to work safer with zero dust and chips along with the feed plates.

Pros

  • With a material removal gauge for perfect results all the time.
  • Can accommodate thicker and harder woods.
  • Will keep you safe with a clean and dust-free area.
  • Works fast at 25,500 cuts per minute.
  • Available in spiral and standard cutter heads.

Cons

  • Complaints that it is not as consistent as other models.
  • Complaints of unbalanced cutting.

POWERTEC Benchtop Thickness Planer

Rating: 4.6 out of 5

Best 2-Blade Benchtop Thickness Planer from POWERTEC

Description:

  • With anti-wobble base; can accommodate 12.5 x 6 inches boards.
  • With a powerful 15-Amp motor with 2 blades.
  • With a precise stainless steel cutting head.

Product Specs

  • Dimensions: 24 x 18 x 14 inches, 63.3 pounds
  • Motor: 15-Amp
  • Special Features: portable, anti-wobble, 2-blade cutting, stainless steel cutting heads, 1-year limited manufacturer’s warranty
  • Accessories: cutting heads

The POWERTEC PL1252 is a 2-blade benchtop thickness planer that’s designed for woodworking. This planer works well in repurposing old wood, worn-out wood, and weathered wood to produce a lovely, smooth finish. This planer is heavy duty with a very strong base with anti-wobble features. The surface is non-marring and thus, will work with all kinds of woods.

This POWERTEC benchtop thickness planer has a 15-Amp motor with 2-blades which can produce deeper cuts on all kinds of hardwoods including walnut, oak, and pallet wood. It also comes with a stainless steel cutter head for precision cutting at 18,800cuts/minute at 9,400 RPM. Meanwhile, you also get more value for your money as this benchtop thickness planer comes with a 1-year limited manufacturer’s warranty. 

Pros

  • Can be used for a wider range of woodworking tasks.
  • The base is very durable, will never wobble, and is very sturdy.
  • With a powerful motor for more efficient and more accurate cuts.
  • Gives you more value for your money with a 1-year limited manufacturer’s warranty

Cons

  • Complaints of snipes on every end of the board.
  • Complaints that it’s very noisy.

Makita 2012NB Benchtop Thickness Planer

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Best 12-Inch Planer with Automatic Head Clamp from Makita

Description:

  • Easy to transport with compact and lightweight design.
  • Easy blade changes, low noise.
  • With a large table extension for extra support.

Product Specs

  • Dimensions: 30.35 x 19.02 x 15.79 inches, 61.8 pounds
  • Motor: 15-Amp
  • Special Features:
  • Accessories: 2-knives, planer blade set, magnetic holder, hex wrench, socket wrench, detachable tool

The Makita 2012NB is a 12-inch benchtop thickness planer that has a compact size, less weight, and thus, it’s easier to move from job site to job site. This planer is designed to make faster and more efficient blade changes. You won’t have to wait too long to change your blades and thus, you can accomplish more work at one time.

It is one of the quietest benchtop models only 83 decibels. It has a 4-post design plus diagonal tool support so it will always be steady no matter what project you’re doing. The table is large and can be extended to support larger workpieces.

The depth stop is completely adjustable especially when you’re working on repeat cuts on several pieces. There is an LED lamp that indicates that the planer is working or is plugged and ready to use for safety.

Pros

  • Compact and lightweight compared to other benchtop models.
  • You can change the blades faster.
  • Is quieter compared to other planers.
  • Very stable with supports.
  • Safe to use can be transported easily from one job site to another.

Cons

  • Complaints that the feed rollers don’t last long.
  • Complaints that it works slower.

Grizzly Industrial G0505 Benchtop Planer

Rating: 4.1 out of 5

Best Industrial Benchtop Planer from Grizzly

Description:

  • With a portable design that’s lighter and easier to carry than other planers.
  • With a 2-HP motor, fast 10,000 RPM cutter head.
  • Comes with an extra-large extension for stability and larger projects.

