10 Best Electric Hand Planers of 2020 – Reviews & Guide
An electric hand planer is a great tool to have for handymen, craftsmen, DIYers, and many more. They can make a difficult job easy, and free up time that is better spent on relaxing after a job well done. If you are still using an old-fashioned planer, it is definitely time to get your hands on a buzzer.
Whether you need a new one or you are ready to try an electric option and speed up your work time, finding a good model can be difficult. There are numerous brands and models to choose from, and they are hard to navigate without a guide.
Our team is here for you, however. We have found the ten best electric hand planers on the market. Below, you will find details on each of the buzzers. We have covered the power, weight, blade type, accessories (or lack thereof), and much more.
After the reviews, you will also find a buyer’s guide with some additional tips on how to choose the best model for your projects.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Best Overall||DEWALT DW680K Hand Planer||
|Best Value||WEN 6530 Electric Hand Planer||
|Premium Choice||Milwaukee 2623-20 M18 Hand Planer||
|PORTER-CABLE PC60THP Hand Planer||
|Makita KP0800K Hand Planer||
The 10 Best Electric Hand Planers – Reviews 2020
1. DEWALT DW680K Hand Planer – Best Overall
Our number one spot goes to the DEWALT DW680K Hand Planer. This is a cordless, 7-amp heavy-duty motor buzzer that is durable and easy to use. It gives you a smooth finish even on the hardest wood. Using 15,000 rotations per minute (rpm), this is a 3 1/4-inch planer with a 3/32-inch maximum cut. With that depth, it will reduce the number of passes you need to make, and cut your work time, as well.
The DEWALT uses either reversible carbide blades for detailed work, or you can use large resharpenable high-speed steel (HSS) blades for straight edging or framing. You also have a rubber-coated calibrated depth knob that creates accurate cut depths that you don’t need to re-zero.
This hand planer has a precision-machined shoe that provides even results. You will get accurate joints with the square rabbets, too. There are also three chamfer grooves for beveling channels, as well as a guide fence. You will also receive a convenient carry case, a kickstand for eliminating mistakes, and a durable poly-v belt.
The DEWALT has a great weight to power ratio. It’s easy to use with the two-finger trigger, plus it weighs a comfortable 10 pounds. The only downside to this model is it doesn’t come with a dust bag. Other than that, this is our top recommendation for an electric hand planer.
2. WEN 6530 Electric Hand Planer – Best Value
An electric buzzer is not always an affordable purchase. If you are looking for one that is cost-efficient, we recommend the WEN 6530 Electric Hand Planer. This machine has a 6-amp motor with a 3 1/4-inch cut width, however, it also comes in a 2 3/8-inch or a 4 3/8-inch option. You will find a good weight to power ratio with 34,000 cuts per minute (cpm) and 17,000 rpm at a lightweight 6 pounds. There is also an easy trigger for less hand fatigue when you are using the planer for an extended period.
This model features 16 positive stops with an increment increase of 1/128-inch from 0 to 1/8-inch. It also creates rabbets up to 7/10-inch with the included rabbet guide. The durable motor runs on 120 volts and 60 hertz (Hz). The WEN also comes with two HSS reversible blades and an adjustment wrench that you can store on the unit for a quick blade change.
The Planer comes with a kickstand to keep you from making unintended marks, a parallel fence, and a base plate shoe with a V-shaped groove for chamfering. It also comes with a dust bag that can be attached to the multidirectional dust chute that allows you to choose which direction the wood debris spill out. The bag is reversible, as well.
Although the WEN is a solid option, be aware that this planer is not as easy to calibrate as our top choice. You will need to return to zero to accurately control your depth. What’s more, it is not as effective on the hardwood. Beyond that, you will find this unit to be the best electric hand planer for the money.
