Best electric hand planers for effortless wood shaping

Best electric hand planer

Do you just want to know which electric hand planer is the best? WEN 6530 is your best choice. Keep on reading to find out why.

Trying to distinguish between the various electric hand planers in today’s market is overwhelming. It can feel like a fine line between getting a quality tool and getting ripped off.

I want to share the information below to help you find the best electric hand planer while avoiding the lemons.

Top Pick
WEN 6530 6-Amp Electric Hand Planer, 3-1/4-Inch
The Runner-Up
Makita XPK01Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless 3-1/4-Inch...
Premium Choice
DEWALT Hand Planer, 7-Amp, 3-1/4-Inch (DW680K)
Title
WEN 6530 6-Amp Electric Hand Planer, 3-1/4-Inch
Makita XPK01Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless 3-1/4-Inch...
DEWALT Hand Planer, 7-Amp, 3-1/4-Inch (DW680K)
Cut size
3-1/4-Inch
3-1/4-Inch
3-1/4-Inch
Maximum Cut depth
1/8 Inches
5/64 Inches
3/32-inch
Motor
6-amp, 120 V, 17,000 RPM
Uses 3-4-5-6 amp/hr Batteries
7-amp, 120 V, 15,000 RPM
Weight
6 lbs
7.4 lbs
11.8 lbs
Corded/Cordless
Corded
Cordless
Corded
Client Rating
Prime
Top Pick
WEN 6530 6-Amp Electric Hand Planer, 3-1/4-Inch
Title
WEN 6530 6-Amp Electric Hand Planer, 3-1/4-Inch
Cut size
3-1/4-Inch
Maximum Cut depth
1/8 Inches
Motor
6-amp, 120 V, 17,000 RPM
Weight
6 lbs
Corded/Cordless
Corded
Client Rating
Prime
Learn More
The Runner-Up
Makita XPK01Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless 3-1/4-Inch...
Title
Makita XPK01Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless 3-1/4-Inch...
Cut size
3-1/4-Inch
Maximum Cut depth
5/64 Inches
Motor
Uses 3-4-5-6 amp/hr Batteries
Weight
7.4 lbs
Corded/Cordless
Cordless
Client Rating
Prime
Learn More
Premium Choice
DEWALT Hand Planer, 7-Amp, 3-1/4-Inch (DW680K)
Title
DEWALT Hand Planer, 7-Amp, 3-1/4-Inch (DW680K)
Cut size
3-1/4-Inch
Maximum Cut depth
3/32-inch
Motor
7-amp, 120 V, 15,000 RPM
Weight
11.8 lbs
Corded/Cordless
Corded
Client Rating
Prime
Learn More

What Can You Do With An Electric Hand Planer?

An electric hand planer can be a great addition to your tool arsenal. There are many uses for electric hand planers, including:

 Smoothing wood surfaces  – an electric hand planer can smooth out a rough surface quickly. It leaves the edges and faces of your timber even and closer to parallel.
 Dimension boards  – A secondary function of the electric hand planer is the ability to adjust the dimensions of the board. You can trim down an edge for the proper width, or you can make passes with it to bring down the overall thickness of your lumber.
 Improve accuracy  – This power tool will increase the accuracy of your work. It saves time and makes woodworking more enjoyable.

Why Buy An Electric Hand Planer?

 Save space  – An important consideration, especially for small shops, is finding space to store and use your tools. Electric hand planers require less room because they lack a cabinet or stand. You can also store them under your bench.
 Portability  – Having portable tools is a must if you work in a shared space, such as a garage or basement. These tools work well in locations outside of your shop, where it may prove impossible to set up a full-sized planer.
 Larger boards  – A full-sized planer is limited in the size of the material it can handle. You will struggle with boards that are too heavy or long. Hand-held electric planers can address any wood surface you can reach.
 Efficiency & Speed  – A final consideration is your speed and workflow in the shop. This type of power tool can improve your efficiency, especially when working with bulky materials. It is also less work than using hand-powered tools.