Product Specs

  • Dimensions: 24 x 14 x 18 inches, 73 pounds
  • Motor: 2 HP
  • Special Features: Compatible with 12.5 x 6 inches material, reversible HSS knives, toggle switch, safety lock, thermal overload protection, return rollers
  • Accessories: knife setting jig, wrench

The Grizzly Industrial G0505 is a portable benchtop thickness planer that’s easier and more compact to carry anywhere. It comes with a 2HP motor that powers a 10,000 RPM cutter head and a 32 frames per minute feed rate.

It has top-mounted rollers for easy loading and expansive table extensions to accommodate larger pieces of wood. You’ll have a planer with thicker and more durable knives which will save you from spending too much on replacement knives.

Other features you may find interesting in this Grizzly benchtop thickness planer is easy on and off toggle switch equipped with a safety lock, lifting handles for easy transport, and thermal overload protection. You’ll get a knife-setting jig tool and a wrench with your purchase. 

Pros

  • This planer is lighter, more compact, and easier to transport.
  • With a faster feed rate and a more powerful motor.
  • With thicker knives that will last longer than other thickness planers.
  • With an easy-to-read height gauge.
  • Comes with complete accessories so you can use this out of the box.

Cons

  • Complaints that it’s too small.

Ridgid 27263 Planer

Rating: 5 out of 5

Best 13-inch Planer from Ridgid

Description:

  • Perfect for all types of woodworking, including woodworking kits.
  • With a wide 13-inch blade for all types of wood.
  • Heavy and sturdy benchtop thickness planer.

Product Specs

  • Dimensions: 26 x 16 x 20 inches, 114.8 pounds
  • Motor: durable motor
  • Special Features: 13-inch space, very heavy and durable benchtop planer
  • Accessories: onboard tools

The Ridgid 27263 planer is an easy-to-use, heavy benchtop thickness planer. It is 13-inch wide so it can accommodate larger and thicker pieces of lumber. It has wider extensions, a stable body, and a depth gauge. This is designed to work with all types of wood but will work best for woodworking kits and projects.

The Ridgid 27263 is a benchtop thickness planer that has control adjustments, a very durable design with a wider cutting area. It also comes with onboard tools so you can use it as soon as you get it out of the box.

Pros

  • Designed for use in various woodworking projects.
  • This comes with a wider 13-inch width.
  • Has a stable, durable body; ready for use in all types of woodworking tasks.
  • This is a three-blade cutter that works with all woodworking tasks.
  • Recommended for serious woodworking tasks.

Cons

  • Complaints that it’s noisy.

Buyer’s Guide

Remember the following when shopping for the best benchtop thickness planer.

Buying a thickness planner or a combination thickness planer and jointer

If you have a smaller working space, you must consider a combination thickness planer and jointer. This takes up minimal space and is mostly cheaper but may not offer specialized features other than having separate tools.

In most combination models, the beds are shorter and don’t provide enough support. A regular jointer is 12 inches wide while planers can be from 12 to 15 inches. A combination planer and jointer will require you to switch the tool back and forth from a jointer and planer but most woodworkers need a jointer and a planer at the same time. Meanwhile, high-end combination machines have simpler and quicker controls.

If you have an unlimited budget, a combination benchtop thickness planer and jointer would do great. But if you have a lot of room and a limited budget, you can go for a separate planer and jointer tool instead.

Benchtop Thickness planer capacity

Almost all benchtop thickness planers are only compatible with 12 to 13-inch boards which may not be great for all-around woodworking. Meanwhile, some planers will allow larger boards up to 15 inches, sometimes larger. But if you are not planning on working with wider boards then you may opt for just a regular benchtop thickness planer.

Benchtop Thickness planer power

Most benchtop thickness planers come with very strong, efficient motors. One of the most powerful ones has 3HP motors which can be very expensive. But if you are planning to work with lighter materials or you’re not sending several boards at a time, then a regular benchtop thickness planer may do well for your needs.

