The 5 Best Benchtop Planers For 2019 [Our Reviews and Comparisons]
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Planers are pretty essential tools when it comes to woodworking. However, they can be really big and heavy. If you want something more portable and lighter, a benchtop planer is what you are looking for. That said, it can be hard to find a really good one, which is what we are here for today, to help you find the best benchtop planer on the market.
|TOP PICK||1. DEWALT DW735X Planer Package||
|RUNNER UP||2. Grizzly G0505 Planer||
|3. DEWALT DW734 Benchtop Planer||
|4. WEN 6552 Benchtop Thickness Planer||
|5. Makita 2012NB 12-Inch Planer||
Best Benchtop Planer: Reviews
1. DEWALT DW735X Planer Package
If you need a reasonably price benchtop planer, one that is super powerful and can handle some very large jobs, the DEWALT DW735X Planer Package might just be the right option for you. It’s a dual speed planer that can handle most basic jobs.
The DEWALT DW735X Planer Package is a neat item to go with, because for one, it comes with a really powerful motor. This thing features a 15 amp 20,000 RPM motor, with a 10,000 cutter speed. You definitely cannot say that this planer is lacking in power and speed. Keep in mind that this is a dual speed planer where you can select between 96 cuts per inch for dimensioning to get boards down to size, and 186 cuts per inch for finishing so you can get precise cuts for finished pieces of wood.
What is pretty impressive about the DEWALT DW735X Planer Package is that it can handle some fairly large pieces of wood, even though it is a benchtop model. It has a maximum width of 13 inches, a depth capacity of 6 inches, and a maximum cutting depth of 1/8 inches. As you can see, for a benchtop model, it can handle some fairly big pieces of wood, although of course not as large a full scale planer. What we do have to say is that this thing weighs over 100 pounds, so it is not really portable in the least. Also, mounting it to a work bench can be a bit of a pain in the neck.
The DEWALT DW735X Planer Package has 3 knife cutter heads, knifes made of really durable metals which are said to last up to 30% longer than other knives of comparable value. Another neat feature here is the fan assisted wood chip ejector, which helps to get sawdust and wood chips out of the way for easy use and precise action. You might also like how this thing comes with both infeed and outfeed tables for convenience and ease of use, plus you even get an extra set of knives too.
The good part about the DEWALT DW735X Planer Package is that it can handle some big jobs for a bench top model. It might be a bench top model, but it is indeed quite big, heavy, fast, and powerful. Coming with dual speeds for rougher dimensioning or more accurate finishing is another big bonus too. The outfeed and infeed tables which are included definitely make life easier as well.
Something which we don’t like about the DEWALT DW735X Planer Package is that it is quite heavy and definitely not portable in the least. Moreover, the warranty it comes with is a bit lackluster. Finally, the chain mechanism has been known to jam on occasion.
- Can do fairly large jobs
- Dual cutting speeds
- Very durable and powerful
- Not portable
- Chain issues
2. DEWALT DW734 Benchtop Planer
This is another great DEWALT benchtop planer to keep in mind. Now, this one is similar to the one which we just reviewed above, but it only has 1 cutting speed instead of 2 , it’s a bit smaller and lighter, and it does not cost as much either. It’s a good option to go with for basic wood planing, especially for basic dimensioning.
The DEWALT DW734 Benchtop Planer does have quite the powerful motor. Here you get a 15 amp motor that has the ability to produce 20,000 RPM, with the blade speed being 10,000 RPM. Just like the above model we looked at, this thing definitely has some power to work with. Now, the difference here is that this model is a single speed model, whereas the above item was a dual speed. This one has the ability to make up to 96 cuts per inch, which is fine for basic dimensioning. However, it cannot go over that number and is therefore not the best for super fine and accurate finishes.
In terms of the weight and size, the DEWALT DW734 Benchtop Planer weighs 80 pounds, which is a good deal lighter than the above model, which does help make it a bit more portable, although it is still fairly heavy. The size capacity here is about the same. The DEWALT DW734 Benchtop Planer can handle board widths of 12.5 inches, it has a maximum depth of 6 inches, and a maximum cutting depth of 1/8 inches. Just like the previous model, for a benchtop planer, this thing can handle some pretty decent sized jobs.
The DEWALT DW734 Benchtop Planer comes with a 3 knife cutter head, with the knives being made of very durable metals for long lasting use. They stay sharp for quite some time indeed. What you might also like here is that this thing comes with a four column carriage lock to reduce vibrations and movement, in order to increase both accuracy and safety. The material removal gauge and large thickness scale also help ensure a greater level of accuracy. While this model does not come with an infeed table, it does come with an outfeed table, something which is always nice.
What we like about the DEWALT DW734 Benchtop Planer is that it comes with a whole lot of power and can handle some pretty big jobs, while the item itself is not overly large or heavy, but we still would not really call it portable. All in all, this is just a really useful, durable, and fast working benchtop planer.