3. Milwaukee M18 Hand Planer – Premium Choice
If you use a buzzer regularly and need something hardy and durable, check out the Milwaukee 2623-20 M18 Hand Planer. This is an easy to use cordless model with a 3 1/4-inch width. You can use it on hard or soft wood for finishing work, stock removal, or anything in between. Your work time will also decrease as you remove 5/64-inch with each pass. There are also multiple depth settings with 20 locking positions. What’s more, the dial doesn’t rotate past 0 or 5/64-inch, so there will be no need to re-zero.
The Milwaukee has an 18-volt, 14,000 rpm motor that uses 5 amps. It weighs a little over 8 pounds and has a 27/64-inch rabbet cut capacity. Additionally, you can choose from a left or right chip ejection system that doesn’t clog or slow down your work. To also aid in a smoother experience, you can make use of the spring-loaded kickstand and the onboard fuel gauge (located on the battery).
As we alluded to in the beginning, this model is more costly than our first two options. On top of that, it is sold as the tool only. This planer uses two reversible carbide blades with a dual cutting head, but they are sold separately from the base. That being said, the blades are simple to replace, plus the trigger is comfortable for prolonged use. With the pros far outweighing the cons, this is the best premium option.
4. PORTER-CABLE PC60THP Hand Planer
The PORTER-CABLE PC60THP Hand Planer is a corded model that has a heavy-duty 6-amp motor that uses 120 volts. It weighs a decent 8.30 pounds and has an easy finger trigger for consistent use. This model has a 5/64-inch cut capacity to help reduce the number of passes you will need to make. You can use it on hard and soft wood, as well.
This hand planer has an over-mold depth knob with 10 positive stops. Unfortunately, it is not as precise and will often need to be adjusted. On the other hand, you can pick either left or right dust extraction, and the 11.5-inch aluminum shoe provides you with extra stability. Plus, there are three chamfering grooves.
The PORTER-CABLE has a 0.47-inch rabbet depth that you can make use of with the edge guide. There is also a dust bag, a wrench for changing out the two carbide cutting blades, and a Bluetooth option for tunes while you work. What this unit doesn’t have is a kickstand which can cause you to make costly mistakes on your project. Finally, there is a maximum no-load speed of 16,500 rpm, although it doesn’t create as smooth of a finish as some other models.
5. Makita KP0800K Hand Planer
Another corded option is the 6.5-amp, 120-volt Makita KP0800K Hand Planer. With 17,000 rpm, this buzzer has great high power to weight ratio at 5 pounds. This is a two-blade cutter that is adaptable to double-edged carbide blades with an easy blade setting system. You can use it with HSS blades, as well. They are sold separately, though.
The Makita has a 3 1/2-inch cut width, and 3/32-inch cut depth. The machined aluminum shoe provides easy control while the spring-loaded kickstand keeps you from making any errors in your project. One thing to note, however, is the depth knob can be tricky. It can slip out of place, so caution and attention are recommended.
On a brighter note, this hand planer is easier to use with front and rear rubber handles. It comes with a high-quality poly-v belt, three chamfering grooves, and a wrench with a blade gauge. Plus, you also will receive a hard case for easy storage and travel. What you won’t find with this option is a dust bag, nor does it have rabbet capacity. Lastly, this model has a balanced drum that reduces vibration making it easier to use.
6. TACKLIFE EPN01A Electric Hand Planer
If you are looking for a safe option for a beginner, the TACKLIFE EPN01A Electric Hand Planer is a good option. This cordless unit has a 6-amp durable motor that can be used on soft or hard wood. It has a 3 1/4-inch cut width, and 5/64-inch adjustable cut depth. More importantly for the novice, it has a safety ambidex lock button, plus a no-mar plastic overshoe. What’s more, it has dual guide fences and a spring-loaded kickstand.
This model uses 120 volts with 33,000 cpm and 16,5000 rpm. It weighs approximately 6 pounds giving it a good weight to power ratio for easy use. The TACKLIFE also uses two double-sided HSS blades that are reversible. There is also a parallel fence bracket, and a machined aluminum shoe that is rust-resistant. The ratcheting depth knob allows you to set your cut capacity between 0 and 5/16-inch within one revolution and 20 positive stops. Be that as it may, the cut depth can be off slightly.
