best electric hand planers

Many experienced woodworkers still have one or two wooden or metal hand planes available in their workshop. These hand planes are ideal for certain projects and work pieces that require some really delicate touch and finesse.

The electric hand planer however, is a motorized more aggressive way to get the same job done faster and more efficiently without exerting too much effort on your part.

They’re mostly used especially when working with lumber too large to fit into a standard thickness planer machine, such as when shaving off some thickness from doors that won’t close properly.

Our Top Picks

Dewalt DCP580B

Bosch PL1632

Makita KP312

Best Cordless

Best Electric

Largest Capacity

  • 5/64 inch Max. Depth

  • 3-1/4 inch Width Cap.

  • Weighs 6.7 lbs.

  • 1/16 inch Max. Depth

  • 3-1/4 inch Width Cap.

  • Weighs 6.3 lbs.

  • 1/8 inch Max. Depth

  • 12-1/4 inch Width Cap.

  • Weighs 51 lbs.

electric hand planer shoe with chamfering grooves

Most electric hand planers also features V-shaped grooves underneath the base plate or shoe for chamfering corners. They’re also ideal for cutting rabbets when fitted with a rabbet cutting attachment.

What to Consider When Choosing an Electric Hand Planer

Here’s what you need to consider before making your choice.

Corded vs Cordless

corded or cordless electric hand planer

If you’re getting an electric hand planer, one of the major things you have to decide is whether to get a corded one or a cordless/battery-powered unit.

Most of the electric hand planers you’re going to find are corded. That means you have to plug it into a power outlet to use it.

Apart from that, you have to be very careful and watch out for the wire cord when planing materials with it. You need to make sure the cord is out of the way, so you don’t plane over the wire and damage it or even cause an electric shock.

On the other hand, with a cordless unit, you don’t have to worry about any cord because there’s none. You only need to charge the battery that comes with it, and you can use it whichever way you like, far away from a power outlet.

Width Capacity

Makita 12 inch electric hand planer

There are different sizes of electric hand planers. When talking about their size, I’m referring to the size of the shoe or the width capacity.

This size or width capacity ranges from 2-3/8 inches to 12-1/4 inches. 3-1/4 inches is the most common size you’ll find, and if you ask me, I’ll say it’s the ideal size for most woodworking and carpentry projects.

If you need a higher width capacity, then your projects involve working with really large timber pieces.

For instance, the Makita KP312 has a 12-1/4 inch width capacity, and it’s ideal for timber framers, log home builders, boat builders, and carpenters who work with really wide lumber pieces. I’d say it’s a specialty tool for professional woodworkers.

If you’re not going to be working with lumber over 12 inches wide, then you don’t need it. A 3-1/4 inch unit or slightly wider should work just fine for your projects.

Dust Collection

electric hand planer with dust collection

Just like thickness planers, electric hand planers also produce a lot of dust when planing materials with them.

Some feature a dust port to which you can attach a simple shop vac to collect all the dust produced, while many don’t have that feature.

If you work inside a workshop or you don’t like having much dust to clean up after a project, you’d do well to consider this when making your choice. If it doesn’t have a dust port, there’s no way you’re going to hook a dust collector or shop vac to it. It will mess up your shop, requiring you to do cleanup later.

planing wood with shop vac connected

Some are also designed so the dust port can be used on either side of the tool. This makes it more convenient to use it from any position and orientation.

However, if you’re not worried about the dust produced, you can always choose one without the dust collection port.

What Are The Best Electric Hand Planers?

Here in this article, I’ve listed some of the best electric hand planers you can choose from, featuring products from different top tool brands like Milwaukee, Craftsman, Makita, Bosch, Dewalt, Porter Cable and so on. Some are corded electric, while others are cordless or battery powered.

1. Bosch PL1632 Electric Hand Planer

Bosch PL1632

As one of the best power tool producing companies out there, Bosch really put a lot of thought into making this PL1632 electric hand planer.

The Bosch PL1632 features a 6.5 Amps motor which spins the cutter head at a rate of 16500 rpm, which is more than enough to cut and plane any type of wood effectively.

It comes equipped with a dual-mounted fence with a protective shield which combines well to help plane door edges easily.

The part of the fence that comes in contact with the wood/door face is laid with a plastic overshoe which helps protect the door face from getting marred.

Setting depth adjustment is also a very easy, as the planer is equipped with a metric scaled depth adjustment knob which is very easy to read adjust.

To operate any machine effectively, it has to have a very good handle.

That is why the Bosch PL1632 electric planer handle is optimally-angled to ease the forward motion of the tool and reduce fatigue for anyone working with it.

The handle is also equipped with a soft rubber grip, making it very comfortable to hold.

As common in most electric hand planers, the Bosch PL1632 features a spring loaded stand which you can use to elevate the tool when you need to set it down and prevent damaging your material or the cutterhead blades.

Setting up the tool is quick and easy as well.

