These Are the Best Wood Planers for Any Kind of Project

dewalt wood planer
The Best Wood Planers for Your ShopPopular Mechanics; DeWalt

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Regardless of the woodworking project you’re tackling, you’re going to want your workpieces to be as flat and smooth as possible. Wood planers help to achieve just that, using extremely sharp blades to eliminate rough spots, inconsistencies, and uneven surfaces.

Planers are a valuable tool in preparing wood in optimum condition.

For more great woodworking power tools, check out our top picks for table saws, power drills, and miter saws.

The Best Wood Planers

What to Consider

Cutterhead Type

Planers offer two types of cutterheads: the traditional straight knife and helical, or spiral, configuration. A straight knife cutterhead contains several blades (two to four are typical), which are often referred to as knives.

Helical models, on the other hand, use rows of small, square-shaped cutters that are affixed via inserts, making them easy to replace when needed. Helical cutterheads add to the cost, but maintain sharp cutting ability for a longer time and also make the job significantly quieter.

Body Type

Wood planers are divided into three main body-type categories: handheld, benchtop, and stationary.

Handheld models are sometimes manually operated, but there are numerous electric handhelds, too. Because of its compact size, this style is a great choice for smaller or more intricate jobs. Some handheld models are available in cordless varieties, which can come in handy if you are working on remote job sites where electrical access is limited.

Benchtop models are less expensive and more convenient than larger stationary varieties. They are more portable, making them a popular option for professionals who often need to conduct work onsite at different locations.

Stationary models require a lot more space and involve more maintenance, but can handle bigger projects. We recommend these for folks with expansive wood shops.

Noise Level

Electric wood planers tend to be loud and are often cited as one of the loudest tools in any shop or DIYer’s garage. We strongly recommend ear plugs or other hearing protection gear. Keeping the blades sharp can help—the noise tends to increase as blades dull, but you (and the neighbors) will still have to tolerate some noise. Shallow cuts can keep things a bit quieter (and also tend to lengthen the lifespan of your blades).

Motor Power

If you want a machine that can keep up with strenuous use and demanding projects, choose the most powerful motor you can. If you primarily work with softer woods that won’t put much strain on the planer, a lower-powered motor should be fine.

How We Selected

In assessing a wide range of wood planers, we specifically focused on four criteria: model type, motor, cutterhead, and board width. We compared motor-related specifications, checked customer reviews, and made sure to comprehensively compare models at similar price points to only recommend the best.

Bobbi Dempsey, the original author of this buying guide, is the former owner of a construction business and the current owner of a fixer-upper home built in the 1800s. She’s used wood materials for a virtually endless array of jobs, including framing and DIY woodworking projects like refurbishing kitchen cabinet doors. She used her experience to inform her recommendations.

DW735X Two-Speed Thickness Planer

This DeWalt planer is a powerful, solid workhorse that boasts 10,000 rpm speeds to power cuts up to ⅛-inch in depth. The three-knife cutterhead design means your blades will last longer and replacing them will be an easier process.

Choose the speed that will work best for your purposes (96 cuts per inch would be a good choice for dimensioning and 179 cuts per inch for finishing). It boasts a sturdy 19¾-inch cast aluminum base that provides a solid, rigid foundation. The automatic carriage lock is a big help in snipe reduction. The fan-assisted chip ejection keeps chips out of the way and away from the cutterhead.

(This 735X model is identical to the 735, but includes feed tables and extra blades.)

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>DW735X Two-Speed Thickness Planer</p><p>749.00</p><p></p>

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DW735X Two-Speed Thickness Planer


CMEW320 Wood Planer

This Craftsman wood planer is a reliable yet surprisingly budget-friendly choice in the benchtop category.

The 15-amp motor can power the double-edged reversible blades at speeds of 8,000 rpm. The Poly-V cutterhead drive and double-edged high carbon steel knives enable a high degree of versatility, meaning it will easily handle any type of wood and has no trouble with glued materials.

It can accommodate board widths of 12½ inches and allows cuts of up to ⅛-inch deep. Users rave about its smooth operation and easy setup. Add a dust-collection system to the built-in dust chute to minimize mess.

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>CMEW320 Wood Planer</p><p>$349.00</p><p></p>

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CMEW320 Wood Planer


JWP-13BT Planer

With 26 two-edged blades, this JET wood planer consistently delivers accurate, smooth cuts of up to ⅛-inch deep. Blade inserts can be replaced quickly and easily, which helps minimize downtime and keep your projects running on time. Thanks to the powerful 2-hp motor, the blades can spin at speeds of 10,000 rpm.

