Last updated on March 10th, 2021 at 01:28 pm
Every woodworking shop needs a wood planer for dimensioning rough lumber and reducing its thickness.
The reason is because, you can’t work with wood or carry out fine woodworking projects without planing the wood and eliminating its defects.
Newly sawn lumber is rough and not very appealing to the eye. With the wood planer, you can get rid of the rough surfaces, exposing the smooth, fine grain underneath.
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Apart from smoothening or removing the rough outer layer, wood planers are also used for thicknessing or reducing the thickness of wood stocks.
If the lumber you want to use for your project is too thick and cannot be sawn any thinner, then you can use a wood planer to reduce the thickness. That’s why it’s also known as a thickness planer.
There are different types of wood planers. They include:
In this review and guide, we’ll be covering all 3 types and listing the top 10 best of them all.
Here Are The Heavy Duty Cabinet Wood Planers Reviewed
1. Powermatic 15HH Wood Planer
One of the most important part of a wood planer is the cutterhead because the overall performance of the planer depends to a large extent on the quality of the cutterhead.
Talking about cutterheads, 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.
2. 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 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.
3. 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 planer 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 industrial wood planer quite easy to move.
Overall, this Grizzly industrial planer is up there among the best wood planers you can ever use today. It’s well-built, strong, solid and most importantly, does the job of planing wood stocks perfectly.
Here are the best portable wood planer reviews
1. Dewalt DW735X Wood Planer
Unlike the previous wood planers mentioned above which are big industrial heavy duty planers, the Dewalt DW735X is a portable wood planer or benchtop planer.
Equipped with a powerful 15 Amp motor which spins the cutterhead at 10,000 RPM, the DW735X produces one of the smoothest finishes you’ll get on any portable wood planer.
The cutterhead is a 3 knife cutterhead which increase the knife life up to 30 percent longer when compared to cutterheads with 2 knifes.
A two speed gear box allows you to vary the feed rate of the planer to optimize the cut quality and the amount of material you remove at a time.
To help reduce snipe, the Dewalt DW735X portable wood planer features an automatic carriage lock which locks the cutterhead in place and reduce any movement that might cause snipe.
The Dewalt DW735X is just one of the few portable wood planers with a fan assisted chip ejection which helps to vacuum wood chips or sawdust off the planer as you work with it.
It also features an extra-large turret depth stop which you can use to ensure you don’t plane your boards lower than a particular thickness.
When you get the DW735X, you get the planer unit, infeed and outfeed tables and an extra set of replacement knifes to replace the ones that come with the unit when they get dull or nicked.
Overall, if you looking for a top of the line portable wood planer, the DW735X is one of the best ones I’d confidently recommend.
For a more in-depth article on portable planers, just check out this post.
2. Makita 2012NB 12 Inch benchtop wood planer
When it comes to portable wood planers, Makita’s 2012NB stands as one of the best ones you can get for your planing projects.
It comes equipped with a 2 knife cutterhead which spins at 8500 rpm, and capable of planing any type of wood whether hard or softwood.
The 2 blade cutterhead ensures that blade change is not just easy but fast as well.
Although very powerful, the 15 Amp motor in the Makita 2012NB produces only 83 dBs of noise, which makes it one of the quietest portable wood planer out there.
In terms of Capacity, the 2012NB is able to accommodate any wood not more than 12 inches wide and not thicker than 6 -3/32 inches in thickness.
You can make repeat cuts easily as the Makita wood planer comes with depths cuts you can fully adjust to make the same cuts over and over.
The 2012NB features Makita’s automated head clamp tech which keeps the cutterhead stationary while planing with it, in order to prevent snipe.
With a weight of 67.6 lbs, it’s lightweight and compatible making it a very good option for you if you’re looking for a wood planer you can use on the job site.
3. Cutech 40600H-CT
Cutech brings something else to the table with their portable wood planers. They fit it with spiral cutterheads which not only produce very smooth cuts, but also reduce the loud noise characteristic of planers with straight knife cutterheads.
