Last updated: August 12, 2021

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Welcome to our big planer test 2021. Here we present all the planers we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best planer for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a planer.

Contents




Summary

  • By using planers, you can plane the wood surfaces smooth. These planed workpieces are then suitable for further processing
  • In practice, these three types of planers are most commonly used: (electric) hand planers, surface planers, thickness planers and the multi-sided planer
  • Hand planes are best for touch-ups, while jointers and thicknessers are used for machining and finishing. The multi-sided plane is used in mass production

The Best Planer: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a planer

When is it worth buying a planer?

A planer can make your work on pieces of wood much easier and also works precisely and flawlessly. In addition to special designs, different profiles can also be worked into the workpiece. With a high number of blade revolutions, an even removal of material from the solid wood can be guaranteed.

You should buy a planer if you want to use the advantages already mentioned in your work. You should always pay attention to the quality of the planer.

When buying a planer, it is advisable not to have any safety concerns about working with planers and you should be able to manage without angular planing, as this is difficult to do with planers.

mit Hobelmaschine bearbeitete Holzbretter

With a planer, wood can be processed precisely, evenly and without errors. (Photo: Pixabay / pexels.com)

How much does a planer cost?

Planers are spread across all price ranges. Starting with simple planing machines for hobby home craftsmen in the two or low three-digit range up to professional machines for mass production in the mid five-digit range.

In terms of price, simple hand planers range from €20 to €110, while electric planers have an average price range of €150-180.

The simple jointer and thicknesser is available on the market for about 250€. A well-equipped jointer and thicknesser is available from €8,000. Depending on the manufacturer and the equipment, the price range of a multi-sided planer can be between 17,000€ and 45,000€.

Type Price
Hand planer from approx. 20€
Electric hand planer from approx. 40€
Intent and thickness planer from approx. 250€
Multi side planer from approx. 15.000€

Can I borrow/rent a planer?

Yes, in most cases it is possible to borrow at least an electric planer from various DIY stores or machine rental companies. Larger machines usually require a lot of transport and can therefore only be rented rarely or over a longer period of time.

It is usually worth asking carpenters or joiners in the neighbourhood if you can use their machine for one or two hours.

Which planer do I use for my work?

The following table shows you which type of planer you should use for which application:

Type Suitable for Application
Small (electric hand planer) Beginner and moderate use All minor work on wood, such as smoothing surfaces or chamfering edges.
Surface and thickness planer Home use and small businesses Suitable for larger projects. Saves a lot of time and effort when planing wood.
Four-sided planer Production of a large quantity Mostly used in industrial production and operated by trained personnel.

Where are planers most commonly used?

The planer is used in both the private and professional sectors. For do-it-yourselfers it is suitable, for example, when furniture is to be built privately, home accessories are to be made from wood or floor boards are to be prepared.

In the professional sector, the planer is useful when a large amount of solid wood has to be cut to a precise width and thickness.

Did you know that the first planer came from England?

The English engineer Hatton invented the planing machine in 1776. The first device worked with several rotating blades and thus replaced the hand planer for many jobs.

Which planer is suitable for beginners?

As a beginner, you are most likely to learn and understand the principle of "planing" with the (electric) hand planer. By watching various "tips and tricks" videos on different video platforms, you can get even closer to planing before you switch to the larger planers.

It is also possible to take part in a DIY course for beginners to gain initial experience with the tools.

How much time do I have to rebuild a combined jointer and thicknesser?

If you can't afford the time to rebuild, you should consider buying two separate tools. Note that with a combined planer, it is not always possible to do both operations at the same time, so you may have to rebuild the planer.

Where can I find spare parts/accessories for planers?

The spare parts and accessories for most machines can be found in the first step at the company where you bought the machine. If this is not the case, they will contact the manufacturer.

If you want to be more mobile in this step, you can search for spare parts or accessories yourself via online portals. Another alternative would be to contact the manufacturer of the machines directly.

Which companies can help me with the purchase of a professional multi-sided planer?

In principle, you can rely on the support of several companies for the purchase of a multi-sided planer. The market-established companies in this area include Michael Weinig AG, BACCI, the HOMAG Group and the SCM Group.

The difficult purchase via various online shops and the associated high acquisition costs have led us to present the product but not to include it in the comparison.

If the four-sided planer exactly meets your requirements, then you should contact one of the companies in order to find the perfect planer for you.

How should the planer be used?

For this choice, it is particularly important that you have thought about exactly where and, above all, how often the machine will be used. Depending on your considerations, a stationary or mobile planer may be more suitable.

If the planer is to be used on the move, you must make sure that the machine either has a trolley or that you have the possibility of finding a suitable means of transport. If necessary, you may even have to build a transport device yourself. This is particularly suitable for short periods of use and little space in the room.

If the planer is to be stationary, you can buy a larger and more stable machine. With size and stability comes on the one hand more weight, but on the other hand more storage space for workpiece storage. The stationary version is ideal for long-term use.

Did you know how loud a planer is on average?

