Best Power Handheld Planers in 2020



PORTER-CABLE PC60THP 6-Amp Hand Planer Review:


I have been using power planers on the job since the 1970's and I don't believe that I ever used one that did not perform well. The 4 3/8" Makita planer I still own has been working for some 30 years now. I purchased this one because the high price of carbide blades for my wider format Makita. My decision for the Porter Cable was based upon favorable Amazon reviews and the low price. I can't attest to the long term durability of this product since it is only been in my possession for about a year but it performs 100% as well as my Makita and other brands such as Bosch and Milwaukee that I routinely get to use in the field. So at least for those who only occasionally have the need for a power planer I see no reason to pay a lot more for similar more expensive brands. You will be getting professional level performance for a low price.



Makita XPK01Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless 3-1/4-Inch Planer, Tool Only Review:


I love this machine. It quickly took care of leveling my big hardwood work bench including end grain without any effort. I had been hand planning it for several hours prior and this finished the job in a short amount of time. I had a couple of slats that had squirrelly grain in it and was having a hard time with my jack plane going over this area. It would chip out, but the Makita planer taking shallow cuts and going slow would just smooth this up, getting rid of the chip outs. That made a big difference in completing the leveling of the top.

It is lightweight and easy to use, both on flat surfaces as well as working on the sides. One draw back is that the chip exhaust is only on one side and if you have to go a specific direction, such as it pointing up plaining on the side, it goes in your face. You could get a collector bag as an accessory, but it would have been nice if Makita had an elbow that would fit the exhaust port so you could direct where the dust/chips go. I have since purchased a smaller dust hose that will fit it and that should help control the chips going everywhere.



WEN 6530 6-Amp Electric Hand Planer, 3-1/4-Inch Review:


I purchased this based on price because it is a tool that does not see a lot of use,but let me tell you that you will not be disappointed by this planer.I have been adding on a sun room on to the back of the house. Most of the lumber was good grade but as I was getting close to the end I decided to use some old lumber I had in the garage instead of buying more. A few of the 2x4s I used were a little warped and twisted. I went a head and used them for the framing on the old brick wall. When putting up the paneling I noticed the twisting was worse than I thought. Thinking how to work around this I decided to use the planer.This resulted in planing almost 2/3rds the thickness (and very quickly)for about 2 1/2 feet,but hey it worked well.Since then I have used this several times on different projects. I feel that if you buy this planer instead of any one of the more expensive big name brands you will not be disappointed. I would buy this same one again if needed.



Bosch PL1632 6.5 Amp Planer, 3-1/4" Review:


This kit comes with a fence that attaches to the plane in two places AND has the necessary 3 degree fence for doors in addition to 0 degree for everything else. The only bad thing is the Bosch typical badly designed case. This is my second Bosch Kit and the cases in both are ummm MEH. With this Bosch kit, you MUST remove the brackets from the fence to get everything in the case. This also implies having to take the time to reassemble the fiddly nature of the bracket/fence in order to use it (includes not losing its two 1/4 inch washers). To add insult to injury, there is no designed place in the case for the brackets. They just rattle around and fly wherever. This fence/case design is a pain in the butt. I expected better from Bosch.

All that said, running this tool down a swollen door using its solid fence attached at front and rear of the plane made for a quality job even for someone without experience with a powered planer (me). After using it on two doors (while they were hung), I would never get one of those design that doesn't have two attach points like this Bosch unit has, doesn’t allow dust collection on both sides like this Bosch unit has or doesn’t have the 3 degree fence pad like this Bosch unit has. Those features are awesome. I just don't like the case and was miffed at having to fix the casing mid-job (see below). YMMV

P.S. in addition to the poor kit case design for the fence, one of the four mounting holes on the unit had a misaligned hole in the plane body casing. I had to stop everything, take it to the shop and use a Dremel to carefully grind away the casing. See photo attached.



WEN 6528 3.8-Amp Electric Hand Planer, 2-3/8-Inch Review:


I purchased this based on price because it is a tool that does not see a lot of use,but let me tell you that you will not be disappointed by this planer.I have been adding on a sun room on to the back of the house. Most of the lumber was good grade but as I was getting close to the end I decided to use some old lumber I had in the garage instead of buying more. A few of the 2x4s I used were a little warped and twisted. I went a head and used them for the framing on the old brick wall. When putting up the paneling I noticed the twisting was worse than I thought. Thinking how to work around this I decided to use the planer.This resulted in planing almost 2/3rds the thickness (and very quickly)for about 2 1/2 feet,but hey it worked well.Since then I have used this several times on different projects. I feel that if you buy this planer instead of any one of the more expensive big name brands you will not be disappointed. I would buy this same one again if needed.



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


I bought the big version to get a little extra weight and length along the sole for flattening longer boards. The longer the the sole is, of course, the flatter the resulting plane created by the cut. I'm using this as an initial cut on a woodworking bench that I'm making out of multiple 2x4 boards. This helps knock off high spots before going to a hand plane or drum sander where more refined removal is necessary to achieve a truly flat surface. My thinking is that with a $60 tool, I'm saving in expensive drum sander sand paper rolls and more importantly, effort.

A couple of caveats:
1.) Don't buy this if you don't have a shop vac with reasonable capacity. Something like this: https://www.amazon.com/RIDGID-50353-1610RV-Stainless-16-Gallon/dp/B011KF547M/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1535039347&sr=8-3&keywords=shop+vacuum+rigid

2.) The adapter that comes with the planer is not all that great; fits a bit loose. You may want to get an adapter that fits your shop vac hose to the 2" OD of the bidirectional dust chute outlet on the planer.

