Best Beginner Benchtop Planer: Top Picks for Smooth and Accurate Woodworking

If you’re a beginner woodworker, you might be looking for a benchtop planer to help you create smooth and even surfaces on your lumber. A benchtop planer is a handy tool that can save you time and effort when working with rough wood. It can also help you save money by allowing you to buy rough-cut lumber instead of pre-surfaced boards.

When shopping for a benchtop planer, there are a few things you should consider. First, you’ll want to think about the size of the planer and the size of the boards you’ll be planing. You’ll also want to consider the power of the motor, the number of knives in the cutterhead, and the quality of the blades.

For beginners, it’s important to find a benchtop planer that is easy to use and doesn’t require a lot of setup or maintenance. You’ll also want to look for a planer that is affordable but still offers good performance.

In this article, we’ve researched and tested several benchtop planers to find the best options for beginners. We’ll go over the features and pros and cons of each planer to help you make an informed decision. Whether you’re a DIY enthusiast or a professional woodworker, we’ve got you covered.

world of woodcraft featured image

Best Beginner Benchtop Planers

If you’re new to woodworking, a benchtop planer is an essential tool to have in your workshop. It helps you to achieve smooth, even surfaces on your lumber, making it easier to work with and giving your projects a professional finish. But with so many options on the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one for your needs. That’s why we’ve done the research for you and compiled a list of the best beginner benchtop planers available. Whether you’re a DIY enthusiast or a professional woodworker, these planers will help you achieve the results you’re looking for.

WEN PL1252 15-Amp 12.5-Inch Two-Blade Benchtop Thickness Planer

WEN PL1252 15-Amp 12.5-Inch Two-Blade Benchtop Thickness Planer

If you’re looking for a reliable and affordable beginner benchtop planer, the WEN PL1252 is a great option to consider.

Pros

  • The 15A motor generates 20,000 cuts per minute at a 26 feet per minute feed rate, making it easy to plane boards up to 6 inches thick and 12.5 inches wide.
  • The depth adjustment knob allows you to adjust the depth of each pass anywhere from 0 to 1/8 of an inch, giving you precise control over the finished product.
  • The package includes two reversible 12.5-inch SK5 blades (model BP122K), which are durable and long-lasting.

Cons

  • The planer can be a bit noisy, so you may want to use ear protection while using it.
  • Some users have reported that the dust port can get clogged easily, so you may need to clean it out frequently.
  • The planer can be a bit heavy, so it may be difficult to move around your workspace.

Overall, the WEN PL1252 is a solid choice for beginner woodworkers who are looking for an affordable and reliable benchtop planer. With its powerful motor, precise depth adjustment, and durable blades, this planer can handle a wide range of woodworking projects with ease.

One of the standout features of the WEN PL1252 is its depth adjustment knob, which allows you to adjust the depth of each pass anywhere from 0 to 1/8 of an inch. This gives you precise control over the finished product, so you can achieve the exact thickness and smoothness you’re looking for.

Another great feature of the WEN PL1252 is its powerful 15A motor, which generates 20,000 cuts per minute at a 26 feet per minute feed rate. This makes it easy to plane boards up to 6 inches thick and 12.5 inches wide, so you can tackle a wide range of woodworking projects with ease.

However, there are a few downsides to the WEN PL1252 that you should be aware of. For one, the planer can be a bit noisy, so you may want to use ear protection while using it. Additionally, some users have reported that the dust port can get clogged easily, so you may need to clean it out frequently. Finally, the planer can be a bit heavy, so it may be difficult to move around your workspace.

Overall, if you’re looking for an affordable and reliable beginner benchtop planer, the WEN PL1252 is definitely worth considering. With its powerful motor, precise depth adjustment, and durable blades, this planer can handle a wide range of woodworking projects with ease.

VEVOR Thickness Planer

VEVOR Thickness Planer

If you’re a beginner looking for an affordable benchtop planer, the VEVOR Thickness Planer is a solid option that can handle both hard and soft wood material removal.

Pros

  • The 13″ widened worktable can plane boards up to 6″ thick and 13″ wide, with easily adjusted tables and extensions for coplanar with table pull-out extensions, supplying 35″ of total length for better support on the long stock.
  • The high-precision three-knife cutter head offers smooth and consistent performance for long life, with a quick-change, solid steel construction that’s durable and desirable.
  • Two speeds (24 f/m or 15 f/m) offer quick planing to thickness or a smooth finish on the figured stock with minimal to no tear-out. The feed speed can be changed to optimize cuts according to work needs, with an accurate material removal gauge and extra-large thickness scale.

