Best Hand Planer for Woodworking in 2023

Hand planers are an essential tool for any woodworker, whether you’re a professional or a DIY enthusiast. They allow you to smooth rough surfaces, shape edges, and trim down wood to the desired thickness. While there are many types of hand planers available, the best hand planer for woodworking is the one that suits your needs and budget.

When it comes to hand planers, there are two main types: block planes and bench planes. Block planes are smaller and designed for one-handed use, making them ideal for small-scale projects and finishing work. Bench planes, on the other hand, are larger and designed for two-handed use, making them ideal for larger projects and rougher surfaces.

When choosing a hand planer, there are a few critical things to consider. The first is the size of the planer. If you’re working on small-scale projects or finishing work, a block plane may be all you need. However, if you’re working on larger projects or rougher surfaces, a bench plane may be more suitable.

The second thing to consider is the blade. The blade should be made of high-quality steel and be sharp enough to make smooth cuts. It should also be easy to adjust and replace when necessary.

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Lastly, consider the ergonomics of the hand planer. It should be comfortable to hold and use for extended periods and have a good grip to prevent slipping.

In this article, we spent countless hours researching and testing various hand planers to identify the best hand planer for woodworking. We’ll take a closer look at the features and benefits of each hand planer and help you make an informed decision on which one is right for you.

Best Hand Planers

If you’re a woodworking enthusiast, you know the importance of having the right tools to get the job done. A hand planer is an essential tool for any woodworking project, allowing you to smooth and shape wood with precision and ease. With so many hand planers on the market, it can be challenging to choose the right one for your needs. In this article, we’ve rounded up the best hand planers available on Amazon, so you can find the perfect tool for your next project.

Amazon Basics No.4 Adjustable Universal Bench Hand Plane

Amazon Basics No.4 Adjustable Universal Bench Hand Plane

If you’re looking for a reliable and affordable hand planer for your woodworking projects, the Amazon Basics No.4 Adjustable Universal Bench Hand Plane is a great option.

Pros

  • The durable cast iron body provides stability and strength for precision woodworking.
  • The impact-resistant plastic handle with contoured grip ensures excellent control and comfort during use.
  • The adjustable gear allows you to achieve precise results with ease.

Cons

  • The steel blade may require frequent sharpening to maintain its quality cuts.
  • The factory setting may need to be adjusted before use, which may require additional time and effort.
  • The sole may not be completely flat, which could affect the accuracy of your cuts.

This hand plane is perfect for smoothing and shaping wood surfaces, making it a great tool for DIY enthusiasts and professional woodworkers alike. The cast iron body ensures stability and strength, while the contoured grip provides excellent control and comfort during use. The adjustable gear allows you to achieve precise results with ease, making it a versatile tool for a variety of woodworking projects.

One potential downside of this hand plane is that the steel blade may require frequent sharpening to maintain its quality cuts. Additionally, the factory setting may need to be adjusted before use, which could require additional time and effort. Finally, the sole may not be completely flat, which could affect the accuracy of your cuts.

Overall, the Amazon Basics No.4 Adjustable Universal Bench Hand Plane is a reliable and affordable option for anyone looking to add a hand planer to their woodworking toolkit. With its durable construction, comfortable grip, and adjustable gear, it’s a versatile tool that can help you achieve precise results on a variety of projects.

WEN 6530 6-Amp Electric Hand Planer

WEN Hand Planer

If you’re looking for a reliable and affordable electric hand planer, the WEN 6530 is a great option.

Pros

  • The 6-Amp motor delivers up to 34,000 cuts per minute, making it easy to quickly smooth out any rough surfaces.
  • With 16 positive stops, you can easily adjust the cutting depth anywhere from 0 to 1/8 inches, giving you complete control over the planing process.
  • The package includes a dust bag, a rabbeting guide, a kickstand, and a parallel fence bracket, making it easy to keep your workspace clean and organized while you work.

Cons

  • At 6 pounds, this hand planer is a bit heavier than some other models on the market, which may make it more difficult to use for extended periods of time.
  • While the rabbeting guide can be adjusted up to 7/10 inches, it may not be suitable for larger rabbeting projects.
  • Some users have reported that the dust bag can be difficult to attach and detach from the planer.

Overall, the WEN 6530 is an excellent choice for anyone in need of a reliable and affordable electric hand planer. With its powerful motor, adjustable cutting depth, and convenient accessories, this planer is sure to make your woodworking projects a breeze.