Are Electric Hand Planers Dangerous To Use?

Caution is required when operating any power tool. Things that might catch you by surprise include:

  • Noise – This tool is loud when cutting, use ear protection;
  • Blade spin – Do not put your planer down until the blades stop;
  • Inspect wood – Make sure there are no foreign objects embedded in the material you are planning.

Are Electric Hand Planers Easy To Use?

Yes. After using your planer a couple of times, you will discover how easy planning with this power tool is.

Blade depth is adjustable with a knob. A good design will provide ergonomic handles for both hands, allowing you to control the tool as it cuts.

Remember to start the tool with the cutting blade off of the wood. Also, apply even pressure as you move across the board.

How Does It Compare To Other Tools?

Electric Planer vs Traditional Hand Plane

The electric hand planer operates like a traditional hand plane. It performs the same tasks. Electric hand planes are faster, and they are also easier to use. An electric hand plane isn’t used that often in fine woodworking, though. A hand plane will generally give you a finer surface.

Electric Hand Planer vs Jointer

A good jointer can provide a more accurate cut due to the combination of a fence and a table. The hand planer can dimension lumber that is too bulky or too heavy to bring to a jointer. Electric hand planers can go where jointers can not, and that includes the best benchtop jointers.

Electric Hand Planer vs Thickness Planer

Both tools can smooth a rough surface. A thickness planer excels at creating a uniform thickness on timber. An electric hand planer is not capable of doing that job as accurately (or as quickly) as the best thickness planers can.

What makes the best power hand planer?

 Power  – My late grandfather used to remind me that a good power tool “brought enough horses to the rodeo.” Power is key to hand planer function, so you need at least five amps. Remember, more is better here.

 Material capacity  – Most models will provide you with at least 3.25-inches of cutting width. The wider the blade, the more material it will remove with each pass. An electric hand planer should also take a 1/8-inch deep cut and provides adjustments for the depth.

 Blade design  – Cheap models use a single blade. A two or three-blade design is more efficient and will produce better results. The materials used in blade construction are also something you should consider.

 Weight  – Weight can be a factor when comparing two models with similar features. More durable designs will weigh more, but it can also cause operator fatigue when compared to a lightweight product.

 Additional features  – A fence can improve your cuts and help keep the planer parallel along board edges. Dust ports that swivel will allow you to select the best angle for debris ejection. Finally, quality materials improve the longevity and performance of electric hand planers.

Best Hand Power Planer Reviews


WEN 6530 – Top Pick

WEN 6530 6-Amp Electric Hand Planer, 3-1/4-Inch
  • 6-amp motor provides up to 34,000 cuts per minute
  • 16 positive stops adjust the cutting depth anywhere from 0 to 1/8 inches
  • Make rabbets up to 7/10 inch in size with the included rabbeting guide

OVERVIEW

The 6530 provides users with an electric hand plane at an affordable price. That will put this specialized power tool in your hands even if you are working on a tight budget.

WEN has included a variety of features to make this planer easy to use. One example is the depth adjustments. It offers 16 positive stops, allowing you to set up quickly. This product has a maximum cut depth of 1/8-inch.

This model provides a standard 3.25-inch wide cutting capacity, but it is worth noting that WEN also has a smaller and larger blade width available.

The cutter head holds two blades. These are High-Speed Steel (HSS), and they are reversible. You will not notice a change in quality when compared to other blade designs.

A six amp electric motor is used to power this hand planer. It can deliver up to 34,000 Cuts Per Minute (CPM) under no-load conditions. Nominally, you will achieve 30,000 CPM or more in most woods.

It measures approximately 12-inches x 7-inches x 7-inches. The weight is only about 6.5-pounds. Lighter materials allow WEN to keep this design lightweight for easier use.

The dust shoot is multi-directional, allowing you to adjust it in the best direction as you work. It includes a parallel fence bracket that will help keep you flush on the surface. A chamfer groove and rabbeting guide aid in performing those tasks crisply and quickly.