3.) Set your wood/workpiece on sawhorses or on a bench so that your planing is done ergonomically and safely.

4.) Apply pressure to the front of the planer as you enter the cut (with no pressure on the back). As the planer works through the middle of the cut, let the weight of the tool apply the pressure. As you exit the cut (likely at the end of a board) retain pressure at the back of the planer (with no pressure on the front). This will ensure a flatter cut.

5.) If, like me, you're working on long boards, it may help to get a straight edge to check your work. You can spend more on more accurate straight edges, but this is probably good enough for government work: https://www.amazon.com/Swanson-SVE480-Straight-Non-marring-Laser-Etched/dp/B0083SGRT4/ref=sr_1_6?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1535039703&sr=1-6&keywords=straight+edge
You may also want to use winding sticks to check for warp/twist. Note where the winding sticks rest, ideally on the outer edges if not a flat surface.

6.) Start off taking only small amounts of material, and dial up to a cut that feels comfortable.

7.) Empty your shop vac before using the planer. Then when you (rapidly) fill the shop vac with wood chips, you can save them. Let them dry out for a while. They should make great kindling if you have a fireplace. Alternatively, it could be used for mulch or yard waste.

The only con I can mention, and one that WEN should consider adding as a feature, is that it's missing "Hold" button. They probably assessed that this was a safety risk, but when you're planing large sections for long periods of time, your fingers and hand get fatigued from holding the trigger. It would be nice to have a feature that enabled a press-once for "on"--my SKIL belt sander has this and it really makes a difference.



Makita KP0800K 3-1/4-Inch Planer Kit Review:


The unit is light weight and is comfortable to handle. The sound level is acceptable. Works right out from box.
However, when depth dial set to "0" the blade is still protruding from the plate.
I reset the clamping plate using the aligment jig. The blade is still protruding. I added 2 credit card thickness to the stop block on the alignment jig to adjust the clamp. It is now measure 0.305 inch when cutting with 1/32 inch setting. It is 0.004 lower and is good for me . The instruction can be improved with more picture. The design holding the blade is good. As long as the jig alignment is correct. It is important when the depth dial set to "0". It meant the work surface is not cut by the knife. It is excellent tool. It is sturdy and the blade are double sided and sharp. Do check the blade settibng and the 6 mounting screws for tightness on the blade assembly right out the box. I use a "SHOP VAC". The hose fit into the chip outlet.



Bosch 3-1/4 Inch Woodworking Hand Planer with Carrying Case, PL2632K Review:


This kit comes with a fence that attaches to the plane in two places AND has the necessary 3 degree fence for doors in addition to 0 degree for everything else. The only bad thing is the Bosch typical badly designed case. This is my second Bosch Kit and the cases in both are ummm MEH. With this Bosch kit, you MUST remove the brackets from the fence to get everything in the case. This also implies having to take the time to reassemble the fiddly nature of the bracket/fence in order to use it (includes not losing its two 1/4 inch washers). To add insult to injury, there is no designed place in the case for the brackets. They just rattle around and fly wherever. This fence/case design is a pain in the butt. I expected better from Bosch.

All that said, running this tool down a swollen door using its solid fence attached at front and rear of the plane made for a quality job even for someone without experience with a powered planer (me). After using it on two doors (while they were hung), I would never get one of those design that doesn't have two attach points like this Bosch unit has, doesn’t allow dust collection on both sides like this Bosch unit has or doesn’t have the 3 degree fence pad like this Bosch unit has. Those features are awesome. I just don't like the case and was miffed at having to fix the casing mid-job (see below). YMMV

P.S. in addition to the poor kit case design for the fence, one of the four mounting holes on the unit had a misaligned hole in the plane body casing. I had to stop everything, take it to the shop and use a Dremel to carefully grind away the casing. See photo attached.



TACKLIFE 7.5-Amp Electric Hand Planer, 3-1/4-Inch 900W 16,000Rpm Power Planer with 1/8”(3mm) Adjustable Cut Depth, Dust Bag, Parallel Fence Bracket, Ideal Planer for DIY - RES002 Review:


I generally buy name brand power tools with a good track record. But I never had much need for a power planer but thought I may need it on a flooring job and didn't want to spend a lot for a tool I may seldom use. Never heard of TACKlife but the several reviews looked OK and I liked the 7.5 amp motor. I used the tool to plane some sub-floor board edges to same plane - not much more than 20 minutes work. The tool did what it was supposed to do. Only time will tell how it will hold up, but I am satisfied. But it's always interesting to read the instruction manuals and try to guess where they were written. For example to plane a beveled edge, the operation is called "Planing comerse". The lock button is called the "cocking button". And not a single word of instruction in the manual on the included edge guide but it shouldn't take a genius to figure it out. All in all, it seems to be a good product.



VonHaus 7.5 Amp Electric Wood Hand Planer Kit with 3-1/4" Planing Width and Extra Set of Planer Replacement Wood Blades - Electric Door Planer Review:


My wife knew I needed this in my woodworking shop, so she was being sneaky and ordered it. When it came in I was excited to see what it had, I'd did wonders on a Hemsworth 2×4! Well worth the money spent! Want a good planer for the money it's well worth it! Love it!