Last updated on October 29th, 2022 at 04:11 pm
Every woodworking shop needs a wood planer machine for dimensioning rough lumber and reducing its thickness.
When logs of wood or timber are sawn into lumber pieces, you find lots of chainsaw or bandsaw marks on the surface, which makes them almost impossible to work with in that condition.
In order to use them for fine woodworking projects, you need to pass the rough lumber through a planer machine to remove the rough surface and expose the smooth fine grain underneath it.
Apart from smoothening or removing the rough outer layer, it’s also used for thicknessing or reducing the thickness of lumber pieces.
There are many sizes of wood planer machines you can choose from depending on your budget and the sizes of lumber you which to work on.
If you own a lumber yard or you work with some really thick and wide rough lumber pieces, then you surely need a heavy-duty industrial wood planer to get the job done.
These machines weigh over 900 lbs and can plane lumber that are over 20 inches in width and 8 inches thick, and they produce some of the best finishes you can ever get a planer machine to produce, far better than benchtop units.
Because of its weight, you have to set it up in a particular position in your workshop, not to be moved once it’s set up. You can also set it up on a rolling stand if you think you’ll be moving it around the shop once in a while.
Here in this article, I’ve reviewed 7 of the best industrial wood planers you can get your hands on today. But before going into that, here’s a guide to help you choose the right one for your projects.
What To Consider When Choosing an Industrial Wood Planer
Buying an industrial wood planer is a big deal. This is a big tool purchase and it’s important you get it right the first time. That is why you should consider the following before making your choice.
Industrial wood planers cost a lot, often requiring you to pay several thousands of dollars just to get it. If you want to get one, you should expect to spend between 4 to 10 thousand, which is quite a sizeable investment.
This is not an amount anyone would like to spend again after acquiring such a tool. In fact, with proper maintenance your kids and grandkids should be able to use it long after you’re gone. That is why durability is one of the major factors you should consider before getting one of these machines.
One of the signs that will tell whether or not a machine is going to be durable is the kind of material used for manufacturing it.
For a machine that costs this much, every major part should be made of high-quality solid cast iron, including the table, the base and the cutterhead housing or head.
You should also check and compare warrantees to make sure you’re covered in case something goes wrong in the years to come. Check what the warrantee covers and what it does not. The duration of the warrantee should be long. 1 or 2 years is not acceptable. The tool company should be giving 5 years or more warrantee to show they trust their product and stand behind it.
What’s an industrial wood planer without a big and powerful motor to drive the cutterhead? Well, this is something you need to consider.
Most industrial planers usually come with 3 and 5 horsepower motors. These motors are very powerful and will get the job done, depending on the type of projects you’re working on. In fact, the ones reviewed in this article have 3 and 5 horsepower motors.
There’re some however that have more powerful motors like 7.5 Horsepower, 10 HP and even 15 HP. These are more powerful and will be able to tackle more difficult tasks.
For instance, the more powerful the motor is, the greater its cut capacity or the more material it can remove in one pass through the cutterhead.
Precision is key when planing boards. You don’t want to remove too much material from your stock and end up with the wrong thickness.
That’s why depth adjustment is very important. Of course, you can’t tell how precise a machine is until you use it. However, what usually guides me when considering this is the ease of making depth adjustments with the machine.
What does it take to adjust the planer to a certain depth of cut? What’s the minimum and maximum depth of cut? These values should help you measure just how much precision you can get with this tool.
This one is very important. Industrial thickness planers come in different sizes with different width capacities. The width capacity refers to how much width of board the planer can accommodates.
There are industrial wood planers with 15-inch, 20-inch, 22-inch, 25 inch and so on. The higher the width capacity, the wider the stock it can accommodate and the more expensive it is to buy one.
So, you have to ask yourself, how wide are the boards you’re working with. The wider the are, the greater the width capacity you need.
Sometimes it’s important to favor certain tool brands when making a big tool purchase. Brands with the best reputation. Try not to get one with no reviews and no familiar branding.
