What is the Best Electric Hand Planer? (2024)

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A wood planer is an essential tool for reducing the thickness and smoothing the surface of any piece of wood, but some models can ruin the surface or break and injure you. That’s why my team and I have tested the best electric hand planers to ensure they are up to the task.

Premium Option
Bosch PL1632
Editor’s Choice
DEWALT DCP580B
Budget Option
WEN 6530
Bosch PL1632
DEWALT DCP580B
WEN 6530
• 6.5-amp motor
• 16,500 RPM
• Angled handle
• 6.3 lbs total weight
• 5/64 cutting width
• High-speed steel
• 15,000 RPM
• 6.8 lbs total weight
• 17,000 RPM
• 0-1/8 inch depth
• With rabbeting guide
• 6-amp motor
Premium Option
Bosch PL1632
Bosch PL1632
• 6.5-amp motor
• 16,500 RPM
• Angled handle
• 6.3 lbs total weight
Editor’s Choice
DEWALT DCP580B
DEWALT DCP580B
• 5/64 cutting width
• High-speed steel
• 15,000 RPM
• 6.8 lbs total weight
Budget Option
WEN 6530
WEN 6530
• 17,000 RPM
• 0-1/8 inch depth
• With rabbeting guide
• 6-amp motor

Reviews of the Top Electric Hand Planers

1. DEWALT DCP580B 20V MAX Brushless Planer

The DeWalt DCP580B hand planer combines portability and performance. The brushless motor in this electric hand planer measures 3 1/4 inches in diameter and is powered by the company’s standard 20-volt battery line-up. 

The DeWalt hand planer features a two-blade cutter head that can reach up to 15,000 revolutions per minute (30,000 cuts per minute). The integrated electronics will assist in keeping that speed constant even under heavy load.

Maximum cut depth is limited to 5/64 of an inch but can be gradually increased in 1/256-inch increments. Its ergonomic handle doubles as a kickstand to keep the blades and workpiece safe.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

2. Bosch PL1632 6.5 Amp Hand Planer

A 6.5 Amp motor runs the cutter head at 16500 rpm in the Bosch PL1632 hand planer, ensuring sufficient power to cut and plane any sort of wood efficiently.

Bosch PL1632 has a lock-off switch to avoid accidental startup and a lock-on button, both of which are beneficial for extended periods. The dust bag that comes with it does its job well, albeit soon filling up with the dust and shavings created by your work.

The fact that you can adjust the PL1632’s shavings’ trajectories is another feature I appreciate. Switching the dust port, you can guide the shavings to the left or right.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

3. WEN 6530 6-Amp Electric Hand Planer

With the WEN 6530 Electric Hand Planer, you can choose a 2 3/8-inch or a 4 3/8-inch cut width and a 6-amp motor. You can have a great power-to-weight ratio with 34,000 CPM and 17,000 rpm at just 6 pounds.

This is an ideal electric hand planer with a simple trigger that will help keep your hands from getting tired when operating it for long periods. Besides, an adjustment wrench and two HSS reversible blades are included, making blade swaps a breeze.

Also, you can redirect the wood shavings and sawdust in several directions thanks to the included dust bag and flexible dust chute. 

What We Like

What We Don't Like

4. PORTER-CABLE Hand Planer, 6-Amp (PC60THP)

The PORTER-CABLE PC60THP Hand Planer is a corded model powered by a 6-amp, 120-volt motor. With this model, you can lower the number of passes because of its 5/64-inch cut capacity, which works equally well on both hard and softwood.

The over-molded depth knob on this manual planer features multiple depth settings. The aluminum shoe offers superior stability, and you can choose left- or right-side dust evacuation. Three chamfering grooves are also present for easier edge chamfering.

This Porter Cable features a dust bag, a blade wrench for switching between two carbide-cutting blades, and Bluetooth connectivity that lets you listen to music as you work.

(Know more about the Porter Cable tools in this review!)

What We Like

What We Don't Like

5. Ryobi HPL52K 6 Amp 16,500 RPM 3 1/4" Corded Hand Planer

This Ryobi HPL52K electric hand planer features an ergonomic design to reduce fatigue and has a 6-amp motor that can reach 16,500 RPM so that you may use it for various woodworking tasks.

This corded model allows you to reach far and wide without resorting to an extension cord, adding to the tool’s simplicity and ease of use. Also, this Ryobi 6-amp electric hand planer makes it simple to go from 0 to 1/8 inches in depth, with adjustments coming in 1/96-inch increments.

We like the lock-off button that safeguards against accidental activation of the machine, which could cause severe woodworking accidents or any injury to the user or destroy the wooden surface, the planer, or both.

(Know more about Ryobi tools in this brand review!)

What We Like

What We Don't Like

6. Makita XPK01Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless

Common to hand power planers, this cordless tool includes a 3.5-inch cutting capacity, depth adjustment of up to 1/8 inch, and a 12,000 rpm brushless motor. Its two blades are sleek, and the grip is comfortable to hold.

The Makita XPK016 offers some nice extras, making it an upgrade option worth considering. Auto-Start Wireless System (AWS) is a feature of this model that allows users to pair the planer with a dust collection system and have it start up automatically when the trigger is pulled.