WEN 6534 8-Amp Electric Hand Planer, 4-3/8-Inch

WEN 6534 8-Amp Electric Hand Planer

If you’re looking for a reliable and powerful hand planer for woodworking, the WEN 6534 8-Amp Electric Hand Planer might be the perfect fit for you.

Pros

  • The powerful 8-amp motor provides up to 32,000 cuts per minute, making it easy to plane even the toughest wood.
  • With a spacious 4-3/8-inch cutting capacity, this planer is perfect for planing 2x4s and 4x4s.
  • The 16 positive stops adjust the cutting depth anywhere from 0 to 1/8 inches, allowing you to get the perfect results every time.

Cons

  • The plastic body might not be as durable as some other hand planers on the market.
  • At 9.5 pounds, this planer is quite heavy and might be difficult to use for extended periods of time.
  • The planer cuts deeper on one side than the other, with no way to adjust it.

If you’re looking for a powerful and reliable hand planer for your woodworking projects, the WEN 6534 8-Amp Electric Hand Planer might be the perfect fit for you. With its powerful 8-amp motor and spacious 4-3/8-inch cutting capacity, this planer can handle even the toughest wood with ease.

One of the best features of this planer is its 16 positive stops, which allow you to adjust the cutting depth anywhere from 0 to 1/8 inches in 1/128 inch intervals. This makes it easy to get the perfect results every time, no matter what kind of project you’re working on.

However, there are some downsides to this planer that you should be aware of. For one, the plastic body might not be as durable as some other hand planers on the market. Additionally, at 9.5 pounds, this planer is quite heavy and might be difficult to use for extended periods of time.

Finally, some users have reported that the planer cuts deeper on one side than the other, with no way to adjust it. While this might not be a dealbreaker for everyone, it’s something to keep in mind if you’re looking for a planer that can produce perfectly even results.

Overall, if you’re looking for a powerful and reliable hand planer for your woodworking projects, the WEN 6534 8-Amp Electric Hand Planer is definitely worth considering. With its impressive cutting capacity and adjustable depth stops, it’s a versatile tool that can handle a wide range of projects.

NADOBA Wood Planers Woodworking Tools

NADOBA Wood Planers Woodworking Tools

If you’re looking for a lightweight and easy-to-use hand planer for woodworking, the NADOBA Wood Planers Woodworking Tools might be what you need.

Pros

  • The stainless steel blade is sturdy and durable, making it suitable for long-term use.
  • The design is practical and safe, ensuring accurate and effortless wood working.
  • It’s lightweight, making it easy to use for extended periods.

Cons

  • It might not be suitable for thicker pieces of wood, requiring multiple passes to achieve the desired thickness.
  • The size might be too small for some users.
  • It’s a hand-powered tool, which might not be suitable for those who prefer motorized power planers.

This mini wood cutter planer is designed to remove layers of wood with meticulous accuracy, making it ideal for maintaining straightness on double surfaces and cutting wood with precision accuracy to the desired thickness. It can also be used for wood carving to create parallel surfaces and adjust the thickness of finished boards quickly.

The NADOBA Wood Planers Woodworking Tools is a great tool for those who want to tackle smaller woodworking tasks with ease. Its lightweight design makes it easy to use for extended periods, and its practical and safe design ensures accurate and effortless wood working. However, it might not be suitable for thicker pieces of wood, and its size might be too small for some users. If you’re looking for a lightweight and easy-to-use hand planer for woodworking, the NADOBA Wood Planers Woodworking Tools might be worth considering.

WEN 6528 Electric Hand Planer

WEN 6528 Electric Hand Planer

If you’re looking for a reliable and affordable hand planer for your woodworking projects, the WEN 6528 Electric Hand Planer might just be what you need.

Pros

  • The 3.8-amp motor provides up to 32,000 cuts per minute, making it easy to smooth out even the most stubborn wood surfaces.
  • The 9 positive stops allow you to adjust the cutting depth anywhere from 0 to 1/16 inches, giving you precise control over the planing process.
  • The lightweight design of the WEN 6528, weighing in at a mere 4.3 pounds, makes it easy to handle and maneuver.

Cons

  • The planer doesn’t come with a dust collection bag, so it can be quite messy to use.
  • The blade-change wrench storage slot at the back of the planer can be a bit hard to access.
  • Some users have reported that the blade can break easily if you’re not careful.

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly hand planer that can get the job done, the WEN 6528 is definitely worth considering. The powerful motor and adjustable cutting depth make it easy to achieve smooth and precise results, while the lightweight design ensures that you won’t get tired even after extended use.