1. Grizzly Industrial G1033X 20 Inch Industrial Wood Planer
The Grizzly Industrial G1033X and the JET JWP-208HH reviewed below are so similar both in looks and features, you’ll think they’re produced by the same company.
Just like the JET JWP-208HH, the Grizzly Industrial G1033X is a heavy duty floor wood planer that comes equipped with a 5 HP induction motor and a helical cutterhead with 92 four-sided carbide inserts.
With a width capacity of 20 inches and a depth capacity of 8-5/8 inches, you can work with some really large boards when you get this Grizzly machine.
A triple v-belt drive connects the 5 horsepower motor to the cutterhead, ensuring maximum power transmission to the cutterhead.
Whether you run hardwood or softwood through it, the Grizzly G1033X performs well on any type of stock, producing very smooth and straight boards every time.
With almost every part made of solid cast iron and steel, the G1033X weighs about 909 pounds, ensuring it remains steady and vibration free during operation.
The precision-ground extension tables and planer bed are made of solid cast iron which makes them very stable and combined with the feed rollers helps prevent snipe from damaging the ends of your stock.
Equipped with a two-speed gear box, the feed rollers can be operated at 16 FPM or 28 FPM, allowing you to feed your stock through at a slower speed of 16 FPM when you’re removing much material and at a higher speed of 28 FPM when you’re giving it a finishing touch.
The planer comes equipped with a magnetic power switch so you don’t run the risk of it getting damaged due to power overload or failure.
Overall, the Grizzly G1033X is one of your best options if you want a very powerful and high precision heavy-duty industrial planer machine to dimension rough boards in your workshop.
2. Jet JWP-208HH 20 Inch Industrial Wood Planer
If you want to get a really powerful and accurate industrial wood planer machine, this JET JWP-208HH has my stamp of approval.
It’s a heavy duty 5 horsepower industrial planer machine with a 20 inch width capacity. Unlike the benchtop models, with this you can dimension wider boards without any issue.
This machine combines a powerful 5 horsepower induction motor with a helical cutterhead having 92 staggered carbide inserts to ensure the smoothest finish on the boards you plane with it.
The power motor means you can plane any type of wood with it without overloading the motor. The carbide inserts for this cutterhead are sharpened on the four sides, which means you don’t have to replace them immediately if they get dull or get nicked.
You can easily loosen the affected insert and rotate it to a new edge, and it will work like new once again, with a good sharp edge.
Talking about construction, the Jet JWP-208HH is has all parts made of iron and steel, which makes it very heavy and solid during operation, providing steady support for the workpiece.
It also features a 2-speed gear box, with a chain tensional which allows you to easily change the feed rates either for removing more material or for making finish cuts.
The JET JWP-208HH comes equipped with 3 steel infeed and outfeed rollers, combined with a precision ground table to prevent snipe and help you produce the smoothest finish on your boards.
You get a large handwheel just by the side with a positive gear drive you can use to make quick and accurate depth adjustments.
The one-piece welded steel base provides solid support and stability during operation, reducing any form of vibration and ensures long-term accuracy of the machine.
3. Powermatic 209HH
Although this Powermatic 209HH industrial wood planer looks so similar with the JET JWP-208HH and the Grizzly G1033X, there’s a little secret to the Powermatic 209HH that sets it a bit aside.
It comes equipped with a Byrd helical cutterhead with 100 four-sided carbide inserts. A little different from the one on JET and Grizzly which has 94 carbide inserts each, but little differences like this can be seen in the final cut quality or smoothness of the stock.
It’s got a 20 inch width capacity, a maximum cutting depth of 3/32 inches and a maximum planing thickness of 8 inches.
The machine is powered by a 1 phase 5 Horsepower 230 Volts motor which rotates the cutterhead at a speed of 5000 RPM and produces up to 20,000 cuts per minute on the wood.
It comes equipped with a two-speed gear box that allows you to feed lumber through it 24 FPM and 31 FPM respectively. If you want it to run at lower feed rates, you can convert the gearbox to run at 4 speeds of 16, 20, 24 and 31 FPM respectively, allowing you to tweak the machine to work just the way you want.
