Last updated: August 12, 2021

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Hello, welcome to another shopping guide! With the popularization of MDF wood pieces, this tool goes unnoticed by many. However, whether for laying doors and windows, or to work with large pieces, a good electric planer is essential. In this article, we will help you choose the most suitable tool for the job.

The electric planer is used in both carpentry and joinery to plane all kinds of wooden parts, remove imperfections and smooth out surfaces. Choosing this tool wrong can cause injuries from use, more serious accidents or leave a poor finish. All these situations can be avoided with the right information. Learn all about the different features of this machine in this article.




Summary

  • There are different sizes and weights of electric planers, and the ideal model should be chosen based on the needs of the person who will be handling it;
  • Also, the particular features of the models may make you prefer one planer to another;
  • Choosing the correct model saves time and money and ensures that the result of the work has more quality and better finish, adding value to your workpieces.

The Best Electric Planer: Our Picks

Buying guide: all you need to know about a power planer

All right, you already know that it is important to know the different features of the equipment before choosing the best model for you. So, below, you will find a complete Buying Guide to help you make the right choice when choosing your electric planer.

Ask your questions about electric planers. (Image source: Tima Miroshnichenko/Pexels)

Are electric planers easy to use?

If you are a complete beginner, it is best to get some experience before you start using electric planers for any serious work. This is because if you are not very careful when making repairs, you can even increase unevenness and unevenness of the surface you are working on. So before using your tool on an important piece of woodwork, it might be worth practising on another situation where you can exercise your planer skills without damaging a piece of furniture or door in a way that cannot be reversed.

Short or long electric planer? Light or heavy?

Here, the features are proportional to the size of the job. A heavier tool, with a larger base, is great for larger surfaces and heavier woods, such as jatobá, peroba rosa or imbuia. This also applies to the power of the motor: these woods are more resistant to cutting and can therefore damage less powerful motors.

The lighter electric planers are great for housework, such as fixing doors and windows, making adjustments to furniture or building a bookcase. With a lighter tool you can work at different angles and they tend to tire less. If the services are performed on softer woods, such as cedar, pine, and acacia, you can't go wrong with a more portable tool.

Advantages
  • Great for domestic work
  • You can work in different angles
  • They tire less the worker
  • They match with soft woods
Disadvantages
  • Inadequate for large-scale work
  • Smaller base, can highlight imperfections
  • Bad to work on high benches
  • They can break if used on hard woods

Is it better to have a corded or battery electric planer?

If you are not concerned about working outdoors, away from power sources, it is OK to buy a corded tool. However, it is hard to ignore the versatility of a battery-powered planer when it comes to repairing a fence far from home or on construction sites, where it is not always easy to get work close to an outlet. In this case, the best thing is to be able to rely on internal batteries.

Planers with internal batteries are the best options for outdoor work. (Image source: Anna Shvets / Pexels)

What are the types of blades in electric planers?

The blade is the soul of the planer. That's why it's smart to invest in a quality one. They are usually made from HSS (High Speed Steel) or Tungsten Carbide. Tungsten blades stay sharp for longer, but are a little more expensive. Steel blades are more economical, have a shorter life span, but can be sharper than tungsten blades. The sharper the blade, the smoother the result is on the wood.

Which accessories are also worth investing in?

Whenever you are working with sharp tools like planers, safety is everything. Therefore, you will need a solid surface where you can affix the pieces you will be working on. A workbench, easels, a set of clamps, a vice... Whatever you need to hold the workpiece in place! It is also important to protect yourself from the chips and dust that the machines will produce. Quality masks and goggles are essential.

Many planers offer dust bags, but it is not always possible to use them due to the working position. Thus, it is best to rely on the necessary safety equipment. In addition, many woods contain glue in their manufacture: MDF, plywood and chipboard, for example. Dust bags can protect against larger particles, but are less safe against the chemical agents found in this type of wood.

In addition to your eyes and airways, it is important to protect your ears: prolonged exposure to the noises of these machines, however less powerful, can ruin your hearing. Whenever you can, use a pair of insert protectors (the ones you put inside the ear canal) together with ear muffs (the ones that go over the ears). That way, you ensure long-lasting health for your ears.

Purchase criteria: How electric planer models compare

The electric planer is a versatile tool and being able to have one at home is definitely the right thing to do when we start woodworking, like to carry out small home repairs or even those weekend construction projects. That said, how do you choose the best model for you?

Size

This is perhaps the most important feature to take into account when choosing your electric planer. The smaller models can easily be used with one hand (provided you have practice!), in various positions and at various angles, including vertically, which is especially useful when trimming the edges of doors and windows that tend to "snag" on their jambs. The larger and more powerful models can be used in larger projects, with hardwoods and even in civil construction. With a wider base, they can also be used as bench planers if you have the right support.

The most powerful models can be used in larger projects, with hardwoods and even in construction (Image source: Ono Kosuki / Pexels)

Physical characteristics

Give preference to models that have a comfortable grip, are suitable for handling and have a non-slip finish. It is important to work with relaxed shoulders and elbows to avoid injury and fatigue. Models that have a cutting guide are more versatile, allowing you to create pieces with perfect right angles. When it comes to power, it's worth thinking about how the electrical outlets are arranged where you'll be working. Although not as powerful, battery-powered models are more autonomous.

Power

The power of these machines is given in Watts and in RPM (revolutions per minute). An electric planer usually has between 600 and 800W of power and between 15,000 and 19,000 The higher the number of revolutions per minute, the better the finish. Blades

What type of blades are they?

You can re-use your old blades in other projects.

As we said before, fast steel blades are usually cheaper and sharper than tungsten blades, which last longer. Regardless, these blades will eventually need to be replaced and in this case it is worth considering how easy it is to replace the blades. Don't throw away your old blades! Even if they are worn out, they are of a very good quality material and you can use them for other projects, such as making a chisel, or chisels for woodcarving.

Reputation

If you can afford to invest a little more, go for reputable brands (Makita, Bosch, DeWalt, Black+Decker, for example). These brands have stood the test of time and follow strict quality control criteria. If you are in doubt between a cheaper and unknown brand and a more expensive one with a good reputation, it is usually worth investing a little more and counting on the warranty, the specialized technical assistance and the certainty that you are getting a quality product.

Summary

The electric planer is an essential piece of equipment for amateur woodworkers, as well as for the carpenters who are on construction sites across the country every day. Knowing the different features of these fascinating machines can save you good money and avoid worries in the future.

We hope this article has helped guide you in purchasing the ideal tool according to your needs and the scope of work you will be doing. In case you have learned something new or have any questions, be sure to contact us by message or share this article on your social networks. Until next time!

(Featured image source: Loraliu / 123rf)

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