A Guide for the Best Benchtop Planer of 2020

Sometimes, working with wood can be a nightmare for some hobbyists without the proper tools. A wood’s thickness can significantly influence its purpose, so it’s imperative to use a tool that can adjust it effortlessly. Not all devices are designed to trim wood, so that’s why a benchtop planer is necessary for serious woodworking. Other tools like table saws may help in some regards, but the benchtop planer’s overall usefulness cannot be understated!

Some carpenters might call it a surface planer, among other terms. For the sake of clarity within this guide, Handyman Guide refers to it as a benchtop planer. Thicker benchtop planers are a delight for working with thick wood in heavy-duty scenarios. In general, heavy-duty work can be taxing on an individual, so having a power tool like a benchtop planer does all of the hard work for a person is a blessing!

At a Glance:

Qualities of a Top-Notch Benchtop Planer

Some qualities of a top-notch benchtop planer are universal, regardless of the brand it comes from. Something like the durability of a knife plays a crucial role in determining if a benchtop planer is worth getting or not. Likewise, other qualities may enhance a person’s overall perception of a particular benchtop planer, so it is vital to see some standard traits commonly seen in high-tier benchtop planers.

Durability

One of the most important aspects of a benchtop planer is how long it can last. This attribute also directly ties into how versatile a benchtop planer is for heavy-duty work. Nondurable planers are terribly suited for heavy-duty work, so that’s something to consider when looking for a high-quality benchtop planer. 

A blade’s durability is another critical aspect often overlooked by potential customers. First, a potential consumer should see if the blades are replaceable. In the situation where a knife is replaceable, then they can buy a bundle of knives and replace the existing one when necessary. Otherwise, if the blade breaks down, there’s not much a person can do to fix it. Fortunately, most modern benchtop blades feature exchangeable knives, but it is something to consider when looking outside of this guide.

Accuracy

Every power tool is bound to break at some point, but its accuracy is always relevant. A tool that can last forever but only cut with 10% accuracy is worse than a similar tool that lasts a few years with 90% accuracy. Precision is everything in woodworking, especially when it comes to measurements. Hence, it is paramount to get a benchtop planer that can trim a desirable amount of wood correctly.

Accuracy is also connected to what a person can do after they use the benchtop planer. A top-notch benchtop planer should be able to reduce the need for extensive sanding. As the cuts are precise and smooth, the wood finishes should be nearly complete with minimal effort! The better a benchtop planer is, the quicker it can help a person complete their tasks.

Ease of Use

Typically, benchtop planers should be self-intuitive to use. A person shouldn’t have to guess what to do during its assembly. Likewise, they shouldn’t have to ponder how to use the benchtop planer they purchased correctly. Instead, everything should be straightforward and simple to follow.

Not every woodworker has years of experience, hence how crucial it is to use a benchtop planer that works terrifically for novices. Even professional woodworkers should appreciate a simple benchtop planer that meets all of their needs. 

the Best Benchtop Planer: Dewalt 13-Inch Planer

As one of the pioneers among power tools, Dewalt’s very own benchtop planer is a magnificent power tool! With overwhelmingly positive reviews, the Dewalt 13-Inch Planer is among the top-rated power tools in Amazon, regardless of its class as a benchtop planer. Dewalt is a brand that inspires brand loyalty, so it is easy to see why this benchtop planer continues to impress so many people globally.

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There are a few options regarding this planer. A person can choose only to get the regular planer option. Alternatively, they can get one with replaceable knives or another one that comes with a planer stand. With so many options at one’s disposal, the Dewalt 13-Inch Planer is one of the best options for anybody in need of trimming their wood. With a max depth cut of 1/8th of an inch, this benchtop planer is perfect for woodworkers seeking a prestigious power tool to add to their workshop.

One more thing worth noting is the Dewalt 13-Inch’s ability to go between two different speeds. These two speeds are 96 CPI and 179 CPI, so there is enough variation for different cuts. As its name implies, it can handle up to 13-inches of wood, which should be more than enough for most projects. It is also crucial to note that it only operates at 110V, and it is not convertible to any other voltage. Aside from that, the Dewalt 13-Inch Planer has several options available to woodworkers globally, so there are several ways to use this benchtop planer.

Pros:

  • Includes the option to pay monthly
  • Overwhelmingly positive reviews on Amazon
  • Wonderful for novice woodworkers
  • Easy to use
  • Portable
  • Top-tier chip removal
  • Smooth surface finishes for wood
  • Two speed options

Cons:

  • Relatively expensive
  • Pretty loud

Makita 2012NB

The Makita 2012NB may seem old, but it holds up surprisingly well in 2020. Although it’s among the more expensive options on this guide, there are some noteworthy aspects worth discussing. First, the Makita 2012NB is deceptively quiet. This feature allows its user not to worry about what hearing protection they need to wear before using this benchtop planer. Next, this benchtop planer is designed for quick and smooth cuts. There is no difficulty cutting with this planer, making it another popular addition worthy of being considered one of the best even in 2020.