Every part of the machine is made of heavy duty cast iron and steel to enable it run steadily with less vibration and ensure durability.
You can adjust the cutting depth easily with the chrome-plated hand wheel at the top, which slides the smooth cast iron table up and down the 4 steel columns to reduce or increase the cut depth.
Overall, this Powermatic 209HH is a very solid option you can choose if you’re looking for an industrial wood planing machine.
4. Grizzly G5851Z
If you have some really wide boards to plane, then you need an industrial wood planer with a high width capacity, and one of the best one I know is the Grizzly G5851Z.
The Grizzly G5851Z has a 24 inch width capacity backed by a 5 HP motor. So, even if you want to plane solid wood panels with it, just go right ahead and do it because you can.
It comes equipped with a 3-1/8 inch straight knife cutterhead made of 4 high-speed steel knives, spinning at a speed of 5200 RPM. In terms of performance, you can be certain you can feed any type of lumber through it and it will come out the other way, smooth and uniform without bogging down the machine.
It’s got a 2 speed gear box which allows you to feed lumber through at 17 FPM and 26 FPM. Making depth adjustments can be done easily using a cast iron hand wheel located right at the top of the machine.
When it comes to build quality, the Grizzly G5851Z is well constructed with every part made of heavy-duty cast iron. This makes it very stable during operation and increases precision of cuts.
The planer bed and extension tables are made of precision-ground cast iron, which along with the rollers allow the stock to slide through smoothly unmarred.
Like other heavy-duty Grizzly industrial cabinet wood planers, this one comes equipped with a magnetic switch for thermal overload protection.
It has a maximum cutting depth of 1/8 inches, accepts a maximum stock thickness of 7 inches, maximum width of 24 inches and a minimum stock length of 8 inches.
All in all, the Grizzly G5851Z definitely fits the description of a heavy-duty industrial planer. It’s well-built, has a very high width capacity to even plane wood panels, and produces amazing results on any stock you pass through it provided the blades are sharp and are in good condition.
5. Powermatic 15HH Wood Planer
One of the most important part of a wood planer is the cutterhead because its overall performance depends to a large extent on the quality of the cutterhead.
Talking about cutter heads, the Powermatic 15HH comes with a Tom Byrd’s Helical cutterhead. Byrd cutterheads are usually made from stress proof steel, which means they’re made to withstand heavy duty use.
The helical cutterhead is made up of 74 carbide inserts which are arranged in helical shaped rows, thereby producing unparalleled efficiency and quality in the cuts produced on your stock.
Another impressive feature of the Powermatic 15HH is the powerful motor that spins the cutterhead. It is a 3 horsepower 230V TEFC, single phase motor which can run continuously providing enough power to withstand any task thrown at it.
The in feed roller of the Powermatic 15HH wood planer is serrated while the out-feed roller is very smooth. This is a very purposeful design that ensures boards are easily fed into the machine, while the smooth outfeed roller ensures that the planed wood exits smoothly and unmarred.
What I like about it
The Powermatic 15HH is nothing but pure quality, and it’s the right wood planer for an avid woodworker. Everything seems to work impeccably well on this machine.
One thing I like the most about the planer is the helical byrd’s cutterhead. Unlike the straight knife’s cutterhead that has three knifes, the Byrd’s helical cutterhead consist of 74 carbide inserts instead.
They stay sharp for a longer time, are easier to maintain and they just perform better with the kind of glass smooth finishes they produce on wood.
Helical cutterheads are the way to go, and I just love the quality of this one.
You’ll expect that a machine of this size would produce a lot of noise. But the opposite is actually the case. The helical cutterhead in this bad boy helps to reduce the noise a lot. This provides a healthier working environment for you and anyone around you.
Finally it is relatively very easy to easy to set up and start working with the 15HH, even a total newbie will be able to find his way along as he closely follow the instructions in the manual.
Where it needs improvement
After examining this planer, there’s actually little room for improvement because everything works perfectly. The performance is just mind boggling, seriously.