Cons

  • The 2000W motor is powerful but may be noisier than some other benchtop planers, especially at higher speeds.
  • While the vacuum port is a nice feature for low-dust planing, the chip ejection can still get clogged with shavings, leading to maintenance and cleaning.
  • Some users have reported issues with the planer’s reliability over time, with parts breaking or wearing out sooner than expected.

Overall, the VEVOR Thickness Planer is a good beginner option for those on a budget who need a versatile benchtop planer for basic woodworking projects. However, if you’re a more experienced woodworker or need a planer for heavy-duty use, you may want to consider a more robust model with better durability and features.

WEN 13-Inch Benchtop Thickness Planer

WEN 13-Inch Benchtop Thickness Planer

If you’re looking for a beginner benchtop planer, the WEN 13-Inch Benchtop Thickness Planer is definitely worth considering.

Pros

  • The spiral cutterhead utilizes 26 staggered and rotatable HSS blades, providing a clean and smooth finish.
  • The onboard material removal gauge informs users about the cutting depth of each pass, making it easier to achieve the desired result.
  • The planer can handle boards up to 6 inches thick and 13 inches wide, making it versatile for various woodworking projects.

Cons

  • The planer is quite heavy, weighing in at 80.8 pounds, which may be an issue for some users.
  • Some users have reported that the dust port could be improved, as it doesn’t always effectively remove chips and sawdust from the workpiece.
  • While the planer comes with height-adjustable infeed and outfeed tables, some users have reported issues with snipe.

In terms of performance, the WEN 13-Inch Benchtop Thickness Planer is impressive. The spiral cutterhead does an excellent job of providing a smooth finish, and the onboard material removal gauge is a handy feature that makes it easier to achieve the desired result. The planer can handle boards up to 6 inches thick and 13 inches wide, making it versatile for various woodworking projects.

One potential drawback of the WEN 13-Inch Benchtop Thickness Planer is its weight. At 80.8 pounds, it may be difficult for some users to move around, particularly if they have limited space in their workshop. Additionally, some users have reported issues with the dust port, which doesn’t always effectively remove chips and sawdust from the workpiece. Finally, while the planer comes with height-adjustable infeed and outfeed tables, some users have reported issues with snipe.

Overall, the WEN 13-Inch Benchtop Thickness Planer is a solid choice for beginners looking for a reliable and versatile benchtop planer. While it may have some minor drawbacks, its performance and features make it a worthwhile investment for any woodworking enthusiast.

Grizzly Industrial G0940-13″ 2 HP Benchtop Planer With Helical Cutterhead

Grizzly Industrial G0940-13" 2 HP Benchtop Planer With Helical Cutterhead

If you’re looking for a beginner benchtop planer that can handle a wide range of projects, the Grizzly Industrial G0940-13″ 2 HP Benchtop Planer With Helical Cutterhead is definitely worth considering.

Pros

  • The 1″ thick granite table bed provides a stable surface for your workpiece, ensuring accurate and precise cuts.
  • The helical cutterhead with 30 indexable carbide inserts produces smooth and consistent results, even with difficult grain patterns.
  • The dual return rollers help prevent snipe, which is a common problem with benchtop planers.

Cons

  • The planer is heavy and bulky, making it difficult to move around your workshop.
  • The 4″ dust port adapter may not fit all shop vacuums, so you may need to purchase an additional adapter.
  • The planer is relatively expensive compared to other beginner benchtop planers on the market.

Overall, if you’re looking for a high-quality benchtop planer that can handle a wide range of projects, the Grizzly Industrial G0940-13″ 2 HP Benchtop Planer With Helical Cutterhead is definitely worth considering. The granite table bed and helical cutterhead produce accurate and consistent results, while the dual return rollers help prevent snipe. However, the planer is heavy and bulky, and may not fit all shop vacuums.

VEVOR Thickness Planer

VEVOR Thickness Planer

If you are looking for a beginner benchtop planer, the VEVOR Thickness Planer may be the right choice for you. With a high-quality 13″ widened worktable, a high-precision two-knife cutter, and an unstoppable 1800W motor, this planer is designed to provide smooth and consistent performance.

Pros

  • The 13″ widened worktable can plane boards up to 6″ thick and 13″ wide, making it ideal for both hard and softwood material removal.
  • The high-precision two-knife cutter head ensures smooth and consistent performance for long life.
  • The built-in 20A over-current protector provides additional security by automatically cutting off the power supply when the total current exceeds 20A.

Cons

  • The planer is relatively heavy, weighing in at 54 pounds, which may make it difficult to move around.
  • The included infeeding table may not be long enough for larger pieces of wood.
  • The vacuum port for dust collection may not be as effective as other models.

