Best Benchtop Planers Reviews

Are you a hobbyist or a professional woodworker? Certainly, you’d agree with us that all planers are one of the most indispensable tools in your workshop. They are useful in creating custom thickness pieces of wood, repurposing old timber, or just giving rough boards a quick cleanup. Overall, they lend a professional look to your project.

Today, let’s take a look at some of the best benchtop planers in the market today.

WEN 6550 12.5 Inches 15A Benchtop Thickness Planer with Granite Table

This orange and black benchtop thickness planer can handle boards up to 12.5 inches wide and 6 inches thick at a 26 feet per minute feed rate. Running on a motor that is 15 amp and a double-blade trimming system, it generates 18,800 trims in a minute. The boards pass through the planer on a level granite table that offers a non-marring surface for wood. You can plane off wood up to 3/32 inches from 0 at a time with the help of a rubber adjustment handle that adjusts the height at 1/16 inches in a full rotation. Its tri-roller feeding system is designed to minimize snipe.

To keep sawdust and shavings out of your way, it is fitted with a 2-inch dust port that is fan-assisted. When connected to a wet or dry vacuum, this significantly reduces cleanup time. Weighing 79 pounds and with a cast-iron base, it is designed to be a steady tool to finish wood. This is definitely one to take a closer look at.

Pro

  • It has great features to reduce snipe, including the three-roller feeding system, adjustable outfeed and infeed tables, and the granite bed.
  • While the granite bed certainly provides a great surface for the boards to glide on, it is also more vulnerable to breakage than other metal beds.

Grizzly G0505 12-1/2” Planer

This blue-green portable planer is designed to take on boards 13/64 inch to 6 inches thick and boards up to 12.5 inches wide at a feed rate of 32 feet per minute. With a 15-amp motor and two double-edged HSS knives in the cutter head, it can plane off up to 3/32 inch at a time. Boards are supported by extra large table extensions as they pass through this machine. It is also designed with top-mounted return rollers, thermal overload protection, and a power switch with safety lock. Tipping the scale at 78 pounds, it is meant to be a portable yet strong benchtop planer. This comes with a knife setting jig and wrench.

Pros

  • It has a robust construction with basically steel, not plastic, parts.
  • Minimal assembly is needed after taking the item out of the box. It takes around 5 minutes to set up.

Cons

  • It could use a dust port or some dust collection attachment. It only comes with a dust deflector.
  • While there are no problems with varying cutter height, an explicit cutter height lock would be much appreciated.

Cutech 40200H-CT 13″ Spiral Cutterhead Planer

This black and grey spiral-type wood thickness planer is armed with 26 2-sided HSS tips to tackle boards until 6 inches thick and 13 inches wide. Boards glide underneath the machine with extra large 14 inches x 14 inches outfeed and infeed tables as support. And for cleaner and uninterrupted work, a standard 2.5-inch and 4-inch dual-sized dust port takes care of the shavings. This planer also features a cutterhead snipe lock and a depth Repeat Cut capability. Coming in at 90 pounds and with four heavy-duty guideposts, it is designed for rugged use. It is equipped with the necessary tools for changing rotate cutter tips.

Pros

  • It has a very solid feel to it.
  • Wood comes through smooth and requires little sanding.
  • Being a spiral cutterhead planer, it isn’t as loud as straight knives planers.

Cons

  • Some shavings escape from the dust collector.
  • The cutterhead lock is not very smooth.
  • It doesn’t come in two speeds.

Summary

DESIGN:

Of the three, the orange and black WEN 6550 benchtop thickness planer has the cleanest and modern look. But this particular model by WEN outdoes the others beyond appearances. It comes with a granite table that makes the bed a solid and smooth surface for the board to glide over and for chips and shavings to be easily blown away. Another design wins for WEN 6550 is its dust port, which Grizzly G0505 lacks, as well as its tri-roller feeding system and height-adjustable outfeed and infeed tables, which help minimize snipes.

QUALITY:

Weighing 90 pounds, Cutech 40200H-CT 13 inches Spiral Cutterhead Planer seems to be the most robust of the three portable wood planers. As for the quality of the finish, all three produce smooth finishes with few to barely noticeable snipes, which can be corrected by some feed technique or infeed or outfeed table adjustments. It’s also important to remember that these tools are planers, not jointers; they work best by taking off a little at a time.

PRICE:

Among the three benchtop planers, Cutech 40200H-CT is the most expensive, around double the price of either Grizzly G0505 or WEN 6550. The latter is a few dollars cheaper than Grizzly G0505.

OVERALL:

All three power bench tools make good choices, but WEN 6550 Benchtop Thickness Planer is a steal for its price and its extra features. Cutech 40200H-CT though is also a bargain for a spiral cutter head planer. So which one to get?

It depends on your answer to four questions. One, how much are you willing to spend for a benchtop planer? If you’re working on a tight budget, either Grizzly G0505 or WEN 6550 will provide you a good value for your money. But if you’ve been meaning to buy a spiral cutter head, Cutech 40200H-CT is on the cheap side as well. This brings us to the second question: “Which do you think will do a better job, straight knives or spiral cutter heads?” And the last question: “Which of the three brands do you trust the most?”

All three benchtop planers are excellent choices, considering price points and the end product. But if we’re to choose one, it would be WEN 6550 12.5-Inch Benchtop Thickness Planer. This tool is the perfect blend of quality and value for money.

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