Do you want to focus more and have more control over your woodwork? Need more involvement to feel the actual work? Then, the tool that can help you is a hand planer. Although there are power planers available in the market, a hand planer gives you more involvement and customization in your woodwork. Furthermore, as it is a more traditional way of woodworking you will get a more natural and satisfying experience. Moreover, you will not have the motor sound to deal with. You will find hand planer of different kinds. Starting from manual to electric hand planers. Both are able to produce better results with your effort than the motorized ones.
Finding the best hand planer for your need is a bit tough. There are myriads of hand planer available and many of them do not even perform half as well as they promise to. So, you have to be very careful when choosing your hand planer. In fact, there are many features you need to check to decide if that is what you need. You also have to check that the features actually are effective. So, here is a buying guide and with it reviews of the ten best hand planer to guide you to your planer.
Our Top 10 Best Hand Planer Reviews
Let’s now check out the ten best hand planer that turns woodworking into a passion.
If you are not sure of the task that you will be using the planer for, the Wen 6530 will be perfect for you. Apparently, this has got the first position in our review because of the performance and convenience it offers to woodworkers. Whether it is just a door of your house you want to fix or rigorous work project, the Wen 6530 can take it all! With a motor of 6-ampere power, it has a speed of cutting 34,000 cuts per minute.
One of the customers claimed that it works at a lightning speed and we agree. You can already imagine how good the finished product is thanks to the speed as speed has a direct effect on the smoothness. Moreover, you can adjust your cutting depth easily to 16 different positions starting from 0 to 1.8 inches with the adjustment wrench. Furthermore, you can even make rabbets of up to 7 or 10 inches sizes. The base plate also has a V-shaped groove to efficiently flatten board corners. Last but not least, it also features a parallel fence bracket to keep your boards parallel. Now you know why we said you could do whatever you wanted. It’s an all-rounder!
So, you know about the performance, let’s get to the convenience. Thanks to its design it is quite comfortable to use. Not only does it feature a depth gauge but also comes with a rabbeting guide. If storing it was worrying you, you will be happy to know that it’s very lightweight weighing around 6 pounds and comes with a kickstand. The blade won’t be damaged anytime soon as the kickstand keeps it away from any surface when it’s not being used. After finishing the work, you will be able to get rid of the dust easily thanks to the multi-directional dust chute that had gathered all the dust in one place and the dust bag to carry it to the dustbin.
- Good for almost any kind of woodworking.
- Very efficient and effective design.
- Powerful motor with great speed.
- Produces great end-products.
- Adjustable cutting depths.
- Chamfer groove.
- Rabbeting guide and rabbeting capability.
- Retractable kickstand.
- Useful dust chute.
- Two-year warranty.
- Short cord.
- Dust port often clogs or leaks.
Makita is one of the best power tool brands and it would be absolute blasphemy to not include the KP0810 in this list. It is yet another of the hand planer which performs great in many different ways. First of all, with its 7.5 Ampere motor power, it has a speed of 1600 RPM. With the least effort and time, the finished boards come out smooth and perfect. Furthermore, you can easily adjust the cutting depth to 5/32 inches with the comfortable rubber handle this planer features.
Apparently, the adjustment handle even has a scale to help you fix the cutting depth accurately with a click. The three V-shaped grooves in the shoe of the planer let it chamfer the rough corners really well too. Furthermore, it features a guide that keeps the cutting absolutely straight. So, you can do just about anything you want with this planer and very comfortably.
With a weight of only 7.3 lbs. this planer is not just lightweight enough to be comfortable and easy but is very efficient for the task. Furthermore, it is not only suitable for both lefties and righties but users can operate it sideways without any strain. Being made of molded aluminum, it is quite the durable product. Furthermore, you can feel completely safe keeping this planer at your home. Because it features a trigger-lock button that will make sure it does not start suddenly when put at rest. As for after work cleanup, you will be able to do it quite easily as it not only has a chip discharge chute but also a dust ejection port. You can easily collect the dust in a bag or plastic and get rid of it.
- Great motor power.
- Smooth and perfect cuts and finish thanks to the efficient speed.
- Comfortable and suitable for use by both lefties and righties.
- Can be operated sideways.
- Durable build.
- Chamfers as well.
- Dust and chip ejection port.
- There is no dust bag or plastic to contain the dust ejected.
When performance does not differentiate the product enough, it’s the convenience of use that comes into account. And, the PL2632 lives up to Bosch’s reputation in both cases. Performance is as good as what you expect from Bosch products. With a 6.5-ampere motor power, it can cut at a speed of 16,500 RPM. So, you will get your work done quite quickly and smoothly. The cutting blades are not the general carbide ones but the Woodrazor Mini Micrograin blades which won’t be damaged even if it accidentally hits a nail.