Benchtop Thickness planer support

Most benchtop thickness planers are very heavy, weighing from 60 to 100 pounds! This is true for larger planers as these come with very strong and durable cast iron feeding tables to work with heavy lumber or wooden pieces.

The bed length offers improved support for different sizes of lumber. However, some benchtop thickness planers have very small and flimsy tables that won’t be able to accommodate larger pieces of wood.

Other important features to consider

Aside from the mentioned features, there are other features that you should consider when buying a benchtop thickness planer. The first one is a spiral cutter head which is not as popular as other types. Some manufacturers use 2 knives for their basic thickness planers.

A thickness planer with no spiral cutter heads is considered a drawback by some woodworkers and may cost more to upgrade. Meanwhile, some manufacturers say that their planers with three knives are disposable but actually, these may be sharpened to reduce costs.

Aside from the cutter head, larger and more complex planers have very few plastic parts and have more efficient adjustment switches. Therefore, these planers are designed to last even when regularly used.

And if you don’t plan on running several pieces of lumber through a thickness planer and you’re only working on small woodworking projects, a regular benchtop thickness planer will do well for you.

FAQS

Here are the most frequently asked questions and answers about buying and using a benchtop thickness planer.

How do you select the right benchtop thickness planner?

Buying a benchtop thickness planner is all about considering the space for the planer. You should have a large, spacious, and strong table where you can place the benchtop planer. You must choose a powerful planer as a model with a good motor means that it can provide the best results when it comes to width and depth.

Consider the noise level as most planers are very noisy. Consider the gauges to perfectly detect the depth and the number of blades as more blades would mean that the planer can work with thicker and stronger woods. Also, consider dust extraction features as you need one with a built-in dust port where you can connect your vacuum.

Which is better to use? A thickness planer or a jointer?

A planer is used to remove layers of surface wood or lumber. Meanwhile, a jointer can produce flat edges on lumber to join them from one edge to another to create wider boards.  Woodworkers agree that you need a planer and a jointer if you’re working on rough wood or lumber.

Do you need a planer and a jointer?

Yes, you need a planer and a jointer to work with rough lumber and to join large pieces of wood from edge to edge.

Is an electric hand planer better?

If you’re working with small pieces of lumber then a handheld electric planer would do. But if you want to work with larger pieces more accurately and efficiently then a benchtop thickness planer would do.

Is a thickness planer worth it?

Benchtop thickness planers are great for woodworking projects but not for heavy-duty work. These are unlike large planers with 3HP motors which can take thicker hardwoods and lumber. If you work with larger and thicker hardwoods then you must invest in a larger thickness planer rather than a benchtop model.

Conclusion

There are many amazing benchtop thickness planers in the market but for this year, the two best benchtop thickness planer models are on top of every woodworker’s list: the DEWALT Thickness Planer and the CRAFTSMAN Benchtop Planer.

The DEWALT has a powerful 15-Amp, 20,000 RPM motor for working on larger and wider workpieces with utmost ease. It has a knife cutter head that lasts longer and will reward you with easy knife changes. This planer has a two-speed gearbox to optimize the number of cuts/inches and has fan-assisted dust removal features for a clean and safe workpiece area.

Meanwhile, the CRAFTSMAN Benchtop Planer is durable for all kinds of projects in hard or softwoods. It also has an efficient 15-Amp motor to remove maximum stock. It has a Poly-V cutter head drive that is the best type for old wood, processed wood, thick lumber, and more.

Both planers are easy to operate and work seamlessly.  The two models produce minimal noise and are made from very durable materials so expect these to last longer with a longer cutting life compared to regular planers. Both come with a vacuum port for easy dust and chip collection so your safety always comes first for all types of woodworking projects.

We recommend the DEWALT Thickness Planer and the CRAFTSMAN Benchtop Planer for woodworking. These will provide the best features and the best performance, everything you’re looking for in the best benchtop thickness planer for 2021. 

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