You might not think you need an electric hand planer, but whether you’re a DIY enthusiast who works with wood every now and then or you’re a serious woodworker, you should make sure that your hand planer is a staple in your garage workshop.
What’s great about an electric hand planer?
Electric hand planers are powerful and have lots of features that ensure comfortable, safe, and effective operation with less sweat and effort on your part.
This means you’ll be able to work faster and get more of your woodworking done. With that in mind, here is the best electric hand planer for 2021.
We’ve also featured four other products that you can purchase instead, depending on their features that we’ll outline in this buying guide.
Electric Hand Planer – Reviews & Buying guide for 2021
Best Overall: WEN 6534 Electric Hand Planer
This electric hand planer has a powerful 8-amp motor that enables you to make 32,000 cuts per minute. Here’s what you need to know about it.
- Ergonomic switch
- 16 positive stops
- Kickstand and other accessories
- It has an ergonomic power switch so you can turn it on easily whenever you need it.
- It has a cutting capacity of 4-3/8-inches so you can plane 2x4s and 4x4s without a hassle.
- It comes with 16 positive stops so you can adjust how deeply you want to cut. This can go all the way up to 1/8 inches.
- This best electric hand planer for woodworking has a dust port that scatters shavings to the left or right, and you can choose which one you prefer.
- This planer comes with a kickstand that not only protects the blade but keeps it out of reach of the surface while you’re working.
- Some people who have purchased this planer have reported that they experienced quality issues with the front plate that’s not level, causing the planer to cut deeper on one side.
- Others have reported that the planer is heavy, which makes it a bit bulky during use.
- This hand planer comes with lots of extras included in the pack, such as a dust adapter, a rabbeting guide, two reversible HSS planer blades, two chamfer grooves that are V-shaped, an automatic kickstand, and a parallel fence bracket.
- It comes with a dust adapter that has a two-way dust port. This means that you can eliminate wood shavings and sawdust with greater ease, and it means you don’t have to spend time after working on your project cleaning up your workshop.
This planer is pricey but it comes with tons of features that make it value for money.
Runner Up: Makita KP0800K Planer Kit
This planer has been built specifically for professional construction framing, woodworking, and window and door installation. Here’s why it’s the best electric hand planer for 2021.
- Two-blade cutter head
- Double-edge carbide blades
- This planer is equipped with a 6.5-amp motor to give you more power.
- It has a high power-to-weight ratio – it only weighs 5.7 pounds, which makes it easy to handle.
- You can plane wood that’s between 3-1/4-inches wide and 3/32-inches deep by making just one pass with it, thus saving you time and making your work so much easier.
- It has a two-blade cutter head that can easily handle up to 17,000 RPM.
- This best cutting electric hand planer has an easy setting system for the blades so that you can install them easily. This is a great touch for beginners.
- The blades are double-edge carbide blades. These ensure greater performance. Carbide blades are stronger than steel and can be used to effectively cut lots of materials with ease.
- To increase your accuracy when planing, this planer comes with an aluminum base.
- The balanced drum of this planer has been designed to decrease vibrations, making your work smoother and more comfortable.
- One of the drawbacks of this product is that you have to purchase a dust bag and dust nozzle separately.
- This planer helps to make your work much more comfortable, thanks to its features that include rubberized front and rear handles, as well as an ergonomically-centered balance.
- It comes with a spring-loaded stand to raise the base and protect your workpiece as well as the surface where you’re working.
This planer doesn’t come with any dust bags or nozzles to keep your workspace clean, but it does have other useful features.
Alternative: BOSCH Woodworking Hand Planer
Bosch is a trusted name when it comes to tools, and this woodworking hand planer is right up there with the best of them. Here’s what you should know about it.
- 16,500 RPM
- Ambidextrous lock-off release
- Aluminum shoes
- This jointer planer has a 6.5-amp motor and can handle up to 16,500 RPM. This enables you to work with both soft and hard wood with ease.
- It’s easy to control and handle, thanks to how it only weighs 6.3 pounds.
- It has an ambidextrous lock-off release button. This prevents you from accidentally triggering it when you don’t want to, making it much safer.
- It also has a lock-on button for those time-consuming jobs that require you to engage in extended operation.
- This planer has a spring-loaded stand so you can keep your workspace free of nicks and scuffs. It also protects the tool itself.