As you already know about the quality of the product let’s see the quality of its performance. Not only does it plane the wood boards efficiently, it also chamfers really well. In fact, you can adjust the depth up to 5/16 inches to aid chamfering. To further improve the performance quality, it also features dual mount guide fence that helps it to cut to the exact depth.
Now, it’s really the ease of use that makes this product greater than others. First of all, although it is corded, the cord creates no problem being smartly joined at a ball joint. You can move it any way you want and it won’t be tangled. Since you will be working for a long time and holding the button to keep it going for so long will get not just tiresome but impossible. Therefore, it also features a lock-on button that keeps your hands free. Furthermore, it comes with a bag that will collect the shavings so the cleanup process gets easy for you.
- High-quality and sturdy product by Bosch.
- Performs really fast and smoothly.
- End- product is also smooth and of the best quality.
- Can both chamfer and plane.
- Very convenient for use.
- Lock-on button.
- Ball jointed cord to easy movement.
- Powerful motor.
- Bag for shaving collection included.
- Accurate adjustment of depths.
- Not the best one for serious woodworkers.
- The carrying case included is not the best but it’s still free.
This is yet another great product by a great brand DeWalt. You can count on it to last long enough to delight you and perform good enough to keep you interested. With a motor power of 7 amperes, this planer has a speed of 15000 RPM which is a decent speed.
You will be able to enjoy great results quite fast. As for the blades, although it features re-sharpen able high-speed steel blades or reversible carbide blades, you can replace these blades with anything better. However, the steel blades it features are not bad either. They provide straight and even edges and framing well enough. It cuts 3/32 inch in one cut maximum and that reduces the number of passes and makes the surface evener. You also get to adjust the depth with a depth adjustment knob that is quite easy to operate and accurate. Furthermore, it can handle rabbet joints as well thanks to its precision-machined shoe bottom.
Even you want the planer for professional use, it will really impress you. In fact, it is more suitable for it. You won’t get tired after using it for a long time as it features a comfortable two-finger trigger. In fact, you can adjust the knob really easily by just locking it to the desired height. Weighing only 6.2 lbs. it does not even strain your hand. Furthermore, it has front chamfering guides to make sharpening edges and framing the easiest tasks in your life. Lastly, all these comes packed in a rugged case that you can always use.
- Powerful and efficient motor.
- High-speed performance.
- Reduced number of passes.
- Easy to set adjustable knob.
- Great quality reversible Carbide blades.
- Suitable for most kinds of blades.
- Great for framing, sharpening and also chamfering.
- Very durable.
- Comfortable to use and does not cause fatigue.
- Does not have any accessories to manage dust.
This is a great-quality Porter-Cable hand planer that is not just versatile but also accurate in what it does. What is worth mentioning before everything else is its price. The price is affordable and also something you do not expect a best hand planer with so many great features to be at. That is also one of the reasons it is great for beginners who do not want to spend much but need the quality.
With a 6-ampere motor power, it has a speed of 16,500 RPM which is quite great to produce even and smooth boards. And, can also handle hardwoods well. It is the only hand planer that features an 11.5 inch cast aluminum shoe that improves both control and performance. Moreover, it’s not only the smoothing it’s great at, the three chamfering grooves make it a great selection for chamfering edges as well. Furthermore, you can adjust the depth at ten different positions with the over-mold knob. The depth cut of 5/64 inches and the dual blade design also makes the cuts by this tool even and flawless. You can even make rabbets with a depth cut of 0.47 inches on each pass.
Another thing that is made completely easy and convenient by this planer is dust management. In fact, it features dual side dust extraction that enables you to extract dust from any side you want. It not only expels the wood chips but also prevents clogging of it. But, it is best to clean and collect the dust to throw it away fast as it might reduce the durability. In fact, this dust handling mechanism helps increase the durability of this planer!
- Great value at a cheap price that you do not expect.
- Very functional and effective design.
- Has three chamfering grooves to improve it.
- Dual and replaceable blades create smooth and even surfaces.
- Cuts and rabbets well.
- Powerful motor with great speed improves performance.
- Has a wide 11.5-inch cast aluminum shoe.
- Easy to use.
- Dual dust ejection mechanism.
- Ten adjustment positions.
- Not the most durable for regular or professional use
- Blades are not adjusted accurately and adjustment is difficult as well.
