As a newbie in the woodworking world, you may find yourself bewildered at the number of choices in the market. While a good planer isn’t entirely hard to find, the best beginner benchtop planer definitely is. However, here’s the key factor to keep in mind at all times. Make sure to separate bench and hand planers when figuring out which is the right choice for beginners. From blade type and portability to width and thickness, there are several factors to keep in mind before setting foot in the market. Hence, through this precise yet detailed guide, we have attempted to make the process a little easier for you.
5 Best Beginner Benchtop Planers
1. WEN 6550T 15 Amp 12.5 in. Corded Benchtop Thickness Planer
This corded benchtop planer is probably your best bet for projects that require scraping a good amount of thickness on hardwoods. Since it has a depth capacity of 6”, it does a wonderful job at cutting your wood to an even and smooth depth. Furthermore, with its promising results and high efficiency, the WEN 6550T provides 18,000 RPM, ensuring that your lumber comes out looking exactly how you have planned. In addition to this, it features index pins and installation magnets for better performance and accuracy, which tends to be a crucial factor when you’re pouring your money, energy, and time into sanding down an exquisite wood piece.
2. POWERTEC PL1251 15 Amp 2-Blade Benchtop Thickness Planer
Particularly known for its portability, the Powertec benchtop planer is a great choice for beginners trying their hand at small or medium-sized projects. The benchtop makes good use of its 15-Amp system to deliver over 18,000 RPM. Apart from its efficiency and power, it’s also known for its convenience in terms of inputting various sizes and types of wood. Speaking of portability, the planer comes with side handles to make the process of transporting it easier. You may want to keep in mind, though, that it doesn’t feature a built-in dust port, and the port will likely have to be purchased separately. Nonetheless, considering its features and value for money, this one can surely qualify as the best beginner benchtop planer.
3. Porter-Cable 15 Amps 12 Inches Benchtop Planer (PC305TP)
When it comes to woodworking, this one does a tremendous job at providing up to 6000 cuts per minute. Thanks to its two-knife cutter head system, it’s as impressive as the other options on the list. Furthermore, the two-knife cutter blades are reversible and double-edged, improving their chances of lasting longer. The most noteworthy feature of this planer so far is the feeder it puts to use to feed wood through the planer. Whether you’re a professional or a beginner, productivity matters, and a smooth, even finish on the gorgeous lumber is all you wish to seek at the end of the day.
4. Makita 2012NB 12-Inch Planer with Interna-Lok Automated Head Clamp
This planer has managed to steal the show time and again because of its width capacity. Not only does it exceed what other planers offer, but it also shows the beginners why something as minor as this can make a huge difference in the long run. The machine also has interchangeable double-edged cutter blades perfect for preventing them from becoming dull. Oftentimes, we tend to overlook the head clamp feature even though we shouldn’t. It’s the one effective solution for preventing snipe, which is a hazard to the end result of your woodworking project. The more you use this Makita planer, the more you’ll realize how low the noise levels are as compared to the other options out there. This isn’t to say that the noise levels are null, but they’re only as loud as they should be, so it appears that the machine is, in fact, working.
5. DEWALT Hand Planer, 7-Amp, 3-1/4-Inch (DW680K)
DeWALT always somehow manages to win the crown for the best beginner benchtop planer, thanks to its strong 7-AMP rating that delivers 15,000 RPM, making the process of planing efficient. Furthermore, its 3/32” depth capacity is commendable as it allows for very few passes required by this product. The resharpenable steel blades are also reversible, meaning it’s possible to move backward and forward with the planer, making the experience even more efficient. However, the reason it’s a top pick among beginners and professionals alike has to do with its lightweight portability. So, whether it’s for edging projects, trim work, or framing, trust this planer to do the job exceptionally well. No matter what your needs are as a starter, this hand planer is portable, powerful, and will surely leave you satisfied.
Our Final Thoughts
Choosing the best beginner benchtop planer has a lot to do with recognizing the types of planers available in the first place. From portable and hand to benchtop planers, there’s a sea of options in the market, which is why determining your project type and its needs is of utmost importance. While benchtop planers are used for making powerful cuts, hand planers usually run parallel to the wood edge and can also be operated from your hand, as the name has already given it away.
Depending on whether your project requires portability or not, you must make a choice that’s best suited to your budget and needs. Regardless of what you choose to invest in, make sure to obtain its motor-related specifications. For demanding projects and strenuous use, you’ll be better off with a product that has a strong motor. On the other hand, softer woods can also be tackled using low-powered motors. While the primary motive of this article was to educate you about the types of benchtop planers well suited for beginners, make sure to refer to other sources and assist yourself in making an informed decision. Remember, a good benchtop planer is one of the most valuable tools for a woodworker, regardless of how long they’ve been in the industry.
Image by Andrey Haimin on Unsplash.