One thing to keep in mind, however, is that the planer doesn’t come with a dust collection bag, so you’ll need to be prepared for some mess. Additionally, the blade-change wrench storage slot at the back of the planer can be a bit hard to access, which can be frustrating if you need to change the blade frequently.

Overall, if you’re looking for a reliable and affordable hand planer for your woodworking projects, the WEN 6528 is definitely a solid choice.

STANLEY Hand Planer, Black (12-220)

STANLEY Hand Planer, Black (12-220)

If you’re looking for a reliable hand planer that won’t break the bank, the STANLEY Hand Planer is a great option. With its fully adjustable cutter and precision-ground base, this hand planer is perfect for cross-grain planing and can be used for a variety of woodworking projects.

Pros

  • The cutter rests at a 21° angle, making it ideal for cross-grain planing.
  • The cutter is fully adjustable for depth of cut and alignment.
  • The gray, cast-iron base with precision-ground sides and bottom provides long-lasting protection.

Cons

  • The finger-rest at the front of the plane may not be comfortable for everyone.
  • The blade may need to be sharpened before use.
  • The mouth is fixed and does not adjust.

With its limited lifetime warranty and durable epoxy coating, the STANLEY Hand Planer is a great investment for any woodworker. The fully adjustable cutter allows for precise cuts, while the precision-ground base provides a smooth and accurate planing surface.

The STANLEY Hand Planer is easy to use and provides great results, even for beginners. The only downside is that the finger-rest at the front of the plane may not be comfortable for everyone, and the blade may need to be sharpened before use.

Overall, if you’re looking for a reliable hand planer that won’t break the bank, the STANLEY Hand Planer is a great option. Its fully adjustable cutter and precision-ground base make it perfect for cross-grain planing and a variety of woodworking projects.

PORTER-CABLE Hand Planer

PORTER-CABLE Hand Planer

If you’re looking for a reliable hand planer for woodworking, the PORTER-CABLE Hand Planer is a great option to consider.

Pros

  • The 6 Amp motor provides smooth cutting in hard materials.
  • The overmold depth knob offers 10 positive steps which allow for better planer control and multiple depth control settings.
  • The dual-side dust extractor allows the flexibility to place the dust extraction on either side of the tool to keep the work area clean.

Cons

  • The planer has two ports where sawdust is forced out, and the dust collector bag doesn’t always catch all the shavings.
  • Changing the blades can be a bit of a hassle.
  • The planer is a bit heavy, which may cause fatigue during prolonged use.

The PORTER-CABLE Hand Planer is a reliable and powerful tool for any woodworking project. With its 6 Amp motor, it can handle even the toughest materials with ease. The overmold depth knob offers precise depth control, allowing you to achieve the perfect finish on your project. Additionally, the dual-side dust extractor keeps your work area clean, making it easier to see what you’re doing and reducing the risk of accidents.

One downside of this planer is that the dust collector bag doesn’t always catch all the shavings, which can be a bit messy. Additionally, changing the blades can be a bit of a hassle, and the planer is a bit heavy, which may cause fatigue during prolonged use. However, these are minor issues that can be easily overlooked when considering the overall quality of the product.

In conclusion, if you’re in the market for a reliable and powerful hand planer for woodworking, the PORTER-CABLE Hand Planer is definitely worth considering. Its smooth cutting, precise depth control, and dual-side dust extractor make it a great tool for any woodworking project.

Spear & Jackson CSP4 No. 4 Smoothing Plane

Spear & Jackson CSP4 No. 4 Smoothing Plane

If you’re looking for an affordable hand planer that can handle cabinet work and general joinery, the Spear & Jackson CSP4 No. 4 Smoothing Plane is a great option to consider.

Pros

  • The cast iron body makes this plane sturdy and durable.
  • The precision milled base and faces ensure accurate and smooth results.
  • The 50mm wide high carbon steel blade is sharp and effective.

Cons

  • Some users have reported that the blade needs to be sharpened before use.
  • The base length and width may be too small for larger projects.
  • The adjusting screw may require some tweaking to get it just right.

This hand planer is a solid choice for those who need a reliable tool for their woodworking projects. The cast iron body adds weight and stability to the plane, which helps to reduce vibration and ensure smooth results. The precision milled base and faces also contribute to the accuracy and precision of this tool.

One potential downside is that the blade may need to be sharpened before use. However, this is a common issue with many hand planers and can be easily remedied with a sharpening stone or other tool. Additionally, the base length and width may be too small for larger projects, so this tool may not be the best choice for those who need to work on bigger pieces.