If you want to have the option to taste all kinds of hand planning tasks with just one hand planer, this planer is as close as you will come to have such a planer. Apparently, the 7698K by Black & Decker does not only help you to level and smooth but also chamfer and decorate.
With its 5.2-ampere high torque motor, it has a nice speed of 16,500 RPM. So, it is not only capable of handling tough wood but will also do it really fast. Furthermore, with a deep cutting capacity of 5/64 inches, it removes more in one go and thus gives your woodwork a very even finish. Again, with a rabbeting depth of 5/16 inches, it helps you chamfer and decorates your woodwork quite easily. Furthermore, you will have more control over your work with the easy adjustment of the blades to ten precise positions. So, this planer is versatile enough to fulfill most of your wishes for woodworking.
In fact, this hand planer will last long enough to satisfy you. It has a durable build and features four reversible carbide blades in it. Furthermore, you will have less trouble handling dust as it not only has a dust port but also a dust bag to collect and help you get rid of the dust. However, the dust bag is a bit small. But it also features a vacuum adapter to make things easier for you. Moreover, it also offers an edge guide and a kit bag with it. You will find it very easy to work with this best hand planer for hours as it has a lock-on button to keep it working when your hands get tired. Yes, you do not have to hold it all the time to work.
- Great performance.
- The motor is quite powerful and has a great speed.
- The finished product is really smooth and even.
- Suitable for chamfering and decorating the edges as well.
- Durable and smart build.
- Lock-on button.
- Vacuum adapter and dust port.
- Easy to adjust and use.
- Two-year warranty.
- Dust port gets clogged and dust bag is small.
Now it is hard to differentiate between planers based only on performance and convenience so it is best to bring its design into account. In the case of Triton, it is the design that makes it noticeable and appealing. First of all, it’s somewhat different shape and build will definitely catch your eyes and it has its purpose. Apparently, Triton has a 7-inch base which is what helps it to be more efficient in making planes even as it removes more in one go. With a 1500 watt motor and a 15000 RPM speed, it is not just highly capable but also fast.
What differentiates it more is its three-blade drum design. No other planer has blades arranged this way and it only makes the TPL180 perform better. All other features are just what our previous planers offered. It lets you be accurate with adjustable cutting depth between 0-3/32 inches. Moreover, it has ten different positions to which you can set the depth. It also has a guide fence to makes things parallel or straight. Therefore, you can expect everything that other planers offer just in an improved design.
The handle is soft and comfortable enough to not tire you after long use. In fact, this planer is well capable of handling long hours of work. The dust collector it features also eases up the cleaning procedure for you. Furthermore, you will feel safe as you will always know what the planer is doing. Because it has an LED screen that lights up when it is on. So, there is reduced the risk of accidents.
- Unique and smart design.
- The wide base that allows more wood to be planed in one go.
- Provides a more even and smooth result than most others.
- Powerful and fast.
- Easy to handle and adjust.
- Comfortable enough to use for hours.
- Precautions added for safety.
- Has a dust collector and guide fence.
- A few problems in blade alignment.
- Not great for lefties.
Look who made it to our list again! Having Makita on our list twice, we will skip the part about the company’s reputation and the product quality because it’s obvious what you should be expecting. As for the performance, it offers nothing less than the others. First of all, with a 10.9-ampere motor and a speed of 15000 RPM, it can handle tough tasks and give you amazing results fast.
Planing around 6-3/4-inch wide and 1/16-inch deep in one go, it does not provide the most even surface but a satisfying one. You can, of course, set the depth easily. Moreover, the sole plate is large and sturdy so that the unit is stable while operation. Furthermore, the aluminum base build helps you to be more accurate in work. The two blades on the cutter head are very fast and can make 30,000 cuts per minute. Moreover, they are of great quality and also has a swing down blade protector to protect it when the planer is not in use.
Being a bit large in size it is heavy but light enough to not cause any distress and will require two of your hands to maneuver it. The handle, however, is very comfortable and won’t get you achy when used for long. You will also find it quite easy to sharp because it has features to help it. Furthermore, Makita assured that the perfect alignment of the front and back grips will let you easily control the planer. It is also, double insulated, has guides and triangular rules.
- Great brand reputation and quality.
- Expected performance.
- Powerful motor.
- Fast and accurate.
- Produces smooth, even and satisfying results.
- Easy to use.
- Safe for use and also durable.
- Easy to maintain.
- Includes a number of accessories to improve performance.
- The power cord is long but sticky.
- The odd shape of the shavings exhaustion port makes it hard to find suitable vacuums.