In terms of performance, the VEVOR Thickness Planer is a solid choice for beginners. The high-quality worktable and two-knife cutter head provide smooth and consistent performance, while the 1800W motor ensures that even the toughest materials can be planed with ease. However, the weight of the planer may be a concern for some users, and the included infeeding table may not be long enough for larger pieces of wood. Overall, if you are looking for a beginner benchtop planer that provides good performance and value for money, the VEVOR Thickness Planer is definitely worth considering.

Towallmark Power Benchtop Planer

Towallmark Power Benchtop Planer

If you’re a beginner looking for a reliable and versatile benchtop planer, the Towallmark Power Benchtop Planer is definitely worth considering.

Pros

  • The powerful 1250W motor allows for exceptional performance, making quick work of even the toughest planing tasks.
  • With a rapid speed of 8000/min, the planer delivers efficient and precise planing with smooth and uniform results.
  • The low dust planing system effectively collects and removes dust particles during operation, promoting better air quality and keeping your workspace cleaner.

Cons

  • The planer is a bit noisy, so you’ll need to wear ear protection when using it.
  • Some users have reported that the blades dull relatively quickly, so you may need to replace them more frequently than with other planers.
  • The planer is relatively heavy, so it may be difficult to move around your workspace.

This power benchtop planer is perfect for both professional carpenters and DIY enthusiasts alike. Whether you need to plane wood boards, doors, or other materials, this planer is up for the task. Its user-friendly features ensure a hassle-free planing experience, with easy adjustments and a comfortable grip handle.

One of the standout features of this planer is its low dust design. The planer effectively collects and removes dust particles during operation, which not only keeps your workspace cleaner but also promotes better air quality. This is a great feature for those who are sensitive to dust or have allergies.

The Towallmark Power Benchtop Planer is also incredibly versatile. It can handle a wide range of planing projects, making it suitable for both professional carpenters and woodworking hobbyists. With its powerful motor and high speed capability, this planer delivers exceptional performance, making quick work of even the toughest planing tasks.

Overall, if you’re looking for a reliable and versatile benchtop planer, the Towallmark Power Benchtop Planer is definitely worth considering. Its powerful motor, high speed capability, low dust design, and user-friendly features make it a great choice for both beginners and experienced woodworkers alike.

PIONEERWORKS Power Benchtop Planer

PIONEERWORKS Power Benchtop Planer

If you’re looking for a powerful and versatile benchtop planer, the PIONEERWORKS Power Benchtop Planer is a great option. With its adjustable depth of cut and feed, it allows for customization to specific project requirements, ensuring accurate results every time. Its low-dust planing, rapid chip removal, and non-clogging features help minimize airborne dust particles and keep the work area clean for a healthier, safer work environment. This compact and portable design makes it suitable for both small workshops and job sites, making it highly flexible in woodworking projects.

Pros

  • The powerful 1250W motor and sturdy construction ensure consistent and reliable performance, effortlessly handling even the toughest wood materials with ease, making it a time-saving tool for large projects.
  • The adjustable depth of cut and feed allows for customization to specific project requirements, ensuring accurate results every time.
  • The low-dust planing, rapid chip removal, and non-clogging features help minimize airborne dust particles and keep the work area clean for a healthier, safer work environment.

Cons

  • The planer is relatively heavy, making it difficult to move around.
  • The planer is quite loud, so ear protection is necessary.
  • The planer’s blades dull quickly, requiring frequent replacement.

If you’re looking for a powerful and versatile benchtop planer, the PIONEERWORKS Power Benchtop Planer is a great option. Its powerful motor and sturdy construction make it suitable for both large and small woodworking projects. Additionally, its low-dust planing and rapid chip removal features make it a safe and healthy option for your workspace. However, the planer’s weight and noise level may be a drawback for some users, and the blades may require frequent replacement. Overall, if you’re looking for a reliable and efficient benchtop planer, the PIONEERWORKS Power Benchtop Planer is definitely worth considering.

WEN PL1303 15-Amp 13-Inch Three-Blade Benchtop Thickness Planer

WEN PL1303 15-Amp 13-Inch Three-Blade Benchtop Thickness Planer

If you’re looking for a beginner benchtop planer, then the WEN PL1303 15-Amp 13-Inch Three-Blade Benchtop Thickness Planer is an excellent choice.

Pros

  • The powerful 15-amp motor provides up to 30,000 cuts per minute at a 26 feet per minute feed rate, making it easy to plane boards up to 13 inches wide and 6 inches thick.
  • The depth adjustment knob allows you to adjust the depth of cut anywhere from 0 to 1/8 of an inch with each pass, making it easy to get the perfect finish on your boards.
  • The package includes height-adjustable infeed and outfeed tables to limit snipe while providing extra support to your workpiece during planing.