For added safety, the Bosch PL1632 not only comes with a lock off button to prevent accidental startup, but also a lock-on which is very useful for prolonged usage.

It comes with a dust collection bag, which (although fills up quickly) works efficiently to help collect the dust/shavings produced while working with it.

A very nice feature of the PL1632 is that the cord swivels at the end to make it very easy to position the power cord and to prevent damage.

What we like about it

The Bosch PL1632 is very sturdy, and thus it will definitely stand the test of time.

It’s very effective as well, because you can use it on any kind of wood material whether hard or soft.

Another great feature I like about the Bosch PL1632 is that you can switch the dust port from left to right depending on the direction you want the shavings to go through.

Where it can be improved

The Bosch PL1632 electric hand planer work perfectly, but the carrying case can definitely use some improvement.

2. Jellas Electric Hand Planer

Jellas electric hand planer

If you need a really powerful hand planer that won’t cost you much but still gets the job done, this one from JELLAS is one of the first ones I’ll recommend.

It’s a 7.5 Amp electric hand planer with a motor spinning the cutter at 16500 rpm, and producing up to 33,000 cuts per minutes.

What the JELLAS doesn’t lack at all is power. You can run it through any type of wood and it will ply through easily, producing very smooth neat cuts and surfaces every time.

The only downside I’ve seen is that the 2 double edged carbides blades dull really fast. Apart from that, the JELLAS is very efficient and gets the job done easily.

It features an all-mirror-grade aluminum bottom with 3 grooves for creating different sizes of chamfers along the edges of the board you’re planing.

Adjusting the depth of cut is very easy as well, using a depth gauge/knob located right at the top of the planer.

Another good thing I like about the JELLAS electric hand planer is that it comes with a really long power cable, which provides you a much larger radius of space to work with it.

Attaching a shop vac to the unit is very easy, and it can be done from both side of the planer, which makes it very convenient to use.

The handle and auxiliary handle design are comfortable and easy to hold, and it also features a spring-loaded kickstand to prevent damage to the blade or workpiece when not in use.

What we like about it

It’s very powerful. It plies through any type of wood with ease and never bogs down.

It’s budget-friendly.

It features a very long extension cord which makes handling easier, especially for larger workpieces.

Build-quality is good, and certainly looks like something that will last through several projects.

Where it can be improved

The blades dull pretty fast.

Related: How To Choose Between A Wood Jointer And A Planer

3. Milwaukee 2623-20 M18 Cordless Hand Planer

Milwaukee 2623-20 electric hand planer

If you’re looking for a cordless electric hand planer for both workshop and jobsite projects, the Milwaukee 2623-20 stands as one of the best choice in the market.

Powered with Milwaukee’s 18 volts M18 battery, the 2623-20 delivers the kind of performance every craftsman needs to get the job done.

It capable of producing a maximum cut depth of 5/64 inches in a single pass, thus increasing productivity if a large chunk of the material needs to be removed.

The powerful motor ensures the motor does not bug down even when working with the max depth settings.

Talking about depth settings, the Milwaukee 2623-20 is fairly easy to adjust, as it comes equipped with a fully functional depth adjustment dial with 20 depth presets, making it very suitable for high precision projects.

The dial also does not need to be re-zeroed after the first adjustment, because the dial does not rotate past the 5/64 inch or 0 mark. This allows the user to easily identify at what depth they’re cutting.

With a rabbet cutting capacity of 27/64 inch, the Milwaukee 2623-20 offers professionals more depth of cut especially when making shiplap joints. Collecting sawdust is easy with the 2623-20 model, as it features a two sided, left and right dust ejection port, directing the sawdust away from the user even when a shop vac is not connected.

What we like about it

The Milwaukee 2623-20 is quite powerful for its size and will chop through any type of wood you have to work with.

It’s also very easy to adjust with the well calibrated depth adjustment knob it comes with.

The battery life is also very good.

Where it can be improved

It’s quite weighty compared to a corded model.

4. Craftsman CMEW300

Craftsman CMEW300

The model CMEW300 electric hand planer from Craftsman is one of the best we reviewed in this list. It has everything you need to achieve perfect finishes on boards of different hardness and dimension.

It’s comes equipped with a powerful 6 amp electric motor which ensures it cuts through both hardwood and softwood with ease.

The 6 amp motor produces up to 16,500 RPM cutterhead speed for easy and fast material removal.

Controlling cut depth is easy, using the overmolded depth control knob on it. The depth control knob features 10 positive stops and multiple depth settings for easy adjustment, with the rubber overmold making it very easy to handle.

Equipped with an 11.5 inch cast aluminum shoe, the Craftsman CMEW300 features a smooth and sturdy base that provides the user a better finish and control during operation.

With a dual side dust extraction, a suitable shop vac can be connected on either side of the tool for easy dust collection and ultimately keeping the work area clean.