Additionally, this planer uses a rubber drive belt that is not as durable as others. It has one V groove for chamfering, but it is not as precise as we would like. Finally, the blade change on this option is more difficult than is typical. To wrap it up on a positive note, you will find dual exhaust ports you can switch between depending on which direction you are planing.
7. Ryobi HPL52K Corded Hand Planer
The Ryobi HPL52K Corded Hand Planer has a 3 1/4-inch cut width with a depth adjustment between 0 and 1/8-inch in 1/96 increments. This model is slightly heavier at almost 8 pounds, and it has more vibration than other options. Running on 16,500 rpm and 120 volts, this planer’s durability leaves some room for improvement.
The Ryobi has a kickstand to reduce the likelihood of creating marks or mistakes in your wood. It has dual dust ports, although they are small so chips will often get stuck making you stop to remove them mid-work. On a brighter note, there are two rubber-covered grips to make planing more comfortable. There is also a lock-off button for safety.
This model has a chamfering groove along with a guide. There is rabbet capacity, however, it’s not accurate or efficient. You should also be aware that this model is not designed for hard wood or professional use. Using 6 amps, this corded model comes with two reversible double-edged blades with an on-base wrench. Unfortunately, the wench is not durable, and changing the blades is difficult.
8. VonHaus Electric Wood Hand Planer
Working at 33,000 cpm, the VonHaus Electric Wood Hand Planer is a corded 7.5-amp tool that weighs almost ten pounds making it hard to use for extended periods. It has a cut width of 3 1/4-inch and has a 16,000 rpm motor. This tool also has a 1/16-inch cut capacity that, unfortunately, doesn’t shorten your work time.
The VonHaus has an adjustable base plate, guide fence, and left or right dust ejection. You also have three chamfering grooves, yet the entire planer is not as precise as it should be. Besides that, you will find a lock-off switch for safety. It also comes with two replacement blades, however, there is no indication of the type of blade it uses. What can be discerned is that the blades are harder to replace.
This tool has an extra auxiliary handle that has a soft rubber covering. There is also a rear kickstand to prevent accidental marks on the wood. Overall, this planer is meant for lighter use with soft wood. The belt is prone to breaking often, the level is off, and the motor overheats.
9. CRAFTSMAN CMEW300 Hand Planer
In the number nine spot, we have the CRAFTSMAN CMEW300 Hand Planer. This is a 6-amp, 3 1/4-inch cut width tool that has a maximum cut depth of 5/64-inch. There are ten positive stops, however, the lack of depth increments makes precision work more difficult. Additionally, this is not a tool we would recommend for finishing work or projects using hard wood.
This cordless planer uses 16,500 rpm. You have three chamfering grooves to make use of along with an 11.5-inch cast aluminum shoe. There is also a double-sided chip exhaust for your convenience. That being said, this hand buzzer is not durable. The edge guide is off-kilter, and there is no kickstand. What’s worse, the carbide blades, though easy to change, are not reversible. They also don’t last very long.
The CRAFTSMAN planer has been known to be missing parts. There is also no parallel fence bracket. In general, this is not a tool we would recommend using outside of basic, simple home projects. The vibration is strong, and it lacks many of the basic needs to tackle even moderate level planing jobs.
10. SKIL PL2012-00 Corded Planer
Our final option is the SKIL PL2012-00 Corded Planer. As the name suggests, this is a corded unit with a 6.5-amp motor with 16,000 rpm that overheats often. This model has the standard 3 1/4-inch cut width, and it weighs approximately 7 pounds. It also comes with a dual-chip exhaust, wrench storage for blade changes, and a lock-off switch for safety.
The SKIL hand planer is another option that is not level making the parallel guide and one chamfering groove not effective. The rabbeting guide at a 5/16-inch depth is also not effective. This tool has a cut capacity of 5/64-inch. Positive stops and re-zeroing information is not easily found, however. What we do know is the aluminum shoe rusts quickly, plus the kickstand sticks, so maring your project is likely.