Cons

  • The planer is a bit heavy at 63 pounds, which may make it difficult to move around your workshop.
  • The dust ports are a bit small, which may make it difficult to keep your workspace clean.
  • The planer is a bit loud, which may make it difficult to use for extended periods of time.

Overall, the WEN PL1303 15-Amp 13-Inch Three-Blade Benchtop Thickness Planer is a great choice for beginners who want a powerful and easy-to-use planer. With its powerful motor, depth adjustment knob, and height-adjustable infeed and outfeed tables, this planer makes it easy to get the perfect finish on your boards. However, if you’re looking for a planer that’s easy to move around your workshop, or if you need a planer with larger dust ports, then you may want to consider other options.

Craftsman Planer

Craftsman Planer

If you’re looking for a beginner benchtop planer, the Craftsman Planer is a solid choice.

Pros

  • The 15 Amp motor provides enough power for both hard and soft wood material removal.
  • The Poly-V Cutterhead drive ensures maximum stock removal.
  • The two-knife, quick-change, solid steel cutter head mounted on ball bearings provides smooth operation and long life.

Cons

  • There may be some snipe on the ends of your workpieces.
  • The unit may leave black marks on the workpiece.
  • The instructions for use are not very detailed.

This planer is a great option for beginners who want a reliable and affordable tool. It’s easy to set up and use, and the vacuum port ensures a cleaner workspace.

The powerful motor and Poly-V Cutterhead drive make it easy to remove material quickly, while the solid steel cutter head ensures smooth operation. However, there may be some snipe on the ends of your workpieces, and the unit may leave black marks on the workpiece.

Overall, if you’re looking for a beginner benchtop planer that is easy to use and reliable, the Craftsman Planer is a great choice.

Buying Guide

If you are a beginner looking to buy a benchtop planer, there are a few things you should consider before making a purchase. Here are some key features to look for:

Size and Capacity

The size and capacity of a benchtop planer are important factors to consider. You should look for a planer that is large enough to handle the size of the wood you will be working with. Planers come in different sizes and capacities, so make sure to choose one that meets your needs.

Power and Speed

The power and speed of a benchtop planer can affect its performance. You should look for a planer that has enough power to handle the wood you will be working with. The speed of the planer can also affect the quality of the finish, so make sure to choose a planer with a variable speed control.

Cutting Depth and Width

The cutting depth and width of a benchtop planer can affect the amount of material that can be removed at once. You should look for a planer that has a cutting depth and width that meets your needs. Some planers also have adjustable cutting depths and widths, which can be useful for different projects.

Dust Collection

Dust collection is an important feature to consider when buying a benchtop planer. You should look for a planer that has a dust port or collection system to help keep your workspace clean.

Price

Price is always an important factor to consider when making a purchase. Benchtop planers can range in price from a few hundred dollars to over a thousand dollars. You should look for a planer that fits your budget and meets your needs.

By considering these key features, you can choose the best beginner benchtop planer for your woodworking projects.

Frequently Asked Questions

What features should I look for in a beginner benchtop planer?

When selecting a beginner benchtop planer, you should look for features such as a powerful motor, adjustable cutting depth, and a dust collection system. Additionally, a planer with a wide cutting width and a sturdy construction will provide better results.

How do I determine the best value for money when purchasing a benchtop planer?

To get the best value for your money, you should consider the planer’s features, build quality, and price. Look for a planer that offers the features you need at a reasonable price. Also, check the reviews of the product to ensure that it has a good reputation.

What are the advantages of using a benchtop planer for woodworking projects?

A benchtop planer can help you achieve uniform thickness and smoothness in your wood pieces, making them easier to work with. It can also save you time and effort by reducing the need for sanding and hand planing.

Can you recommend any budget-friendly benchtop planers for novices?

Some budget-friendly benchtop planers for novices include the WEN 6552T, DEWALT DW735X, and Makita 2012NB. These planers offer good performance and features at an affordable price.

What are some common mistakes to avoid when using a benchtop planer for the first time?

Some common mistakes to avoid when using a benchtop planer for the first time include not adjusting the cutting depth properly, feeding the wood too fast or too slow, and not properly securing the wood to the planer bed. Always read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully before using a planer.

What are some effective alternatives to benchtop planers for small-scale woodworking?

Some effective alternatives to benchtop planers for small-scale woodworking include hand planes, sanders, and thickness planers. These tools can help you achieve similar results as a benchtop planer, but may require more time and effort.

Scroll to Top