The planer is a tool for woodworking, which allows to obtain a flat and smooth surface (like wooden floors) thanks to the passage of a blade on the work material. Modern models can be used for grooving or chamfering edges. Now that we have seen the basic operation we can talk about the important elements for choosing the electric planer.
On the market we find different types of planers, some cheaper and simpler and others suitable for professional use that also reach high costs. Let’s see together the different types of planer that we can find on the market.
These are the simplest and cheapest planes that you can find on the market. To use the planers of this type, simply grasp the handle and perform horizontal movements on the wood, the driven blade on the tool removes portions of material at each step, leaving a smooth and perfectly flat surface. Of course they require some effort from the user, but they cost very little, in fact they can be found starting from R500. Furthermore, being small and light, they can be used in places that cannot be reached by electric planes.
Electric planers of this type are the most common on the market, they are versatile, efficient and very easy to use. Also in this case the user must perform a horizontal movement with the planer, however the planing is performed by one or more rotating blades driven by a motor and a single pass is sufficient to obtain a smooth and perfectly flat surface. Remember never to carry out more passes with this type of planers as at each additional pass marks are left on the wood.
Finally, planers of this type, usually used at a professional level, are among the most expensive on the market. Of course, these models are also equipped with an electric motor and the planing is obtained by sliding the work material on the planer bench . They are very precise and powerful tools, however they are also more bulky and heavier than the models of the other types.
In this buying guide we will analyze the important factors to consider when choosing manual electric planes.
In this paragraph we analyze all the characteristics that influence the quality of the work of the planer, let’s see them in detail.
Type of blade
The blades are the part of the planer that rotates the planer and can be of different types. The planers that can develop a higher rotation speed usually use steel blades , a very hard material that can withstand the stresses and heat generated by the processing. The other models, on the other hand, use aluminum blades which are also good and resistant enough to perform a quality process. Finally, we point out that some models use blades coated in extremely resistant materials, such as titanium .
Of course, the width of the planing depends on the width of the blade. The standard size of the blades of the electric planes on the market is 82 mm . We point out that the work material must have a width less than that of the blades, as the planing must take place in one pass. However, there are some professional planers that have larger blades, which reach up to 180 mm.
Depth of cut
The depth of cut indicates the amount of material that will be removed using the electric planer. This value is adjustable and usually ranges from a minimum of 1 to a maximum of 4 or 5 mm . The maximum achievable depth depends on several factors, such as the power of the planer and the quality of the blades. Furthermore, some models reach a different depth for planing bars.
Many of the planes on the market have V-shaped grooves on the base for planing the edges. To use them correctly, just insert the edge into the cut and move the plane horizontally.
The type of power supply and the power of the electric planer affect the tool performance. Let’s see together the most important elements to evaluate the planer feeding.
Type of power supply
There are both battery- powered and wire- powered electric planers on the market . The planes powered by a battery are usually less powerful and therefore allow you to plan smaller sizes than the other models, however they are very useful in case you have to move frequently. We also point out that for planers of this type it is always preferable to buy models equipped with lithium batteries and possibly a backup battery, so that you can replace the discharged one and continue working. The wire- powered models , on the contrary, are more powerfuland allow to work larger portions of wood. All semi-professional and professional planers, which can work large portions of material without problems, fall into this category.
The power depends a lot on the type of power supply, in fact, as we have already said, the planers powered by wire are more powerful and performing than those equipped with a battery. In general, we can say that a power that oscillates between 600 and 1000 watts is sufficient for almost all jobs, even the most demanding professional ones. The less powerful models, on the other hand, are suitable for amateur work and allow you to plan smaller portions of material.
The rotation speed of the blades depends on the power of the electric planer motor and affects the quality of the final work. The higher the rotation speed of the blades, the more precise the final work will be. In addition, the blades that turn very quickly allow you to work even harder materials. Usually the planers on the market develop a speed that oscillates between 10,000 and 16,000 rpm .
Manual planers must be light and compact enough to be used easily with two hands, usually models of this type have a weight that varies between 2 and 4 kg , only a few products exceed this weight. The dimensions are also quite standard, although some models differ from others in being particularly compact.
In this paragraph we talk about all the elements and features that make the plane practical to use, an important aspect especially for those who need to use this tool for long work sessions. Let’s see together which elements have the greatest influence on the practicality of the manual plane and which accessories make it versatile.
The manual planers are equipped with two handles , which allow you to move the tool without excessive effort. Some models use ergonomic handles which can also be covered with a special anti-vibration and non-slip rubber .
Continuous operation button
Often among the models on the market there is this accessory that allows you to operate the planer without having to continuously press and hold the appropriate button. This element is very useful especially when you need to use the electric planer for prolonged work sessions .
Connection for vacuum cleaner
Several models are equipped with an attachment that allows you to connect a vacuum cleaner or a bag to the planer, to get rid of work residues as they come off the work material. In some cases there are two attachments and it is possible to choose which side to bring out the shavings, an interesting option that makes the tool suitable for both right-handed and left-handed users.
This accessory is very useful for planing parallel to the edge of the work material. To be used correctly, the guide must be resting on one side of the material, at this point you can start planing and the guide will keep the planer always at the same distance from the edge, so as to obtain a planing perfectly parallel to the edge of the work material .
Is the brand important?
The same applies to the brand as for the price. In fact, even in this case the manufacturing company has a certain weight in the choice of the model to be purchased only in the case of looking for a professional product with high performance. In addition, we point out that companies such as Bosch and DeWalt put on the market many products ranging from amateur to professional level. In any case, we point out that the leaders of the electric planer market are the same as the other power tools and therefore we find companies such as Ryobi, Einhell and Tacklife. Finally, remember that it is always good to rely on companies that can also provide assistance after the purchase.
Are the materials important?
As with any power tool of this type, materials are important, however we must say that among the models on the market we have not noticed big differences from this point of view. The machine body is usually made of hard plastic, which is sufficiently resistant for the type of stress to which the tool is subjected, as we said, the blades are made of aluminum or steel and can sometimes be equipped with a titanium cover. Finally, remember that the handle is often covered with an anti-vibration and non-slip rubber which makes work more comfortable and safe.