As a result, dust is collected instantly, without additional wiring or controls, which can greatly improve the hand-planing experience.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

7. Milwaukee 2623-20 M18 3-1/4" Planer

The Milwaukee 2623-20 is one of the best electric hand planers for stock removal, finishing, or anything in between on hard or soft wood. This planer has a comfortable trigger and reversible carbide blades that are easy to replace. And there are 20 distinct locking positions for the various depth adjustments. 

The Milwaukee motor spins at 14,000 rpm and draws five amps of power from an 18-volt supply. It can make rabbet cuts as small as 27/64 inches and weighs just over 8 pounds. 

In addition, you can choose a clutter-free, rapid-fire left or right chip ejection method, and a spring-loaded kickstand and fuel gauge on board make your ride more comfortable.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

Electric Hand Planers Buyer’s Guide

Speed and Power

To get the best hand planers, pick one that can deliver adequate speed and power.

Likewise, think about the typical species of wood you’ll be chopping. This is due to the inability of low-powered electric planers to generate enough traction to handle denser hardwoods successfully.

As a result, the tool wears out faster, and you have to buy a new one sooner rather than later. To determine how efficient a hand planer is, consider its cuts per minute; a higher number indicates less effort required to process the wood.

Cordless Electric Hand Planers

Electric motors powered by rechargeable batteries allow speeds of up to 16,000 or 17,000 revolutions per minute. [1]

Most cordless electric hand planers can equal the heavy-duty performance of some corded models thanks to brushless motors and computerized controls, although operating at slightly lower speeds.

Corded Electric Hand Planers

There are corded electric hand planers for modest work (with five amps) and heavy work (8 amps). They can spin up to 20,000 rpm and will always be powered by any nearby outlet.

Blades: HSS or Carbide?

You can either use a carbide blade or high-speed steel (HSS).

Compared to other blade materials, the carbide is swifter when cutting. It may also be heated to higher temperatures. It will last longer on store shelves than similar products. The price tag is higher.

The HSS has a lower price tag but a shorter lifespan. It is not as fast or as strong as a carbide blade, but excellent for detailed work.

Cutting and Material Capacity

Cut widths of 3.25 inches or more are standard on modern models. Each pass with a broader blade will remove more material. In the same vein, you can adjust the depth of the cut on an electric hand planer, which should be no less than 1/8 inch.

Handle and Weight

Vintage or old electric hand planers weighs roughly 20 pounds. Because of this, they could be quite a handful, making it tough to maintain control over the cut as it progressed toward the edge of the board.

Modern compact variants weigh around 5 and 10 pounds, making them much simpler to carry for repeated passes than their heavier ancestors.

In addition, the top handles of today’s electric hand planers are ergonomically designed to keep the user’s wrist in a natural position and avoid fatigue.

The best electric hand planers have controls on the front that let you tweak the cutting depth and keep your pressure consistent as you work. Many hand planers have rubber coatings on either or both handles to reduce vibration and enhance grip.

Comfort

The electric hand planer’s ergonomics and weight will significantly impact how well you perform your planing tasks. 

A portable design is good for hand planers since it allows you to take it with you wherever you go, thus increasing the likelihood of its regular use and improving your comfort.

This, however, is impossible with a cumbersome electric hand planer because of the wear and tear it places on the user’s arms and shoulders. In addition to temperature control, waste management is an important factor in your level of ease. 

Since electric hand planers tend to generate a great deal of waste, including wood dust and chips, keeping this debris under control is vital for ensuring comfort and safety. 

Because of this, choosing an electric hand planer that properly disposes of its debris is important, as this will make your workspace more pleasant.

Durability

There is a lot of shaking and falling around when using an electric hand plane, and it needs to be in constant touch with the work surface.

Any electric planer in peak operating condition will make hundreds of cuts each minute, generating great heat and wear and tear. Because of the constant activity, a great deal of heat is produced, which, over time, can cause damage to various components of the hand planer.

Therefore, while looking for an electric hand planer, pick one with metal plates as this help the tool maintains its shape better in are tough, heated environment than the stamped metal one.

Precision

Consistency is essential if you’re serious about getting the most out of wood planing and want complete control over as many variables as possible. This usually entails setting the fencing precisely and correctly, so it does not move.

If the fence on your electric hand planer isn’t very good, you won’t get a perfectly smooth and flat surface. 

Similar considerations apply to depth gauges; using one of the highest-quality models will ensure that your steady and patient hands calculate the correct depth. A low-quality depth gauge, which regularly needs maintenance and fusing, makes this impossible.

Extra Features

Choosing the right-hand planer requires careful consideration. Dust, for instance, is an example of something that escapes. Many planers feature dual-dust exhaust that re-directs shavings and sawdust away from the user and out the side of the machine. This is a great way to save time and effort.

Fence Guide

This is known as the “fence guide” due to its usefulness in cutting precise angles when building a fence. Useful for tasks requiring pinpoint accuracy, these extras are a must-have.

Rabbets

If you need to create a depression in the edges of the material, a rabbet cut will come in handy (wood). Double-check the rabbet depth and guide settings on the planer you’re considering purchasing.

