Many woodworkers would like a benchtop planer that helps them dimension their lumber without breaking the bank. I am writing this Porter Cable PC305TP review to help you determine if the features it offers will meet your needs in the shop.
Does the Porter-Cable PC305TP thickness planer have the capacity and the power you need? Let’s find out.
Why would you want to buy a thickness planer?
- A thickness planer gives you access to a wider variety of woods
- Improves your accuracy
- Saves you time
- Relatively small footprint
At some point, you are going to want the ability to work with different varieties of wood. Best benchtop thickness planers allow you to dimension rough-sawn lumber. Working with rough-sawn lumber allows you to build more interesting projects.
Power tools provide us with accuracy. Increasing the precision in your shop limits waste and prevents frustration.
For me personally, the choice to use power-tools comes down to saving time. While everyone can appreciate craftsmanship with hand woodworking planes, I find that my time for woodworking is precious enough to justify using a benchtop thickness planer.
Old power tools required dedicated shop space. Today’s benchtop models offer access to these tools in a more compact design.
If you are branching out from using pre-dimensioned building materials, a thickness planer will help. This tool will also prove beneficial in shops that need thinner boards for projects.
Presenting the Porter-Cable PC305TP Benchtop Thickness Planer
This 12-inch planer represents the lower-end capacity of the benchtop market. New woodworkers and first-time shoppers should be well-served by that width.
Porter-Cable employs a 15 amp electronic motor to power this benchtop thickness planer. That rates at 8,000 RPMs on the cutter head rotation. You want to remember that the rating is under ideal conditions.
This thickness planer uses a two-knife cutting head. Top cuts will be near 16,000 cuts per minute.
Porter-Cable promises users a quality cut at a high feed rate. The rest of this Porter Cable PC305TP review will examine those claims.
This product comes with the planer only.
The target audience is novice woodworkers or small shops. Advanced users and professional settings may want a larger power tool with more features.
- Patterned elevation for the cutter head
- Compact design
- Reasonable price point
- Maximum of 12-inch width
- Only two knives
- Shorter table wings
Porter-Cable PC305TP Planer Review
- A 12-inch maximum width
- Up to 6 inches in thickness
The cutter head on this model is adjustable to varying heights. That will allow you to feed materials up to six inches in thickness into the machine. A six-inch capacity is standard for benchtop planers across the market.
Porter-Cable’s PC305TP thickness planer advertises two widths, 12 and 12.5-inches. This Porter Cable planer review will examine the product as a 12-inch model, but you should be aware that both dimensions are available. This difference will not matter for most users who are looking for their first thickness planer.
The 12-inch maximum board width is the smallest width that benchtop planers are designed as. It is a width that should suffice for most lumber that you will work with. You should only find this to be a limit if you are sourcing large timber locally that has limited milling.
Motor power and speed
- Uses a 15-amp motor
- 8,000 RPM
- This is a single-speed product
Porter-Cable includes a 15 amp single-phase electronic motor in this thickness planer. That size is standard in the market and should cut through most soft and hardwoods without issue.
The single-phase motor provides one continuous speed. This product does not offer users the ability to change operating speeds. It keeps things simple for new power-tool users.
Table and wings
- Includes infeed and outfeed table wings
- Wings fold up and are adjustable
Porter-Cable uses cast aluminum on the table below the cutting head. The design is stable and should not move or twist during use. It has a polished surface that is designed to keep friction at a minimum.
This design includes an infeed and outfeed table extension. These come connected to the planer and fold up when not in use. They are made from aluminum.
You might notice that the table design uses lighter materials that keep both the price and the weight down. That will also affect the durability of these components, however.
You can adjust the height of the table wings. This is important as the tables will need to be aligned.
- Two-knife head
- 8,000 RPMs
- 26.2-feet feeding rate
The PC305TP uses two blades on the cutter head. That produces a maximum cutting speed of 16,000 cuts per minute when the motor speed of 8,000 RPMs is considered.
This maximum speed is under no-load conditions. You will likely experience slower speeds while cutting, especially when working with hardwood grains. It is also worth noting that the 16,000 cuts per minute are lower than what you can achieve with higher gear speeds or with a three-blade cutting head.