The LED lights also make it easy to know when the Makita 2012NB is charging or not. As it is portable, this benchtop planer is highly praised for the sheer simplicity of usage. There aren’t many limitations to this power tool, which is impressive considering its age. Like the previous entry, the Makita 2012NB also has overwhelmingly positive reviews on Amazon.

There are also large table extensions for making the Makita 2012NB easier to use. This accessible feature makes it more convenient for people looking for more versatility in their cuts. Also, the Makita 2012NB is light enough to be portable, allowing woodworkers to transport it wherever they need to work. Another great feature worth noting is how surprisingly quick this power tool is. This extra speed enables a person to finish trimming their wood without much effort.

Pros:

  • Includes the option to pay monthly
  • Overwhelmingly positive reviews on Amazon
  • Quiet
  • Durable
  • LED lights make it obvious when it’s charging
  • Easy to use
  • Portable

Cons:

  • Takes a while to get going
  • The blade can be weak against wood knots
  • Expensive

Delta Power Tools Benchtop Planer

For a woodworker seeking to utilize a benchtop planer that heavily focuses on pure power, the Delta Power Tools Benchtop Planer is an excellent option to consider. This benchtop planer utilizes a 15 amp-motor, which means there is minimal fear for this power tool to overheat when using it. Generally, 15 amps are considered noteworthy, making this benchtop planer worth buying for durability alone. Not only that, but the quick knife-changing system makes it a delight for experts to use. The quicker a person can change their knives, the faster they can get onto their work.

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This benchtop planer is exceptional in its power, given how compatible this power tool is with knives. Several knife possibilities give this device more flexibility than several of its contemporaries, making it a hot commodity on Amazon. The two polyurethane feed rollers also do an exceptional job of improving the device’s stability and reliability.

Both the infeed and outfeed tables are adjustable, allowing its user to manipulate it to their heart’s content. Not only that, but the dust port is highly optimized, allowing a person to dispose of their dust without a hitch. When a worker considers all of the adjustable features the Delta Power Tools Benchtop Planer can offer to their line of work, it should become apparent that it’s one of the most efficient for the job!

Pros:

  • Includes the option to pay monthly
  • Runs on a 15-amp motor
  • Easy to exchange knives
  • The feed rollers are excellent
  • Affordable
  • Feels like a breeze when using it
  • Includes a 5-year warranty

Cons:

  • Knives can chop after a few uses if not properly maintained
  • Pretty loud

WEN 6552T

The WEN 6552T also runs on 15 amps, but it distinguishes itself from the previous entry in several ways. Its similarities include affordability, 15 amps, and its ability to cut through wood effortlessly. The main differences are in how this benchtop planer does it. First, it’s a corded benchtop planer. Generally, corded power tools are more powerful than their cordless counterparts. Considering the WEN 6552T can do 25,500 cuts per minute with 26 feet per minute rate, this power tool is a monster every woodworker should consider.

In addition to its mighty power is how well it maintains itself. First, it utilizes a dust port backed up by an electronic fan. This fan allows dust to leave the benchtop planer, preventing it from building up like other planers may allow. Its three-blade design also gives it extra oomph for cutting into wood, as it can slice through hardwood like butter! It may be one of the newer options on this guide, but it’s undoubtedly worthy of being considered one of the best benchtop planers in 2020.

There is some additional information that helps the WEN 6552T stand out compared to its competition. The WEN 6552T can plane boards up to 6-inches and 13-inches for top and width, respectively. The length of the wood a woodworker might use isn’t too important, as long as the top and width follow the specified guidelines listed above. One more underrated aspect of the WEN 6552T is their superb customer support. Even the best products break down over time, so having a reliable service team at hand makes this purchase one of the best options in 2020. 

Pros:

  • Includes the option to pay monthly
  • Runs on a 15-amp motor
  • Powerful three-blade design
  • Reliable fan for clearing out the dust port
  • Can perform 25,500 cuts per minute
  • Affordable
  • Excellent customer support

Cons:

  • Might be ideal to handle measurements outside of the measurement plane given its design
  • Pretty loud

Porter-Cable 15 Amps Benchtop Planer

Continuing the trend of 15 amp benchtop planers is the Porter-Cable 15 Amps Benchtop Planer. It’s even cheaper than the previous two entries, but it doesn’t cut as fast as the WEN 6552T. It operates at 8,000 RPM and 16,000 cuts per minute. Technically, it has a slightly higher self-feeding rate of an extra 0.2 feet per minute. However, there are more unique attributes worth discussing regarding the Porter-Cable benchtop planer. 