Being that it is a little bit pricey, that may deter some people from actually purchasing it. However, if you can chunk out the cash to purchase this planer, you’ll be very satisfied with the product.
The absence of a digital read out is also something that may also discourage some people, but that to me is not an issue. Overall, the Powermatic 15HH is very fantastic. It is tough as well as it is efficient.
6. Jet JWP-15HH Wood Planer
Jet is one of the few companies that has gathered a lot of trust through the years because of the superior quality power tools which they’ve produced over time.
The Jet JWP-15HH wood planer is a testament to the above statement. The frame/body is constructed with heavy duty cast iron to ensure that the planer is stable, tough and able to withstand all external/internal forces.
To enable superior finishing, the Jet JWP is armed with a helical cutterhead with 68 four-sided carbide inserts. These carbide inserts stay sharper for a longer time than their straight-knives counterparts, which is a very desirable feature of a wood planer. Even when they get blunt, a quick switch between any one of the four sides provides a fresh sharp edge for a continuous planing operation.
Helical cutterheads are generally quieter than straight knives cutterheads. This is a feature which makes the Jet JWP-15HH wood planer a little more desirable, because a quiet machine is every craftsman’s dream. Though it is not totally quiet, but every decibel of noise reduced is much appreciated.
It also features a two speed gearbox which helps to adjust the feed rate as needed, to even fine-tune the quality of the surface finish.
The large cast iron and feed tables are not something that will easily escape your notice. Large feed tables ensure that materials being planed are properly supported. This will also make it possible to plane long boards with ease.
The 3 horse power induction motor provides the needed force to drive 3 V-belt transmissions to make the planer run smoothly and efficiently.
What I like about it
Everything I like about this planer is as a result of the kind of cutterhead it possesses. The helical cutterhead functions like nothing I’ve seen before.
Whether you feed in hard or soft wood, the boards come out extra smooth and it’s just amazing. Everything promised by the manufacturer is dead on point.
If you’ve owned or operated a wood planer with straight knives cutterhead, then you are really going to appreciate the quietness of this helical head planer. I really like it a lot.
Overall, the Jet JWP-15HH wood planer is strong, tough and it’s built to last for a long time. It is parked with all the right features that every wood planer needs to enable it run smoothly and efficiently.
If you’re planing large volume of boards per day, you can be sure that this wood planer will be able to handle it without any problem.
It’s a bit expensive though. However, good things don’t come cheap.
Where it needs improvement
After critically examining the Jet JWP-15HH, I can’t really pinpoint any cause for concern in the planer, because everything is working well.
The power is great, the finishing is superb, and the dust collection system works as it should. Though it’s not a perfect machine, because there’s none, but it tops the chart in performance.
7. Grizzly G0453Z 15 Inch 3 HP Industrial Wood Planer
Equipped with a spiral cutterhead, the Grizzly G0453Z industrial wood planer comes with everything you need to plane and thickness you boards to your desired size and smoothness.
The 4-row spiral cutterhead is made up of 74 German indexable carbide inserts, and it spins at 4800 rpm per minute to ensure you get the smoothest finishes on the boards you plane with it.
At the heart of the machine is a 3 HP 240 V single-phase motor which produces all the power you need to plane all day with it without any trouble.
The planer infield and outfield tables are made of solid precision ground cast-iron, providing a smooth and solid surface for the wood to slide through.
It has a maximum cutting width of 15 inches, a maximum stock thickness of 8 inches, a maximum cutting depth of 1/8 inches and it’s capable of planing a minimum stock length of 8 inches.
With a two-speed automatic stock field rate of 16 fPM and 30 FPM, you have the ability to control how fast you field the board through the planer and the amount of material taken off your stock at a time.
There are retractable lifting handles and a built in mobile base which makes this Grizzly G0453Z quite easy to move.
Overall, this Grizzly G0453Z is up there among the best cabinet planers you can ever use today. It’s well-built, strong, solid and most importantly, does the job of planing wood stocks perfectly.