If you are looking for a user-friendly and easy to deal with planer, this is a great choice. In fact, it asks the least of your efforts and gives you all of its own. Although it does not have the most powerful motor but does a decent job with its 5.5 amperes one. Its speed, however, won’t disappoint you in any way. Apparently, it has a speed of 17,000 RPM which enables it to cut 34,000 cuts per minute.
With a planning width of 3-1/4 inches, it can remove a considerable amount in one go so the surface is received is quite smooth and even. You can adjust the cutting depth 1/16 inches very accurately so it gives you ample control over your work. Furthermore, the 23/62 inch rabbeting depth and the precision machined-groove in the shoe really helps you to deal with edges. The resharpen-able high-speed steel blades are not only durable but also very efficient and easy to maintain. The package includes a blade sharpening tool in it.
You will find using it for a long time comfortable thanks to its ergonomically designed handles. Furthermore, it has a built-in kickstand that keeps the blade safe from friction when not in use. While it does have nice shaving and dust port, it does not, however, come with a vacuum hose neither a dust bag.
- Quite durable and sturdy.
- Good and ergonomic design.
- Decent power and speed.
- Produces smooth and even surfaces and also allows to chamfer.
- Includes a kickstand.
- Great quality blades that can also be replaced.
- Accurate adjustment and alignment.
- Easy to maintain.
- Does not include a dust bag.
- A bit expensive for what it offers.
- Cutting depth is not the best either.
Certainly not the best in the market but it does well for the price it comes at. If you are not into woodworking much let alone being a professional, this is a great choice. You can keep it for fixing doors or sudden, unexpected tasks that just need some smoothing or planing. With a 1000 Watt motor and a voltage of 110V, it is quite fast and powerful enough for the tasks you will have at hand. In fact, it has a speed of from13, 000-15,000 RPM which is quite decent. Apparently, it has a nice lively look with its blue color which will make you feel pleased enough to keep it on as a decoration. The cutting quality is good enough.
It is very easy to maneuver and use thanks to its lightweight body of 6.55 pounds and its design. Furthermore, it includes a blade sharpener to help maintenance and an instruction manual as well.
- Suitable for people who want a planer to use occasionally.
- Good motor power.
- Great speed.
- Ergonomic and user-friendly design.
- Performance is quite good.
- Not good for thicker or tougher woods.
- Lacks many features of expensive planers to make work easy and the result nice.
Your Hand Planer Buying Guide
This list will let you know pretty much everything about a hand planer and what to consider when buying one.
The types of hand planers: You can do a variety of woodworking with different kinds of planers. Some aid you to smooth the surface and some help you mold something on it. So, here are the various kinds of planers available and the task they will help you accomplish:
Block Planer: This is the type most people suggest to beginners. It is suitable for doing a number of tasks like smooth milling miles, handling sharp edges, planning end grain, etc. It is set on a lower angle than a bench plane and also has a shallow cutting angle that makes it good at slicing through wood fibers in the end grain. You will get a smooth finish with this planer.
Bench Planer: This planer is used to smooth and flatten the surface of the wood boards. In fact, it is the shortest planer among the various kinds of planers. Apparently, there are a number of types among the bench planers themselves.
- Smoothing Planers: You can guess from its name what it is used for. Yes, it is mainly used for smoothing the surface and providing a nice finish. This has a size and weight that helps to smooth the surface in the end.
- Jack Planers: The name is achieved through its trait of being the jack of all trades. In fact, it is versatile enough for being short enough to smooth and long enough to help to joint. That is it has a length that can flatten longer edges easily.
- Fore Planer: They are basically for flattening the boards. However, they can also be used to square stock before joining.
Jointer-Planer: As the name suggests, this planer is used for the joints of the boards. Apparently, the edges or the places where the boards will be joined in the future. For this purpose, these planers are quite long in length because longer the planer better it is at fattening the edges.
Shoulder Planer: This kind of planer has blades covering the whole width of it with flat sides. Apparently, they are great of trimming and cutting a plane across its entire width.
Bull Nose Planer: They are suitable for being used to create nice, smooth and square, finishing cuts. Apparently, they are shorter than the shoulder planer and might have blades that are wider than their own width to prevent binding against the rebate.
Rabbet Planer: This planer is like shoulder planer but it features fences that help it to cut parallel. Moreover, it features a depth-stop and may feature a sharp spur that cuts ahead to make the rebating better.
Apart from these there are many different kinds of planers like router planer, Japanese planer, plow planer, etc. You have to identify the type of task you will be doing and buy the type that supports it.
