8 Best Benchtop Thickness Planers

8 Best Benchtop Thickness Planers - Reviews & Buyers Guides

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Having the best benchtop thickness planer gives you a lot of freedom in your woodworking projects. A thickness planer is an unmissable tool for any carpenter and the portable versions let you do your job anywhere.

Although they are still somewhat bulky, they are often still lightweight enough to be carried by a single person. A benchtop thickness planer is also a great option for DIY-ers since it easily fits in most garages and sheds.

Give yourself the advantage of portable thickness planer so that all your woodworking projects can be completed no matter how much space you have. These are the 8 best benchtop thickness planers.

Table of Contents

1. WEN 6552T 3-Blade Corded Thickness Planer – Most Cuts Per Minute

WEN 6552 3-Blade 15 Amp Benchtop Thickness Planer, 13'

Features

  • Motor: 15 amps
  • Thickness Allowance: 6 in. tall, 13 in. wide
  • Dimensions: 25.25 x 21.75 x 16 in
  • No. of Knives: 3
  • Speeds: 1
  • Other Features: cast iron base, height adjustable infeed, 25,500 cuts per min.

The WEN 6552T is a great thickness planer for beginners and the occasional DIY-er. It is user-friendly, performs incredibly well and is great value.

One of its biggest selling points is the 3 blade cutterhead, many models come with just 2. This extra knife makes the wood cuts a lot smoother.

Another reason why you will get great results with the WEN 6552T is that it is one of the fastest thickness planers on this list. At a feeding rate of 26 feet per minute it makes 25,500 cuts per minute.

Finally, using this power tool requires a lot less clean up thanks to the fan-assisted dust port. It gets rid of all the leftover material that you don’t want to get stuck inside the machine.

Pros

Cons

2. Dewalt DW734 Single Speed Benchtop Planer – Best for Precision

DEWALT Benchtop Planer, Single Speed, 15-Amp, 12-1/2-Inch (DW734)

Features

  • Motor: 15 amps
  • Thickness Allowance: 6 in. tall, 12 in. wide
  • Dimensions: 24 x 17 x 21 in
  • No. of Knives: 3
  • Speeds: 1
  • Other Features: 30% longer lasting knives, extra-long infeed and outfeed tables

If you are working on detailed jobs then look into the Dewalt DW734. It has 3 knives, just like the WEN but operates with even better precision; 96 cuts per inch at 10,000 RPM.

Not only is this model more precise, it is also more durable. The knifes are reversible, easily replaceable and last 30% longer than the average thickness planer knives.

Cleanup is a breeze when you are working with the Dewalt DW734. It comes with a dust hood that you can directly connect with a dust collector or even a shop vacuum – less to clean up from the floor.

Snipe and material damage is reduced thanks to the four-column carriage lock. It also has extra long infeed and outfeed tables for more stability and support.

Pros

Cons

3. Makita 2012NB with Internalok Automated Head Clamp – Most Portable

Makita 2012NB 12-Inch Planer with Interna-Lok Automated Head Clamp

Features

  • Motor: 15 amps
  • Thickness Allowance: 6 in. tall, 12 in. wide
  • Dimensions: 30.35 x 19.2 x 15.79 in
  • No. of Knives: 2
  • Speeds: 1
  • Other Features: Internalok automated head clamp, magnetic holders, includes toolbox

Although benchtop thickness planers are considered portable, they can still be bulky and heavy. If you are looking for model that truly is portable, the Makita 2012NB might be the best benchtop thickness planer for you.

This model is much easier to move from job site to job site thanks to its compact dimensions and smaller weight class. At the same time, it does not make any compromises on stability – it has four-column carriage lock and diagonal cross support.

Besides its size, there is one distinguishing feature that sets this thickness planer apart from the rest on our list; the automated internalok head clamp. This feature sets a tight grip around the material to minimize the biggest complaint of all thickness planers; the snipe.

Another advantage is that this machine runs significantly quieter than the competition. Yes, 83 decibles is still loud but many more models run much louder.

Pros

Cons

4. Dewalt 13-Inch Thickness Planer – Most Popular

DEWALT 13-Inch Thickness Planer - Three Knife, Two speed, DW735X model

Features

  • Motor: 15 amps
  • Thickness Allowance: 6 in. tall, 13 in. wide
  • Dimensions: 21.75 x 24.25 x 22 in
  • No. of Knives: 3
  • Speeds: 2
  • Other Features: fan-assisted chip injection, cast aluminium base, automatic carriage lock

The most popular thickness planer on this list is the Dewalt DW735X. It is loved for its two-speed option and precision work.

Most thickness planers only run at one speed but the Dewalt DW735X gives you the option between 96 cuts per minute and 179 cuts per minute. This gives you much more control over the material and works great when alternating between precision jobs and less detailed work.

Another reason why this machine is so precise is the material removal gauge. This clever feature shows exactly how much material will be removed depending on the depth that you choose.

This unit also has the handy turret depth stop. Like with many other Dewalt options, the design is an easy to use rotating dial.

Finally, there is the option to connect the dust hood directly to a dust collector or shop vacuum. With the fan-assisted chip ejection cleanup becomes even easier.