The type of blade this planer uses is also not readily available. What’s worse, we have found the tool is not level or precise. Overall, this is our least favorite option for an electric hand planer. Chances are, you would do better with one of the other tools listed above.
When you are picking out your ideal electric hand planer, there are several key features you want to keep in mind. These key aspects can also have a lot to do with the type of work you will be performing, and how much you will be using the tool.
Take a look at the shopping tips below. We have shared some useful information on what features are important, and what you should be looking for when picking out this tool.
Not all electric hand planers are made equal. They can have different blades, chamfering grooves, cut depth, adjustment increments, and plenty more. If you are a DIYer or someone who only needs this tool occasionally, there are many middle-of-the-road options you can choose from. On the other hand, if this tool aids your work daily, it is more likely you will need something hardier.
To give you a better understanding of this handy hand tool, we have outlined some key features below.
A hand planer is typically categorized by the width of its cut. As you may have noticed, a common width is 3 1/4-inch or 3 1/2-inch. This is ideal for a hand planer as it allows you sufficient control over the tool. If you regularly work on larger surface areas, you may want to consider a bigger planer.
Another aspect of the cut is depth. Electric planers will have a maximum cut depth that is broken up by increments. The max depth will allow you to work quickly by taking off a lot of surface area in one pass. You can then adjust the depth by increments that will allow you to be precise. The increments are called positive stops. The more stops there are, the more precise the width of your material will be.
Adjusting the depth is done with the front knob. Look for those that lock or do not need to be set to re-zero. These will help you keep a level and accurate depth. Also, if your project calls for more accurate and precise measurements, you want a planer with 20 positive stops. This allows you to fine-tune the depth.
The blades on your planer is what actually does the work. There are two types of blades you can use; either carbide or high-speed steel (HSS). Which type of blade you choose depends on you and your needs as both have their pros and cons. Also, some planers are equipped to handle either. Take a look at some of the differences between the two blades:
Again, which blade you choose depends on you and your needs. That being said, there are a few other considerations. For example, you also have the option of reversible blades, resharpenable blades, and double-edge blades.
The tool itself is another story altogether. There are many aspects of the hand planer you will need to look at to determine which one is best for you. For example, dust exhausts. Many planers come with a dual-dust exhaust which allows the debris from your work to shoot out the side you are not working on. This is helpful and time-saving. Take a look at some other features:
There are other features of a planer, but these are the most important. Make sure you look at the details of your tool before buying to ensure it has everything you need.
We hope you have enjoyed the reviews above. If we were to recommend one electric hand planer, it would have to be the DEWALT DW68DK Hand Planer. It is a reliable, efficient, and handy tool to have whether you need it for household chores or on the job projects.
If you need a more cost-friendly recommendation, we suggest the WEN 6530 Electric Hand Planer. This is another tried and true tool that can handle many projects. Although it’s not quite as strong as our first choice, it’s a great place to start when you are on a budget.
Learn more about planers:
- Which planer is our all-time favorite? (all types of planers showdown)
- Which is our favorite table-top planer? Find out here
- Review of the DeWalt DW734
- DeWalt DW735 Thickness Planer Review
- DeWalt DW735x Package Review
- A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
- The 10 Best Electric Hand Planers – Reviews 2020
- 1. DEWALT DW680K Hand Planer – Best Overall
- 2. WEN 6530 Electric Hand Planer – Best Value
- 3. Milwaukee M18 Hand Planer – Premium Choice
- 4. PORTER-CABLE PC60THP Hand Planer
- 5. Makita KP0800K Hand Planer
- 6. TACKLIFE EPN01A Electric Hand Planer
- 7. Ryobi HPL52K Corded Hand Planer
- 8. VonHaus Electric Wood Hand Planer
- 9. CRAFTSMAN CMEW300 Hand Planer
- 10. SKIL PL2012-00 Corded Planer
- Buyer’s Guide