Pros

  • It is affordable. You will not break the bank with this unit;
  • This planer is easy to use. Minimal features prevent complicated operations;
  • Weighs only six pounds. Lower weights equate to less fatigue.

Cons

  • Made from cheaper materials. These won’t last as long as some of the higher-tier power planers on this list;
  • The dust bag is small. This will fill up quickly.

Makita XPK01Z – best Cordless Hand Planer

Makita XPK01Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless 3-1/4-Inch...
  • Planes Up to 3-1/4" Wide and 5/64" Deep in a Single Pass
  • 2-blade cutter head with double edge carbide blades for added performance and smooth finish
  • High power-to-weight ratio; weighs only 7.4 lbs.

OVERVIEW

This planer stands out from other models on this list because it is cordless. Makita offers this tool-only planer in an 18-volt design, which is plenty of power for cutting across your project’s surface.

It uses a configuration that cuts 3.25-inches across. Unfortunately, the depth of the cut reaches only 5/64-inch deep. That is fine for smooth wood, but it is underwhelming when planning rough surfaces.

The electric motor provides 18 volts of power to the cutter head when fully charged. This generates up to 14,000 RPMs on the cutter head.

The two-blade design will make a maximum of 28,000 CPM with no-load. You should reach that potential with a fresh battery, but it will drop down as the battery pack discharges.

It uses a depth adjustment knob that clicks as you alter the shoe placement. That is crucial, considering that the product provides a limited depth of cut.

The manufacturer engineered this hand planer for balance. You will notice this even with the battery in place. Ergonomic handles with cushions provide a comfortable grip that is natural when addressing the wood surface.

It includes an electric brake. That will stop the blades once the power switch is no longer depressed. You will notice a faster workflow due to this addition.

Pros

  • Cordless tool goes anywhere. You can work in hard to reach places with no outlets;
  • A well-machined aluminum base. This is very flat and provides greater accuracy;
  • 18-volt nominal power. The tool should handle any wood surface without bogging down.

Cons

  • It takes only 5/64-inch of material off per pass. That means more work for rough boards;
  • This is a tool only buy. You need to provide the battery pack and charger separately.

DeWalt DW680K Electric Hand Planer

Sale
DEWALT Hand Planer, 7-Amp, 3-1/4-Inch (DW680K)
  • The product is highly durable
  • The product is easy to use
  • Manufactured in China

OVERVIEW

A big difference you will see right away between the WEN model and the DW680K is the price. That does buy you several upgrades, however.

The blade is 3.25-inches in width. A key difference here will be the increased motor size. This product uses a seven amp electric motor, allowing you to cut through material more readily.

It takes up to 3/32-inch off with each pass. That is less than ideal, as you will need to make more passes when trimming down your stock. The knob used to make depth adjustments can be micro-adjusted, and it is very accurate.

The two blades can produce up to 30,000 CPM under ideal conditions, with fewer rotations achieved in harder woods. A larger engine should help to keep the 15,000 RPM range accessible.

DeWalt has designed this tool to accept either High-Speed Steel (HSS) or Carbide blades. You can install blades that provide greater speed or cleaner cuts, depending upon the job.

This model weighs 11.8 pounds, which is a noticeable difference when compared to the WEN hand planer. Overall dimensions are about 15.8-inches x 11.4-inches x 9.8-inches, making it bulkier as well.

You do get a fence bracket and a sturdy carry case with your purchase. DeWalt also provides its standard three-year limited warranty on this hand planer.

Pros

  • DeWalt includes a seven amp motor. That will power through any project;
  • The depth knob is calibrated. You can make accurate micro-adjustments;
  • It is designed to accept a variety of blades. You can get varying quality of cuts.

Cons

  • This product is more expensive. The price difference with the WEN is noticeable;
  • DeWalt does not include a dust bag. There are minimal accessories included in the kit.