The Austrian General Accident Insurance Fund has determined the following noise levels for a planer: When idling, it reaches a volume of between 79 - 100 decibels, while at peak noise it is between 90 - 111 decibels.

Decision: What types of planers are there and which one is right for you?

On the market for planers you will find many variants of planers that differ greatly from each other. Depending on the way of working or use, one of the following planers is suitable here:

  • (Electric) hand planer
  • Surface and thickness planes
  • Multi-sided planer

Each of these planers fulfils the same purpose, it planes the solid wood. In addition to the planing properties, planers also have different advantages and disadvantages.

With the end product in mind, the machine types mentioned can be used to profile the sides, determine the thickness and width or process several sides at the same time. In the following section, we would like to introduce you to the planers and find out which planer is best suited for you and your working method.

What distinguishes a (electric) hand planer and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

The advantage of the (electric) hand planer is the simplicity of its handling and the space-saving storage in the tool cupboard. The hand plane is a handy tool for working with wood. It consists of three fixed components: Plane body, plane iron and clamping device.

The body of the plane is used to hold the plane iron and the clamping device and is intended to make it easier to guide the plane. In the sole of the planer is the chip passage, which discharges the shavings upwards.

The plane iron, which is made of tool steel, is used to chip the material and also to remove the shavings, while the clamping device is used to hold the plane iron in place. The hand plane must always be pushed over the workpiece.

The electric hand plane is a further development of the hand plane. Here, the wood surface is machined by a rotating cutter with inserted cutting edges.

Due to the symmetrical design of the hand plane, you can work with this tool both as a right-handed and a left-handed person. The great advantage of a hand or electric plane is that it is easy to store. In addition to this, the hand plane also benefits from its low price.

Advantages
  • Suitable for left- and right-handers
  • Easy to store
  • Low prices
Disadvantages
  • Large amount of work
  • Increased effort
  • Additional effort due to inaccurate planing

In addition to the amount of work and effort required, there are also disadvantages associated with imprecise or unfocused work. This is mainly due to incorrect planing.

What are the features of a surface and thickness planer and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

The special advantage of a surface and thickness planer is that two individual planing machines (surface and thickness planer) are combined into one machine tool. This significantly reduces working distances and times during processing.

The solid wood to be processed is prepared here with the help of the jointer at the top before it is planed down to the desired dimensions in the thicknesser below. The jointer is not only used for smoothing and planing, but also for making 90-degree angles and preparing for the thicknesser.

The thickness planer is used when a certain thickness of a piece of wood is required during processing. The thickness and width of the workpiece can be determined by successive operations. This function is particularly important for making furniture and other handy wooden objects.

The planer and thicknessing machine is used by hobby home craftsmen as well as in carpentry, joinery and other craft-oriented businesses, as this combined planer saves space.

Advantages
  • Two machines combined in one
  • Time-saving
  • Accurate production
  • Few accessories needed
Disadvantages
  • Extraction required
  • Professional machines are expensive

Compared to hand planing, hardly any space is needed either, as a planing bench, for example, can be dispensed with. The space saving can still be attributed to a significant time saving and machine accuracy.

In terms of price, this combined planer varies depending on whether it is a hobby or a professional machine, but ultimately it can be classified in a medium to high price segment.

What distinguishes a multi-sided planer and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

The great advantage of a multi-sided planer is its ability to perform several planing operations in one step. In this case, more accurate planing, jointing and thick planing processes are carried out one after the other within the machine.

The four-sided planer, which is a type of multi-sided planer, is a large-scale woodworking machine that processes the inserted workpieces with the help of a computerised numerical control (CNC). In addition to planing work, profiling can also be milled out in this CNC-controlled planer.

It is therefore most suitable for series and mass productions, as several programmings with exact dimensions can be stored in the programme memory.

With the help of the memory-programmed control, the operator of the four-sided planer is enabled to produce each stored variant from one sawn timber. In this way, the multi-sided planer allows your company to switch between several jobs in the shortest possible time.

A big advantage is the time saved in the production of the products, so one machine can process everything for which you would otherwise need three or more machines. The shorter distances between the machines also save you time. Since everything is largely fully automatic, the amount of work and energy required is also kept within limits.

Advantages
  • Significant time savings
  • Several planing processes in one step
  • Suitable for mass production
  • Almost fully automatic
Disadvantages
  • Very expensive
  • Professional extraction required
  • Operation by trained personnel
  • Programming errors are possible

However, behind a lot of technology there is also a high price, which is why new multi-sided planers can only be purchased for a five-figure price. It should be mentioned here that you cannot necessarily put this type of planer in your barn at home, as it must be connected to a professional extraction system.

These planers should also be operated by trained personnel, as incorrect programming can stop an entire series production.

Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate planers

Before buying a planer, it may be most important for you to decide whether you want to buy a used or a new one. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages. In the end, it does not depend on whether a machine is used or new, what is important for a planer is that other functions can be performed without problems.