- It’s built with aluminum front and rear shoes that help you to achieve better accuracy.
- The tool comes with a groove for greater ease when you need to chamfer and sand.
- This planer has a two-blade system that you can convert to use with high-speed steel blades.
- The purchase of this planer includes two wood razor micro grain blades, a straight no-mar plastic overshoe for fence, a dual-mount guide fence, a three-degree no-mar plastic overshoe for fence, a shavings bag, a carrying case, and a blade wrench.
- The planer comes with a carrying case, which people have said doesn’t fit properly.
- Some people have reported that they received units that seemed used.
- For greater convenience, this planer comes with an inch and metric depth scale. This means you can easily set your planning depth without a hassle.
- To make using and storing this planer easier than ever, it comes with a ball-joint cord swivel. This means you can position it in a more comfortable way.
This Bosch planer is the best hand held electric planer. It’s worth purchasing for all the accessories you get, as well as how this planer will make small and big tasks feel much easier to do.
Alternative: PORTER-CABLE Hand Planer
This Porter-Cable hand planer is a powerful, convenient tool that every serious DIY enthusiast should have in their workshop. Here’s why.
- Dual-side dust extraction
- 3 chamfering grooves
- .47-inch max rabbit depth
- This planer has a dual-side dust extraction feature. This is convenient as it allows you to extract dust on either side of the planer.
- It comes with an overmold depth knob with 10 positive steps. These ensure that you can have better control of the planer and choose from a variety of depth control settings.
- It has three chamfering grooves so you can ensure edge chamfering.
- This planer comes with a .47-inch max rabbit depth, and this serves to remove more material with every pass.
- It comes with a range of extra accessories included: two carbide cutting blades, a wrench, an edge guide, a dust bag, and a carry bag in which to store your planer.
- One of the drawbacks that has been mentioned by people who have purchased this planer is that it produces a lot of sawdust and this causes its bag to become full very quickly.
- Others have reported that the cut depth can accidentally change during operation.
- This planer comes with a three-year limited manufacturer’s warranty.
- People who have purchased this planer have reported that it’s well-built and performs well. It’s also excellently priced for what it can do.
This planer is built with features to make your work so much easier, plus it won’t wreck your budget because it comes with all the accessories you need to use it straight out of the box.
Alternative: DEWALT DCP580B Brushless Planer
This battery-powered brushless planer is your go-to tool when you want fast and effective hand planing – and it’s totally portable. Let’s check out its features.
- 32,000 cuts per minute
- Depth adjustment knob
- You can easily make 32,000 cuts per minute with the use of this planer.
- It has a depth adjustment knob that’s calibrated to 2mm.
- It contains front and rear shoes made out of aluminum to ensure more accurate cuts, which is perfect for those tricky jobs.
- It comes with a kickstand so you can rest your planer on your worktop without causing damage to the material.
- The battery and charger are sold separately.
- Some people have reported that the planer becomes very hot during use.
- It doesn’t come with a dust bag included.
- Although this planer doesn’t come with a battery and charger, it does come with other accessories. These include a guide fence, wrench, and user guide.
- The planer has a groove in the front shoe so that you can achieve edge chamfering in a much easier way.
- If you need to use this for time-consuming tasks, you’ll want to ensure that it feels comfortable. This DEWALT planer has thought about that and designed an ergonomic handle so that you won’t experience fatigue.
If you want a strong planer that can be used with batteries, this DEWALT planer is the best non electric hand planer to purchase.
Electric Hand Planer FAQ
If you don’t have much experience with hand planers, you might want to know more information about them before you purchase one for your garage workshop, even after reading our electric hand planer reviews.
So, let’s look at what you need to know about electric hand planers.
What is an electric hand planer used for?
A hand planer is mainly used when you want to smooth down the surface of wood, and you can use it to smooth wood that has a rough end grain or when you want to taper wood.
This enables you to make pieces of wood the correct size for whatever you need to use them for, while also fixing items that don’t fit properly, such as if you need to smooth down shelves so that they will fit into a bookcase or if you want to even out floor joists.
How to use an electric hand planer?
In order to use an electric hand planer in the best way to maximize its performance, here are the steps you should follow.
- Start by resting the planer’s front shoe flat on the wood you’re working with. Be sure not to let the blade of the planer touch the wood yet.