Something which we do not like about the DEWALT DW734 Benchtop Planer is that it only has the one cutting speed. Yeah, it is fine for dimensioning, but not the best for really fine and accurate finishes. On a side note, the belt wheel tends to have issues.
- Very easy to use
- Great for basic dimensioning
- Doesn’t take up much space
- Very powerful
- Only has the one cutting speed
- Issues with the belt wheel
3. WEN 6552 Benchtop Thickness Planer
So far on our list today, this is the smallest and lightest bench top planer we have looked at. This is one which we might actually consider as being quite portable, but it still manages to do some fairly decent size jobs, plus it has a decent amount of power too, all for quite the reasonable price to boot.
One of the highlights of the WEN 6552 Benchtop Thickness Planer is that it comes with a fan assisted dust port. Getting rid of chips and sawdust is important when it comes to a smooth and accurate final finish. Therefore, this fan assisted dust removal system is great for these purposes. Another really cool feature of the WEN 6552 Benchtop Thickness Planer is that it comes with a nice on board material removal gauge informs you of the cutting depth of each and every single pass. It’s definitely a convenient feature which assists with accuracy.
The WEN 6552 Benchtop Thickness Planer has a 15 amp motor which creates up to 25,500 cuts per minute. Now, this does sound impressive, but mind you that when it comes down to it, it does not cut quite as fast as the other 2 models from DEWALT which we have reviewed above. However, it still cuts fast enough to make quick work out of most boards. Do keep in mind that this is a single speed planer, just like the above DEWALT model we looked at. Therefore, this thing is ideal for basic planing and for dimensioning but is not best for really fine and accurate cuts for precise finishes.
The WEN 6552 Benchtop Thickness Planer features a 3 blade design which makes pretty fast work out of even the hardest of woods. The blades are reversible when one side is used up, and therefore increases the lifetime of the blades. What is nice here is that this thing allows you to adjust the cutter height by 1/64 inches, for some pretty accurate work. As we mentioned before, this thing is fairly lightweight, coming in at around 60 pounds, and comes with a carrying handle too. It is fairly portable.
We do like the WEN 6552 Benchtop Thickness Planer a whole lot due to its convenience. It is fairly small, portable, and lightweight, plus it comes with a carrying handle. It’s the only option here so far which you could actually take with you on the go. Moreover, it’s just a fairly useful tool that is user friendly and can handle basic planing jobs.
One thing which we don’t like here is that it could use some variety in terms of cutting speed. Moreover, the shell on this thing is not that durable, which can also be said for the plastic infeed and outfeed tables.
- Enough power for medium size jobs
- Very user friendly
- Not great for big jobs
- Limited durability
- Bad infeed and outfeed table
4. Makita 2012NB 12-Inch Planer
The Makita 2012NB 12-Inch Planer is a fairly expensive planer, but it is a high quality option, a reliable planer with plenty of power, one that is user friendly, and is fine for most basic planing needs. It might be a bit pricey, but in all reality, it is one of the more durable and long lasting options around.
The Makita 2012NB 12-Inch Planer is a pretty powerful planer, although not the most powerful one around. It is ideal for smaller and medium size planing applications. It features a 15 amp motor with no load speed of 8,500 RPM. As you can tell, it doesn’t go quite as fast as some of the other options we have looked at so far. Moreover, this particular benchtop planer has 2 cutting knives, which is alright, but not great. The other options we have looked at so far have all had 3 cutting knives, so the knives here won’t last super long.
What is pretty neat about the Makita 2012NB 12-Inch Planer is that it is very quiet. It is rated as being the quietest benchtop planer in its class. Something else you might appreciate here is that this item comes with a 4 post design for stability, and diagonal cross supports too. In terms of capacity, the Makita 2012NB 12-Inch Planer can handle pieces of wood up to 12 inches wide and 6-3/32 inches thick, and it has a maximum cutting depth of 1/8 inches. It’s not bad at all and should be able to handle most basic jobs.
The Makita 2012NB 12-Inch Planer is easy to adjust in terms of cutting depth, which helps with accuracy. Although, we would say that this thing is best for basic planning, but probably not great for really fine finishes. What is cool however is that the blades are very easy to change, which is always useful. Another cool feature here is the detachable tool box for tool and accessory storage. We do also like the Interna-Lok system which helps to eliminate snipe.
The good part about the Makita 2012NB 12-Inch Planer, for one, is that it is somewhat portable. It is not the biggest item, nor the heaviest, so it is not the worst when it comes to portability. Moreover, this thing is just highly durable, it is easy to use, accurate, and it can handle some pretty decent size jobs too.