Related: 10 Best Industrial Wood Planers For Woodworking

What we like about it

First of all, the CMEW300 is very powerful. With a 6 amps motor producing a no load speed of 16,500 RPM, it will chop through any wood without much effort on your part.

Also, the carbide blades it’s equipped with ensures that the blades remain sharp for a very long time while working with it.

Where it can be improved

​It could do with a few more accessories such as a hard box for easy storage and transport of the tool.

Related: Should You Get A Jointer Planer Combo Machine

5. WEN 6534

WEN 6534

The WEN 6534 is the ideal tool for DIYer’s and hobbyist looking for a very budget friendly electric hand planer to carry out their DIY projects.

If you don’t want to spend much on it and you still need a really good one, this is one of the best options you can go for.

It’s an 8 amp planer with 4-3/8 inch width, with a cutterhead producing up to 32,000 cuts per minute to ensure you get a very smooth surface on your workpiece.

The cutting depth can be adjusted from 0 to 1/8 inches, and there are 16 positive stops in increments of 1/128 inches allowing you to finetune and adjust the planer to your desired depth settings with ease without wasting time.

If features a 2 way dust chute to allow the user collect dust in the most convenient way possible from either side of the tool.

The base plate features 2 V-shaped grooves of different sizes, allowing the user to round off and chamfer sharp edges on the workpiece.

Also included are a fence bracket to guide the planer along the wood, a kickstand to protect the blade and workpiece from damage, and an onboard storage slot which houses the wrench for changing the blade.

What we like about it

It’s very budget friendly. Probably the most quality one with the lowest price you’ll find.

It doesn’t lack power.

Depth adjustment is very good, and an ergonomic handle makes it easy to operate without getting fatigued even though it’s heavy.

Finishing is very good, and the tool is well-built.

Where it can be improved

It could use a longer power cable.

Related: The 5 Best Portable Benchtop Jointers for Woodworking

6. Dewalt DCP580B 20V Cordless Electric Hand Planer

Dewalt DCP580B

If you want a cordless electric hand planer, one of the best ones you can go for is the Dewalt DCP580B.

The planer comes equipped with a brushless motor for maximum power efficiency and runtime.

With a no-load speed of 15,000 rpm, the planer produces up to 32,000 cuts per minute ensuring the smoothest finish on the material you’re working on.

It comes with a precision finished front and back aluminum shoes for uniform and parallel cuts, and a kickstand to allow you rest the tool on the material you’re planing without ruining it.

A v-groove is machined in the front shoe to make it easy to carry out edge chamfering with the tool.

Equipped with a Poly-V belt, you can be sure to work with the tool for a very long time before you have any belt problems.

It has a planing width of 3-1/4 inches and a maximum cutting depth of 5/64 inches. A calibrated depth adjustment knob with 1/256 inches or 0.01 mm increments allow you to make quick and precise depth adjustments easily.

Overall, the Dewalt DCP580B really comes with every feature needed for planing and reclaiming wood in workshop or on the jobsite.

What we like about it

  • It’s very flexible to use, because it’s cordless. You don’t need a power outlet to use it.
  • It’s very powerful and produces very smooth finishes.
  • Very good build quality.

Where it can be improved

  • Not enough run time. You’ll need a spare battery to get more runtime out of it.

7. Makita KP312 – Best for Timber Framing

makita kp312 electric hand planer

It’s not every day you come across hand planers like this.

With up to 12-1/4 inches of planing width, the Makita KP312 electric hand planer has the width capacity equivalent to many portable benchtop thickness planers.

It also has the capacity to cut up to 1/8 inches of cutting depth in one pass.

It’s a beast of electric hand planers because you’re surely not going to be seeing hand planers with this kind of width capacity very often.

To match that width capacity, the Makita KP312 comes equipped with a 15 amp motor delivering up to 12,000 RPM of speed for the most demanding of planing operations.

This Makita hand planer is not just for simple DIY home improvement projects. It’s for professional general contractors, framers, carpenters boat fabricators and log home builders looking for the best-in-class 12-1/4 inch hand planer.

The tools overall length is 21-3/4 inches and weighs just shy of 40 lbs. (39.7 to be exact). Even though it’s that heavy, the KP312 features a front roller that allows you to move it easily over rough materials without much effort.

A large ejection shoot provides a high rate of chip discharge and ensures that the planer works efficiently without any clogging from wet or dry wood chips.

Making depth adjustments is very easy using a large conveniently located depth adjustment knob.

With up to 33 ft of cord length, you’ll never run short of cord when planing large or long materials with this planer.

The handle is ergonomically designed to allow the user maximum control of the tool, to reduce user fatigue and for comfort during operation.

All in all, if you’re a professional woodworker looking for a large capacity hand planer to tackle your projects, then you should seriously consider getting this Makita KP312 12-1/4 inch electric hand planer.

  • Largest width capacity.
  • It’s very powerful.
  • Best for working with large timber pieces
  • Not suitable for small lumber pieces.

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