- Then, start the tool. Allow the motor to reach its full speed and then gently bring the planer down to the wood. You want it to slowly touch the wood, then gently push it forward. Be gentle but firm with it.
- Make sure you maintain the pressure on the planer’s front grip as it cuts and smooths the wood.
- You should ensure your hand pressure is balanced between the handle of the tool and its front knob. You should maintain this while both of the planer’s soles make contact with the wood.
- When you push the tool so that it comes off the wood after a pass, you need to ensure you grip the rear handle firmly.
- Don’t overreach when you come to the end of a pass as that will cause the blade to end up cutting in an uneven way because the front shoe will fall off the wood.
How do you flatten a board with an electric hand planer?
When you want to flatten a board, an electric hand planer is the perfect tool for the job, especially if the board is too large for a stationary planer. Here’s how to do it.
- Use a flat surface that’s bigger than the board and make sure it’s secure so it won’t move when you flatten the board.
- If your board is large, you want to flatten it in stages. If you attempt to remove it all in one go, you’ll cause tension in the board and it could change its shape to warp as a result. Aim for removing about 75 percent of the wood on the first side, then remove another 75 percent from the other side.
- When flattening a board with your planer, you should plane the highest spots of the board first. It helps to mark the highest areas so they’re easily visible.
- Keep the planer skew to ensure that the heel will ride on the part of the surface that you’ve already cut.
- Make sure you always cut with the grain!
- Stop regularly to check how you’re doing. It also helps to make use of winding sticks to ensure that you’re getting the board perfectly flat. When the two end sticks are parallel to each other, place a third one between the two and run it back and forth so that you can check for any high or uneven parts (via Popular Woodworking).
- Make a mark of any high spots and then use light cuts to eliminate them.
Can I use an electric hand planer as a jointer?
If you own a hand planer, you might wonder if you can use it as a jointer.
It’s good to know that jointers and large planers are used to mill wood so you can combine them to build furniture or other items and adjust their dimensions.
If you don’t have a jointer to help you get the right dimensions and square up edges, or if your piece of wood is too big to fight through, a planer can come to the rescue as it can be used to flatten both pieces of wood (via Popular Mechanics).
Here’s how you can achieve it with a large planer:
- Set up your large piece of wood on a flat surface, such as a table.
- Use shims and a sticky mat to level the wood. This will help you to ensure you get the first side of your piece of wood completely flat – this is actually one of the biggest problems you might face when you mill wood.
- When you have one side flat, you can plane the wood’s other side. This will ensure it’s symmetrical.
What about using a hand planer?
When using an electric hand planer, your results might not be as good. This is because the planer will only work to reduce the thickness of the material. It will be difficult to control the tool to get the final product that you want.
It’s been said that electric hand planers are more of a tool to remove thickness or width from wooden boards when you’re not too concerned with getting the boards perfectly flat.
Based on the above, it’s worth differentiating between a jointer and hand planer.
- A jointer is a hand planer that’s upside-down! How it works is that you move the wood board across it instead of moving it across the board. This enables you to produce a flat surface or correct warps and bows on one side of the board.
- By comparison, a planer thins out thick boards – but, the board needs to have one side that’s already flat in order for it to work well. You need to put the smooth side down and then use the planer to slice off the side that needs flattening.
Can you use a planer to remove paint?
If you have painted wood and you’d like to remove the paint from it, you might think that using your electric hand planer should work well. But you shouldn’t use it for this purpose. Here’s why:
- Paint can be abrasive, which can cause damage to the blades of the planer.
- Your planer, while doing a good job at smoothing wood, won’t be able to get into the wood fissures to eliminate excess paint. This could result in you smoothing down more of the wood in order to eliminate all of the paint, therefore making the wood too thin.
- If the paint that you’ve used on the wood is old, this can also be much more difficult to remove with a planer.
- Don’t forget the clean-up! Cleaning paint residue from your planer blade, foot, and discharge chute can be a real hassle.
- Even if you manage to remove the paint with the use of your electric hand planer, the blades will suffer damage, so it’s just not worth it.
If you work with wood on a regular basis, you should get your hands on a hand planer. An electric one will have the power you need to smooth and cut through wood with greater ease.
In this article, we’ve looked at five of the best electric hand planer products so you can choose the one that will take your woodwork and DIY projects to a greater level of performance and save you time.