The cast-iron bed and stability-enhancing design keeps operation secure and wobble-free to reduce snipe. It also has a 4-inch dust-collection port.

Amazon reviewers cite its space-saving footprint and relatively low noise level as favorite features.

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>JWP-13BT Planer</p><p>$774.99</p><p></p>

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JWP-13BT Planer


PL1326 Benchtop Planer

This Wen planer offers wide-ranging versatility by accommodating boards up to 13 inches wide and 6 inches thick. With 26 staggered HSS blades, this planer can easily create a smooth finish on any type of wood.

As is typical with helical models, this type of cutterhead commands a higher price. This model has a price tag roughly $140 higher than the comparable Wen model with a straight-blade cutterhead.

Many users seem to feel it is worth the investment, though, with online reviewers raving about its accuracy and easy operation. The solid, cast-iron base ensures optimal stability.

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>PL1326 Benchtop Planer</p><p>$362.92</p><p></p>

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PL1326 Benchtop Planer


6530 Wood Planer

This affordable tool from Wen is among the most budget-friendly wood planers you can find. And when you consider it comes packed with little extras such as a dust bag and a parallel fence bracket, it seems like a really smart buy for bargain hunters.

The 6-amp motor provides plenty of power, propelling the double-sided HSS blades up to 17,000 rpm. It can plane up to 3¼ inches wide, and the 16 positive steps help you execute precise cuts of up to a ⅛-inch deep.

The included rabbeting guide lets you easily make rabbets up to 7⁄10 inches.

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>6530 Wood Planer</p><p>$40.76</p><p></p>

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6530 Wood Planer


Makita KP0800K Planer

This handheld planer delivers the dependable quality you would expect from the Makita name. It can plane up to 3¼ inches wide and 3⁄32 inches deep in a single pass. It’s ideal for fine woodworking and detailed, intricate tasks but can also be used for general carpentry and common DIY jobs.

Weighing less than six pounds, it’s about as portable as a wood planer can get, but the 6.5-amp motor packs a lot of power into its compact size, delivering 17,000 rpm.

One thing to note: A dust bag and dust-extracting nozzle must be purchased separately.

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Makita KP0800K Planer</p><p>$199.99</p><p></p>

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Makita KP0800K Planer


DCP580B Brushless Planer

Cordless planers are ideal for projects that require a lot of mobility, like planing doors or workpieces located far from a power outlet. This 20-volt DeWALT planer packs a nice amount of power, and is capable of generating an impressive 30,000 cuts per minute. It also features a machine groove on the front shoe, which allows for convenient edge chamfering.

We’re also big fans of the integrated kickstand of this model, which should help prevent any unintentional gouges and knicks. This model does not include a battery, so if you don’t have a supply of DeWALT 20-volt batteries on hand, this kit provides everything you need.

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>DCP580B Brushless Planer </p><p>$199.00</p><p></p>

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DCP580B Brushless Planer


Adjustable Universal Bench Hand Plane

If you don’t require the productivity of a power tool, consider a manual bench planer like this one. It’s much cheaper, and since you operate it with your own strength, you have total control over its progress—unlike machines that can make a mistake before you have a chance to react. The ergonomic handle and knob also ensures that you maintain a sturdy, solid grip while you work, and the cast iron body is durable enough to withstand regular wear and tear.

This would be a great option for beginner woodworkers who would benefit from getting a better “feel” for how their tools actually work.

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Adjustable Universal Bench Hand Plane</p><p>$22.99</p><p></p>

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Adjustable Universal Bench Hand Plane


2.2-in W 12-volt Handheld Wood Planer

I’ve always been impressed with the build quality and durability of Bosch power tools, and this battery-powered wood planer is a great example of why. Its compact size and relatively narrow cutting head makes this model well-suited for smaller, precision tasks that a bulkier machine wouldn’t be able to handle. A brushless motor increases its efficiency as well, which is always important with battery-powered tools. I also appreciate the fact that you can customize which side of the machine wood expels the wood shavings. You do need to purchase a battery separately though, so make sure to factor that expense into the overall price.

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>2.2-in W 12-volt Handheld Wood Planer</p><p>$151.17</p><p></p>

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2.2-in W 12-volt Handheld Wood Planer


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