Something which we do not really like about the Makita 2012NB 12-Inch Planer is that it costs a whole lot. Comparatively speaking, for what this benchtop planer can do, it seems to be quite expensive. On a side note, the motor tends to burn out at times.
- Decent portability
- Decent amount of power
- Easy to use
- Motor not durable
- Comparatively expensive
5. Grizzly G0505 Planer
If you need an affordable planer, one that doesn’t cost quite as much as some of the other options we have looked at today, the Grizzly G0505 Planer is probably a good option for you. It has a decent amount of portability, quite a bit of power, and is fairly user friendly too.
The Grizzly G0505 Planer is a cool option to go with because it is quite affordable. When it comes down to it, for the money you are paying for this thing, you do get quite a reliable and powerful benchtop planer. Moreover, the Grizzly G0505 Planer is fairly portable. Now, it is not the lightest or smallest option around, but also not the heaviest or largest by far. We would still consider it to be portable and a good option for taking to jobsites.
The Grizzly G0505 Planer has a 2 HP motor that delivers 10,000 RPM of cutting speed, with a pretty fast feed as well, so it can make quick work out of pretty large and hard pieces of wood with ease. This thing comes with double edged HSS knives in the cutter head, 2 of them in fact. Sure, 3 would be better, but the cutting knives included here are sharp and long lasting. It is a fairly powerful benchtop planer, especially for the moderate price which it comes in at.
In terms of the cutting capacity, the Grizzly G0505 Planer can handle pieces of wood up to 12.5 inches wide and 6 inches high, plus it has a maximum cutting depth of 3/32 inches, which is alright. The cutting depth could be a bit better. One thing which stands out here is that the Grizzly G0505 Planer comes with thermal overload protection to keep the motor in one piece for longer. Here you also get a knife setting jig as well as a wrench.
The good part about the Grizzly G0505 Planer is that it comes in at quite a moderate price, and yet still remains quite portable, powerful, durable, and user friendly. In our opinion, for the price it comes in at, it is one of the best options around.
Something which is not great about the Grizzly G0505 Planer is that it only has 2 cutting knives, because we would like to see 3 of them. On a side note, the pin which holds the roller in place has a tendency to come loose.
- Decent amount of power
- Fairly portable
- Long lasting motor
- Could have better cutting depth
- Some issues with roller’s pin
Benchtop Planer Buyer’s Guide
Before you go out and buy any benchtop planer, there are some main considerations that you want to keep in mind, in order to help find the best one for you.
1. RPM – One of the most important things to think about here is how many RPMs the planer in question can put out. When it comes to load speed, some are as low as 6,000 RPM, with others being around 12,000 RPM or more. The bigger the jobs and the finer the results you want, the more RPM it should have, plus it doesn’t hurt with speed either.
2. Knives – The cutting knives which the benchtop planer comes with should be made of something like hardened steel, something that is going to last for a long time to come. At the very least, the planer should have 2 cutting knives for fast action and long lasting use, but when it comes down to it, you are best off finding a planer with 3 cutting knives.
3. Cutting Capacity – Now, benchtop planers are obviously going to be a bit smaller than full size models, but this is not to say that they cannot handle some pretty decent sized pieces of wood. At the very least, you should look for one that can handle boards 12 inches wide, 6 inches deep, and should have a maximum cutting depth of 1/8 inches at the very least. On that same note, some kind of lever, crank, or gauge to easily adjust and measure the current cutting depth is important too.
4. Weight & Portability – These are supposed to be portable models, ones that you can take with you and install on a work bench. Therefore, you really should look for something that is 100 pounds or less. You can find ones that are between 50 and 100 pounds, plus ones with carrying handles too.
5. Dust Ejection & More – A good benchtop planer should come with some kind of dust ejection system for accuracy and to make cleanup easier. Some come with LED lights so you can see what you are doing. Some even come with some storage capacity for tools and accessories. They are all bonuses that you should keep an eye on.
1. What is a planer?
A wood planer is a device which has a set of rolling knives to shave away pieces of a wood board.
2. What is a planer used for?
Planers are used in word working, with their main purpose being to cut boards down to the correct dimensions.
3. Are planers and jointers the same?
No, jointers and planers are not technically the same thing. Joiners can be used to achieve correct wood dimensions, but planers also create a smooth surface.
4. How much RPM should a planer have?
It does depend on the size of the planer, but at the very least, when it comes to benchtop models, you should look for one with 8,500 RPM or more.
5. How portable are benchtop planers?
Ok, so these are more portable than full size planners. That much is a given. However, even benchtop models can still be around 100 pounds. Whether or not you consider that to be portable is up to you.
When it comes down to it, based on overall functionality, ease of use, and performance, we would recommend the DEWALT DW735X Planer Package. Another one of our favorite models is the Grizzly G0505 Planer, as it is cost effective and can still do a decent job.