In summary, the criteria are:

  • Weight
  • Size of the planer
  • Operating voltage
  • Power consumption
  • Number of revolutions of the planer shaft
  • Number of planing knives
  • Maximum planing width
  • Maximum clearance height

Weight

Hand-operated planes in particular are used time and again, and it is an advantage if the planer has a comfortable weight. But weight also plays an important role for larger machines.

You can expect most electric planes to weigh between 2kg and 3.5kg. Surface and/or thickness planes are much heavier. These types of planes usually start at a weight of about 30kg. However, the weight plays a rather unimportant role in the purchase.

Size of the planer

A planer always takes up more or less space in the workshop, depending on how often it is used. Therefore, it is important to consider how much space you can make available for the machine. The planer with the least space consumption is the simple hand planer. The combined planer takes up the most space.

For most electric planers, an area of 30 x 20 x 20 cm is sufficient for easy storage. They vary around this area depending on the equipment of the machines. For a thickness planer you need a free space of about 70 x 40 cm, whereby the height of the planer is also influenced by the maximum clearance height.

Operating voltage

The decisive factor for the operating voltage is whether the machine can get by with a 230V socket or a high-voltage connection. For most electric planers, standard household sockets with 230 volts are normally sufficient.

This type of power supply is also sufficient for some jointers and thicknessers, but for more powerful planes it is likely that you will need a high-voltage connection.

Power consumption

The energy converted by the current is reflected in the power consumption. It is expressed in watts, after the Scottish scientist James Watt, and describes the change in energy or work per time interval.

Power consumption starts at 650 watts for the weaker electric planer and ends at 1800 watts for the most powerful planer. Most jointers and thicknessers are in the four-figure watt range.

Number of revolutions of the planer shaft

In theory, the higher the rotational speed of the cutter and the number of knives, the better the machine is suited for planing. This is because the higher the rotational speed of the cutterheads, the faster the desired result can be achieved.

It should also be noted that a higher rotation speed ensures a finer result and thus makes further processing much easier. In the long run, you will find that buying a higher-speed planer can save you money as well as time and effort.

Since you can get planers in all speeds these days, you should look to buy machines with revolutions of at least 10,000 rpm.

Number of planing knives

As with the number of revolutions, the more knives you have, the faster and better the result. Simple hand planes usually only come with one blade, and even a few electric planes get by with one blade. Most planes, whether electric planes, jointers or thicknessers, are equipped with two or more planing knives.

Chip removal planing

The information on chip removal for planing only refers to the planer. For the thickness planes and the hand planes, the values of "chip removal thickness planes" are important. It therefore indicates how many millimetres can be "removed" by a planing process.

Precision is very important in this range, so there is a certain margin of chip depth. In most cases, this range is between zero and three millimetres.

Chip removal thickness planing

As mentioned above, chip removal for thickness planing also applies to (electric) hand planers. As in the case of chip removal for planing, the number of millimetres that can be removed in one planing step is specified here.

Especially with electric planes, the focus is on precision, so that the chip removal can go up to 4 mm or more. The steps vary between 0.25mm or 0.5mm steps depending on the product.

Maximum planing width

If you know in advance which pieces of wood you want to process, it can save you a lot of time and money if you base your planing purchase on this. It is important for you to consider whether you want to work with small boards, slats or large beams.

The right choice also saves space, as you do not have to buy an unnecessarily large machine. For example, most electric planers have a maximum planing width of 82 mm. The situation is different for thickness planers, which can process a surface of up to 260 mm.

Maximum clearance height

In addition to the maximum planing width, the maximum passage height plays a decisive role, especially for surface and thickness planers. Hand planes and electric planes are not affected in this respect, as they plane down from above.

The situation is different with surface planes and/or thickness planes, as they are planed both from below and from above. However, it can be assumed that most planers have at least a maximum clearance height of 120 mm.

Facts worth knowing about planers

How long have planing machines been around?

The first hand planer, on the other hand, is said to have been used as early as 1200 BC. The planes still preserved today from the Roman imperial period, 27 BC to 284 AD, are possibly the oldest pieces still in existence.

The first planing machines have existed since the 18th century. Electric motors were added towards the end of the 19th century, before the first electric planers appeared after the First World War.

How do I plane/work on a planer?

The most important point when working on a planer is to follow safety precautions. Lack of safety precautions, such as lack of work clothes or extractors, could lead to problems with insurance in case of accidents.

For a long service life with a planer, it is important that the pieces of wood used are free of dust, dirt and unwanted materials such as iron nails. This also applies to an edger.

How do I set up a jointer correctly?

The best way to check the setting of your planer is to place two freshly planed pieces of wood with the machined side against each other. If they do not let any light through, the jointer is perfectly adjusted.

With these two boards against each other, you can also see whether the planer is too sharp or too hollow. If the two surfaces form a "belly", you must turn the adjustment screw for the pointed or hollow joint in the direction of "hollow".

The opposite is true if the boards form a hollow (converge to a point in the middle), in which case you must adjust the machine in the "pointy" direction. This form of control is particularly effective because "hollow" and "pointed" are particularly obvious.

Picture source: 123rf.com / 93321796

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