Overall, the Spear & Jackson CSP4 No. 4 Smoothing Plane is a great option for those who need a reliable, affordable hand planer for their woodworking projects.

WORKPRO Wood Planer

WORKPRO Wood Planer

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly hand planer for your woodworking projects, the WORKPRO Wood Planer might be a good option for you.

Pros

  • The angle of the blade holder is 20°, and the fully adjustable blade is located on the blade holder, ideal for cross-grain planing. Brass adjustment screws are used to adjust the depth of cut and alignment, and planer opening mouth. Allows for different types of cuts with easy and precise adjustment.
  • The cast iron base with precision ground sides and bottom provides precision and durability. The one-piece cast iron base and solid steel frame provide long-lasting protection.
  • The ergonomic handle design helps reduce hand fatigue and slippage. The milling fingerprints on both sides improve the friction to strengthen the control and make the cutting more stable. Quick release cam locks make adjustments easy.

Cons

  • The blade is thin (.08″ vs .12″) and might not be suitable for heavy-duty work.
  • Some users reported that it was a bit tricky to adjust and use.
  • The blade is dull out of the box and needs to be sharpened before use.

The WORKPRO Wood Planer is a mini and portable hand plane that is easy to grip and ideal for precision work and one-handed operation. It is perfect for carpentry work, DIY, and woodworking enthusiasts chipping wood and edge treatment.

In conclusion, if you’re a beginner or looking for a budget-friendly hand planer, the WORKPRO Wood Planer might be a good option for you. However, if you’re looking for a heavy-duty hand planer, you might want to consider other options.

Buying Guide

When it comes to choosing the best hand planer for woodworking, there are several factors to consider. Here are some key features that you should look at before making a purchase:

Type of Hand Planer

There are two main types of hand planers: block planes and bench planes. Block planes are smaller and easier to handle, making them ideal for smaller projects and precision work. Bench planes, on the other hand, are larger and more powerful, making them better suited for larger projects and rougher work.

Blade Quality

The quality of the blade is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a hand planer. Look for blades that are made from high-quality steel and have a sharp edge. A good blade will stay sharp longer and require less maintenance.

Adjustable Features

Look for hand planers that have adjustable features such as depth of cut and blade angle. These features will allow you to customize the planer to your specific needs and achieve the desired results.

Ergonomics

The ergonomics of the hand planer are also important to consider. Look for a planer that is comfortable to hold and use for extended periods of time. A planer with a comfortable grip and a well-balanced design will reduce fatigue and improve your overall experience.

Price

Hand planers can range in price from very affordable to quite expensive. Consider your budget and how often you will be using the planer when making your decision. Keep in mind that a higher-priced planer may offer more features and better quality, but may not be necessary for all users.

By considering these key features, you can choose the best hand planer for your woodworking needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

What features should I look for in a high-quality hand planer for woodworking?

When selecting a hand planer, look for features such as a comfortable grip, a sharp blade, and an adjustable depth control. It should also have a sturdy base and a smooth sole for easy gliding over the wood surface. Additionally, consider the weight and size of the planer for ease of use and maneuverability.

How do I choose between a block plane and a jack plane for my woodworking projects?

Block planes are best suited for smaller woodworking projects that require precision and accuracy, such as trimming and shaping small pieces of wood. Jack planes, on the other hand, are ideal for larger projects that require more power and speed, such as flattening and smoothing rough lumber.

Which manufacturers are known for producing the most reliable hand planes?

Some of the most reliable hand plane manufacturers include Stanley, Lie-Nielsen, Veritas, and WoodRiver. These companies are known for producing high-quality, durable, and precise hand planes that are trusted by professional woodworkers.

What are the advantages of using an electric hand planer over a manual one?

Electric hand planers are faster and more efficient than manual ones, making them ideal for larger woodworking projects. They also have an adjustable depth control, which allows for precise and accurate planing. However, they are typically more expensive than manual hand planes and require a power source.

How can I determine the best hand planer type for planing doors?

When selecting a hand planer for planing doors, consider the size and weight of the planer. A block plane may be more suitable for smaller doors, while a jack plane may be necessary for larger doors. Additionally, look for a planer with an adjustable depth control and a sturdy base for stability.

What techniques should be used to effectively flatten wood with a hand planer?

To effectively flatten wood with a hand planer, start by marking the high spots on the wood surface with a pencil. Use the hand planer to remove these high spots, working in the direction of the wood grain. Take light, even strokes with the planer, and check the surface often with a straightedge to ensure it is flat. Repeat the process until the entire surface is flat and even.

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