The spiral cutterhead consist of 26 two-sided inserts or tips which can easily be reversed in case one side gets nicked while planing with it.
Equipped with a 15 Amp motor, the Cutech planer has all the power it needs to plow through any type of wood easily.
It has a width capacity of 13 inches just like the Dewalt DW735X, making it suitable for planing wider boards.
A quick set depth stop ensures you don’t plane your stock lower than the thickness you’ve set with it, eliminating any chance for mistakes that might damage your stock or render it useless.
The planer is 2 inches wider at the base, plus a 4 screw post design which ensures maximum stability as you work with it.
4. Jet JWP-13BT Wood Planer
If you’re already equipped with one of Jet’s cabinet planers, but you’re looking for something portable to work with on the jobsite, this Jet 13 inch helical style portable wood planer will not disappoint.
It’s one of the most powerful and efficient machines we listed in this article. That’s why it’s also the most expensive model in this list.
Everything about it is top-notch. The cutterhead is a helical style cutterhead with 6 rows of 24 individual quick change inserts, which plows through the wood leaving behind a very clean and smooth surface.
The finish left by this portable 13 inch Jet wood planer is so smooth, you don’t need to sand it much. The helical style cutterhead also ensures it works very quietly compared to other models with straight knife cutterheads.
Equipped with a 2 HP 15 amp motor, it’s not lacking in power at all. The motor spins the cutterhead at a speed of 10,000 RPM, ensuring your stock comes out as smooth as possible.
A precision machined cast iron bed and steel cover with infeed and outfeed tables keeps the board flat and prevents sniping at the ends of the board.
Overall, the Jet JWP-13BT is definitely up there with the best portable wood planers. Even though it’s quite expensive compared to similar machines, it makes up for the price in quality.
Here Are The Best Hand Planers
1. Makita 1806B 10.9 Amp Electric Hand Planer
Apart from heavy duty industrial wood planers and portable benchtop planers, there are also electric hand planers which are ideal for planing framing lumber, windows and doors.
One of the largest of these type of electric hand planers is the Makita 1806B.
If you work in construction or if you frame buildings, you need this type of planer. Basically, if the wood you want to plane is too big to feed it through a thickness planer machine, then a hand planer like this one is your best bet.
It allows you to plane large pieces of wood like framing lumber, doors and windows by just passing it over the wood.
The Makita 1806B comes equipped with powerful 10.9 Amp motor and a sharp 2-blade cutterhead which spins at a speed of 15,000 RPM for quick stock removal.
The width is 6-3/4 inches and it has a depth capacity of 1/16 inches in one pass. It comes equipped with a precision machined aluminium base for stability and accuracy.
If you need an electric hand planer for handling big jobs in the jobsite or for carrying out some fine woodworking in the workshop, then you should definitely get your hands on one of these.
2. BOSCH PL2632K Hand Planer
The Bosh PL2632K is a very powerful hand wood planer with a speed of 16,500 RPM and a 6.5 Amp motor which enables it to quickly remove hard stocks and produce fine finishes in both hard and soft wood.
For safety reasons, it has an ambidextrous lock-off release button which helps to prevent accidental starts and a lock-on button in case you intend to use it for a long time without switching it off.
It comes with a spring loaded stand which elevates it and protects the blade and the resting spot on the material being worked on.
3. Dewalt DCP580B 20V Max Cordless Hand Planer
If you need an electric hand planer, but you need something cordless, then one of the best ones you can go for is this Dewalt DCP580B.
It comes equipped with a 20V Max brushless motor which is more efficient in terms of power, and maintains a consistent speed even while you’re planing with it.
The DCP580B has a width capacity of 3-1/4 inches and a rebate capacity of 5/64 inches. It’s lightweight, weighing just 6.7 lbs. which makes it very easy to work with without getting hand fatigue.
You can work with it and carry it with you anywhere around the jobsite without the inconvenience of dragging a cord along with you or looking for a nearby power outlet to plug it to. It’s cordless and you can work with it wherever you want, provided the battery is charged.