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Smooth Out Your Workpiece Like a Pro With the Best Hand Planers
For most people, power tools are the fastest and easiest way to deal with any construction or repair project. But what if you want something quieter? Or smaller? Or do you need to get that last quarter inch off of your workpiece without having to use a table saw? Well, in that case, you need a hand planer.
Regardless of if you’re into refinishing antique furniture or making small wooden toys for your children, this versatile tool helps you shave off imperfections and scratches in just a few passes, allowing you to create intricate designs with precision.
But with so many different types of hand planers on the market, how do you know which is best for your needs? To help you out, we’ve reviewed the top of the line hand planers of 2024. So whether you’re just starting out or looking to upgrade your arsenal of tools, there’s a hand planer for you!Show contentsWhat Is the Finest Hand Planer of 2024?
Finding Your Next Hand Planer: A Buyer’s Guide
- WEN Hand Planer - Best Overall
- PORTER-CABLE Hand Planer - Most Versatile
- BOSCH Hand Planer - Easiest to Use
- Amazon Basics Hand Planer - Most Budget-Friendly
- Jellas Hand Planer - Most Powerful
Finding Your Next Hand Planer: A Buyer’s Guide
While hand planers make the most exciting and precise changes to your workpiece, finding the right product can be intimidating. We’ve put together this comprehensive buying guide to help you choose the perfect hand planer for your needs.
What Are the Types of Hand Planers?
Bench planers are commonly used on the workbench and feature a two-handed design with a front knob to control the shaving depth with both hands. The shaving blade in these versions is installed at a 45-degree angle and the bevel points downward, allowing you to efficiently remove imperfections from the workpiece.
You can usually adjust the blade depth in bench planers and they also come with a chip deflector on the cutting blade to keep your workshop clean. Bench planers come in more than 20 styles to carry out different types of tasks.
If you’re a fan of traditional woodworking tools, you’ll love block planers because you can hold this tool in one hand to square up small stocks, plane a line, erase mill marks, bevel an edge, or sharpen a working pencil. Unlike bench planers, the blade in block planers sits at an angle of 20 degrees, and the bevel points upward.
If you want to make grooves and cuts to fit different pieces together in fine woodworking, you need a joinery planer. This tool comes with blades and guides of different sizes to help you create uniform grooves, cuts, and notches on the ends of a workpiece. You can find a huge variety of joinery planers for cutting notches and grooves of different depths and widths against the wood grain or along the sides.
Molding planers are used to create different contours and shapes in wood trims. Molding planers have been known for years to create ornate moldings that date back to early European cathedrals and different decorative interiors. You often need more than one molding planer to create customized trims. You can use a large-sized curved planer to shape a wide contour along the workpiece’s length and a smaller-sized planer to cut rounded beads and notches, giving your piece a fancier look.
Metal or Wooden Hand Planer: Which Is Better?
Metal planers are a bit heavier than wooden ones, but you can use the extra weight to your advantage because you don’t need to push these tools hard to shave off the workpiece. Adjusting blade depths is also easier on metal planers and they are made of powder-coated metals with wooden or metal handles for enhanced durability.
Wooden planers are lighter and handier than metal planers for planing workpieces that are upright because metal planers might induce hand fatigue due to their added weight. If you’re into traditional woodworking, you will love the smooth feel of a wooden planer. The drawback is that adjusting the blade depth is a bit difficult and time-consuming because you need to use a mallet, but the extra effort is worth it for artisans whose woodworking kit is incomplete without a wood planer.
What Is the Finest Hand Planer of 2024?1– Best Overall
The WEN Hand Planer features a rabbeting guide that helps keep your work on track while cutting at angles, and the parallel fence bracket allows you to adjust the depth of cut manually as needed. What’s more, it has a chamfer groove so you can easily create an indentation for decorative effects.
With a 6 amp motor, this planer provides plenty of power to make 34,000 cuts in one minute, while 16 positive stops allow you to set different depths of cuts quickly and easily. Best of all, this planer also has a reversible dust bag to collect dust and debris, keeping your workstation clean. With high precision, a durable build, and an affordable price tag, this hand planer has earned the top spot on our list.2– Most Versatile
This hand planer by PORTER-CABLE is the perfect tool for your next project. It features a heavy-duty 6 amp motor that runs at 16,500 revolutions per minute (RPM), making it easy to cut through even the toughest woods and metals. It comes equipped with an overmold depth knob with 10 positive steps so you can easily adjust it to the depth you want to use.
What’s more, this hand planer has three chamfering grooves that help guide your tool into place and give it a more streamlined look. Plus, the 11-inch cast aluminum shoe provides stability as you work on different surfaces and the 0.076-inch cutting depth lets you get into tight spaces without compromising on quality or power.3– Easiest to Use
The BOSCH Hand Planer is a heavy-duty tool that can handle everything from rough lumber to finished surfaces. Powered by a 6.5 amp motor, it runs at a 16,500 RPM speed so you get your work done in record time. Plus, the spring-loaded stand is perfect for positioning the tool at any angle on the job site.
It also has a dual-mount guide fence with a protective shield so you can secure your wood in place for precise cuts. The no-mar plastic overshoe is designed to keep your working area safe from scratches and scuffs. Best of all, there’s a shaving bag built into the tool so you don’t have to worry about cleaning up after you’re done.4– Most Budget-Friendly
Whether you’re working on a project in the garage or just want to make a piece of furniture look new again, the Amazon Basics Hand Planer is a must-have tool. Made with a durable cast iron body that provides strength and reliability, this is the ideal tool for those on a budget. Featuring an impact-resistant plastic handle with a contoured grip, this hand planer is comfortable to hold and easy to maneuver, even when you’re working on projects that require fine control over the blade.
What’s more, the durable steel alloy blade is sharp enough to get through tough materials like wood or metal so you can have the perfect edge every time. Thanks to its adjustable gear, you can easily change the speed of your blade to work with precision.5– Most Powerful
Capable of cutting 33,000 cuts per minute, the Jellas Hand Planer has a 7.5-amp pure copper motor with two double-edged carbide blades that can cut up to 0.12 inches deep into wood, metal, and plastic. Featuring an all-mirror-grade aluminum bottom, which keeps the tool balanced, there are three chamfer grooves that help you smooth out the surface without wasting any material.
Unlike other hand planers on the market, this one features auxiliary push handles that allow you to work with precision while minimizing hand fatigue. Plus, its blade protector with a built-in kickstand protects the blade from damage and provides stability. As an added bonus, this option comes equipped with a reversible dust chute so that you can easily collect sawdust.
People Also AskedQ: How can I sharpen the blade of my hand planer?
A: To sharpen the blade, you need to hold the sharpening stone or iron steady at an angle of 25 to 30 degrees while maintaining downward pressure on the bevel. Start by sharpening on a wet medium-grit stone and repeat the process on a finer-grit sander or fine stone. You should stroke the blade in a circular motion until you see a burr on it and then clean it to get a cutting-sharp edge.Q: I’m buying a hand planer for the first time, which one should I get?
A: If you’re a beginner, you should purchase a low-angle block planer, which will help you refine imperfections.Q: Can I use a hand planer on painted wood?
A: Yes, you can plane painted wood but the blade of your hand planer may become dull faster.