Trying to choose a planer? Read our plain-talking guide

Trying to choose a planer? Read our plain-talking guide

Originally a mediaeval tool, a planer cuts wood to the desired thickness, while at the same time creating perfectly parallel surfaces and beautifully bevelled edges. Whether you’re levelling floor joists, smoothing rough surfaces, or ensuring accuracy in cabinet-making, a reliable planer is an essential component of any woodworker’s toolbox. It’s therefore worth taking the time to decide which features are most important to you when you’re looking to buy one.

What to look out for

Electric power planers can dramatically cut task times, while providing a professional, clean finish. Key aspects to consider when selecting an electric planer include: power, cutterhead quality, cutting widths, weight, dust collection, and portability.

Selecting a tool that has enough power to drive the motor, no matter what type of wood is being cut, is essential. One measure of power is the speed (in revolutions per minute) at which the motor turns. Anything less than 8000 rpm isn’t going to provide the drive needed.

We’ve picked out three of our most popular models across the varying price ranges, all with impressive durability and performance, to demonstrate the versatility of the tool and to point you in the right direction on your hunt for the ideal planer.

Our top picks

At the value end of the range, the Bosch GHO 26-82 Planer 110V provides plenty of power for a small machine. Its compact size makes this tool perfect for transporting on-site. For a competitive price, you’ll get the fastest and best value blade changes on the market, and it also comes with parking rest, and lock-off switch, and chip clearance suitable for both right and left handed users.

At the other end of the market, the Festool EHL65EQ One Handed Planer 240V should be on your shortlist. This machine is designed with comfort in mind. Complete with a soft-grip handle and weighing only 2.4kg, it’s a versatile and portable addition to your power tool collection.

The Festool Planer works to a planing depth of 4mm, and 23mm rebate, with a spiral blade that reduces noise levels while working. As you would expect with a Festool product, the dust extraction at the left or right hand side means the dust is taken away immediately so you can clearly see what you’re working on, and you won’t need to clean up afterwards. With infinitely variable chip depths, this planer has the advantage of a quick blade change thanks to its automatic adjustment for greater speed and efficiency.

Another respected name in the market – DeWalt – offers a powerful model that copes with even the hardest wood. The DeWalt D26500K 4mm Planer 240V has left and right chip rejection, front handle depth control and a large planer blade drum which rotates at high speed to provide an excellent finish.

If you’re looking for a planer, we’ll point you in the right direction – matching your requirements with the ideal model. Give us a call or pop into the store for one-to-one advice.


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