Kickstands

Typically, the tool’s kickstand will be located at its back. If the equipment is still on, you can set it down without leaving any traces. One common kind is a spring-loaded mechanism.

Chamfering Grooves

One must use a chamfering groove to transform a sharp angle into a smooth one. Planers generally have a V or three chamfering grooves, which may vary from tool to tool and job to job.

Shoes

The planer’s base, the shoe, is typically composed of aluminum. You must ensure your shoes are perfectly flat to get a straight cut.

Guides

Simply put, guides do what they say they do. With their help, you can always walk on a level path. Remember that some planers may not have one and that the one that does arrive with the machine may differ from the one seen.

Next Readings: 

Price

Consider the price you’re paying for whatever product you purchase to get the most use out of it. While this shouldn’t be the only factor you examine, it is undoubtedly the best place to begin. This way, you’ll have a good idea of how much money you’ll need to spend on the hand planer if you want to buy one with more features.

What Electric Hand Planers Can Do

Flexibility in Dimension Boards

You can use the electric hand planer to fine-tune the board’s measurements. You can shorten the edge to the desired width or make many passes to reduce the entire thickness of the lumber.

Wood Surface Smoothing

You can easily smoothen a rough surface with the help of an electric hand planer. This tool is designed to remove roughness, imperfections, and irregularities from wooden surfaces, resulting in a smooth and polished finish.

By using sharp rotating blades, electric hand planers effortlessly shave off excess material, leaving behind a leveled and refined surface. As a result, your wood’s surfaces and edges will be more uniform and parallel.

Enhancing Accuracy

Employing this high-powered instrument will improve the quality of your results. You’ll be able to finish your woodworking project faster and have more fun doing it.

Why Should You Buy an Electric Hand Planer?

Speed and Efficiency

Finally, think about how quickly you can get things done in the workshop. This power tool can help you get more done in less time and requires less effort than traditional methods or tools.

Suitable for Larger Boards

Full-size planers can only process wood up to a certain thickness. Boards that are excessively lengthy or too heavy will be difficult to work with, but electric hand planers can be used on any accessible wood surface.

Portability

When working in a garage or basement, you must have easy transport tools. Sometimes, a full-sized planer just won’t fit in a given space, and that’s when these tools come in handy.

Space-Saving

A designated area to keep and use your tools is essential, especially for more compact workshops. Unlike stationary planers, electric hand planers don’t need dedicated storage space. 

Are Hand Planers Easy to Use?

Yes. After just a few uses, you’ll quickly learn how simple it is to work with an electric planer.

It has a dial that lets you change the depth of the blade. For precise control during cutting, a high-quality tool’s design should include ergonomic grips for both hands.

Don’t forget to start the instrument with the blade away from the wood or surface. Also, maintain consistent pressure as you walk across the table.

Electric Hand Planers Comparison To Other Tools

Traditional Hand Plane

Using the electric hand planer is like a regular hand plane powered by an electric motor. The electric hand plane is more efficient but also more manageable. Fine woodworking rarely necessitates the use of an electric hand plane. Surface quality is superior.

Thickness Planer

You can tame a rough surface with either tool. A thickness planer can produce perfectly uniform thickness in the wood when used properly. The best thickness planers can do the job more quickly and precisely than an electric hand planer.

Jointer

With its fence and table, a high-quality jointer allows for a more precise cut. Hand planers are useful for sizing pieces of lumber that are too large or heavy to transport to a jointer. Even the best benchtop jointers can’t go where an electric hand planer can.

Risks of Using Electric Hand Planers

Any time you use an electric tool, you must exercise extreme caution. Here are the risk factors you should consider:

FAQ

Can I put MDF on my electric hand planer?

You can use a hand planer to cut MDF, and very few individuals have complained that doing so ruined their tool.

Is a hand planer different from a belt sander?

Belt sanders, equipped with long strips of sandpaper, grind the wood surface until it is no longer visible. By hand, using a planer, you can employ blades that cut through wood more quickly and forcefully than a power tool could.

What materials should I use my electric hand planer with?

Wood products are the sole acceptable substrate for a hand planer, and the species can range from pressure-treated pine to high-end, exotic species like cherry or Brazilian walnut.

Are they safer than most tools?

Hand planers are no more dangerous than circular saws or any other power tool, provided the user has a firm hold on the instrument, wears the proper personal protection equipment, knows how to use the equipment, and works carefully.

Top Pick For a Hand Electric Planer:
DEWALT DCP580B 20V MAX Brushless Planer

My choice for the best electric hand planer is the DeWalt DCP580B

It features a brushless motor that maximizes both power efficiency and runtime and has a Poly-V belt that guarantees years of service before replacement. I like that it has everything you need to plane and restore wood in a worksite. 

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Robert Johnson is a passionate furniture maker & carpenter, sought after for his knowledge on the craft.
You’ve probably seen his down-to-earth wisdom in USA Today, Bobvila, Family Handyman, and The Spruce, where he has shared commentary and guidance on various woodworking topics.

Robert is the brain behind Sawinery, where he aims to share tips, tricks, and a passion for all things carpentry.

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