PORTER-CABLE PC60THP

PORTER-CABLE Hand Planer, 6-Amp, 5/64-Inch (PC60THP)
  • Heavy-duty 6 amp motor
  • Dual side dust extraction allows for extraction on either side of the tool
  • Overmold depth knob with 10 positive steps

OVERVIEW

An 11.5-inch shoe provides great length for this hand planer. The long base plate works like a Fore plane, allowing for faster stock removal and flattening.

Porter-Cable provides a standard 3.25-inch cutting width on this planer. It is limited in depth to 5/64-inch at maximum. You will need to make multiple passes on the rougher stock.

A six amp motor powers the hand planer. That is sufficient power considering the maximum cutting depth this power tool provides.

The cutter head can reach up to 16,500 RPMs under no-load conditions. This is higher than many of the other models, providing up to 33,000 CPM with its two blades.

It uses two blades for cutting. This will work well for flattening as well as for cutting rabbets. You can create rabbets up to .47-inches depth, and the shoe also provides three chamfering grooves for a variety of chamfer angles.

An ergonomic design does suffer from the split located along the length of the control handle. It has a large depth adjustment knob that provides a nice off-hand resting point. That control knob offers 10 adjustment points for micro-adjusting.

This product has a great coverage plan, especially when considering its small price tag. Porter-Cable offers a 90-day money-back guarantee, one year of free service, as well as a three-year limited warranty on this electric hand planer.

Pros

  • The 11.5-inch long base plate. Its length helps with clean-up;
  • Dual-side dust ports. Provides two connection points for extraction;
  • Over-molded depth knob. This provides a nice hold for larger hands.

Cons

  • A seam runs down the center of the tool. That includes the handle;
  • Accessories are an afterthought. They are cheaply made.

DEWALT DCP580B 20V MAX Brushless Planer

DEWALT DCP580B 20V MAX Brushless Planer (Tool Only)
  • Brushless motor which provides power and runtime of 32,000 cuts per minute
  • Calibrated depth adjustment knob to 5/64" (2 mm approximately) and no load speed is 15000 rpm
  • Precision-machined front and back aluminum shoes ensure parallelism of cut

OVERVIEW

The second cordless design we are looking at provides you with plenty of power for a hand planer. The 20V MAX battery platform operates nominally at 18-volts. The 20-volt status is a maximum potential charge, which will give you a longer runtime.

You can take up to 5/64-inch off with every pass. It provides a standard 3.25-inch wide cutting path as well. The depth of the cut is shallow, but it will not overwhelm the motor.

This power tool is part of DeWalt’s XP series. These tools use a brushless motor design, which should extend the lifespan of the motor itself. It will generate up to 15,000 RPMs under no-load conditions.

The two-blade design will reach up to 32,000 CPM. That is possible with a fully charged battery pack, but it will drop down with use.

A chamfer groove is added to the front shoe, allowing you to run it on the corners of your boards. The base plate is machined for precision, and the overall build is made from durable materials.

Those materials, along with the brushless motor, make this a professional-grade tool. DeWalt offers a three-year limited warranty on this hand planer. The company also provides plenty of online support as well as service centers in the North American market.

Pros

  • A durable design. DeWalt uses quality plastics and metals;
  • High-contrast markings. You can read the depth knob easily;
  • XR tool design. The XR indicates a brushless motor is used.

Cons

  • Its handle position is along the back of the tool. This makes it less-ergonomic than it could be;
  • The 20V MAX battery platform is expensive. That is worth considering for this tool-only purchase.

Thining Out The Choices

With all things considered, the best hand planer out of those we looked at is the WEN 6530 Electric Hand Planer.

The six amps of power provide you enough strength to get through most projects without bogging down.

A 3.25-inch wide cutting path is also standard, and you can get up to 1/8-inch deep with each pass. This is deeper than some of the others.

A two-blade design creates up to 34,000 CPM, which is more than some of the other planers.

This design is one of the lightest, at just six pounds. WEN includes a kickstand, dust-collection bag, and a parallel fence bracket with your purchase.

Finally, this product is budget-friendly. That makes it a powerful tool anyone can take advantage of!

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