Pros

Cons

5. Powertec PL1252 15-Inch Portable Planer – Most Stable

POWERTEC PL1252 15 Amp 2-Blade Benchtop Thickness Planer For Woodworking | 12-1/2 in. Portable

Features

  • Motor: 15 amps
  • Thickness Allowance: 6 in. tall, 12.5 in. wide
  • Dimensions: 24 x 18 x 14 in
  • No. of Knives: 2
  • Speeds: 1
  • Other Features: 18800 cuts per min, easy blade replacement, work piece roller assistance

Stability is very important in a thickness planer and the designers of this Powertex model paid great attention to that. It also delivers plenty of power.

The Powertec PL1252 has a heavy duty cast iron base and four column design for the best stability. It also features an extra large grip so you feel like you are holding control during the entire process.

Unlike many other models, replacing the knives on this unit is quite simple. It uses an index pin set up that does not require a blade gauge.

Pros

Cons

6. Craftsman CMEW320 – Best Stock Removal

CRAFTSMAN Benchtop Planer, 15-Amp (CMEW320)

Features

  • Motor: 15 amps
  • Thickness Allowance: 6 in. tall, 12 in. wide
  • Dimensions: 23 x 17.5 x 15 in
  • No. of Knives: 2
  • Speeds: 1
  • Other Features: carbon steel material, quick change blades

From a design standpoint this Craftsman thickness planer looks very simple but it delivers on performance. It was designed to provide maximum stock removal and it does so very well.

The reason why it excels at stock removal is the poly-V cutter head drive which is superior to the V-belt drive on most other thickness planers. This power tool is capable of up to 16,000 cuts per minute which is an impressive number for something so compact.

It is suitable for both soft and hard woods. The double edges knives can be replaced which makes this product more durable.

Another advantage of this design is the dust hood. Like the thickness planers with a dust hood, you can collect all the waste directly in a sealed container.

Pros

Cons

7. Porter-Cable PC305TP – Best Mid-Range Model

Porter-Cable 15 Amps 12 Inches Benchtop Planer (PC305TP)

Features

  • Motor: 15 amps
  • Thickness Allowance: 6 in. tall, 12 in. wide
  • Dimensions: 30.35 x 19.2 x 15.79 in
  • No. of Knives: 2
  • Speeds: 1
  • Other Features: carbon steel reversible knives, 16,000 cuts per min

This Porter-Cable portable thickness planer is a great choice for the DIYer. It is sold at an accessible price and is easy enough to use.

One of its best features is that the knives are made of high carbon steel, double edged and easy to replace. All these elements together help extend the lifespan of this power tool.

Like the Craftsman thickness planer, this model also uses the poly-V belt cutter head. Everything is designed to deliver great power and precision.

Pros

Cons

8. Grizzly Industrial 2 HP Benchtop Planer – Best for Pros

Grizzly Industrial G0505 - 12-1/2' 2 HP Benchtop Planer

Features

  • Motor: 2HP
  • Thickness Allowance: 6 in. tall, 12.5 in. wide
  • Dimensions: 24 x 14 x 18 in
  • No. of Knives: 2
  • Speeds: 1
  • Other Features: reversible knives, large extension tables, lifting handles

A professional carpenter will set different demands on a portable thickness planer than a DIYer. For professional work we can recommend the Grizzly benchtop planer.

This unit has a powerful 2 horsepower motor but still remains compact and lightweight enough to move to different job sites. It has a feed rate of 32 feet per minute and makes 52 cuts per inch.

The Grizzly G0505 is entirely made of metal making it a very durable design. It can better handle the occasional bump and regular wear and tear than many other models.

A final perk is that it has thermal overheating protection. This is a valuable feature when the thickness planer is in frequent use.

Pros

Cons

Benchtop Thickness Planer Buying Guide

A portable thickness planer is a great alternative for woodworkers that have limited space of professionals that often move their working location. But how do you choose the best portable thickness planer for the job? These are the elements to pay attention to.

Power

A 15 amp motor is common among benchtop thickness planers but this does not directly translate to the power. A more important piece of information relating to power is the RPM.

Make sure the unit reaches high enough RPM to cut through both soft woods and hard woods. You don’t want to have to buy a second unit.

Cutter Head

The cutter head does most of the work so you want to make sure that you get good knives. Look for high carbon steel knifes, preferably double edged.

After a while, the knives will turn dull but if you have a double edged knife you can simply reverse it and keep working. Also, make sure that the blades are replaceable – you don’t want to have to throw away the entire thickness planer just because the blades are no longer sharp.

Capacity

When talking about the capacity of a thickness planer it refers to how thick materials can be to pass through. Do not buy a benchtop thickness planer that has a capacity of less than 12 inches wide, this will significantly limit your work.

The standard thickness for all benchtop planers is 6 inches. It is uncommon to find a smaller capacity than that.

Stability

The vibrations and sometimes large pieces of wood require a very stable power tool. The more stable the portable thickness planer, the more control you have over your work and the safer it is to work with.

Features that help with stability are a 4-column carriage lock, a diagonal cross and a good grip. Heavy duty materials may also help keep the machine stable during operation.

Snipe Prevention

Snipe is when a dip cuts into the board simply because of the weight moving the wooden board down. The more snipe a thickness planer causes, the less precise it is.

Most units have some level of snipe but the better designs include features that minimize the effects and keep the boards more stable as it passes through. Look for features that keep the wood stable like the internalok on the Makita model.

Dust Collection

If you have worked with wood before you know that there is a lot of clean up involved because of the dust and chips coming off. The best benchtop thickness planers have a dust hood that lets you connect directly to a shop vacuum or dust collector.