The feed rate for this planer is listed as 26.2 feet per minute. You should be able to maintain this rate without any slowing during use. Faster feed rates would produce a rough surface.
You will get two High Carbon Steel (HCS) blades with the planer. Each blade is reversible, providing more time before a change-out is required. These blades are designed to be disposed of once they are dull.
The maximum cut you can take with each pass through the planer is 3/32 inches. Porter-Cable includes a chart of recommended settings based on the material hardness and width of the board. A minimum cutting depth of 3/64 inches is suggested on a 12-inch hardwood board.
- 90-day money-back guarantee
- One year of free service
- 3-year limited warranty
The coverage that Porter-Cable offers on this item is solid. It should not come as a surprise as Porter-Cable is a subsidiary of Stanley Black & Decker, and is similar to what DeWalt offers.
Porter-Cable PC305TP Client Reviews
I scoured the internet during my research to see what others were saying. Their positive opinions support the features discussed in this Porter Cable PC305TP review.
A consistent comment by many users was that this product was easy to set up from the box. That is a quality that novice woodworkers and first-time buyers will appreciate.
A product that performs above expectations is a good buy. Another consistent theme among users is that this planer is a fantastic machine with a strong performance for the price.
Experienced users find it to be a good upgrade or replacement for their old thickness planers.
Porter-Cable PC305TP Alternatives
DeWalt DW735X Benchtop Thickness Planer
- Purchase includes one stationary 13" Planer, in/out feed tables with fasteners (attached to the base of the Planer base), extra blades and dust hose adapter. Stand is not included.
- Three knife cutter head of the thickness planer delivers 30% longer knife life and makes knife change faster and easier
- Two-speed gear box of the wood planer allows users to change feed speed to optimizing cuts per inch at 96 or 179 CPI
This model offers more width capacity and extra speed of operation. It uses three blades for smoother results as well.
This is a professional-grade tool marketed for contractors and serious woodworkers.
- Can operate at two different speeds
- Has a 13-inch maximum width capacity
- It has a larger price tag
Professionals and busy amateurs may want to look further into the additional features of the DeWalt DW735X.
WEN 6552 Benchtop Thickness Planer
- Onboard material removal gauge informs users about the cutting depth of each pass
- Plane boards up to 6 in. T and 13 in. W
- 15 Amp motor generates 25,500 cuts per minute at a 26 ft. per minute feed rate
Planers produce lots of debris, and this model can keep up with the waste thanks to its efficient dust collection system. This planer is also very easy to use, even for complete beginners.
Shops looking for a simple thickness planer are the target audience of this power tool.
- Includes a fan-assisted dust system
- Makes up to 25,500 cuts per minute
- The table surface is smaller overall
Smaller workshops looking for a simple-to-use but larger size should explore the WEN 6552T further.
DeWalt DW734 Benchtop Thickness Planer
- Powerful 15 amp, 20,000 rpm motor of the woodworking planer handles larger, deeper cuts in hardwoods.
- Three-knife cutter head with 10,000 rpm cutter-head speed of the thickness planer provides 96 cuts per inch, one of the finest finishes of any portable planer
- Disposable, reversible knives of the wood planer deliver 30% more knife life and make knife change fast and easy.
Extra-long infeed and outfeed tables, along with clear markings, make this thickness planer a popular choice among first-time buyers.
Woodworkers wanting more durability in the 12-inch planer range will benefit from this model.
- 33.5-inches of material support
- 96 cuts per inch
- The four-column carriage could be improved
If you want better material support to eliminate snipe, check out the full features found on the DeWalt DW734.
The Final Cut
The Porter-Cable PC305TP handles boards six inches thick and up to 12 inches in width. It provides up to 16,000 CPM with two knives that are easy to change out. This product is also compact and weighs only 64.8 pounds.
I hope that this Porter Cable planer review demonstrates its ability for cleaning-up timber on novice and intermediate projects. A reasonable price tag and product coverage also make it worth your consideration.
Make sure to check out the PC305TP on Amazon today!
- Powerful 15 Amp motor of the woodworking planer is made for superior stock removal
- The thickness planer featuring two knife, quick change, solid steel cutter, head mounted on ball bearings, assures smooth operation and long life
- High Carbon Steel, double edged, reversible knives of the wood planer is made for twice the cutting life