When buying power tools in today’s market you have to make sure that the tool provides you with adequate value for the money you are paying. Sadly, this is not always the case with today’s benchtop thickness planers.
In this WEN planer review, you will find out whether WEN’s 6552T and 6550T power planers are a good fit for your workshop. You will learn what features make them stand out, what other buyers think, and try to find possible alternatives should the two thickness planers from WEN not fit your needs.
WEN 6552T & 6550T compared
Why buy a thickness planer?
- Save time in the shop
- Improve your accuracy
- Use boards of the proper thickness
Best benchtop thickness planers provide small shop owners the ability to save time. For many of us, woodworking is a hobby that we do in our spare time.
One of the main benefits of using power tools, like a thickness planer, is that it does the job quickly so that we can move on to other steps in the building process.
Another feature that makes these power tools great is its ability to provide accurate results. A thickness planer will produce repeatable and uniform results which would be difficult to achieve with a power hand planer for example.
Having the ability to use boards of the correct thickness improves the look and function of your projects. Your thickness planer provides you with clean boards that are thin enough for a small box or thick enough for a kitchen table.
If you make boxes, cabinets, or use glue-up panels in your shop, you will find a benchtop thickness planer useful.
Presenting The WEN Benchtop Thickness Planers
- 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
- Granite table provides a sturdy non-marring surface for wood to smoothly travel over
- Plane boards up to 6 inches thick and 12.5 inches wide
- 15A motor generates 17,000 cuts per minute at a 26 feet per minute feed rate
The WEN 6552T (and 6550T) offers you an entry-level planer that is budget-friendly. It is easy to use with a minimalist design. This product also folds up for easier storage and moving.
The 6552T and 6550T models come with the planer and no extras.
This benchtop thickness planer is ideal for novice woodworkers and those who are new to power tools. It is a reasonable purchase for occasional use.
Professional woodworkers and shops that do a lot of planning may want something with more power, features, and durability.
- This thickness planer is reasonably priced;
- The 6552T can generate 25,500 CPM;
- Its dust port is fan-assisted;
- Minimal controls make it easy to use.
- It only takes a maximum of 3/32-inch of material;
- The limited warranty coverage is only for two-years;
- There is a notable drop in the 6550T power.
WEN planer review (6552T & 6550T)
One of the first things that stands out with this thickness planer is the sticker price. Both of these WEN thickness planers are available for a lower price point compared to some of the other planers in the same product range.
This is important for users who are on a budget. It can also be a factor for those who are unsure about buying a specialized power-tool that they will not use all of the time.
The lower price point does not affect the amount of material that this tool can handle. The 6552T can hold wooden boards that are up to six inches thick. It can also plane material that is up to 13-inches wide.
These ranges represent those found on the top-range of benchtop designs. I have yet to work on projects that go beyond these limits in my woodworking journey.
The only scenarios where larger capacities are encountered would be in professional settings, and those cases, a full-sized cabinet planer would be used.
WEN includes a 15 amp electric motor in the 6552T benchtop thickness planer. This is a standard size for most models in this range and should handle most soft or hardwoods without bogging down.
The 6552T generates up to 25,000 Cuts Per Minute under no-load conditions. A lower potential of 17,000 CPM is possible with the 6550T variation. Those CPM rates are produced with a feed rate of 26 feet per minute.
The power generated by this thickness planer will be enough for home shops and amateur woodworkers. You will not be slowed down by the feed rate.
WEN includes folding wings on both sides of the planer table. these act as infeed and outfeed support as your boards move through the planer.
These tables can be adjusted. That feature allows you to set each one so that materials will move easily through the planer as it cuts.
The 6552T has a cast-iron table. This provides a rigid platform that will not twist during use. A granite table has been added with the 6550T, providing a smoother surface that will not mare your wood.
Cutter head and blades
The WEN 6552T uses a cutter head with three blades, while the WEN 6550T employs a two-knife design.
You will get up to 25,000 CPM with three blades. This generates less tear-out on the wood fibers. It also makes a smoother overall surface on the face that you planned.
The two-blade design will reach up to 17,000 CPM. You would see a difference in overall quality between the cuts in woods that tend to chip easily or around knots.
Using three blades will allow them to last longer than those on the two blade setup. These blades are made from strong steel that will hold its edge for longer periods of use. They are also reversible, providing more use before they are replaced.
An important consideration that is often overlooked is dust extraction capabilities. The WEN thickness planers are designed with a dust extraction port on the back of the tool.
The 6550T has a two-inch port, while the 6552T has an adaptor that fits 2, 2.5, or 4-inch connectors. Thickness planers generate a lot of debris, and these sizes provide enough room for chips and dust to move.
WEN has also included a fan that assists with extraction. This will help to keep the path clear and allow materials to move through the port without clogging it up.
Ease of use
One stand out feature offered by WEN is the simple design of this thickness planer. Adjustments for cutter head height and depth of cut provide accurate controls. A power switch with a safety key rounds out the minimal controls, keeping things easy for novice users.
What Buyers Are Saying About The WEN 6552T
To make this WEN 6552t review as accurate as possible, I scoured the internet to determine what others thought about its performance.
Many customers felt that the surface planer performed great, especially at the price point. This is worth considering if you have concerns about the quality of results you can obtain.
Newer woodworkers have found that using it provides them with quality results and ease of use.
Professional woodworkers also find the WEN 6552T a good buy that provides nice results.
Alternatives To The WEN Thickness Planers
DeWalt DW734 Benchtop 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.
This 12.5-inch planer uses a 15 amp motor to generate up to 96 Cuts Per Inch, providing a fairly nice surface. DeWalt tools are also known for using durable materials in the product’s design.
This product will prove useful for busy shops. If you are looking to upgrade your cutting depth and durability, consider the DeWalt DW734.
- Longer tables;
- A longer warranty;
- Up to 1/8-inch cut.
DeWalt DW735X Benchtop 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 product can operate at two speeds. You can select 96 CPM for faster cutting or 179 CPM for a smoother surface. DeWalt also offers excellent customer support.
This model provides a professional-grade tool that will withstand rough treatment in the shop or at the worksite.
Advanced woodworkers and professionals should look more closely at this design, as it provides some of the best features.
- Two speed operation;
- Longer tables;
- Heavier construction.
Craftsman CMEW320 Benchtop Planer
- HARD AND SOFT WOOD MATERIAL REMOVAL: 15 Amp motor of the woodworking planer provides power for both hard and soft wood material removal
- MAXIMUM STOCK REMOVAL: The thickness planer features Poly-V Cutterhead drive for maximum stock removal
- SMOOTH OPERATION: The wood planer featuring two knife, quick change, solid steel cutter head mounted on ball bearings, assures smooth operation and long life
This design is budget-friendly due to the materials used and limited features. A quick change design makes swapping out the two blades fast and efficient.
Those new to power tools and woodworking may find this product a reasonable option to start with.
Those who are working with a small shop budget should consider looking closely at the Craftsman CMEW320 as an alternative.
- A low price point;
- Lightweight design;
- Uses high-carbon steel blades.
WEN for the WIN?
This WEN planer review highlights the main features found on the 6552T and 6550T models. Both of these planers provide plenty of power with 15 amp electric motors. This design generates up to 25,500 CPM 17,000 CPM for and 6552T and 6550T respectively with a feed rate of 26 feet per minute.
Both of these inexpensive planers from WEN make a great purchase for entry-level woodworkers looking to improve their accuracy when planning boards. You will find it saves a lot of time that can be spent on other building steps.
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