Electric or Manual: While there are motorized planers that do not require your hand to function, there are also electric ones that do. Manual hand planer depends on your strength and pressure to work. But, electric ones depend on you for directions and guidance and does not require much pressure or effort. However, you might have to deal with a wire in case of electric planers which may reduce its portability while in operation.
There are some extra features to consider when using electric hand planers:
Motor Power: One thing electric planers do have and the manual ones do not is the motor. The more powerful the motor, the more expensive and efficient it is. Therefore, if your needs are huge and professional, you should choose one with great power. However, if woodworking is just a hobby and you don’t need the best finish or capacity, a motor power of 5-6 amperes will suffice.
Control: Manual hand planers are completely dependent on you while the electric ones are not. So, you should check what the electric ones feature to enhance your control over it. You should have the options to adjust heights and move the planer as you please. Furthermore, there should be dust control accessories on it.
Cord: As we already mentioned that you might have a wire to deal with which will definitely be attached to a source. This will limit your area of work. Therefore if there is a cord, you should check that it is long enough to reach the places you need to plane. Or else, the preparation time and fruitless efforts will ruin not only your working mood but your day.
- The Body Material: The body of a planer is usually made of either wood or metal. Both of them have their own pros and cons. Apparently, the planers with a metal body are heavier and more durable and resistant to abrasive woods. Their heavyweight may aid in efficient cutting but too much of it poses a difficulty for portability. On the other hand, wooded planers are far more light but less resistant to abrasives. However, the wooden ones are really better at providing better, smoother finishes. So, you have to ultimately choose between these benefits.
- The frog type: If you have decided to buy a bench planer, this is an important factor to consider. The frog is a part of the plane that supports the blades. It should have design good enough to help its performance. Apparently, they are of two kinds generally. The Bailey frog is held in place with two screws and can be adjusted fully when the iron assembly is removed. While the Bedrock features recess at both sides which attaches it to the two ridges rigidly, it does not require you to disassemble the iron assembly to adjust it. In fact, you can adjust it with just the screws at the back of it.
- The Blade: It’s not only the blade’s quality you must check but also its placement and other details. First of all, make sure the blade is an efficient, sharp, high-quality and durable one. Secondly, check the thickness of the blade. The thicker blade the better. Because thin blades tend to flex while cutting and that produces an unsatisfying finish.
Third of all, check the angle of the blade. Blades with lower angles seem to slice more than scrape. As a result, they are perfect for end grain cutting. Similarly, blades having higher angles scrape more and thus are great for cutting complex grain patterns of lots like timbers and burrs. Then again, there are blades which are angled neither too low nor too high but just in the middle- 45-degrees. They are capable of handling both soft and hardwoods well. So, based on what kind of work you plan to do, check the angle the blade is placed at.
Safety: Since we have a blade involved, you must check how safe it is to use and keep. The planer should have ample features that keep the blade as covered by your hand and other parts as possible. Because you might make sudden mistakes while working but the safety features of the best hand planer should not let that mistake cost too much.
Price: This is a factor you just cannot avoid. When it comes to planers, if you expect better quality with more features, you will definitely have to pay more. However, there are also many cheap planers which provide much more value for their price. So, first set your budget and need, then look for a best planer within your range.
The Benefits of a Hand Planer
Despite there being heavier and heavy-duty power planers to do the planing job themselves, the demand for hand planers is still on the rise. The reason is the benefits you get:
- Portability: You might not always be able to take the wood to your planer. Moreover, it is much better to have both the objects needed to be portable than one to be too heavy to move. You can take it and keep it anywhere and use it in any way you want. This is particularly because of the compact and lightweight designs of hand planers to aid in holding it.
- Cheaper: With the heavy parts and the weight comes with the heavy price tag. Therefore, the lighter hand planers are much cheaper yet equally useful so they are preferred more.
- Efficient and Better: While you have to depend completely on the heavy machines to do its job in its own way, you can have your way with hand planers. In fact, you can produce better results by mixing your efforts and skills with the hand planers capability.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the steps I should follow to use an electric hand planer?
Answer: In order to use an electric planer, you have to follow the following steps:
- Firstly, you have to make sure that the blades are in place, facing the right directions and are properly aligned.
- Connect the cord to the power source and if it’s cordless just turn on the device and adjust it to your required depth and lock it.
- Place the planer on the surface you want to plane and move it in the forward direction. Apparently, you have to apply the same force at the same level to get the best results.
There is hardly anything more left for you to know about hand planers. With so much information in your head, it’s highly unlikely for you to get a planer that does not suit your needs. Still be careful and check the quality of the planer and more reviews. So, go out there and find the best hand planer for yourself to live a creative and productive life.