It utilizes high-carbon steel within its knives, which gives it a significant durability advantage compared to the other 15-amp motor options. Their patented cutting elevation also helps improve precision, which can greatly aid a novice woodworker in completing their tasks. Its sprocket feed roller is also top-notch, allowing its owner to cut through wood without much hassle. As one of the few Amazon’s Choice items on this guide, it’s unquestionably worth a mention on the list for the best benchtop planers of 2020.

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As an Amazon’s Choice product, the Porter-Cable planer is beloved by hundreds on Amazon. Sometimes, it’s more relatable for some woodworkers to see dozens to hundreds of people commenting on an item they may potentially buy. They may even see some flaws that convince them to buy another option on this guide, so it’s always important to check out why this planer is so adored. One reason is just how valuable it is for a budget!

Pros:

  • Includes the option to pay monthly
  • Runs on a 15-amp motor
  • Easy to exchange knives
  • Assembly and set-up are a breeze to handle, even for novices
  • The finish is good enough to reduce how much sanding a woodworker has to do afterward
  • Overwhelmingly popular reviews on Amazon

Cons:

  • The available protection plans can cost a tad too much
  • May take extra planning to use correctly

Grizzly Industrial G0505

Some people love benchtop planers solely for how easily portable it is. On a similar note, the Grizzly Industrial G0505 is outstandingly simple to use! Compared to other benchtop planers, it offers less power in exchange for a more lightweight design. As a light benchtop planer, the Grizzly Industrial G0505 excels in all of the relevant categories a benchtop planer should strive for! It might be small, but that allows it to excel for smaller projects like cabinets and chairs.

Some people possess brand loyalty towards the Grizzly Industrial brand, and it is easy to see why. Its thickness dial is deceptively accurate for a small benchtop planer, which gives it unparalleled cuts compared to its contemporaries. One thing worth noting is that there is no dust collection port, so there may be a ton of sawdust lying about if a person isn’t careful. It’s a minor nuisance, but it can be a health hazard if a person isn’t prudent.

Due to its highly portable nature, one can alleviate the dust issue by working outside. If the dust blows outdoors, then it’s less likely for the woodworker to breathe in any toxic fumes. One extra bonus is how easy it is to assemble this benchtop planer. Ultimately, this planer is one of the simplest to use on the market. 

Pros:

  • Includes the option to pay monthly
  • Overwhelmingly popular reviews on Amazon
  • More portable than average
  • The feeder is excellent
  • Easy assembly
  • Pretty durable overall

Cons:

  • No dust collection port
  • The motor is very loud

Conclusion

With so many top-tier benchtop planers available on the market, it can be challenging to figure out which one a person should purchase. Ultimately, the best option is the Dewalt 13-Inch Benchtop Planer. This powerhouse of a benchtop planer is from one of the companies for power tools, as Dewalt has inspired thousands of woodworkers with their illustrious products. It can trim a person’s wood effortlessly, and its overwhelmingly positive reviews are indicative of that statement.

An alternative for people with a lower budget is the Porter-Cable 15-Amp Benchtop Planer. It’s nearly half the Dewalt 13-Inch Benchtop Planer’s price, yet it still does a superb job at handling large volumes of wood. With a mighty RPM and self-feeding rate, the Porter-Cable planer is easily the best option for any individual on a budget. Its performance isn’t too inferior compared to Dewalt’s option, so its user won’t feel pathetic for using it. In addition to that fact is how easy the Porter-Cable planer is to use, so any newcomer unsure about their potential in the woodworking world can try out this benchtop planer.

Every benchtop planer on this guide is 100% worth it under their special niches. It’s vital to look at each planer and what advantages they offer to know which one best suits a woodworker’s needs. In the end, there’s a benchtop planer for every task!

My father is a practical engineer, and as a hobby he was also involved in construction, renovations, carpentry and woodwork at home; So there was always tools, saws, drills and more at home. Already I was a little kid Dad and I would renovate the house. Once we built a shed for garden tools, once we did flooring for the garden, once we renovated the bathroom and that’s the way it is. Long before there was an internet, directories and plans. We would build things, kitchen cabinets, install electrical appliances, do flooring, pour concrete and more ... I in this blog want to pass on to you the experience I have gained over the last 20 plus-minus years since I was a child to this day and give you information about the best tools, project plans, guides and more.

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